The candidates who didn’t invent the Internet

The candidates who didn’t invent the Internet
: Dave Winer sent out an email to some folks this morning pushing his presidential campaign agenda: a call to get the candidates to endorse the idea that we need to keep “the Internet free from media companies.”

Dave, I just spent last weekend in big rooms filled with big media and, believe me, I saw little cause for alarm.

They’re more scared of the Internet than the Internet should be of them.

Before we launch into a Lessigesque bout of media paranoia and hatred, I’d like to see more evidence of why you think this is so necessary, Dave. I don’t see that in your brief essay.

And, besides, such negatives — such prohibitions against anticipated but unrealized behavior — aren’t very productive. I don’t want to see McDonald’s take over Taco Bell, either, but I’m not ready to get candidates to make statements about it and then pass laws and regulations about it. (And I’m surprised that Prof. Almost-a-Libertarian is so quick to endorse such added regulation, by the way.)

My conflict of interest here is clear; I’m a big-media guy (and a big media-guy, too). But I don’t see the clear and present danger that necessitates such campaigns.

Instead, I’d far rather see the candidates make positive promises about expanding and encouraging the Internet. I’d like to see them present plans to:

: Expand broadband Internet access ubiquitously to every home and school. The more access there is, the more our digital economy will grow and the better equipped we will be to compete.

: Encourage wireless access and hand over more of the spectrum to open development. Let a thousand wi-fis bloom!

: Kill spam. Protect my children. Protect my resources. Get these intruders and fraudmen off my lines and out of my machines. I’ll say it again: Kill spam!

: Minimize government regulation of the Internet (including taxation). Forget big media trying to take over the Internet; it’s government I fear here.

: And here’s one for local candidates: Extend shield laws and other protections and rights given to official press to weblog press, to citizen journalists.

Now that’s a five-point Internet plan and platform I can get behind.