us: Editorial – The Verizon Warning

We have long been concerned about the potential threat to free speech and a free press as communications migrate from old-fashioned telephone lines, TV broadcasts and printing presses to digital networks controlled by unregulated private companies. The threat stopped being theoretical recently when Verizon Wireless censored political speech on one of its mobile services.Verizon did the right thing after the problem was disclosed: it promptly dropped a misbegotten policy and said its new policy is to open its network to any legal communication. But alarm bells should be ringing on Capitol Hill, where industry lobbying, legislative goldbricking and Republican aversion to regulations have bottled up much-needed laws on digital communications.

If newspapers were delivered over mobile phones, a company could simply cut them off because it did not like a particular article. This is not the stuff of a futurist essay. Freedom of speech must be guaranteed, right now, in a digital world just as it has been protected in a world of paper and ink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.