Telecom Timeout

Jul 16 2009   9:31PM GMT

Sen. Franken grills Judge Sotomayor on Net Neutrality

WPeterson William Peterson Profile: WPeterson

“Isn’t there a compelling, over-riding First Amendment right here for Americans to have access to the Internet?”

That’s the question Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) posed to Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor, citing the increase of using the Internet as a primary, if not the primary, means of information sharing for more and more people ,and the fact that in many areas, there isn’t a whole lot of choice between service providers if one starts to constrict or even block traffic to and from certain websites.

Sotomayor’s response should bring at least a little relief to telecom operators: She said that such decisions aren’t for the court to rule on, but for the legislature to decide, and that the Brand X decision, which designated Internet service providers as “information services” rather than “telecommunication services” should stand.

Here’s the video:

[kml_flashembed movie="" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]

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