Saturday, April 29, 2006

Internet Freedom is the American Way

Sparking the Revolt
Can a groundswell of popular support for network neutrality save free speech online? Radio show "Media Minutes" asks whether the SavetheInternet coalition has the momentum to turn public opinion against AT&T and their coin-operated front men in Washington.

Listen to the show.

Gun Owners of America’s Craig Fields puts it best:

“In a very, very strange situation, what we have is the necessity of government intervention to ensure a free marketplace of ideas. Whenever you see people from the far left and the far right joining together about something that Congress is getting ready to do, it’s been my experience that what Congress is getting ready to do is basically un-American.”

Columbia Professor Timothy Wu gives an historical perspective by comparing AT&T’s net control scheme to the AP’s 19th century news monopoly, calling it “a threat not only to American business and competition but a threat to American democracy.”

The loss of network neutrality will smother the innovative nature of the Internet, which has made it such a powerful economic and social engine. Warns Professor Wu:

“It’s no longer survival of the fittest. It’s no longer who has the best technology. It’s a question of who goes golfing with the CEO of AT&T. And I think that’s not the American way.”

Indeed. Listen in.

5 comments:

spiiderweb™ said...

I'm putting my faith, maybe unfounded, in EFF. They're the strong lobby leading this fight.

I've done the usual, but expect only the EFF and thousands of bloggers, surfers and IM users can influence congress. We just need to find out if our votes are more valuable than ATT's money.

Timothy Karr said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Timothy Karr said...

EFF has been silent on this issue. Perhaps the rationale for their absence on this issue is buried somewhere on this page:

http://www.eff.org/about/board/

paulaner01 said...

I guess I'm not as skeptical as you guys are at the moment - I mean, if one of the telcos were to try to pull off what everyone says they're going to try, people would switch providers the same day. I'll do my surfing in Starbucks before I put up with that kind of interference. I just don't think that the best business decision and the nightmare scenario go together.

pkp646 said...

I am not fundamentally opposed to the idea of net neutrality, but I think the best way to preserve it is to keep the government out of this one. Regulation has a way of causing unintended side effects, and with a wily creature like the internet, who knows what regulation could do.