May 25, 2006
-- by Dave Johnson
Update -- WE WON! Go read.
The Republicans are trying to "deregulate" the Internet. They're about to allow the big telecommunications companies to decide which websites their customers (YOU) can and can't see. This is what "Net Neutrality" is about. If you are against letting big companies decide what websites you can see, that means you are in favor of Net Neutrality.
MAKE NO MISTAKE about what this will mean. In the 1980s the Republicans "deregulated" radio and television by getting rid of the Fairness Doctrine and allowing a few big companies to buy up all the stations, and now you can't turn on the radio without hearing that conservatives are good and liberals are bad. And you will not ever see a representative of organized labor on your television telling you about the benefits of joining a union. In the South the ONLY viewpoint you ever hear is the Republican Party viewpoint. MAKE NO MISTAKE about what "deregulating" the Internet will mean. It means they will ban BuzzFlash, and DailyKos, and Digby and any other voice that speaks out against the corporate takeover of your country.
Here is what you can do today. Matt Stoller has a post up at MyDD with a list of members of Congress to call TODAY. Matt says
Urge them to support the bipartisan Sensenbrenner-Conyers Net Neutrality bill (HR 5417) in the Judiciary Committee on Thursday -- and to support it without amendment. Saying without amendment is key.Here is the list:
Howard Berman (D-Calif. 28th)
William Delahunt (D-Mass. 10th)
Phone: (202) 225-3111
Fax: (202) 225-5658
Sheila Jackson-Lee (D-Texas 18th)
(202) 225-3816 phone
(202) 225-3317 Fax
Marty Meehan (D-Mass. 5th)
Phone: (202) 225-3411
Fax: (202) 226-0771
Bobby Scott (D-Va. 3rd)
Phone: (202) 225-8351
Fax: (202) 225-8354
Chris Van Hollen (D-Md. 8th)
Phone: (202) 225-5341
Fax: (202) 225-0375
Maxine Waters (D-Calif. 35th)
Phone: (202) 225-2201
Fax: (202) 225-7854
Mel Watt (D-N.C. 12th)
Tel. (202) 225-1510
Fax (202) 225-1512
Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y. 9th)
Phone: (202) 225-6616
Fax: (202) 226-7253
Robert Wexler (D-Fla. 19th)
phone: (202) 225-3001
fax: (202) 225-5974
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If they manage to get away with this, I guess we'll have to go back to the old pre-WWW system of e-mail lists. I'd subscribe to any list sending out information that was previously a website that got banned. I know that some of these must get millions of hits, but so what? The details could be worked out.
If there's any doubt how ugly it could get, just consider that when our soldiers go online, they cannot look at any political sites or blogs on the left. They can only access Fox News, O'Reilly, etc. The censorship technology that China uses can and will be implemented here overnight if they really want to.
Private businesses can't do censorship, they can only disassociate themselves from things they don't like. Censorship is when the government outright bans something from publication, like communist dictatorships do.
I've argued with Dave about this before, no company has any intention of singling out political sites here, let alone any sites. Shareholders don't like controversy, and controversy would come BIG time if they tried to block access to BuzzFlash.
Didn't Rage Against the Machine put out all their albums on Sony records? Sony isn't in the business of making political judgments, just making money. Same is true of the telcos and cablecos. They don't care if you're visiting BillOReilly.com or AirAmerica.com -- they just want to make sure you reup at the end of the month!
Simple fact - on American television you will not see a union representative talking about why people should join unions. Period.
Simple fact - within 5 minutes of net "deregulation" passing, you will not be able to see any websites that advocate unionizing telecommunications companies. Does ANYONE question this?
Deregulating the internet and letting the big corproations decided - instead of the public - which information sources you see would ENABLE those big corporations to keep you from getting information that you currently can't get from the corporate-owned TV and radio and newspapers and magazines.
Currently you CAN get information on the internet. If this is "deregulated" the fox is in charge of the information chicked coop. Why risk that? Especially when we already KNOW what happened to TV news, etc. when IT was deregulated.
Posted by: Dave Johnson at May 26, 2006 12:32 PM
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