|added Mon May 29 2006 at 7:01 PM
|This is my own rambling opinion on the controversy introduced in parts 1 and 2. I've tried to organize my thought on this and may have come short of what I originally had hoped for. If the language isn't very convincing, I apologize. If any of the arguments are unsound, please let me know. If you disagree with any of this, state your reasons and I'll respond with an open mind.
In my ideal world, the government's only involvement in our lives would be to regulate negative externalities and encourage positive ones. Of course, we don't live in an ideal world so I must also call upon the government to maintain order and keep people from doing stupid or malicious things that hurt others. As conservative as I am in my moral beliefs, I don't think that the government should be responsible for preventing stupid or "sinful" actions that truly don't affect others. Unfortunately, it is extremely difficult to define what level of impact on a third party warrants government attention. I could go on in my philosophy of what the government should or should not be responsible for, but that's not the point that I'm trying to make right now, and I'm not really entirely decided myself (in other words, please don't hold this against me in a week, month, or year when I decide that I want the government to establish a new law -- I am, after all, a hypocrite).
For sake of simplicity, I'll just say that in the best possible case, the fewer rules and regulations that the government can make (while still maintaining a necessary level of rule and order), the better. IIf I don't agree with the actions of some company, then as long as they are not lying to the consumer or stealing, I will voice my opinions against them by voting with my pocketbook and encouraging others to do the same. You'll notice to the left that I still wear a "Boycott Sony" badge- that's not (just) because I've been slow in updating things lately. I'm still avoiding Sony products and encouraging others to do the same. In an ideal world, I do *not* want to see the government get involved in regulating the internet.
Of course, this isn't an ideal world and because much of the broadband internet market is a monopoly, some government interaction may be required to ensure that it remains free and open to entrepreneurship and new technological advances. I think a lot of that interaction could probably happen within the context of current laws, though. If the telecom companies have been stealing from their customers and lying to the government as the alarmists claim, then they should be investigated and prosecuted. In many areas, there are not options if you wish to purchase broadband internet. If a broadband ISP monopolizes a region, or even a neighborhood, then they should be monitored under current anti-trust laws.
There's more to read. Read the extended entry.