SAVE THE INTERNET
A plan before Congress, backed by big telecom dollars, could gut the internet's first amendment: Net Neutrality. What is at risk is your right to choose the internet sites you want to go to, and even your right to receive emails from whomever you want. Do your part today to protect your internet rights and save Net Neutrality. Net Neutrality means YOU choose the sites you want to visit, and they are provided to you without outside intereference.
Action could take place as early as next week in the House of Representatives to protect or take away your rights.
AT&T, Verizon, Comcast, AOL-Time Warner, and other Internet Service Providers (ISPs) are spending millions of dollars lobbying Congress to gut Net Neutrality. If big telecom companies get their way, big subscribers can pay ISPs to have their web sites delivered to your computer in the "fast lane", and slow down or block other web sites from being served to your computer. You lose your power of choice.
The big telecoms could block you from viewing this blog simply because I am criticizing them.
Sound far fetched? It's already happening.
* In 2004, North Carolina ISP Madison River blocked their DSL customers from using any rival Web-based phone service.
* In 2005, Canada's telephone giant Telus blocked customers from visiting a Web site sympathetic to the Telecommunications Workers Union during a labor dispute.
* In April, Time Warner's AOL blocked all emails that mentioned www.dearaol.com — an advocacy campaign opposing the company's pay-to-send e-mail scheme.
NPR and PBS have reported on these and other similar abuses.
FCC Commissioner Michael Copps has called for stronger Net Neutrality protections. Existing laws provide insufficient protection against these abuses. The FCC acts on the rules but congress makes them. If legislation before congress passes, we will have little or no protection from having our ISPs (internet service providers) decide what sites they will allow us to access, and how fast.
If big telecom companies get their way, the internet as we now know it will go away. Imagine you want to buy an item on the internet. Company A is selling it for $100 and Company B is selling it for $60. You go to Company B's web site but it loads very slowly or not at all. Why? Because Company A paid the telecom company to give them priority so your access to Company B is either dramatically slowed down or blocked completely. Big dollars, not your choices, will control the internet.
Who is on our side? Supporters of Net Neutrality include Amazon.com, Earthlink, EBay, Google, Intel, Microsoft, Skype, Vonage and Yahoo, the American Library Association, churches and hundreds of other non-profit organizations, political groups, bloggers, small businesses, thousands of small web site owners, and thousands of others who are opposed to the telecom backed plan now before congress. Also on our side are some of the computer scientists that developed the internet in the first place.
NPR and PBS have reported that several telecom executives have already announced their plans to decide which web sites get served to you in the fast lane (based on big buck payments to the telecoms), which web sites are served in the slow lane, and which ones won't be delivered at all. Big telecoms and other ISPs want this huge source of potential new income.
For big telecoms, the internet isn't a highway system where you choose to go in whatever vehicle you have Idial up, cable, DSL etc). Telecom execs refer to the internet as "big pipes" and they want to control what flows down the pipelines to your computer. And they will choose based on who pays them the biggest bucks to send their content to your computer.
A multi-million dollar ad campaign ("Hands Off the Internet") has been launched by the big telecoms to downplay the Net Neutrality cause. Do you trust the big telecoms to have your best interests at heart, or all the online companies, big and small, that want you to have equal access to the sites you want to visit on the internet?
The glory of the internet is neutrality. Any ordinary Joe or Jane can put up a website and anyone else can go to it. The pages on my web sites receive between 1,500 and 2,000 visits per day, and anyone can find me on Google or most any other search engine. If big telecom gets their way, I would have to pay them or they won't feed my site down "their big pipes" to your computer. I will be shunted off to one of "their little pipes" at really slow speeds or not at all.
For more information, go to SaveTheInternet.com. Be sure and read the FAQ, then write, call, and email your representatives in congress.