White House Deputy Chief Technology Officer Compares Censorship In China To American ISPs

Illustration for article titled White House Deputy Chief Technology Officer Compares Censorship In China To American ISPs

AT&T did not take kindly to remarks made by White House Deputy CTO Andrew McLaughlin comparing oppressive Chinese censorship to the practice of American ISPs.


McLaughlin, a major supporter of net neutrality rules, made the comment in a telecom law conference last Thursday by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln law school. Reaction was swift from AT&T's chief lobbyist, Jim Cicconi:

"It is deeply disturbing when someone in a position of authority, like Mr. McLaughlin, is so intent on advancing his argument for regulation that he equates the outright censorship decisions of a communist government to the network congestion decisions of an American ISP. There is no valid comparison, and it's frankly an affront to suggest otherwise," Cicconi said.


Maybe so, but it's a slippery slope. At any rate, the bottom line is that ISPs are going to end up screwing us one way or another—either with some sort of tiered internet, or pricey data caps. [Washington Post]

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I cannot believe I'm saying this but...

AT&T's right.

*rinses mouth, returns*

If we get right down to it, people are dumb. An overwhelming majority of Americans don't know or care about what net neutrality is, and frankly they shouldn't. They needn't be overly concerned with spectrum allotment or any other technical specification that there's debate over. Unfortunately, for net neutrality, many that shouldn't be concerned are. When the public gets involved with things that they don't understand, it gets ugly real fast.

Nevertheless, when Glenn Beck tried to call proponents of net neutrality Marxists and Communists for, interestingly, the very same "controlling content" crap this statement vaguely implies, he was a moron and a fear-monger.

Sorry, but as ridiculous as I think the telcos are for trying to defend their overly-controlling practices....it has to go both ways. They're not communists, they're not dictators. They're simply misguided, trying to take whatever shortcut they can get.

Mr. McLaughlin, a little more high-road, if you please?