Since 2005, I have been reporting on the incremental loosening of the legal constraints that prevent the Internet service providers,ISPs, from dismantling the free and open Internet. And, lately, in the wake of a new Federal Communications Commission decision, which put another legal nail in the coffin of Net neutrality, I have devoted considerable energy blogging about this impending demise. But, just as Aristotle would do, I am now also putting my actions where my words are.
Toward this end, I have just organized, on Facebook, the Internet Neutrality Freedom Organization (INFO). The mission of INFO is to stop the big ISPs such as Comcast, Verizon, and AT&T from demolishing the free and democratic architecture of the Net.
Think this worthy of your support too? Take a quick look at the full mission statement of the organization:
INFO MISSION STATEMENT:
The giant Internet Service Providers such as Comcast, AT&T, and Verizon seek to:
1. Abolish the flat service fee. This means that you will pay for the amount of time you spend on the Net and the amount of data you download. For example, you will be charged for downloading a video from You Tube. If you don't have much money to spend, you will have less access to information than a person who has more money.
2. Make website operators pay for bandwidth. This means that companies with deep pockets like Fox and MSNBC will connect quickly whereas small website operators who can't afford the high costs will operate "in the slow lane." The Net result will be an Internet that will become much like cable TV. You will get only the information that the big media companies (and their governmental affiliates) want you to get. You will get a lot less, and you will pay a lot more for less.
These ISPs have now gotten the legal green light to go ahead with their plans and they WILL do so very shortly unless something is done to stop them. This is where you come in. The mission of INFO is to organize and plan peaceful cyber-protests, create petitions, and engage in other forms of constitutionally protected free speech and grass roots efforts aimed at preserving an open, free, and democratic Net. In particular INFO stands against the attempt by these giant ISPs to block, slow, censor, or otherwise restrict legal Internet content and Internet access.
If you want to continue to afford the full range of what the Net has to offer; if you like the idea of having independent media, as distinct from a handful of corporate mainstream media networks, on tap, then I hope you will join me in putting your actions where your words are and sign up for INFO.
Hope to see you on Facebook!