How the FCC failed the nation on Net Neutrality

Writing in Salon, Dan Gillmor takes a crack at explaining what a cowardly let-down the FCC's cop-out Net Neutrality rules are:

But when it came to rules that might boost network neutrality — the notion that end users (you and me) should decide what content and services we want without interference from the ISPs — the FCC's order paid lip service to the concept while enshrining its eventual demise. In theory, land-line carriers (traditional phone and cable companies, for the most part) won't be allowed to play favorites. In practice, the new rules invite them to concoct new kinds of services that do precisely that.

But even that fuzzy concept won't apply to mobile carriers, which means that discrimination will be explicitly permitted by companies like AT&T and Verizon for customers of the iPhone and iPad, among other devices that are increasingly the most important entry point to the Internet.

The rules are also an open invitation to ISPs to spy on their customers. Genachowski's repeated references to users' right to use "legal" content were code words for the entertainment industry's push to have ISPs become their enforcement arms in the copyright wars. Hollywood wants your ISP to watch everything people do, and then block users who are alleged to be infringing.

The FCC's weak new "open Internet" rules