Fighting for Internet Freedom
by Stephen Lendman
A previous article discussed Obama's war to destroy it. In 2008, he pledged support. He called "preserv(ing) the benefits of open competition on the Internet" essential.
He lied saying so. He's waging war on free expression. He prioritizes intellectual property protection over Internet freedom.
He's targeting it for elimination altogether. He appointed corporatist Tom Wheeler FCC chairman. He deplores Internet freedom.
He wants pay-to-play fast lanes. They're polar opposite Net Neutrality. They play favorites. They banish others to slow lanes.
Pay more, get more. Pay less, get left behind. Doing so weakens Internet freedom en route to destroying it altogether.
Prioritizing Internet data is a zero-sum game. Unless congestion exists, web sites don't pay extra for special treatment.
Wheeler's scheme encourages congestion. It does so through artificial scarcity. It charges more per bit. It denies Internet fairness.
It undermines level playing field conditions. Existing ones made the Internet a powerful opportunity engine.
Wheeler's pay-to-play scheme profoundly damages competition. Internet startups can't afford extra costs.
They're prevented from reaching customers at competitive speeds. Nor can most web companies.
Wheeler rules make ISPs subscriber gatekeepers. An April 24 FCC statement lied, saying:
Proposed new rules won't let ISPs "act in a commercially unreasonable manner to harm the Internet, including favoring the traffic from an affiliated entity."
At the same time, ISPs will decide how "commercially reasonable" will be interpreted. They'll take full advantage. Maximizing profits matters most.
On May 15, Free Press.net headlined "The Fight to Save the Internet in ON." It called it "historic."
"The rally outside the FCC was inspiring: Hundreds of people (and even some kids) chanted, drummed and streamed into the FCC demanding reclassification and real Net Neutrality," it said.
Thousands more are taking action online at: may15.savetheinternet.com.
For weeks, millions of Americans put FCC officials on notice. They demanded Net Neutrality be preserved.
They called an Internet without it unacceptable. FCC procedure requires a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM).
It's a four month window. People are invited to comment. Protecting Net Neutrality demands it. FCC members must respond. Much depends on their final ruling.
They betrayed millions of Net Neutrality supporters. Obama was disturbingly silent. He broke his campaign pledge. He breached all other major ones.
On May 15, FCC commissioners voted 3 -2 against Net Neutrality. They endorsed pay-to-play rules. They discriminate unfairly.
They let telecom giants charge unjustifiably higher prices. They'll do so for service everyone deserves.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation urged everyone "to speak up, early, and often." It created a tool to do so. Visit www.DearFCC.org.
"It's our Internet," it says. "We made it, and it has re-made us, changing the way we communicate, learn, share and create.
We want the Internet to continue to live up to its promise, fostering innovation, creativity and freedom."
"We don't want regulations that will turn our ISPs into gatekeepers, making special deals with the few companies that can pay to play and inhibiting new competition, innovation and expression. Start your letter to the FCC:
Net neutrality, the principle that Internet service providers (ISPs) should treat all data that travels over their networks equally, is important to me because without it users may have fewer options and a less diverse Internet.
ISP could have too much power to determine my Internet experience by providing better access to some services but not others.
A pay-to-play Internet worries me because ISPs could act as the gatekeepers to their subscribers. New, innovative services that can't afford expensive fees for better service will be less likely to succeed.
Use this space to explain why the future of the Internet matters to you. Tell your story. Here's an example:
The Internet is important to me because, as a college business student, I need to know that there will not be barriers to entry for the new ideas and services that I hope to bring to the marketplace.
If ISP subscribers have an easier time loading websites of existing companies than my new innovative product, there's no way that I will be able to compete or succeed."
Free Press urged speaking out for Internet freedom. "As this fight stretches into the fall, we'll repeat our demands over and over again," it said:
"No fast lanes on the Internet. We need REAL Net Neutrality."
"We'll file comments with the FCC. We'll urge President Obama to reiterate his support for the open Internet."
"We'll step up our organizing - online, in the streets and on Capitol Hill."
"We'll keep the issue front and center in the news and in people's minds. At every turn we'll remind the FCC that it works for us, not the ISPs."
"We won't stop fighting until we win, no matter how long it takes. With you by our side we know we'll get there."
Free Press created a web site to highlight its activity. To get everyone involved. Go there. Use it:
Go to may15.savetheinternet.com to take action and spread the word.
Act now. Demand Wheeler scrap his rules. Demand Congress back Internet freedom. Urge members to support Net Neutrality.
Tell others to do the same thing. Prevent telecom giants from destroying level playing field fairness.
We're all in this together. It's our fight to win or lose.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III." http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.
It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs. http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour