Re: A milepost on the path to user loss of control
Big BELL was broken up, but not turned into a public utility like the Post Office once was and really still is. The local municipal phone companies were swallowed up. Power and gas utilities that are owned and operated by local govenments certainly less prevalent than in the beginning. Generally I assume, water and sewage, and in some cases trash removal is still provided by government entities.
But not newspapers, and not telephony incl. DSL, no broadcast, satellite nor cable....so how is it that The Internet/Web is somehow unique in terms of need for a free access or owner of control. I don't know that any bookstore is required to sell every book that is published. Okay, fight about the content your public library provides. But until there are taxpayer funded ISP's and content management producers/managers for the WEB, i don't see any legal/Constituional basis for "net neutrality", whether I like it or not. If you develop taxpayer funded fully self reliant web-delivered education systems, as part of the public school system, I suspect it would be an advancement over the currnet system. So focus on that.
Maybe the ability to "capitalize" on citizins willingness to pay money for convenience while yielding control and probably limting competition in the long term is the price of freedom, so to speak. Freedom of choice does not mean the choices available are beneficial to all, nor that if any of those available which were beneficial would be those freely chosen would be those that are beneficial to the grater good. To date government run services of any kind may be beter than none in some very rare cases, and certainly a degree of regulation is warranted in many areas as well. But as far as communication and entertainment channels (that is what we are talking about here), the idea of government control of those areas is an artifact of history. Is it not?
Frankly I find the protestations of Google, MS, Apple, etc. about NSA/Legal impositions to be less than honorable. I happen to think those outfits are a greater threat than the likes of the NSA, FBI, etc., despite past abuses. Those guys would sell their souls to China and Russia if they thought they were getting more info for their control of the world mind. Pick your poison folks. $'s, Governments, or private bad actors - hidden or open alike