Bush Official Shouts Down Tech Experts Over Net Neutrality

kneuer1.jpg Save the Internet:

According to The Register on Friday, John Kneuer, assistant secretary of commerce and head of the National Telecommunications & Information Administration (NTIA), "quickly lost his temper and began shouting" after an audience of technology experts pressed him to explain how the U.S. had fallen so far behind other developed countries in providing Internet access to citizens.

Kneuer claimed that free market competition was the reason for the Internet's "great success," dismissing the history of Net Neutrality protections that have fostered new innovations and public participation online.

Kneuer, who previously served as a top phone company lobbyist for Washington law firm Piper Rudnick, told the audience that the "free market" (by which he means the current duopoly of large phone and cable companies) should be unencumbered by consumer protections and basic Internet freedoms.

Kneuer is a member of the camp of neo-cons who categorically refuse to "even *think* about regulation to promote competition," writes Harold Feld of Media Access Project.

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