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Re: Gore Commission wants to regulate the Net like broadcast



At 12:30 PM -0800 1/21/98, Tim May wrote:
>I was always of the understanding that the mandate for regulation of radio
>and television broadcasts had to do centrally with the "allocation of
>scarce resources." That is, that because there are only a finite number of
>non-overlapping spectrum slots, some degree of regulation or allocation is
>justified.
>
That was the government's justification.

>
>The Internet is not constrained by a finite number of slots...capacity can
>be added arbitrarily (well, at least for as many decades out as we can
>imagine). And consumers can, and do, pick what they choose to download or
>connect to.
>
>The Internet is about pure speech, about publishing.  For the Gore
>Commission to even _hint_ at regulating it is reprehensible.

The measures being discussed at are clearly not in the interests of the public but of the continued maintenance of the state's priviledged position to influence or limit speech, information flow and public opinion.  The Feds cannot easily control millions of citizens directly and therefore need to create a franchise, like broadcast, whose licensees will bend to retain their priviledges.  

This paradigm is the same as for crypto. Since their goal is to limit access to crypto (which is most likely to find widespread acceptance only after seemless integration with common products ) and the Feds find it more difficult to control individual (e.g., cypherpunk) efforts, EAR enforcement is geared to corporations and congressional debate is steered to jobs, corporate profits and competitiveness.  To the extent that civil liberties issues are raised the national security trump card is played.

These attempts at regulation show just how terrified they are of true free speech and every man a publisher.

--Steve