Just An Online Minute... Obama Speaks Up For Net Neutrality
Specifically, reports that Comcast degrades service to file-sharing sites and that Verizon Wireless briefly prohibited an abortion rights group from sending text messages to supporters, have illustrated what can happen without equal access to the Web.
Now, Sen. Barack Obama has publicly joined the roster of politicians on record backing the "First Amendment of the Internet."
"I am a strong supporter of net neutrality," he said in response to a question posed by New Jersey businessman and MoveOn.org member Joe Niederberger this week at the MySpace-MTV town hall.
Niederberger, a former AT&T engineer who now designs Web sites for schools, said he feared that without net neutrality laws, "the Web sites of big corporations that could pay the most would be great," while "the Web sites of small businesses, nonprofits and community-based businesses like ours would be hurt."
Obama responded that he, too, saw the potential for mischief. Without policies prohibiting Internet service providers from discriminating against certain sites, he said, it's possible that "you could download and get much better quality from the Fox news site, and you'd be getting rotten service from the mom and pop site."
"That, I think, destroys one of the best things about the Internet, which is that there's this incredible equality there," he continued.