My Dirty Network Neutrality Secret

I have a confession to make: in spite of the fact that I work for an internet services company and get paid to wirte on internet-related topics all the time, I haven’t fully worked out my position on network neutrality.

Don’t get me wrong: I tend towards the pro-neutrality side. It’s just that my leaning is based not on serious study of the issue, but on a general gut feeling. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. I’d be willing to bet that most of you can look back on your life experiences and say that the times you wished you’d gone with your gut outnumber the times you’ve asked yourself “Why did I trust my stupid instincts?”.

What I haven’t done is work out some reasoning to either back up or disprove that gut feeling. I’m devoting way more brain cells to revamping the Tucows web sites for which I am responsible, working out new applications for the company APIs, mastering Ruby and Ruby on Rails, and working on some ideas with George. Guys like Om and the Valleywaggersthey have the time and resources to look at the problem from all angles and perhaps work out a rationale. I wish I did.

What’s partly responsible for my gut feeling is my distrust of the people who are campaigning against network neutrality, and the latest volley of spin from Hands Off the Internet, as written up in the TechDirt article Hands Off the Truth only helps to justify it. One of the Mikes from TechDirt writes:

If we get something factually wrong, we’ll admit it and correct our mistakes. Apparently, Hands Off The Internet doesn’t feel the same way. They certainly don’t allow comments on their blog. I emailed them to point out their mistakes and to suggest they make a correction — but rather than do so, they put up a second post referring to our post, without bothering to correct their factually incorrect statements. While we might have some common ground with them — though our position isn’t as extreme as theirs — it really makes you wonder why they’re so disconnected from the truth. It doesn’t make anyone any more likely to support their side. It just makes us wonder how truthful even their seemingly legitimate points are. If they play so fast and loose with the facts on such obvious points, perhaps they can’t be trusted on anything else as well.