Trevor Dixon

A Crippled Internet

To grant companies, ISPs, or the government the power to censor Internet content undermines the principles that made the Internet great and threatens to diminish the Internet’s power for good. The unregulated internet we are accustomed to won out over another vision for the World Wide Web: a tightly controlled, “government-sponsored broadband network that would have delivered video from TV stations and other approved content”—another FCC-regulated medium like radio or television. Such an internet might have been useless for pirating copyrighted material, distributing pornography, or bullying teenagers, but neither would it have facilitated an Arab Spring or inspired a generation of entrepreneurs. The properties of the World Wide Web that make it so dangerous are the same properties that make it a tool for incredible good. To control the Internet is to cripple it.