M2Z Networks’ proposal to build a free wireless broadband network is not the only controversial part of its business plan. Just as contentious is its intention to filter the content delivered over that network to block material deemed inappropriate for children.
Free-speech advocates on the left and right have expressed alarm at M2Z’s plans to build a family-friendly network that would weed out objectionable sites by blocking particular Internet domain names.
Federal Communications Commission Chairman Kevin Martin took up that idea in his proposal to auction off a chunk of spectrum that would be used in part to deliver a basic broadband service over the nation’s airwaves. It would ultimately be up to the FCC to decide exactly how any filtering mandate would work, including whether the filters would be located on the network or on user devices.