Chopra on Net Neutrality

Here’s Aneesh Chopra, the Obama administration’s “technology czar” (as Glenn Beck would likely style him — although it should be noted that he’s been confirmed by Congress) — on the issue of net neutrality, affirming the present U.S. government’s commitment to ensure a level playing field when it comes to access and usage of America’s Internet infrastructure.

So where does the Harper government stand on this issue and what are they doing to provide similar high-level assurance that corporate interests won’t ruthlessly co-opt Internet bandwidth to give undue preference to commercial interests over those of private citizens, fledgling entrepreneurs, and others seeking parity on the web?

It may seem like kind of a sleeper issue, but maybe the Liberals should wake up to the reality of the fact that such issues are actually of great concern to many Canadians, especially those who work remotely or who depend on free and fair access to the Internet for their livelihood.

As a somewhat related aside, I’ve frequently stated that I will vote for ANY party that seriously commits to the total and complete elimination of SPAM in an effective manner (and I really don’t care what the rest of their policy platform consists of) as this is, in my opinion, an insidious, exploitative, and criminal activity that erodes productivity and does nothing but harm across the board.

By the way, the complete interview on C-SPAN’s The Communicators program can be viewed here. It’s actually quite interesting.



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12 responses to “Chopra on Net Neutrality

  1. Navvy

    Given the caliber of Canadian politicians, I doubt there are many that understand anything about IT policy. When you think about it, it’s bizarre how little it is talked about in the Canadian public sphere given how educated our population is. All the better for Rogers and Bell I suppose.

  2. I don’t know about that. Isn’t Michael Geist (may have gotten the name wrong there) consistently one of the leading political bloggers in Canada? He focuses almost exclusively on this kind of issue, especially with respect to copyright implications of various new telecommunications legislation being proposed.

    But yes, the present lunkheads and technological dullards in power (and Opposition, for that matter) on this issue are dismal in the extreme.

    As for cable monopolies… that’s fodder for another post coming up shortly.

  3. CWTF

    I’ve frequently stated that I will vote for ANY party that seriously commits to the total and complete elimination of SPAM in an effective manner
    I’m all for freedom on the internet EXCEPT for spam?

    Red, how about users smartening up? How do you think that Spammers collect email addresses?

    And, to be quite frank, much of the spam originates outside of Canada.

    Another problem is that end users ask that Spam traps and filters be lowered in their effectiveness so that they can received Uncle Ernie’s latest PowerPoint and jokes…

  4. CWTF — I’m aware of that, but I don’t consider myself to be completely illiterate when it comes to computers and I still get piles of it (although considerably much less now that I’m on G-mail, I have to say — shameless plug…).

    Yes, much of the SPAM (lovely spam… wonderful, spam, spam, spam, etc.) originates outside of Canada. So here’s my harebrained idea — if Canada could initiate a world-wide accord to ban land-mines, then why not do something similar with respect to SPAM?

    I fully realize that one country alone cannot do much to prevent this toxic epidemic, but why not start a global campaign to eradicate it from the Internet? It will boost productivity, relieve untold amounts of daily aggravation and be to the benefit of all concerned — except of course for the cynical punks, cheaters, fraudulent liars, scammers, and other such reprobate scum out there who should… as I’ve suggested before, be publicly executed on live TV.

  5. Nerdbeard

    I’ve been 100% dependent on my Internet connection to be able to do my job for about 12 years now. This is an insane thing to do in Canada. If I could pay more to have a reliable service with a consumer-friendly, unmodifiable TOS agreement, I would. A LOT more! I’m basically lucky as my ability to pay bills and eat and all that stuff has been purely at the mercy of the Internet moguls. Would you predicate your business on a service agreement that can be and frequently is modified unilaterally? Where private third parties have the power and authority to intercept, delay and even discard your network traffic? It’s mad.

  6. jkg

    This is very timely RT. As we speak, Bill C-27 is weaseling its way through Parliament, and Michael Geist has been following it quite closely. I will pass the link on here .

    Amazing how corporatism is alive and well.

  7. CWTF

    Red, like many similar programs, it will likely lead to less privacy and be abused.

    What is considered SPAM? After having people double-opt in and giving them an easy way to stop receiving email, I still get complains… As a company, I’m easy to get in contact with and we do reply and take every allegation of SPAM seriously.
    In other words, people are stupid yet find it easier/more productive to complain to us.
    I do understand that many don’t trust that “unsub” at the bottom of their email…

    Today, I was trying to renew a .ca domain using domainsatcost (surely one of the worst registrars out there). The credit card that I used had expired so, I went and added a new one. The CCV number had 7 digits, so I entered those. It gave me an error and locked me out of my account. I called their customer service that informed me that I needed to put in the last 3 digits only… And to unlock my account, I would need to send in some security information… So for a 12$ renewal, I’ll need to spend 120$ of my time…. They have such an inflexible system that they piss off their legitimate customers. As a bonus, they don’t have a toll-free number… That is just an example of a system that causes more harm for legitimate business…

    The problem with SPAM is that it is easier for SPAMMER to set up fake IPs and defeat most systems. Whatever you propose would likely hurt legitimate business.

    Do we really want more government overview with regards to the internet?

  8. CTWF — Of course many people are suspicious if “unsub” opt-outs… And quite rightly so — because this perfectly legitimate mode of communications etiquette has been ruthlessly hijacked by cyber-criminals. So, for example, when scammers provide you with an “opt-out” it doesn’t actually function as promised but only serves to generate even more crap from these douchebags and their affiliated scumbags!

    Hang them all. In public. On live TV… I know that may sound like something from the Taliban, but in this regard, I think they may actually be onto something.

    You know, it’s been a while since we did a poll around here, but I’m thinking this issue is almost begging for one…

  9. Better yet… throw them into a pit with starving bears, tigers and lions…

    I have no sympathy whatsoever for these people.

  10. Nerdbeard

    There was a time where commercial speech of any kind was unwelcome on the Internet. Anyway, any political party that makes a “strong commitment” to stopping spam is lying to you. They might as well promise a three day work-week and no snow in Moscow. Mail over SMTP just wasn’t designed for today’s hostile Internet.

  11. I don’t have any problem at all with commercialization of the Internet — any more so than finding advertising on TV rather annoying — but spammers are a whole different class of douchebaggitude. First, they’re completely MALICiOUS in their intent (at least 99% of the time) ; second they’re INTRUSIVE which is a violation of privacy; and third, they’re EXPLOITATIVE in terms of propagating information that’s patently false, seeking to gull witless readers into buy their products and services sight unseen.

  12. jkg

    This post is rather timely, RT because as we speak, Bill C-27 is weaving through Parliament. Michael Geist has been following it, and needless to say, he doesn’t spare any party their role in allowing the corporate lobby to influence this legislation. Somehow, even the copyright lobby is involved, and as we know, that can never bode well for consumers.

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