What does the Fox-Cablevision dispute have to do with Net Neutrality? Everything and nothing

When the only tool you have is a hammer, as the old cliché goes, everything looks like a nail.

Net neutrality, as I first wrote in 2006, is a complicated issue at the accident-prone intersection of technology and policy. But some of its most determined—one might say desperate—proponents are increasingly anxious to simplify the problem into political slogans with no melody and sound bites with no nutritional value. Even as—perhaps precisely because—a “win-win-win” compromise seems imminent, the rhetorical excess is being amplified. The feedback is deafening.

In one of the most bizarre efforts yet to make everything be about net neutrality, Public Knowledge issued several statements this week “condemning” Fox’s decision to prohibit access to its online programming from Cablevision internet users. In doing so, the organization claims, Fox has committed “the grossest violations of the open Internet committed by a U.S. company.”

This despite the fact that the open Internet rules (pick whatever version you like) apply only to Internet access providers. Indeed, the rules are understood principally as a protection for content providers. You know, like Fox.

For more, see "Fox-Cablevision and the Net Neutrality Hammer."

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