Last week, the Federal Communications Commission released its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on net neutrality rules that revolve around the idea of “reasonable network management.” Princeton’s Ed Felten points out that this framework would leave regulators with enormous discretion to determine what constitutes permissible manipulation of the Internet by network providers and what would be verboten. Giving the FCC so much leeway has some digital rights advocates nervous. Those advocates support the principles of neutrality, but they’re worried that the FCC’s jurisdiction grab here gives it an opening to exert greater control over the Internet down the road – which, given the Federal Communications Commission’s historic coziness with the industry it regulates, might not play out in the public’s favor. Those advocates might have a point. But adding a wrinkle to things is that Congress hasn't exactly proven itself capable of handling the complexities of the Internet age.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009
The American Prospect

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