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Why I was completely wrong about Google and net neutrality

Well, geez, color me embarrassed. If you've read my original post about Google's net neutrality proposal, you probably know I got hoodwinked by Google's promises of an FCC-regulated, perfectly neutral wired internet, which turned out to be nothing more than a sleight-of-hand distraction from its suspicious lack of promises of neutrality on wireless networks and future technologies.

Yeah, wires are still huge now, but wireless networks are carrying a bigger chunk of our traffic every day. I'm not claiming to be the most astute analyst out there, but I figure I'm not the only one who didn't read Google's proposal carefully enough. So, upon further reflection, here are some of the things that strike me completely screwed up about it:

"Additional Online Services":

The proposal leaves "additional online services" unprotected, and that's a scarily broad exception. Anything that replaces broadband and delivers the same Internet content and services in the future is exempted from Google's mandate for neutrality. Just covering broadband isn't good enough, and this is a loophole you could drive a truck through. Not good.

The Wireless Problem:

While wireless traffic discrimination does have to be "transparent," all that means is that Google or other big service providers have to tell us when some data gets special treatment. It certainly doesn't do anything to ensure neutrality or keep companies from setting up priority delivery of each other's content ... we'll just have to watch them do it publicly. Again, not good enough.

That's just scratching the surface. For a deeper (but still very readable) analysis of the problems with Google's proposal, check out this article by the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

Tags: EFF, google, net neutrality, NetNeutrality, proposal, scary, verizon, wireless

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