The network neutrality debate just got a little hotter recently over a story published on the Wall Street Journal.
A report from The Wall Street Journal has gotten numerous people talking recently. The article says that network neutrality is losing major supporters. One of the prominent figures that the WSJ says is losing support for network neutrality is Google because, allegedly, they are negotiating with internet service providers for preferential treatment. Other claims include Microsoft and Yahoo withdrawing from a coalition to keep the network neutral, that Lawrence Lessig is also “shifting gears” on the subject and that advisers to President Elect Barack Obama who support network neutrality are now changing their views on the subject. Quite a news story and certainly news to many including some of the figures that were mentioned in the story.
Epicenter points to a Google blog posting which didn’t exactly fill the posting with praise for the Wall Street Journal. Richard Whitt called the news article “confused” and denied making comments about Obama advisers, suggesting that the Obama teams stance really hasn’t changed. Whitt also said that the company is currently setting up caches for ISPs to help speed up web page loading times, improving the network by delivering content closer to the user – not interfering with competing traffic.
BoingBoing points to Lawrence Lessig’s blog posting. Lessig said that the story was a “made-up drama” and that his views on network neutrality isn’t new. His view is that internet service providers have a right to charge different rates for different services.
BoingBoing updated the posting to include a blog posting explaining in depth why the Wall Street Journals article is “bogus”.
What makes this story so scandalous is the fact that the Wall Street Journal has been around for years and, as such, collected so much credibility that pretty much everything printed in the Journal is perceived as fact. These people go from casual readers all the way up to University scholars which have used articles from the Journal to write scholarly articles (which works its way down to essay pieces written by College and University students) No doubt that the accuracy of the Journal is currently being brought into question by some, though it’s also possible that the Journal is written by human beings who will eventually screw up sooner or later.