Galen Workman (biz_ozdachs) wrote,
Galen Workman

Senator Ted Stevens and the Internet

Ted Stevens and Jon StewartThe Comedy Channel's Daily Show with Jon Stewart recently aired a segment with excerpts of a speech by Senator Ted Stevens (R-AK). Stevens is chair of the Senate Commerce Committee which regulates e-commerce.The Commerce Committee is considering phone-company-pushed legislation which would permit telecommunications providers to charge sites extra to insure speedy downloads.

If this legislation passes, to make sure that visitors to your website receive your information quickly, you may have to pay the phone companies a fee for that fast delivery service. So, not only would users pay their telephone companies for Internet access, phone companies would get money from webmasters who wanted to make sure that information from their sites was delivered unimpeded.

This double-dipping would require a change to communications law, and the phone companies have gone to Congress for that change.

Here's where Senator Ted Stevens comes in. His Senate Commerce Committee is responsible for reviewing e-Commerce legislation, and as chair he leads the discussion and sets the committee's agenda.

Unfortunately Senator Stevens' ignorance is stunning. In the public discussion of the legislation Senator Stevens quickly established his qualifications to consider e-commerce legislation. Senator Stevens said:
"The Internet is not something you just dump something on. It's not a big truck. It's a series of tubes."
And, he goes on to mix-up email with the Internet in a toxic confusion with policy implications.

Jon Stewart and The Daily Show created a few minutes of amusement at the Senator's expense. (A clip of that segment is posted online as I write this.) As much fun as Jon Stewart had, Senator Stevens' complete lack of understanding is an unfunny disgrace.

Here's a link to locate your Senator If you don't want Internet legislation created by people with the knowledge level of Senator Stevens, let your Senators know! And, if you have a Republican Senator, how about suggesting that they remove Senator Stevens from any leadership position for any topics that require knowledge of the 21st Century.
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