Billionaire Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban has stood firmly against net neutrality, and presented a surgical takedown of the proposal on The Glenn Beck Program Tuesday.
“What it comes down to is, the net has worked,” Cuban said. “We’re not in an industry where the technology has become stagnant and there’s no more enhancements so we need regulation to try to make things happen. We’re not there. And so as long as the technology is allowed to advance, we’re OK.”
Cuban said the uncertainty and legal challenges of having the government regulate the Internet will be enormous, and predicted that it will slow down innovation. He also said there are many unexpected issues that will arise from such an enormous change.
“If net neutrality is taken to its logical extension … if there’s no priority for television and it’s just part of the open Internet and delivery, your traditional television, watching the evening news, it’s over,” Cuban said. “If there is no such thing as a prioritized bit, then all that digital television going through the same pipe, all those voters who like to get Fox News or MSNBC, they’re going to freak out because you’re going to have to go to their website to get it or you’re going to have to get a special box that identifies the channels and brings it to you.”
Cuban said television networks will likely begin buffering, which will force people to buy new equipment. But there are even more possibilities that aren’t being discussed.
“There’s going to be someone that comes along and says, ‘We need decency standards applied to all the content on the Internet because now that is coming through the same pipe and it’s open to everybody,’” Cuban remarked. “[Or], ‘We need educational requirements.’ Remember Bill Clinton said you have to have a certain amount of educational content?”
“This goes into the law of unexpected consequences, or unintended consequences, that you don’t know what’s going to happen when all these things change,” he said. “You would think companies like Twitter and Facebook have thought through the technological aspects of it. I don’t think they have.”
Cuban said the Internet isn’t perfect, but slowing down or reversing its progress by giving the government control is not the answer. One thing that companies are consistently working to improve is their online security, but until forms of wireless communication are more secure, Cuban suggested people try to “hack themselves.”
“What I did for myself and my kids … I just said, ‘OK, I’m going to pretend I’m them and try to get into their account,’” Cuban explained. “And what ends up happening … you go in there and say, ‘I forgot my password.’ And then it asks you for a security question.”
“If you’re a visible person like we are, chances are whatever your security question is, you thought about it years ago and you’ve talked about it since then,” Cuban continued. “My first address or my first pet’s name. If you Google that, you’re going to find it. And that’s how most people get hacked.”
Cuban said his daughter’s security question was related to her address, and his wife’s was “easy” to find as well.
“That’s one step, and part two to that is, you should use two-step authentication for everything, for all your email, without question,” Cuban concluded.
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