Originally published: December 15, 2009
Last updated: December 15, 2009 - 11:16pm
Speaking at the Federal Communications Commission's workshop on Speech, Democracy and the Open Internet, Commissioner Robert McDowell said that at no time in American history have we had more communications power at their fingertips. He celebrated the time, 15 years ago, when the Internet was privatized and allowed to grow largely unfettered by government mandates relying instead on self-governance. He expressed concerns about placing regulatory mandates on the Internet. Efforts to advance "First Amendment values" through additional government regulation, he said, risks turning over two hundred years of First Amendment jurisprudence on its head. He said some may say that it's too early to judge the constitutional and policy implications of any net neutrality regulations on speech. I think the better approach is to start considering the potential ramifications now in an effort to avoid repeating old mistakes.
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