December 2, 2003

Two faces of Michael Powell

Yesterday Michael Powell said the following (PDF) in remarks opening a forum on Voice over IP:

As one who believes unflinchingly in maintaining an Internet free from government regulation, I believe that IP-based services such as VOIP should evolve in a regulation-free zone.

No regulator, either federal or state, should tread into this area without an absolutely compelling justification for doing so.

This is the same guy that recently supported the implementation of the broadcast flag and willingly accepts it as his duty to use regulation to push the implementation of HDTV which may be nifty high quality but, nevertheless, should be left to find its own way in the market. We will either embrace it or ignore it.

Something that could bring the development of VoIP to a grinding halt is this push (requires free registration) by the FBI and the Justice Department to have the FCC assure that they will be able to eavesdrop on our VoIP calls:

The FBI and Justice Department want the FCC to classify Internet-based telephony as a traditional telecommunications service, which would subject it to federal laws requiring carriers or software companies "to develop intercept solutions for lawful electronic surveillance."
It is time to just say no to these folks.

Via beSpacific here and here.

Update (12/3): For more on the FCC's VoIP forum see The Knowledge Problem.

Posted by Steve on December 2, 2003

I hope they don't start making thousands of laws and rules and regulations, but its going to be an uphill battle. People are already giving up freedoms with Patriot Act since 9/11. One can only hope and keep those letters flowing to their congress people.

Posted by Blaine Hilton at December 2, 2003 10:07 PM
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