Friday, October 23, 2009

Google chief favors net neutrality but is wary of government regulation of Web -

Google chief executive Eric Schmidt favors net neutrality, but only to a point: While the tech player wants to make sure that telecommunications giants don't steer Internet traffic in a way that would favor some devices or services over others, he also believes that it would be a terrible idea for the government to involve itself as a regulator of the broader Internet.

"It is possible for the government to screw the Internet up, big-time," he said. Google is strong enough as a company to weather any possible outcome on the issue, he said. But what he worries about "is the next start-up."

A little late to be worrying about that now in my opinion. We have a hypothetical law that has only been violated a few times, if at all, but will now serve as yet another excuse to expand the federal workforce. Those newly enfranchised enforcers of the law are going to be looking diligently for law breakers. And if they can't find any they will happily make the law more stringent until they do find some.

Mr. Schmidt now sheds crocodile tears for start-ups after campaigning for a President that would secure Google's position as a major Internet force (and I say this as a fan of Google, so far).

Once these "rules" are in place there will be no going back to a time when the feds kept a "hands-off" stance in how the Internet was run.

Messrs Schmidt and Cerf have help push this concept to fruition through the election of a President that is technology minded in only the most superficial of ways. It is not only possible for the government to "screw the Internet up big-time", thanks to your politicking, it's almost inevitable at this point.

You've made your bed (and ours), now we all have to lay in it.

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