The sad truth is that those who oppose Network Neutrality and claim to oppose the ITU are hypocrites of the worst kind. Why would I say that? What makes me say folks like Representative Lee Terry (R-Neb), and other staunch opponents of network neutrality are hypocrites when they claim to oppose the ITU? Because — as anyone who is paying the least attention to the actual proposals at the ITU will tell you — all the proposals in front of the ITU to date are ANTI-net neutrality proposals. So obviously, if you hate net neutrality as much as Representative Terry says he does, you must totally love the ITU or be a flaming hypocrite, right?
Anyone trained in formal logic recognizes the fallacy here. Someone can oppose the ITU exercising any jurisdiction over internet traffic while still supporting a specific policy proposed at the ITU. So Rep. Terry can oppose ITU jurisdiction over Internet traffic management even if he likes the fact that — if certain proposals were adopted — it produces the result he likes with regard to carriers prioritizing one website over another or one application over another regardless of actual user preferences.
So why do I accuse Rep. Terry and Rep. Walden of hypocrisy for opposing ITU jurisdiction over Internet traffic while still pushing for the same anti-net neutrality outcome under consideration at the ITU? Glad you asked! As it happened, Rep. Terry made just such a flawed and unsupported assertion in the opposte direction. That is to say, Rep. Terry asserted that “there is a certain level of hypocrisy” for organizations that supported the FCC’s net neutrality rules (such as PK) to oppose ITU “regulation of the internet.”
It is no surprise that folks who routinely put the credit of the united states at risk by playing chicken with the debt ceiling think nothing of splitting the alliance against an ITU “take over” a mere ten days after declaring there is “no daylight” between House Republicans and Democrats on the issue. Alas, as Mr. Terry explained, He was only foolin’ for the benefit of Mr. Putin. Of course Rep. Terry would rather put the Internet at risk and needlessly pick a fight over a pet issue. Duh!
Well, I suppose if folks like Terry can’t help themselves from trying to turn the ITU effort to extend its jurisdiction to the Internet into a partisan issue, we shall all just try to carry on as best we can. But to make it clear, one of the chief dangers of the ITU extending its jurisdiction to Internet traffic flows is that European carriers and state-monopoly carriers hope to leverage the ITU to undermine net neutrality by requiring member nations to allow allow prioritization of services and/or to offer Quality of Service (QoS) gaurantees. So if you support network neutrality, you oppose the ITU extending its jurisdiction in this area and mandating these things — since the proposals before the ITU would eliminate network neutrality.
On the plus side, even if you oppose network neutrality, you can also oppose the ITU extending its jurisdiction to include prioitization and QoS. It won’t make you a hypocrite, really.