Via some outfit called VoIP News, I’m intrigued to learn that my insidious paymasters at Cato number among the 15 greatest enemies of net neutrality. Scary! Turns out Cato is a “hired voice of reason” which, along with CEI “seems to draw its funding from a smattering of every major corporation ever to fund lobbyists.” Damning stuff! And these guys are Totally Serious Journalists, so they did some kind of due diligence and fact checking, rather than just pulling this stuff out of their asses, right?
Well, hey, no, I mean, I’m sure Cato is totally shady about its funding sources—how could they possibly check this stuff?
What’s that? Annual report? Freely available online, you say? Well, and so we get tons of our budget from… Huh? One percent from corporations? None from telecoms in 2008?
Now, obviously serious reporters wouldn’t just utterly fail grade-school level fact checking. Clearly, some devious ISP must have blocked them from reaching this easily accessible information! Further demonstrating the need for Net Neutrality!
Shoddy reporting aside, the article does actually highlight an important point: the people who built the Internet are deeply split, with eminent computer scientists including Bob Kahn (co-inventor of TCP/IP with Vint Cerf) and Dave Farber (another networking pioneer) on the anti-regulation side. And based on conversations I’ve had here at Princeton, Kahn and Farber are far from the only computer scientists who are skeptical that the FCC is up to the job of regulating the Internet.
In her vacuuous appearance on Rachel Maddow last week, Xeni Jardin cited Vint Cerf’s support of regulation and urged viewers to “side with the geeks who actually built the Internet.” She did not, of course, mention that Kahn and Farber, who fit that description as well as Cerf does, are on the other side. “The geeks” are as split on this issue as everyone else.
Update: More from Tim Carney.