The struggle for Net Neutrality has reached a critical moment. The FCC Chairman has called for new Net Neutrality rules, and he is being supported by President Obama, Speaker Pelosi, and many congressional leaders. Will the Internet remain in the hands of the people? Or will a few phone and cable companies decide which Web sites you can and can’t see? Concerned citizens are calling for the FCC to protect Net Neutrality by enacting strong rules that will keep the Internet free from blocking, censorship and discrimination and furthermore ensure that Internet service providers disclose their efforts to manage content. The FCC has invited feedback before they rule on Net Neutrality, but the window for commenting is closing on January 14, 2010. You have until Thursday at midnight to tell the FCC how you feel about the Internet:
Net neutrality is the network design principle that has made possible the Internet’s rapid innovation and unprecedented open access. It protects your right, without interference from the network provider, to use any equipment, send or receive any content, run any application, or access any service. If you are not familiar with the Net Neutrality argument, check out the following:
- Why You Should Care About Network Neutrality, by Tim Wu (Slate)
- Network Neutrality FAQ by Tim Wu
- Net Neutrality: This is serious, by Tim Berners-Lee
- The End of End-to-End: Preserving the Architecture of the Internet in the Broadband Era, by Mark Lemley and Lawrence Lessig
- Is Net Neutrality a Trojan Horse?, A summary of EFF’s concerns with the FCC’s new neutrality proposal.
- Regulatory Capture, How the entertainment and media industries are often able to exert undue influence on the FCC.
- EFF Weighs in on Proposed FCC Net Neutrality Rules, A summary of EFF’s full comments to the FCC.
[Note: The last three links above were added to this post on 2010.01.18]
In August 2009, Reps. Edward Markey (D-Mass.) and Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.) introduced the Internet Freedom Preservation Act of 2009 (H.R. 3458). This landmark legislation would protect Net Neutrality under the Communications Act. Phone and cable companies have hired hundreds of lobbyists in Washington to try to stop this bill from becoming law. Citizens can make a difference, Take Action now!
Thank you for these important links David. Everyone working in business today should heed these words and take action. If our net falls into the hands of the conglomerates we loose much of what makes the web so great. Imagine what tv is and why we all moved to gaining content from the web. Sure some of it is consumer generated and contains dubious facts, but what about some of our advertising? Take action today!
You may have already seen this, but it was an eye-opener for me.
But is the FCC”™s version of Net Neutrality the real deal? Or is it a fake?
Buried in the FCC”™s rules is a deeply problematic loophole. Open Internet principles, the FCC writes, “do not”¦ apply to activities such as the unlawful distribution of copyrighted works.”
For years, the entertainment industry has used that innocent-sounding phrase ”” “unlawful distribution of copyrighted works” ”” to pressure Internet service providers around the world to act as copyright cops ”” to surveil the Internet for supposed copyright violations, and then censor or punish the accused users.
From the beginning, a central goal of the Net Neutrality movement has been to prevent corporations from interfering with the Internet in this way ”” so why does the FCC”™s version of Net Neutrality specifically allow them to do so?
Tell the FCC that if it wants to police the Internet, it first needs to demonstrate that it can protect Internet users and innovators by standing up to powerful industry lobbyists. Sign your name here to demand that the copyright-enforcement loophole be removed.
Rob, thanks for your comment, I’m going to update the post with some EFF links. Thanks again.