Monday, July 23, 2007

Free Market of Ideas: Net Neutrality Activists

Unless you have a production and distribution budget the size of Universal Studios', and plan to never use the Internet, you should be concerned about this.

Ever since it became the latest biggest thing in mass media since movable type, powers that be have been trying to rein in the Internet.

I became concerned about this a few years ago when both liberal and conservative activists teamed up to "protect" the masses from the Wild, Wicked Web. And no, although they seemed to perceive the online world that way, they did not call it that.

I'm no fan of a great deal of what's online, and this family has measures in place to shield our kids from inappropriate content. Even so, my belief is:

A free and open Internet is dangerous only to those who fear the open exchange of ideas.

There are quite a few organizations and people who are also concerned. This is a short, and none-too-well-selected list:

Save The Internet

Save The Internet: the YouTube video

Net Neutrality: 21 days left to save the Internet on ghosts in the machine.

It's a little late, now, for ghosts in the machine's petition, but the same site has an update: What's next for net neutrality?. I sincerely hope that, as the article says, the "FCC will advocate the hands-off approach supported by the recent FTC report.... Stay tuned…"

For what it's worth, what follows is the text of a letter I contributed to Save The Internet. If you write a letter on this yourself, please - re-write this - use your own words - do not just cut and paste the text. The effectiveness of written pleas approaches zero when they're palpably copies of someone else's thoughts.

I am extremely concerned about the issue of "net neutrality" which has been discussed by many of my friends and acquaintances.

The Internet has been a wonderful opportunity for people, all people, to get involved in public debates: to share ideas, thoughts, and information, whether it passes approval of editors, studio executives, and others who control traditional mass media.

I beg of you, "please vote for enforceable network neutrality and keep tollbooths, gatekeepers, and discrimination off my Internet."

A free and open Internet is dangerous only to those who fear the open exchange of ideas.

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