Joe Biden’s mixed record when it comes to technology is enough to confuse technology enthusiasts on Barack Obama’s decision to nominate him as his running mate.Biden’s stance on Net neutrality seems to be more on par with John McCain.
Obama wants to keep the Internet a neutral place where people can blog, create podcasts, post things on the web without censorship or a middleman, all without having to pay an extra charge.
Biden opposes Obama and feels that there should not be any regulatory laws and that the issue will just sort itself out within the public with no government involvement in the process, as was indicated in a report by Declan McCullagh of Cnet.com.
As a strong supporter of the FBI and the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) – recently known as the group suing college students for using file-sharing programs such as the now defunct Kazaa – Biden’s record shows that he is in favor of regulating the Internet.
In 2002, Biden sponsored a bill that would make it felony to allow certain devices to play unauthorized music and programs. This would mean that playing burned CDs in your car or using a burned backup version of a computer program would be considered a federal crime.
The RIAA believes that you should pay a fee for transferring a purchased album into your MP3 player. It even goes as far as saying that you should pay a fee if you have borrowed an album because, in their eyes, it has been “illegally distributed.”
In April, Biden proposed spending $1 billion tax dollars for authorities to monitor peer-to-peer networks for illegal activity.
Obama has been a huge supporter of Net neutrality and even has his own podcast to explain the importance of keeping the Internet a neutral platform.
Why is this important? We all live in a world where we depend heavily on the Internet in order to be connected with the rest of the world.
According to a Nielsen NetRatings report, over 75 percent of Americans have Internet access at home.
The major Internet and telephone companies want to create high-speed Internet lanes and charge a higher price for using them. Those who cannot afford it will be forced to use the slow lanes at the same rates of today.
Those same big companies also want to regulate the Internet by creating a corporate middleman for everything posted online.
In November, few Americans will cast their votes based on Biden’s views on intellectual property rights. But his views don’t exactly go hand in hand with what Obama has promised. Obama has pledged to update and reform our copyright and patent system as well as ensure that intellectual property owners are fairly treated.
While voting for Obama would be a step forward for the advancement towards a neutral technological world, supporting Biden would be taking a step back.
- EDITORIAL: Apologize about the real problem - April 23, 2014
- STATEMENT: District apologizes to Oscar winning alum - April 21, 2014
- EDITORIAL: The Forgotten Students - March 26, 2014