According to a commentary by CNET’s Violet Blue, Verizon Wireless is fighting in court for the “freedom” (think 1st Amendment) to prioritize your search results over the internet via filtering, serving up what it deems as important. In a brief filed with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit (Verizon vs. FCC) the internet provider made the following case:
In performing these functions [providing the transmission of speech], broadband providers possess “editorial discretion.” Just as a newspaper is entitled to decide which content to publish and where, broadband providers may feature some content over others.
The FCC, on the other hand, has ordered internet providers to abstain from being “editors” or “gatekeepers”. It asserts that internet providers cannot block or slow access to any online content, even if they disagree with the message, or if they are being paid by a third party to push other content up front. Net neutrality rulings make internet a highway where consumers get to decide what to access.
Verizon discusses a 1994 ruling where Turner Broadcasting Systems was allowed First Amendment protection by the Supreme Court to exercise “editorial discretion” when transmitting the speech of others. In other words, it’s not just a neutral pathway where anyone can transmit whatever they wish to without any interference or restriction.
The problem with internet filtering is the idea of the slippery slope, where certain ideologies get precedence over others, even stifling the exchange of ideas in favor of pushing forth a favored agenda or logic.
Verizon states that it has never done any “editing” before, bringing up how it never honored Hollywood’s request to block users from accessing bootlegged media. Blue points out that this might simply be a legal tactic, but the idea of how far Verizon might be tempted to go to restrict internet access is disturbing, to say the least.
Learn who the internet service providers in Omaha Nebraska are and compare your options. There are a number of reputable choices available to area residents, so make sure you do your homework before signing on.
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