“Many computer geeks are also libertarians, so it’s not too surprising to hear Tim Lee proudly describe himself as a member of both groups,” Scott Woolley reports for Fortune. “No, what makes Lee unusual is his passion for figuring out exactly what it means to be both a libertarian and a technophile. What’s the best way to increase both the power of technology and the preserve of liberty?”
“As Washington feuds over rules that will govern the digital future, that question seems particularly important, timely and (for Lee and others with a libertarian bent) confusing,” Woolley reports. “Take the raging fight over ‘network neutrality.’ Protecting the open nature of the Internet, where anyone can communicate with anyone else on essentially equal terms, surely advances the cause of individual liberty. Yet the government now seeks to advance that goal with a new layer of new regulations, exactly the sort of thing libertarians naturally distrust.”
“The 31 year-old Lee, who is among other things an adjunct scholar at the Cato Institute, a PhD candidate in Princeton’s technology and public policy program and an increasingly well-known blogger, first became fascinated with solving such seeming paradoxes thanks to a gut feeling he had about some of his natural political allies,” Woolley reports. “‘It was obvious to me that some of the things that some libertarians were saying about tech policy were wrong,’ he says.”
Woolley reports, “Just as libertarians disapprove of both Republicans (for their tendency to regulate private conduct) and Democrats (for their tendency to regulate the market), Lee argues that libertarians should forge a third way in tech policy.”
Much more in the full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: As we wrote over 4½ years ago back in June 2006: We don’t presume to know the best way to get there, but we support the concept of “Net Neutrality” especially as it pertains to preventing the idea of ISP’s blocking or otherwise impeding sites that don’t pay the ISP to ensure equal access. That said, we usually prefer the government to be hands-off wherever possible, Laissez-faire, except in cases where the free market obviously cannot adequately self-regulate (antitrust, for just one example). Regulations are static and the marketplace is fluid, so extensive regulations can have unintended, unforeseen results down the road. We sincerely hope that there are enough forces in place and/or that the balances adjust in such a manner as to keep the ‘Net neutral. What do you think?
[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Jax44” for the heads up.]