Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Defend Net Neutrality

If you think this issue is just too boring to even want to think about, you're kind of like me except somehow or another the message keeps getting across: we can't let things we care about like control over the quality of the food we eat, our access to alternative healthcare, herbal medicines and the like, and now access to the internet and the wealth of information, goods and services that provides fall into the hands of a few large corporations out to control the world -- or at least a pretty significant part of it. Net neutrality is a pretty big thing. Just last year our lovely Republican government voted against total access to the internet by choosing to allow AT&T and a few cable companies fight it out for our internet access dollars. think that won't affect anything? Think again. My independent internet provider CRUZIO just sent out their monthly email newsletter with this interesting news item:

AT&T Censors Pearl Jam in Webcast
Telecommunications executives assure us there is no danger in leaving all Internet access in the hands of just a couple of companies. Cable, they say, will keep the phone company honest and vice versa. No need for any other Internet providers (like Cruzio or Earthlink, for example).

But then one of those big companies does something revealing, like silencing singer Eddy Veder's words in a concert when he inserted his own lyrics into Pink Floyd's "Another Brick in the Wall." The words which AT&T cut were "George Bush, leave this world alone."

Of course, it is a private broadcast and AT&T or its subsidiary can beep out anything it likes, just as a newspaper can refuse to print statements it finds offensive. But without other companies willing to broadcast alternative viewpoints, what would the Internet be like? Are two Internet providers really enough choice? Cruzio believes that more competition is necessary to ensure Net Neutrality -- the principle that Internet providers will keep their hands off the content of what they deliver.

See the song and the cuts for yourself on YouTube:

I can't say I'm any kind of an expert on this issue but the information is out there and it's well worth getting involved. See the banner link on my sidebar on the right of this page that says "Save the Internet"? Click on it, read all about it and sign the petition on their website. Then, please, tell your friends to do the same.

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