Hands Off Our Internet!
You think the Internet will always be the great freewheeling information superhighway you've grown to love? Well, think again. Media giants want to privatize our Internet.
If successful in Congress, these companies would open the door to violate what techies call "net neutrality." It is the principle that Internet users should be able to access any web content they want, post their own content, and use any applications they choose, without restrictions or limitations imposed by their Internet service providers (ISPs).
Net neutrality is the reason this democratic medium has grown exponentially, fueled innovation and altered how we communicate. We must make certain that for-profit interests do not destroy the democratic culture of the web.
But some big telecommunications executives just don't get it. For them it is all about their bottom lines. They already charge us higher prices for slower connections than their counterparts in other parts of the world. Now they say that they should get to double-charge for Internet access - collecting fees not just from us, but also from websites like Google and Yahoo.
And what about websites like CommonCause.org or your favorite blog that can't afford to pay up? They might be left in the slow lane of the information superhighway.
Common Cause is ready - with your help - to fight the telcom giants in the halls of Congress. A major rewrite of telecommunications law is on the agenda this spring. We need to push back hard at the telecom lobbyists who want to write Internet freedom out of the law.
Our first step is to send a strong message now to these business leaders. Tell them that the principle of net neutrality needs to be honored, and that Internet service providers (ISPs) should not play gatekeepers.
Fact Sheets & Reports:
Free American Broadband (Salon)
Internet Freeloaders (Slate)
- The Coming Tug of War Over the Internet (Washington Post)