President Barack Obama may have called for the strictest regulation of consumer broadband internet but the White House needs to understand that till the time the National Security Agency’s alleged snooping activities not only on the American soil but everywhere else are not curtailed, the desired change that the American president wants to see may not be visible. Although by treating the internet like a public utility as essential as water, phone service and electricity Obama may be able to achieve his desired target of net-neutrality, the president has also not denied his continued support for a free and open internet.
The United States, which is second only to China in the number of internet users has also the highest number of people accessing content companies most notably Netflix. The fact that all internet traffic should be treated as equal may not go down too well with service providers like Verizon and Comcast, who charge differently from consumers who access the internet for the content. America may be talking about open internet but fact of the matter also is that by doing so its own citizens will be exposed to the gullibility of their own government.
Google, which is one of the world’s largest internet companies and an advocate of free internet services had previously connived with the NSA to provide it crucial data about countries with which the United States has strategic relationships, India being one of them. While globally the United States as also the NSA was lambasted for its alleged display of unethical practices, in India the then UPA government headed by Dr Manmohan Singh could not give the Americans any fitting reply. USA’s dominance over the internet space is so overt, that not even the White House can deny the filthy business of snooping that it along with major internet companies has been accused of. Barack Obama should also fight for an American establishment that does not get involved in such kind of murky business.