Monday, April 24, 2006

Save The Internet.Com

The reason you can read my somewhat radical opinions on the internet (actually, I believe I am middle of the road, and the country is dangerously tilted to the right) is because the big telecommunication companies (Big Telecomm) aren't allowed to block content they disagree with. Now Big Telecomm wants to decide what you see.

Not just bloggy paranoia, as tells us:

This isn’t just speculation -- we've already seen what happens elsewhere when the Internet's gatekeepers get too much control. Last year, Canada's version of AT&T -- Telus-- blocked their Internet customers from visiting a Web site sympathetic to workers with whom Telus was negotiating. And Shaw, a major Canadian cable company, charges an extra $10 a month to subscribers who dare to use a competing Internet telephone service.

As citizens, we need to fight for free speech to continue to rule on the web, and urge Congress to vote for Net Neutrality. Sign the petitions (links below), call your congressperson, write letters of the editor to your local paper. The net neutrality bill is being marked up in committee this week, probably Wednesday.

MyDD: The Internet Freedom Fight: A Round-Up

Background on the Issue: The internet is open because private companies haven't been allowed to block content they don't like. Now the telcos want to make it so they can block what you see.

The Threat to You is Real: Telcos have already blocked competing services, censored emails, and prevented customers from reading political web sites. Why do you assume they care about your rights?

Come On, This Isn't Really Happening: Fine, don't believe me. Ignore the fact that the CEO of AT&T is on record that this is going to happen. You can pretend that this won't affect you, if you want.

'Net Neutrality'
: A Simple Explanation: Annoying tech issue, maybe, but you can watch this this simple video explanation.

Explaining the Players in the Fight: It's a corporate cartel with bought and paid lobbyists versus a free market and citizens groups.

Can we win this fight? Yes, we can. Congress isn't that set on giving away the internet. They just don't understand the issues involved and don't think anyone's paying attention.

What You Should Link to:
Moveon Petition
Save the Internet on MySpace

Digby: Save The Internet

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