cr> Re: Congress Straight-Jackets the Net


Craig A. Johnson

There has been some confusion expressed regarding the stance I took in
my AR piece on FCC regulation.  Let me clarify.

First, it is abhorrent that the FCC should have any role in
regulating the Net with regard to content.  But, its role is minimal.
It can "describe" the "good-faith actions" or "defenses" which
providers and users can take to protect themselves from prosecution.
But the agency's role stops there.  Instead, interpretation and
enforcement of the "indecency" provisions will be left in the oily
hands of all the local hack prosecutors in the country, along with the
Department of Justice, which is heavily influenced by politics.    

Second, I did not call for specific price "economic regulation" of the
Internet, nor for ISPs to act as telcos.  What I am suggesting is that
the attempt to re-insert the specific rider saying that the Commission
cannot "economically" regulate the Net, along with the elimination of
the equal access language in H.R. 1555, strips away guarantees that
are today provided to information services.

I do think protection against predatory pricing and access conditions
on the part of the LECs against ISPs, information services, and small
businesses is a legitimate function of the FCC.   



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