This is my letter to Congressman John Mooleanaar, May 17, 2018
I am writing about the recent “Net Neutrality” issue. I believe that some aspects of this issue should be bipartisan, including a Conservative flavor. I myself am a Conservative in every way I imagine.
The Declaration of Independence references “Laws the most wholesome and necessary for the public Good”. I believe that this includes preventing monopolies and de facto utilities, such as many Internet giant companies have become, including ISP and Social Media giants like Google and Facebook. The Constitution protects the people, from government by creating checks and balances, and from fascism (private wealth and corporate money) by creating a government to prevent monopoly. It is freedom of the people to grant final consent for governance of their own freedoms, not “all powers surrendered to the private sector”, that makes one a Conservative.
So, Conservative ideology, as I just described it, must defend the Net Neutrality issue. It is not for Facebook and Google to decide how paying, end consumers receive favored service with which websites on an imbalanced Internet connection. It is not for Verizon, Comcast, Time Warner, or AT&T to decide whether Facebook and Google may decide.
If those companies want to imbalance Internet service and play favorites with various websites, then they need to provide that Internet service 100% free of charge to the end consumers. But, if end consumers pay for the service, even in part, then the Internet connection speed and quality must not be imbalanced, but must be equal, as with all matters of justice.
But, there is another issue with Net Neutrality: Censorship.
Stripe has become a powerful and useful payment service. As a web developer myself, I know that Stripe—a payment service for business—allows a business to authenticate its legal identity through Google, Facebook, and Linkedin. These companies have not rejected Stripe’s use for this purpose. Therefore, by allowing their services (Google, Facebook, and Linkedin) to be a contributing witness of one’s lawful identity, they have made all of their decisions regarding their users to be matters of legal consequence.
Google and Facebook and other Social Media giants have become so big and necessary for standard operations, their services cannot be allowed to “censor” speech or content beyond whatever speech and content is censored by law.
As things stand currently, Facebook and Google can delete accounts and content for disagreeing with their policies. This can include “attacking people” or “offensive content”. Such things must not be left to the discretion of Social Media giants. In summary, if Facebook or YouTube remove a post or video, it should only be suspended, pending a police investigation. If the police investigation goes nowhere, the content should be returned.
Net Neutrality must involve civil-law governance of censored content on certain Social Media giants, as should be determined by Congress.