The Democratic Activist
(Note: parts this post are not original, utilizing text copied from an email alert I recently received from savetheinternet.com requesting action on this issue.)
Quite simply ... it would be the death of the internet as we've always known it.
Big telephone and cable companies want to own the internet. Their goal is to turn the internet into just another arm of commercial mass media, like radio, television, and cable. But first, they must get rid of Network Neutrality, the fundamental principle that prevents them from discriminating against your favorite Web sites and services.
Under their plan, ordinary people and all but the largest businesses would be practically shut out, unable to host content on the superfast "preferred network" that only the largest companies could afford to utilize, relegated to a grossly undesirable internet "slow lane" that almost no one would use to access news, opinions, or buy products or services.
In firm opposition to the giant telcos' attempt to steal the public internet, Net Neutrality is strongly supported by groups as politically diverse as Gun Owners of America, the Christian Coalition, MoveOn.org, and the American Library Association.
In 2006, the 109th Congress allowed laws that had always guaranteed Net Neutrality to expire, setting the stage for a private takeover of the public's internet by America's largest telecommunications companies.
A new bill by Congressmen Edward J. Markey (D-MA) and Chip Pickering (R-MS) called the Internet Freedom Preservation Act of 2008 (H.R. 5353) would re-establish Net Neutrality as the law of the land. It deserves and needs our full support.
Unless we speak out to our members of Congress, they could move to allow large telephone and cable companies to control what you do, where you go and what you watch online.
Here's what you can do:
1. Learn more. Go to savetheinternet.com and check out what's at stake.
2. Join others in sending a loud message supporting Net Neutrality to Congress (click here).
3. Contact your congressional representatives directly. (Click here, then enter your zip code in the field provided). Urge them to give their full and enthusiastic support to the cause of Net Neutrality in general, and to the Internet Freedom and Preservation Act of 2008 (H.R. 5353) in particular.
4. Spread the word about the urgent need to protect Net Neutrality! Send a link to this post to everyone you know who values the democratizing miracle of the free and open internet we've always known, or who depends on it to conduct their business or maintain their livelihood.
Radio and television were, in their infancy, openly available to ordinary people of modest means to broadcast their own individual messages, if only locally. Now, the internet provides the same ability to any ordinary citizen or small business ... but on an unbelievably vast, world wide scale!
This could, quite easily, all go away – as happened with radio and television – unless we act now to save the internet.
Support Net Neutrality!
Pass it on.
The Democratic Activist