Thursday, May 18, 2006

Threat to a Free Internet

Interestingly, the internet is being threatened by the US Congress. I find this particularly peculiar since the internet used to seem to be an international symbol of cooperation, freedom and access to information for all people of the world. Now, I learn that AT&T, Verizon and other telecom giants are lobbying congress to allow them private control of the means by which so many of us connect to the world. I feel I must take a stand here and have decided to blog about it, so that those of you who have not heard about this can decide how to proceed for yourselves.

You can find resources and information at the Save the Internet Website. You can also sign a petition and find resources at MoveOn.Org.

I received the following news release today from MoveOn.Org to highlight musician Moby’s participation in this fight. He now joins several other high-profile entertainers, including R.E.M., The Indigo Girls and other artists and political activists in this fight. Please take the time to read the press release from MoveOn.org and to visit their associated links. The text below in italics was sent to me from MoveOn.org.

Dear MoveOn blogger,

Grammy-nominated musician Moby joined the SavetheInternet.com Coalition in Washington, D.C. today to demand that Congress reject upcoming legislation that would allow AT&T, Verizon, and other telecommunications giants to take over the Internet.

Our friends at PoliticsTV.com put together a fantastic video of the event.
Can you help spread news of today's big event by blogging about it? Some great links:


· Video of Moby: http://www.savetheinternet.com/moby
· Audio clip of Moby: http://www.SavetheInternet.com/moby_bite2.mp3
· Air America interview with Moby: http://www.airamericaradio.com/saveinternet
· CNN highlights Moby: http://www.cnn.com/CNN/Programs/situation.room/blog/
· AP story on Moby: http://asap.ap.org/stories/592550.s
· REM's announcement: www.remhq.com
· MoveOn petition on Internet freedom: http://civic.moveon.org/save_the_internet/?id=7705-1734286-FLlJhlGu8jR10IcbaDH1Jg&t=1

When you blog, please let us know by sending in your URL on MoveOn's blogger resource page:http://www.moveon.org/r?r=1771&id=7705-1734286-FLlJhlGu8jR10IcbaDH1Jg&t=2

The growing list of major artists and musicians who have joined the SavetheInternet.com Coalition's Artists and Musicians for Internet Freedom includes Moby, R.E.M., Q-Tip, the Indigo Girls, Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails, the Roots, the Dixie Chicks, Jill Sobule, and Wilco. More information is below.

As Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA) said at today's Moby event, the Internet is fighting back to save itself. Your blogging is a big part of that fight.

Thanks for all you do.

–Adam Green, Noah T. Winer, and the MoveOn.org Civic Action team Thursday, May 18th, 2006


P.S. Can you support this member-driven campaign today? As companies like AT&T spend millions lobbying Congress to gut Internet freedom, we will win this fight because of the power of regular people. A donation of $10, $20, or more would go a long way. You can donate here:https://civic.moveon.org/donatec4/creditcard.html?id=7705-1734286-FLlJhlGu8jR10IcbaDH1Jg&t=3

P.P.S. Here is our press release about today's event.

Rep. Markey, Moby Speak Out for Internet Freedom, Against Corporate Web Takeover

Musicians band together to demand Net Neutrality with congressional showdown over the future of the Internet imminent

Washington, D.C.—Grammy-nominated musician Moby joined today with Representative Edward Markey (D-MA), ranking Democrat on the House Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet, to demand that Congress reject upcoming legislation that would allow AT&T, Verizon, and other telecommunications giants to take over the Internet.

The growing list of major artists and musicians who have joined the SavetheInternet.com Coalition's Artists and Musicians for Internet Freedom includes Moby, R.E.M., Q-Tip, the Indigo Girls, Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails, the Roots, the Dixie Chicks, Jill Sobule, and Wilco. These artists join Internet advocates, MoveOn.org Civic Action, Gun Owners of America, the Christian Coalition, consumer groups, and more than 600 diverse organizations in the fighting back against a congressional proposal to gut Network Neutrality—the Internet's First Amendment.

"If Congress guts Net Neutrality, independent music and news sites would be choked off, consumer choice would be limited, and the Internet will be become a private toll road auctioned off by companies like AT&T," Moby warned. "We need to stand up for Internet freedom now. Congress must uphold Network Neutrality."

Net Neutrality is the long-held principle that ensures small music blogs and independent news sites open just as easily on people's computers as large corporate sites. Companies like AT&T are spending millions lobbying Congress to pass legislation that critics charge would set up a discriminatory tollbooth system on the information superhighway. The proposed legislation would allow Internet providers to decide which Web sites work best on people's computers based on who pays them the most, favoring large corporations with deep coffers while marginalizing everyday people, community groups and small businesses.

"The legislation in the House of Representatives threatens the Internet as we know it," said Rep. Markey, author of H.R 5273 "Save the Internet Act of 2006" which would preserve the open architecture of the Internet and prevent companies from downgrading and discriminating regarding Internet access and services."Right now we are heading down a dangerous road that will stifle the openness of the Internet, endanger our global competitiveness, and warp the web into a tiered Internet of bandwidth haves and have-nots. This coalition is the beginning of a nationwide effort to stop creeping Internet protectionism into the free and open World Wide Web. This is the time for Internet users to express themselves to rise up and save the Internet," said Markey, Congressional leader of the movement to prevent the COPE Act (HR 5252) from passing without a strong net neutrality provision.

Thousands watched the Moby event online at
www.SavetheInternet.com/moby, which posted a Congressional call-in number on the screen encouraging viewers to call their representatives to demand they protect Net Neutrality.


"We are seeing a massive public outcry—the people are joining together to save the Internet. Artists and musicians are part of this vast movement, as are the nearly 700,000 people who signed a petition, and the thousands calling Congress every day," said Timothy Karr, campaign director of Free Press, which is coordinating the SavetheInternet.com Coalition. "The American public won't allow the Internet to be turned into just another cash cow for greedy corporations. Americans will be watching how their representatives vote on Internet freedom."The Save the Internet.com Coalition—an alliance of organizations from across the political spectrum, consumer groups, educators, small businesses and bloggers that have come together to protect Internet freedom—has galvanized support for Network Neutrality from artists, musicians and hundreds of thousands of average citizens. In less than a month, almost 700,000 people have signed an Internet Freedom petition to Congress, more than 7,000 friends have joined SavetheInternet.com's MySpace, and thousands of blogs have linked to the coalition Web site. Also supporting Network Neutrality are companies such as Google and eBay and groups such as AARP, the ACLU and the Christian Coalition.


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2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for helping ot save the Internet!

Adam Green

5/18/2006 11:40:00 PM  
Anonymous Tom said...

The fight for Net Neutrality can and should be taken locally. When AT&T or Verizon come to your town to ask for permission to offer cable TV over thier new fiber network, speak up. Ask your town or state to question the telco's position on Net Neutrality.

I'm doing this in my town, Red Bank NJ, and I encourage others who are concerned about Net Neutrality to do the same.

You can read about my local effort at: http://www.redbanktv.org

Thanks -- Tom
tom@redbanktv dot org

5/19/2006 06:32:00 AM  

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