It is vitally important to preserve an Open Internet, everyone agrees, but what that entails has become a political football.
No one should be able to block or degrade content, goes the argument, or pay for prioritization, but what about terrorist-plotting content? What constitutes reasonable traffic management to deal with a flood of online video viewers, versus anticompetitive “degrading?” And what about the content-delivery models in many other areas that involve paid prioritization?
The Internet has become such an indispensable Web of connections and interactions that it is indeed an unprecedented medium and clearly requires new thinking about how to proceed, or not, without chilling — or killing — the goose that laid the golden egg.
We don’t have the answers, but the take-no-prisoners, white-hats-vs.-black-hats approach — using language like “hate,” and “kill” and “destroy” — that was evidencing itself last week smacked more of the current toxic political climate in Washington and less of the appropriately healthy, vigorous and passionate debate that should precede any action on the issue.
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