Senator Kohl (D-WI) is of the opinion that net “neutrality” and Anti-Trust laws grant him the authority to regulate content providers, internet infrastructure and what you see when you type a search into Google.
Google disagrees. They consider their search algorithms to be protected property (and the results also belong to them), while having it that net “neutrality” – making bandwidth providers unable to control their property – makes sense. Senator Kohl is going to protect you from both:
“Maintaining competitive choices in this industry is crucial to consumers and the health of the national economy,” he wrote. “We will also examine the issue of network neutrality principles and monitor whether consumers continue to have the freedom to access the Internet content they wish without interference from their internet service provider.”
I guess he’s right. That is, if Congress is going to prevent interference with content delivery they should prevent it without regard to which part of content delivery we’re speaking of.
If we are to have net neutrality, let us start with publication of Google’s search algorithms so that we may see wherein there may be bias, and to insure equal access to unbiased information for all. If the internet is a raw-data pipe then Google is an information pipe. Pipe rules ought to apply to both. No throttling of data speeds and no throttling of information. Google’s ownership of its algorithms is no different than Verizon’s ownership of its infrastructure.
Nothing whatever is surprising about Eric Schmidt (technology advisor to President Obama and chairman/CEO of Google), Andrew McLaughlin (Obama’s deputy chief technology officer and Head of Global Public Policy and Government Affairs for Google), and Sonal Shah (head of the President’s Office of Social Innovation and Civic Participation and former head of Google’s head of Global Development Initiatives) joining Jeffrey Immelt (CEO of General Electric and chairman of the President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness) as expert advisors to the President on some aspect of the economy in which their shared interest is crafting regulations favorable to their enterprises instead of delivering value.