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Google Mythstakes: It’s Our Internet, Not Theirs

In a post on the Google official blog, the search giant’s Richard Witt takes exactly the wrong tack in trying to clarify what Google is up to with Verizon on net neutrality. First of all, using the rhetorical device of contrasting ‘myths’ (what others are saying) with ‘facts’ (what Google is saying) is condescending.

And when you dig into it, the truth is that Google and Verizon have worked together to propose a sweeping policy that is a giant step away from net neutrality. They have proposed treating mobile access to the Internet as separate from the immobile web, and allowing the mobile marketplace to be largely unfettered from regulation.

This lines up neatly with how players like Google and Verizon want to run their businesses, but does not obviously accord with the interests of users, or smaller innovative competitors to Google and Verizon, like Facebook, who has taken a stance opposing the Google/Verizon proposal.

I hope the the FCC gets approval to mandate net neutrality before all the oligarchs pay off enough of our elected officials to let this slimy maneuver become the law of the land. I hope that our congress remembers that the Internet does not belong to the corporations who want to milk it for all its worth: it belongs to us, like the air and the oceans. David Weinberger once said that the opposite of open is not closed; the opposite of open is theirs.

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