Ryan Blethen discusses the press, media and democracy. Daily Democracy is part of the Democracy Papers, a series of articles, essays and editorial opinion examining threats to our freedoms of speech and the press.
February 26, 2008 1:43 PM
Posted by Ryan Blethen
Below are two quotes from yesterday's FCC hearing at Harvard. The first is from FCC commissioner Jonathan Adelstein, the second from commissioner Michael Copps.
"We must preserve the open and neutral character that has always been the hallmark of the Internet. The beauty of the Internet is that nobody's in charge and everybody's in charge. Its open nature has enabled those with unique interests and needs to meet and form virtual communities like no tool before it. It also means that consumers are being empowered as citizens and as entrepreneurs. They are increasingly creative in the way that they use these new technologies."
"While we discuss and debate, network operators are making choices, right now, that will determine how Americans communicate today and in the future. They are deciding, right now, how the Internet is going to be managed. Some of their choices may be right, some may be wrong - that's what we're going to start learning about today. These are hard and complex questions. But the undeniable truth is that these critical choices are indeed being made. And - at least until the FCC opened this inquiry a few months ago - they were being made in a black box that the American people had precious little opportunity to peek into. There's an old Washington axiom: Decisions made without you are usually decisions against you. That kind of business-as-usual decision-making doesn't cut it for something this important."
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