Erik (eriktrips) wrote,

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PSA, especially relevant to Bay Area folks: FCC Public Hearing on the Future of the Internet


We are in a unique moment in history when we can help to decide whether we have a closed Internet controlled by a small handful of giant corporations, or an open Internet controlled by the people who use it. Now is the time to speak up for an open internet free from corporate gatekeepers.

It is rare for all five members of the Federal Communications Commission to leave Washington, D.C., and they want to hear from you. There will be a public comment period - come speak up to save the Internet!

Comcast has been caught blocking BitTorrent, Verizon has been caught blocking text messages, AT&T wants to inspect and filter Web traffic. These big companies' efforts to discriminate online are crushing competition, slowing innovation, and endangering free speech. With so much at stake, it's encouraging that the FCC's first move is to quickly seek public feedback and expert counsel about the future of the Internet.

Last time they tried to hold a hearing on the future of the Internet, Comcast hired people to fill the room and keep the public out (read more about Comcast's dirty tactics here). We need to stand up to the big phone and cable companies and fight for Internet freedom for all people.

Late last year, the Associated Press caught Comcast secretly using Web filtering technologies similar to those used in China to censor the Internet. AP called the violation “the most drastic example yet of data discrimination.”

Comcast’s defense is flimsy. The company’s blatant and deceptive blocking is exactly the type of problem Net Neutrality supporters warned would occur without open Internet protections. Public pressure is now forcing the FCC to act.

In recent months, more than 23,000 activists sent letters to the Federal Communications Commission demanding an end to Comcast’s practice of blocking peer-to-peer traffic on its network. The FCC responded by launching a formal investigation of Comcast's practices.

Comcast’s meddling with user content is the canary in the coal mine for corporate efforts to control the Internet. The FCC must send a stern message to stop other phone and cable companies that want to follow Comcast’s lead. Blocking access to the Internet should never be tolerated.

Read the FCC announcement (.pdf). Blog

[editorial comment:

this is not something I know a great deal about, but I plan to learn quickly and decide whether a CalTrain trip to Stanford on Thursday would be justified. I doubt that ATT and Comcast have democratic ideas about access to the internet. just a hunch. read for yourself and decide what to do.]

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