Current efforts to enforce net neutrality give me a healthy amount of skepticism and concern, which I have written about previously. The road to Hell is paved with good intentions, and I must come down on the side of less regulation of the Internet rather than more. Not only are there unintended side-effects from government regulation, but I believe efforts to control the Internet, no matter how well intentioned will only drive individuals, organizations, and companies to countries whose governments do not take a heavy hand.
I believe labeling laws are a good way to inform the consumer and keep economic playing fields level. For instance, the “juice” vs. “cocktail” labeling law informs purchasers of the content of their purchase, but keeps regulation low. I would like to see labeling expanded to tell us where all our food is sourcing from along with a strict definition of “organic”. Promoting American manufacturing is also an essential part of labeling. “Made in China” shouldn’t be the smallest print on the box.
An old friend who helped XMission in the early days of its operation contacted me recently with a unique proposition for preserving “Internet Neutrality”. It in essence “labels” the Internet so consumers and businesses know what they are buying. A proposal posted on dpsproject.com, seeks to reach a compromise between those who would have the federal government enforce Internet Service Provider actions on a fundamental network level and telcos who hide behind “anti-regulation” as a way to preserve their self interest. The DPSProject proposal seeks to define “Internet” as exactly what it is, a network for passing traffic uninhibited by politics.
I have signed as an advocate for this idea, along with people like Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, Gordon Cook, and Bruce Perens, but it needs much more attention. Please let others know about it if you hold a concern about the Internet and believe as I do, that its future is best left to the people that understand it the most.