This is no Mr. Smith

I’m in favor of Net Neutrality, the concept that the Internet should be free and clear of special “deals” where network owners could charge people to carry their traffic to customers or even block access. Such deals would have crushed things like the blog explosion (a revolution in first ammendment rights) and the advent of streaming audio/video (like YouTube) and social networking (like Friendster) since the giant companies with the big coffers would be able to buy up chunks of last-mile bandwidth. Why would you read an alternative news blog if comes through 10 times faster? Why would you try out that new video service, if AOL can pay to get your attention with more money and worse technology? It’s just stupid.

And who are the people making the laws? Well, in one very prominent case: a fool. A 10 minute rambling by Senator Ted Stevens of Alaska is truly something worth hearing. This guy can’t even explain how Netflix gets to your house, and he’s supposed to understand the technologies being developed on the Internet enough to legistlate them? Good lord. If this doesn’t shatter your visions of “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington”-type elloquence, nothing will. The brightest and best are not the ones we’ve sent to Washington.

Update: Via “Throw Away Your TV”, Jon Stewart took on Net Neutrality with hilarious results, having specifically taken on Ted Stevens previously.

Update: Thank goodness someone made a Ted Stevens techno remix.  Woo!