Article 43

 

Democracy Hollowed Out Part 31 - Net Neutrality Dies

censorship.jpg

Internet Censorship 2013

Nine years ago Al Gore made a couple of GOOD POINTS about an open internet:

We must ensure that the Internet remains open and accessible to all citizens without any limitation on the ability of individuals to choose the content they wish regardless of the Internet service provider they use to connect to the Worldwide Web.

...in order to reclaim our birthright, we Americans must resolve to repair the systemic decay of the public forum and create new ways to engage in a genuine and not manipulative conversation about our future.

Since then, CISPA and SOPA tried to take away net neutrality.  Those initiatives have had LIMITED SUCCESS, until yesterday.  More on that below.

Al’s other point about open forums deserves equal attention.

Today, I write at a lot of places, and increasingly after opening dialogues about the poor, unemployed, unchecked corporatism, or direction this country is going in - posts are met with indifference, invalidation, and downright hostility.

But the worst and scariest thing over 2013 has been how posts I made on political forums of members of the US Government - have been deleted, and me banned from their sites.

ITS ONE THING that people would rather distance themselves from things they DON’T WANT TO DEAL WITH, but when the Facebook page of a US Congressman contains no other posts but his one-sided rhetoric, and praises from his followers, because everything else was censored out - we passed ANOTHER MILESTONE in the squelching of free expression and open communication.

The internet has become as bad as TV - a one sided pulpit for politicians to spew their propaganda - not an open forum.

Can it get worse?

Yes.

Internet Censorship 2014

Save the Intenet REPORTS:

On Jan. 14, 2014, the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C., struck down the Federal Communications Commissions Open Internet Order. In other words, Net Neutrality is dead (for now).

Wired TELLS US:

“Without high-level rules of the road, or other replacement high-level rules, the broadband carriers are free to discriminate and block content from consumers,” Chris Lewis, a vice president at digital rights group Public Knowledge, said in a telephone interview.

And the Huffington Post URGES US:

Now, just as Verizon promised it would in court, the biggest broadband providers will race to turn the open and vibrant Web into something that looks like cable TV—where they pick and choose the channels for you. They’ll establish fast lanes for the few giant companies that can afford to pay exorbitant tolls and reserve the slow lanes for everyone else.

We need strong protections and sensible policies to ensure the Internet continues to thrive and prosper. But to make that happen the millions of people who have fought for Net Neutrality—and the millions more who have rallied against Web-censorship bills like SOPA/PIPA and outrages like the NSA’s unchecked spying and surveillance—rise up like never before.

Together we can fight back against these greedy Internet service providers. We can save the Internet we love. But we have to act now.

I’m talking about the United States, NOT THE USSR or GREAT FIREWALL of CHINA.

Posted by Elvis on 01/15/14 •
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