Friday, March 24, 2006

More Government=Less Freedom

FCC Chairman Kevin Martin seems to be a typical paternalistic bureaucrat:
"Parents need to be more involved," said Martin Tuesday, acknowledging in part the argument that says the best control is the "off" button found on all televisions. But Martin, who thinks that channel rating systems and programming guides aren't good enough, added that "I think the industry needs to do more [to prevent widespread viewing of adult-oriented content]." The industry's "lack of action is notable," Martin said.
Lack of action? AT&T CEO tells a different story:
"Any provider who blocks access to the Internet is inviting customers to find another provider," Whitacre said in his keynote speech. "It's bad business." He then emphatically stated that AT&T would not block independent services, "nor will we degrade [Internet access]. Period, end of story."
In other words: the free market would work, if only the FCC would allow it to. But that just makes too much sense. Regardless, our friendly-neighborhood regulators never miss an opportunity to meddle:
In a question-and-answer period in front of the keynote audience, Martin said that "I do think the commission has the authority necessary" to enforce network neutrality violations, noting that the FCC had in fact done so in the case last year involving Madison River’s blocking of Vonage's VoIP service.

"We've already demonstrated we'll take action if necessary," Martin said.

hat tip: Hit & Run