Tuesday, May 30, 2006

save the internet

Medieval internet users.

Sunday's New York Times included an editorial that correctly identified a danger to "net neutrality" from telecommunications companies that are aggressively lobbying for the ability to charge sites for access to customers. This means companies like Verizon or AT&T could control the speed at which certain sites load, and even cut access to a given site.

"Net neutrality" means that it is as easy to access Ford Motor Company's site as it is to access a site criticizing Ford. It is as easy to watch YouTube as it is to watch CNN. The tremendous possibilities that the internet offers culturally, intellectually and politically exist because of this thoroughly democratic ability to access any information someone is willing to put on a webpage. A battle is going on in congress right now that could put an end to these possibilities.

Please act. To sign a petition as well as to learn more about the issue, go to Save the Internet.com (I especially recommend the video "Ask a Ninja About Net Neutrality" for an entertaining take on the issue). Save the Internet.com is a coalition of individuals and groups concerned with the issue, remarkable diverse group (it includes MoveOn.org, The Christian Coalition, Gun Owners of America, and US Pirg, to give you an idea of how the support of Net Neutrality reaches across the political spectrum). Their f. a q. page is a good place to start for understanding the issue.

Keep the internet what it is, for at least a little while longer.

7 comments:

crystal said...

Net neutrality is really important ... signed the petition. Good for Barbara Boxer, CA senator ;-)

Paula said...

Huh???they want to do what???this is unbelivable.I will sign that petition.

Jeff said...

Yeesh... First Google, Yahoo, and MSN caving into tyrants, and now this. This stuff is getting out of hand. Remember when they used to say that the net could never be controlled, that it would bring freedom and democracy and egalitarianism everywhere, etc..., etc...

How little they knew. A cruel joke, it seems.

Brian Cubbage said...

Yep, Jeff. This is the same cruel joke perpetuated over and over again by laissez-faire liberal economics over the last couple of hundred years. Laissez-faire economics might work if all players were to start from a position of relatively equal power. But of course they don't, and the theory has few resources for gauging the true effect that the gross disparities of power participants in the market have upon entering into it. "Free" markets do as much to ramify inequalities as they do to remedy them.

Jeff said...

Very well said, Brian. It’s like a religion.

One Market Under God

Steve Bogner said...

Signed it - thanks for pointing it out.

Joe said...

Thanks for the heads-up....