Big Brother Rudy: Gov't Should Decide What You See on the Net
by Jonathan Singer, Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 06:37:29 PM EDT
Todd sat through the Republican debate today so you didn't have to, noting that Rudy Giuliani continued his serial exaggerations. I unfortunately was unable to catch the debate. But in the subsequent coverage, one point from Giuliani stood out to me in particular. NBC's First Read has the catch.
Rudy indicated he would be for setting up an FCC for the Internet if the FBI, et al can't police it properly.
As for Giuliani, his answer about policing the internet culturally probably didn't resonate on a personal level to parents and McCain picked up on it. That's why he jumped in and attacked those predators and pornographers personally. It was one of McCain's stronger moments. Giuliani was a bit technocratish.
Again, I didn't see the debate, so I'll admit that I don't know the entire context of this interchange. But from these reports from First Read, Giuliani's position doesn't come off as particularly "technocratish" but rather quite "Big Brother-ly."
Americans are already unhappy enough with the federal government snooping on things like their library records and their emails. A move to go even further than that -- which Giuliani seems to be suggesting -- a move into the government deciding what Americans can and cannot read on the internet, to what they can and cannot see doesn't sound like something Americans will terribly approve of. This, of course, is not to say that Americans don't want to see the government cracking down on those who use the internet for nefarious purposes. That said, a move to regulate the internet with an FCC-like bureaucracy (think of the type of crackdowns we've seen in China and Burma for an idea of how far such things can go when taken to the extreme) just isn't going to fly in this country today.