Save The Internet

OK folks — this is serious…..and it’s not a liberal vs conservative thing. It’s a corporations vs. freedom thing.

I’ll forgo my usual verbosity and summarize:

Background on the Issue: The internet is open because private companies haven’t been allowed to block content they don’t like. Now, however, telecommunication companies want to change that, so they can block what you see.

Not A Paranoid Fantasy: These companies have already blocked competing services, censored emails, and prevented customers from reading political web sites. The CEO of AT&T is on record, saying “The Internet can’t be free…”

A Simple Explanation of ‘Net Neutrality’: This video at explains the issue clearly. Watch it, and get mad.

So right now, we’ve got corporate lobbyists trying to push legislation through Congress: (PDF Link)The Communications Opportunity, Promotion, and Enhancement Act of 2006 (AKA The COPE Act), sponsored by Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX). Basically, it would end Net Neutrality.

The internet developed as the ultimate democratic expression — ideas are the currency, and concepts rise and fall by their own merits. Once people figured out how to adapt the internet to commerce, it meant that companies could succeed on the strength of their services, rather than whether or not they had huge corporate backing. The telecom giants are trying to figure out a way they can turn all of this into a profit-generating engine for themselves. Don’t let them do it.

Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA), along with Representatives Rick Boucher (D-VA), Anna Eshoo (D-CA), and Jay Inslee (D-WA) have submitted an amendment called the “Markey Amendment” or the “Net Neutrality Amendment”, with 250,000 citizen signatures. It would add protections to the COPE Act to maintain Net Neutrality.

Get involved. Call your Representative: Most don’t understand the issues involved and the ones that do don’t think anyone’s paying attention.

More info can be found here:

7 Replies to “Save The Internet”

  1. petition signed…

    and a bit of humor for you.

    In my many years I have come to a conclusion that one useless man is a shame, two is a law firm, and three or more is a congress.
    – John Adams

  2. It is not all that simple unfortunatly. They problem is the internet is not free, it never has been and it never will be. You are paying for that connection in your house. Someone is paying for the line that goes into the local coffeehouse. The lines that comprise the internet belong to the carriers and not the government or any free entitiy. The FCC rulings were a joke, because they assume that today’s and actually 5 years ago’s tech will be here next year. Those things they are regulating are dying.

    You know that I am normally on your side, but your examples do not exactly prove your point.

    The first article leaves out some important parts of the puzzle. First it is in the best interest of the industry to have the internet be more level for the end user. You pay more for an OC3, than a DS3, than a T-1, than v-sat, than cable broadband, than DSL, than dial up, I can talk for hours on this unfortunatly. Also, there aready is a two tier system of sorts due to the bandwidth one can afford.

    Second Telus prevented their workers from seing union sites, and the Canadian government crucified them for it. Also, I throw out there that companies routinely keep their employees from seeing and using certain web sites from work. It cost too much otherwise. Should you have to spend more so people can see sites against you.

    The email tax thing was a hoax. AOL is not regulated like a carrier. They don’t own the infrustructure for the most part, so they would not benefit from an internet tax. It was on snoopes even. So I am not sure if this story is true.

    The CEO of ATT was the CEO of SBC. SBC sucks Neo-Con cock. However, the internet is not free now, so don’t look for anyone to give you a free DSL line anytime soon. Companies already charge for websites, blogging, VOIP, and IM. The internet stopped being free the minute UUNet opened its doors. The issue needs to be that no one can tell you what you can put up on those websites and say in those blogs, if you pay for the line and space.

  3. The issue needs to be that no one can tell you what you can put up on those websites and say in those blogs, if you pay for the line and space.
    That’s exactly the issue. What Mr. Skarka is talking about is not free Internet access for everyone, but freedom on the Internet. Basically, if net neutrality goes out the window and your ISP develops their own search engine, they’ll be able to block all other search sites. A Senator didn’t vote for their tax break? There goes access to their campaign site.

    I currently use Vonage for my home phone and Earthlink as my ISP. Both travel over Time Warner cable which offers competing services. If Time Warner has their way, my phone will be unusable and my Internet access slower than dial-up. The only solutions will be to use Time Warner’s services or pay a much higher monthly fee to use my current services.

    Imagine if a phone company entered into an exclusive agreement with specific pizza chains, for example, and blocked calls to their competitors. As a paying customer of the phone company, you wouldn’t stand for it. It’s not the phone company’s place to tell you who you can or cannot call. It’s no different with the Internet. You pay for access and so do the owners of the sites you visit. They use more bandwidth so they pay more. That is completely fair and I can’t imagine that any sane person has a problem with that.

    I have no problem with employers blocking certain sites at work. It’s the companies computer, network and access. The past two companies I worked for restricted access. It sucked (call centers get really boring late at night) but I don’t begrudge them at all. However, if I pay a telecom for access in my own house, they damn well better not be throttling access to or outright blocking any sites I’m visiting.

    It’s late and I’m talking in circles, but I hope I’ve made the point. Basically, the telecoms are trying to extort money out of Amazon and Google because they dared to make money using the Internet access they pay for without giving the telecoms an extra piece of the pie.

  4. I have 10 years in this industry. We are working to bring fiber to your doorstep so you can do whatever you want. There are enough players in this industry that you would fire company one if the didn’t let you look at porn and hire company two. There are different cultures here. Some of the companies are very conservative and some are very liberal. There is not enough desire in the industry to do what you are saying to have them all do it. You would just stop buying neo-con net and buy we love porn and neo-con net. Free enterprise keeps this from happening.

    What the carriers are wanting is for the network to pass class of service. This is a technical term and not what you think it is. It currently doesn’t pass industry class of service tagging. If we can provide class of service tagging we can prioritze voice and video over small bandwidth email packets it does very important things for the man on the street. You can now stream video without buffering time, and voice without jitter on the same bandwidth size. You get more for the same amount of money. This gives you internet TV on demand and call pass of to your wireless phone. These services are where the money is. If we did what they are saying we want to, we would lose money. Money always wins.

    The problem is that the FCC, and congress have no idea what we are wanting and pundits on both sides have jumped on it and made it something it is not. That is all I am saying.

  5. I’m frankly surprised it’s taken this long for the corporations to try this stuff. However, I think it is going to blow up in their faces.

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