Friday, May 12, 2006

Support Net Neutrality

     I've been really busy lately and haven't been reading any of the emails that MoveOn.org has been sending me. But today I looked at one and got a little educated on this Net Neutrality issue. Here's a brief explanation from the FAQ at Save the Internet.


What is this about?>

This is about Internet freedom. "Network Neutrality" -- the First Amendment of the Internet -- ensures that the public can view the smallest blog just as easily as the largest corporate Web site by preventing Internet companies like AT&T from rigging the playing field for only the highest-paying sites.

But Internet providers like AT&T, Verizon and Comcast are spending millions of dollars lobbying Congress to gut Net Neutrality. If Congress doesn't take action now to implement meaningful network neutrality provisions, the future of the Internet is at risk.

What is network neutrality?

Network Neutrality — or "Net Neutrality" for short — is the guiding principle that preserves the free and open Internet.

Net Neutrality ensures that all users can access the content or run the applications and devices of their choice. With Net Neutrality, the network's only job is to move data — not choose which data to privilege with higher quality service.

Net Neutrality is the reason why the Internet has driven economic innovation, democratic participation, and free speech online. It's why the Internet has become an unrivaled environment for open communications, civic involvement and free speech.

Who wants to get rid of Net Neutrality?

The nation's largest telephone and cable companies — including AT&T, Verizon, Comcast and Time Warner — want to be Internet gatekeepers, deciding which Web sites go fast or slow and which won't load at all.

They want to tax content providers to guarantee speedy delivery of their data. They want to discriminate in favor of their own search engines, Internet phone services, and streaming video — while slowing down or blocking their competitors.

These companies have a new vision for the Internet. Instead of an even playing field, they want to reserve express lanes for their own content and services — or those from big corporations that can afford the steep tolls — and leave the rest of us on a winding dirt road.


     Also, there's 5 videos here, including an explanation from a ninja, a Halo character, and more. I had no idea what the ninja was talking about. The last few videos are probably the best in terms of information.

    I think this is a very dangerous situation. An absolutely free internet is crucial for all that is rational, fair, and democratic. It is the only means by which people can communicate to large numbers of other people and avoid the mainstream media which spouts nothing but propaganda. If we lose the internet, we lose our voice, and with it, our hope.

    So get involved. Or at least educated yourself. Without knowing what it's about, you might fall victim to a video like this which gives a very inaccurate representation of the situation.

Update Actually, the ninja makes a very compelling argument. I recommend that one.

7 comments:

LBBP said...

Funny, I am writing a very similar post right now and for the same reasons. The most interesting thing to me, is that maybe MoveOn is finally getting a clue about sending blog talking points instead of just general emails.

BTW, are you going to YearlyKos? It's in my town so I am going and have been doing a little bit of volunteer work in advance of the show.

Tom said...

Just trying to get the word out that “Keeping the Internet a Level Playing Field”, aka Net Neutrality, is not just a big picture national issue. You can do more than just signing an online petition.

I am asking people to get involved locally. AT&T and Verizon are going from town to town across the country trying to get approval from local governments to operate a cable TV franchise. This process involves public hearings and public input. I am asking people to get involved locally and ask questions about Net Neutrality at these hearings.

Make this a local issue and it will grow as a grass roots issue; doing this will have an impact on the national discussion.

You can find out what I am doing in my small Jersey town by clicking over to my simple blog at http://www.redbantv.org

Thanks -- Tom

Delta said...

lbbp,
Nah, I see that it's in Las Vegas this year. I think it'd be fun to go, and it'd be less than a day's drive for me, but I've got family coming in that weekend. Let me know how it was.

tom,
I think you're absolutely right in that success really depends on involvement at a local level first. Local officials can be held accountable to the people and so that's probably the best angle to go at. Your blog looks interesting and I plan to check it out as soon as I get done with the crazy week I have next week. And for those who want to go to his blog, he had a typo, it's here.

TheJollyNihilist said...

An absolutely free internet is crucial for all that is rational, fair, and democratic. It is the only means by which people can communicate to large numbers of other people and avoid the mainstream media which spouts nothing but propaganda. If we lose the internet, we lose our voice, and with it, our hope.

Beautifully said.

Being a Free Expression purist, the internet is really the only place I have left where I can bask in the beauty of Free Speech, Press and Thought. The very notion that internet liberty might disappear, even to some extent, is frightening indeed.

Support Net Neutrality. It's a truly worthy cause.

SH said...

Thank you for the information Delta. I hope that Internet remains neutral.

TheJollyNihilist said...

Or, as George Bush would say, "The Internets."

Those dang Internets...they really piss Bush off.

Brian Hill said...

Senators, Reps, and Congress I Support Net Neutrality