Imagine a world where the power company controlled which appliances you could plug into the outlet, or charged special fees for some appliances and not others. It's a clever analogy used by Lawrence Lessig to explain the importance of net neutrality. Imagine a world where your ISP had the power to charge you more to visit some websites over others, to decide which websites you can visit on their network, and charged some websites more than others for network access.
Lessig also talks about the phenomenal growth of Google — originally an experiment by a group of graduate students at Standford looking for a better search engine. He says that if telecommunications companies had the ability to 'traffic shape' and 'data manage' when Google was started, the Google folks would have needed permission from the network provider (AT & T) to start their project.
Others matters talked about include concerns over the amount of personal information being accumulated by Google, Yahoo's handing over personal information to the government of China, the Creative Commons, and Lessig's most recent project — Change Congress, his attempt to instigate anti-corruption congressional reform in the United States.
It's a great interview. Check out the April 17, 2008 Democracy Now program, the interview starts about 40:00 in (the rest of the show is great, too).