John McCain: For and Against Net Neutrality?

by Devanshu Mehta

I was reading John McCain’s Technology Policy page on his web site and the following stood out:

John McCain Will Preserve Consumer Freedoms. John McCain will focus on policies that leave consumers free to access the content they choose; free to use the applications and services they choose; free to attach devices they choose, if they do not harm the network; and free to chose among broadband service providers.

When Regulation Is Warranted, John McCain Acts. John McCain does not believe in prescriptive regulation like “net-neutrality,” but rather he believes that an open marketplace with a variety of consumer choices is the best deterrent against unfair practices.

The problem? The first paragraph about “preserving consumer freedoms” lists four things that McCain will protect- access content, apps and services, attach devices, and choice of service providers. In the next paragraph, he says that he does not believe in net-neutrality. The problem is that those four freedoms are what the FCC and other independent activists have adopted as the four principles of Net Neutrality.

So- is McCain simply against using the word net-neutrality, while agreeing with it on the four core principles? Lawrence Lessig has a detailed video about McCain’s policy, where he makes the argument that McCain is against regulating network neutrality but would rather leave them to “faith” on the network companies. The video follows (after the jump):