On last night's Daily Show, Jon Stewart took up the issue of "net neutrality" and Senator John McCain's efforts to create one of those ironically named pieces of legislation that sounds like it is going to deliver something good -- in this case "Internet Freedom" -- but would actually make the Internet suck out loud, forever and ever. As Stewart explains, everything on the Internet moves through what former Alaska Senator Ted Stevens famously called the "series of tubes... at the same rate." As Stewart explains, "If you've got a packet of information from a major corporation like Google, that information gets exactly the same treatment as a packet from a little start-up company like JohnStewartsHeadonMarioLopezsBodyGettingFuckedByAUnicorn.net."
All of which makes sense -- even the part where people would want to see John Stewart's head on Mario Lopez's body carnally impaled by an onrushing unicorn. That's what "net neutrality" allows for. But telecoms have been lobbying for changes in those rules so that Internet service providers would have the leeway to privilege their own content over the content of other sources by slowing or blocking access. In this cause, telecom lobbyists have found a friend in John McCain, author of the "Internet Freedom Act."
STEWART: The "Internet Freedom Act of 2009." Now I know it sounds like that bill is the opposite of what its name implies in the way that, say, George Bush's "Clear Skies Act" gutted environmental regulations or Larry Craig's "No Handjobs For Me, Thanks Act" -- which oddly enough allocated a million dollars in federal funding for... and I'm quoting here, "handjobs for Larry Craig." But it's not! What McCain is proposing is that AT&T and Verizon be given "freedom" to control what information passes through the Internet. Information like: John McCain is the number one recipient of donations from the telecom industry and its lobbyists for the past three years, that I looked up on the Google, and it loaded pretty fast!
As Stewart points out, there's a hidden motive behind everyone who promotes net neutrality! And that is, naturally, advancing a radical socialist agenda by controlling the Internet! Set the telecoms free! Surely we can trust them!
PREVIOUSLY, on the HUFFINGTON POST:
Rachel Maddow, Boing Boing Editor On McCain And Net Neutrality