Too free or not too free?

July 12, 2002

Are broadband lines for telecommunications or data? The FCC has decided to classify it as an information service, and two groups have come out in opposition. The ACLU thinks that this will close off the internet, and not make it open and free: ACLU says cable could close Internet

The openness of the Internet is in danger of being compromised by cable companies that offer high-speed broadband services, according to the American Civil Liberties Union, and the U.S. government must act to protect the Internet's freedom of communication from these monopolies.

In its report entitled "No Competition: How Monopoly Control of the Broadband Internet Threatens Free Speech," the ACLU calls upon the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to treat cable networks along the same regulatory lines that telephone networks are governed. To date, the FCC has classified cable networks as "information services," meaning they don't fall under the same regulatory framework as telephone networks.

The other group opposed to this regulation is the FBI, who fears that it will make the Internet too open: FBI uneasy about plan to deregulate fast Net

The FBI and Justice Department are concerned that the Federal Communications Commission's decision to classify broadband as an "information" service could disrupt their ability to trace the e-mail and Internet activity of terrorists and other criminals.

So the same FCC regulation could make the Internet both not open enough and too open? My brain hurts.

Posted by Andrew Raff at July 12, 2002 11:46 AM
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