SUPPORT 'NET NEUTRALITY'
Fears are growing that Comcast, Verizon, AT&T, Time Warner and other Internet Service Providers are going to limit Web access of their smaller, less powerful customers or -- in a potentially grave threat to the First Amendment -- restrict downloading capabilities of sites they find (for reasons political or otherwise) offensive.
This is leading to enough concern that members of Congress are becoming involved and, in fact, a bill recently was introduced addressing the matter.
Congressman John Conyers of Michigan said:
"Americans have come to expect the Internet to be open to everyone. The Internet was designed without centralized control, without gatekeepers for content and services. If we allow companies with monopoly or duopoly power to control how the Internet operates, network providers could have the power to choose what content is available."
The legislation introduced on May 8th by Democrats requires Internet Service Providers "to operate their network in a reasonable and nondiscriminatory manner so that all content, applications and services are treated the same and have an equal opportunity to reach consumers."
Republicans and ISP's have opposed the measure, saying it is a "solution in search of a problem."
But some believe that Comcast in particular has already been found to limit access of smaller customers, especially during times of heavy Net traffic.
The movement against this perceived ISP threat is being called "Net Neutrality," which is defined as "the fundamental principle that prevents service providers from discriminating against websites or services based on their source, ownership or destination."
And the group that is pushing the issue, and trying recruit Netizens into its cause, is SaveTheInternet. [Click the opening image or the link to the left of here to find out more about them and/or how to join the movement.]
Bill Moyers, for one, has been expressing serious worries about this threat to the free nature of the Internet.
The Democracy of the Net is at stake, and it's extremely meaningful that figures of Moyers' stature are becoming so involved.