June 29, 2008 2:51PM

Should the Internet Be Nationalized?

Vint Cerf is the nominal “father of the Internet,” and currently a vice president and “Chief Internet Evangelist” at Google. His employer recently unveiled an “Internet for Everyone” public policy program, which I view with skepticism. (Julian Sanchez nailed the free‐​lunchism of “Internet for Everyone,” saying, “All this may have a whiff of ‘and a pony’ about it.”)

At the same conference where the Google campaign was introduced, Cerf made a casual comment suggesting that it might be better if the Internet were nationalized. This is a bad idea, and even the blogger who wrote up Cerf’s comment said so.

I posted about it at TechLiberationFront, where Cerf has been good enough to comment. I don’t think policies based on his predisposition in favor of government ownership and control would result in good outcomes. Same goes for Google’s public policy program to the extent it shares those premises.