Tuesday, April 25, 2006

save the internet - support net neutrality

The Internet as we know it is in danger. Congress may pass a radical new law that would give giant corporations control over the Internet. Communications giants like Verizon and AT&T are lobbying Congress in an attempt to have Network Neutrality gutted and hung to dry -- this would allow them to purposively slow down the loading rate of certain sites, causing a bidding war between websites in an attempt to ensure a fast download rate for their viewers. For instance, Amazon and Barnes & Noble would be forced to enter a bidding war, otherwise networks like Verizon could slow down the rate at which users could load a certain site. If the website owners don't pay up to the big corporations, they risk a slow processing time for their viewers. This is a huge issue that affects every single Internet user. You can learn more about the threat here.

It is imperative that we tell Congress to vote in favor of Network Neutrality. The House Committee on Energy and Commerce will vote this week on the issue; three members of Congress that represent North Texas sit on this committee and will have a say. If you are represented by Rep. Ralph Hall of the 4th Congressional District or Rep. Michael Burgess of the 26th Congressional District, please contact your Representatives and let them know where you stand. The third North Texas, a Republican from the 6th District, is the sponsor of the bill. Joe Barton represents parts of Ellis County and Tarrant County. We probably can't change his mind, but we can certainly flood his mailbox with angry letters. Hall and Burgess are both Republicans, but this should not be a partisan issue. It will affect all of us negatively, Republican or Democrat. It is certainly plausible that Hall and Burgess can be persuaded to vote for the preservation of Net Neutrality.

Please consider joining the diverse coalition to save the Internet: MoveOn PAC, Craig Newmark (founder of Craigslist), Google executive Vint Cerf, the American Library Association, the Gun Owners of America, Common Cause, the American Civil Liberties Union, the National Religious Broadcasters, and the Consumer Federation of America are all teaming up to support Network Neutrality. Visit the coalition website to Save the Internet right now and find out how you can help the cause.

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