Internet’s “Grandfather” Skeptical of Neutrality

In a debate yesterday between professor David Farber, called the “grandfather” of the Internet for his pioneering work which provided much of the groundwork for later innovators, and Vinton Cerf, “father” of the Internet and chief Internet Evangelist at Google, Farber expressed a healthy dose of skepticism towards government involvement in the Internet, fearing that it would be a small step to the government regulating content as other nations, such as China, do. "Given a foot in the door, I think that door will open," he said. Cerf replied that that door had already been opened with attempts to ban Internet gambling among other things. Yet one thing they both agreed on was that before any decisions are made the issues need to be better understood by Congress. Considering that net neutrality is meant to protect consumers from the danger of broadband service providers routinely and systematically blocking and degrading websites, a danger which does not yet exist, skepticism seems the better path when politicians resort to scare-mongering about possible dangers to justify assumption of greater powers. Publish has a good article summarizing the debate, or you can listen to the whole thing here.

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