I thought that Thierer was frank when it came to pointing out the self interest of net neutrality proponents, check out Valleywag on the same topic today:
What’s “net neutrality”? As far as we can tell, it’s a bunch of rhetoric that amounts to regulations that affirm Google’s God-given right to avoid giving Internet service providers a cut of advertising revenues.
This comment was inspired by Google VP Vint Cerf’s recent endorsement of Barack Obama for president. Obama has stated that he favors net neutrality regulation and would enshrine into law the likely illegal action of the FCC to stretch their net neutrality “principles” into hard and fast rules.
Of course, Cerf support of Barack could be because of his principled belief in neutrality, or it could be self interested as Valleywag points out:
An Obama presidency would mean Google can save money on lobbying fees. Well, times are tough, and every penny counts. It’s good to know that even the saintly Vint Cerf votes on pocketbook issues. He’s the father of the Internet, and he approved this message.
Cerf’s words hold some weight. Aside from being a VP at Google, he’s also one of many people credited with “Inventing the Internet.” Others include folks such as Robert Kahn, Lawrence Roberts, Paul Baran, and of course, former vice president and Nobel Laureate Al Gore.
I love Google. They’re a great company and the heat they’re getting from the DOJ on their ad deal with Yahoo! is undeserved and ultimately harmful to the search/advertising industry. Google should learn from this recent hurdle that it needs to be working to keep government as far away from the Internet as possible, not encouraging brand new regulation. (Just as Microsoft should have learned that antitrust laws do more harm than good.)
We’ve seen what an regulation, interference, and market perversion through massive subsidies does to something as comparitively easy to understand as the financial industry. Why would we want the same for the Net?