As the debate grows about the future of spectrum, we want to highlight a disturbing aspect from one proposal. A well-connected investor group (Kleiner Perkins, Charles River, etc) is pushing the FCC to give it spectrum; one of the quid pro quo’s they offer is, in effect, a censored Internet.
Here’s the excerpt from the M2Z Networks filing [available there], which I find chilling: “Mandatory Filtering of Indecent and Obscene Material. M2Z commits to mandatory filtering of indecent and obscene material for the National Broadband Radio Service. This will be accomplished through a compulsory setting on the service that will utilize state of the art filters, taking every reasonable and available step to block access to sites purveying pornographic, obscene or indecent material. Like the free service itself, M2Zâ€™s content filtering will be â€œalways on.â€ Moreover, National Broadband Radio Service customers will be unable to alter the filters as they constitute an essential element of that service. To accomplish these critical filtering functions, M2Z plans to route National Broadband Radio Service traffic through a set of servers that can examine the traffic flows for improper activity and restrict access as required. Thus, the nationâ€™s children â€” and their parents â€” will have free access to broadband that is not only very affordable but also family-friendly and free from pornographic and other indecent material. Adults who wish to access otherwise lawful material that is restricted by M2Zâ€™s National Broadband Radio Service may do so by enrolling in one of M2Zâ€™s Premium Service offerings. Adult consumers providing M2Z with appropriate proof that they are of the age of majority, for example through the use of a credit card, can subscribe to a premium product.61 A more detailed explanation of the filtering mechanism to be employed by the company is provided in Appendix 3.”