Here's What That Dumb Porn Parody Gets Wrong On Net Neutrality

Here's What That Dumb Porn Parody Gets Wrong on Net Neutrality

Net neutrality propaganda is starting to get weird. A brand new interest group showed up this week with a confusing porn parody that seems to equate Title II reclassification of the internet with dragnet surveillance, among other fallacies. It's a good chance to talk about what the Federal Communications Commission's new open internet policy is — and what it isn't.

An anti-big government campaign backed by a US Senator released this godawful video that looks like a tasteless ripoff of the age-old "cable guy" porn cliché — except you know not to actually expect any sex because it's YouTube.

The campaign is called Protect Internet Freedom, an odd name for an organisation that apparently doesn't know how the internet works; the video includes misleading garbage about a nonexistent "Department of the Internet," anda bureaucrat who interrupts the cable guy's sex session to do a laborious survey of the woman's internet habits, an apparent result of the FCC reclassifying the internet under Title II of the Telecommunications Act. The video also falsely equates that the government's efforts to protect net neutrality with NSA-level surveillance and other Orwellian nightmares.

So let's clear up some of the confusion around the increasingly aggressive campaign to fight back against the FCC's new internet rules. First and foremost, we said it then and we'll say it now: the government is not trying to take over the internet. The FCC's actions do not mean that the bureaucrats are going to hawk your internet habits or control how you use your mobile devices. This Obama-endorsed plan will not hamper innovation — in fact, it's designed to do the opposite. And these new net neutrality rules will not lead to higher taxes.

The FCC proposal says so, very explicitly: "The Order will not impose, suggest or authorise any new taxes or fees." (Emphasis theirs.)

What would the new rules do? Well, first of all, it's a little too soon to be drawing conclusions, since the rules still aren't finalised. The agency's definition of what an open internet should be, however, pretty clearly outlines the goals of these new net neutrality rules.

Here are three quotes that stand out from the FCC proposal:

  1. "An open internet allows consumers to access the legal content and applications that they choose online, without interference from their broadband network provider."
  2. "[An open internet] fosters innovation and competition by ensuring that new products and services developed by entrepreneurs aren't blocked or throttled by internet service providers putting their own profits above the public interest."
  3. "An open internet allows free expression to blossom without fear of an internet provider acting as a gatekeeper."

In practical terms, that means that the FCC is guaranteeing American citizens that greedy internet service providers won't be able to decide what content they can access or how easily they can access it. That doesn't mean that the government will decide what people can and can't do on the internet. It's quite the opposite, actually.

Those quotes also send the message that profit-hungry telecom giants are the ones you should be afraid of in the battle for the future of the internet, and rightly so. The US president, meanwhile, has been very explicit in his goal to put control of the internet back into the hands of the people, and has been rolling out a series of proposals that empower the citizens, not government regulators.

This fight is getting a little dirty. Fair enough. And it's far from over. So let's all be sure to remember what really matters for the internet. Even real porn stars know.


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