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Itswhosenet?'s Freudian Slip?

We welcome the ecommerce giants: Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, eBay, Amazon and IAC in coming out of the shadows and publicly sponsoring a new website -- tellingly-named “" -- to debate the merits of net neutrality legislation. However, we are a little puzzled by the name choice of “" Until now no one was bold enough to claim “ownership" of the Internet. Was this just a Freudian slip by Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, eBay, whose 80-90% gross profit margins make them feel like they really do “own" the Internet so to speak? A better name choice might have been “," which would come across a little more inclusive, “democratic" and a little less covetous. The name choice also raises some interesting questions.

  • Who does the “our" refer to? The financial sponsors of Net neutrality supporters?
  • Do you have to support net neutrality in order for the net to be considered yours?
  • Will the companies that built the pipes and bought the spectrum that carries the Internet’s traffic still be allowed to “own" their property under net neutrality?
  • And finally, does the name choice portend that the ultimate goal of net neutrality is for the government to nationalize the Internet so every American would then really “own" it?

Net neutrality’s real goal is sounding more and more like a “socialized-Internet" and less and less like the “free and open" Internet of today. Look at the fine print of the House Markey and Senate Snowe-Dorgan net neutrality bills. Both would regulate all broadband services the same regardless of whether they are competitive or offered for free.