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ACLU kneecaps argument that net neutrality implicates First Amendment freedom of speech

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) entered the fray on net neutrality yesterday in an important ACLU blogpost: "Free Speech and Net Neutrality: Separating fact from fiction."

While the ACLU predictably voiced strong POLITICAL support for net neutrality, the ACLU Blog surprisingly and effectively eviscerated the LEGAL and practical case for using the analogy that "Net Neutrality is the First Amendment of the Internet."

  • ACLU blog: "At the same time, the First Amendment is not directly implicated because unlike the government, your ISP is not a traditional "state actor" — a requirement for triggering First Amendment cases."
    • Duh.
    • The ACLU makes plain what any junior high civics student knows -- that the First Amendment is there to prevent the Government from abridging individuals freedom of speech -- not companies or other individuals.
    • This badly flawed "First Amendment" analogy only highlights how net neutrality proponents are loose with the facts and analogies. 
      • The net neutrality movement is "all slogan and no substance."

Net neutrality is not about free speech. It's classic buzzword political blackmail. Proponents cynically believe that if they repeat the conspiracy theory that big corporations want to systematically take away their customers freedom of speech -- that some people will believe it.

  • If the net neutrality movement really was interested in promoting and protecting freedom of speech they would have supported, and not opposed, simple clear language in a Senate bill that would have specifically applied the First Amendment to the Internet.
    • See my previous post on this "The outrageous hypocrisy behind Net Neutality support of Free Speech."