When young, I remember clearly how my father told me why our country was so great, mainly based on the constitution and Bill of Rights. Over my lifetime, I’ve seen those rights disregarded at every step. Loopholes abound. It’s sad. For example, my [Eisenhower Republican] father explained the sanctity of your home and how it could not easily be entered. It was your own private abode. And you had a right to listen to any radio signals that came because the air was free and if it came into your home you had a right to listen to it. That principle went away with a ban on radios that could tune in cell phone frequencies in the days of analog cell phones. Nobody but myself seemed to treat this as a core principle that was too much to give up.

I was also taught that space, and the moon, were free and open. Nobody owned them. No country owned them. I loved this concept of the purest things in the universe being unowned.

The early Internet was so accidental, it also was free and open in this sense. The Internet has become as important as anything man has ever created. But those freedoms are being chipped away. Please, I beg you, open your senses to the will of the people to keep the Internet as free as possible. Local ISP’s should provide connection to the Internet but then it should be treated as though you own those wires and can choose what to do with them when and how you want to, as long as you don’t destruct them. I don’t want to feel that whichever content supplier had the best government connections or paid the most money determined what I can watch and for how much. This is the monopolistic approach and not representative of a truly free market in the case of today’s Internet.

Steve Wozniak, in an open letter to the FCC on net neutrality. Wozniak co-founded Apple Computer, Inc. with Steve Jobs and created the Apple I and Apple II series computers in the mid-1970s.

Read the full letter here.

(via theatlantic)


December 21, 2010