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Old September 8 2012, 02:30 AM   #81
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Re: Why isn't Internet free for everyone yet?

Alidar Jarok wrote:
Actually, there's a couple flaws with that argument.

First, if the government controlled it, the First Amendment would apply.
Well, that is an argument, however, freedom of speech only applies to an act of congress, no other branch of government. Example: The FCC is certainly government, and their job is primarily shutting down people who speak the wrong things (mostly nudity, gore, profanity).
It's true that one day all ISP's might be required to have a license to transmit data, and that it gets regulated by the FCC. The FCC has tried and failed numerous times to get control over the US internet system
Again, your first amendment right would only be constitutionally valid for the internet if the internet was controlled by congress. But if congress made another FCC and called it "The Internet Safety Commission" which controlled all telecommunications, that organization is free to make any and every law it wants, because congress is not silencing your speech, and because judiciary is not punishing you for it.

Alidar Jarok wrote:
Internet Service Providers are free to block sites of rival companies
Nope, we have net neutrality. If the phone and cable companies have over turned it recently, I would appreciate a link.

Alidar Jarok wrote:
or even censor your personal emails that you send to someone else (which they've been known to do).
While that doesn't really surprise me, or even bother me that much considering there's a billion email service providers, and they are a third party data storage and retrieval medium (as opposed to being the only physical means to transport raw data). I would still like to see a link.

Alidar Jarok wrote:
Second, there are obscenity laws that apply to the internet.
There are no obscenity laws governing the internet. Many politicians and protest groups have tried, only one of those bills were ever passed, called CIPA (Children's Internet Protection Act). This applies to schools and libraries only, and is not "enforced" but "encouraged" through a funding project called E-rate funding. Here is the official FCC government link

If there is some other obscenity law that has gotten passed, I would appreciate a link.

Alidar Jarok wrote:
However, direct government control might at least prevent the issue of corporate censorship. For example, if you sent a message about the Tea Party movement through yahoo mail, it would not have been received by the person you sent it too. But the government could not block it.
Can you show me a current example of ISP censorship? As I truly could care less about google, yahoo, youtube's individual corporate policy and User Agreement. If youtube says "a video of a woman performing sexual acts with animals will be a violation of our terms of service" that is a million miles away from an ISP intercepting the data of said video, and blocking it.
It's really the difference between Wal-Mart telling you that you must wear shoes on their property, vs a federal law that says all US citizens must wear shoes when leaving the house.

The government can already monitor your emails, and web surfing habits, just like phone tapping. And like phone tapping, they only do this as an official police investigation or if homeland security believes you have terrorist links. If they controlled it directly they wouldn't even need warrants, and their ability to really reach down deep into your system retrieving and planting data would be extremely easy.
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