Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Net Neutrality is in the House

The Markey Amendment was attached to the COPE bill in the House. Many people have joined the argument about Net Neutrality. I mentioned a video to explain it yesterday, but I think stories are just as good, especially this one from TV star Alyssa Milano on her blog. From her post:
Imagine, wanting to donate money to a charity and not being able to open the non-profit’s web page because of the charity’s inability to afford the dominant Internet provider’s fees required to make the page efficient? Imagine the millions of life saving dollars these charities will lose if lobbyists get their way? What if your child is sick and you can’t gain access to a support group’s page because the support group can’t afford the fees? Or even scarier, imagine not gaining speedy access to a politician’s views because the specific provider is against his or her ideology? Don’t think it could happen? Wal-Mart refuses to fill certain prescriptions because they are ethically against them. Why couldn’t the corporations limit our access to information they are against? They could, especially if large Internet providers like AT&T are successful in their current behind-the-scenes campaign to get Congress to gut Network Neutrality—the Internet’s First Amendment and the key to Internet freedom. Network Neutrality is the idea that all information online is treated equally, so Internet companies have to make the smallest blog just as accessible as the largest corporate website.A major communications law is moving through Congress right now and will likely pass—it will either have a section bolstering Network Neutrality or hurting it. The big companies want to defeat the “Markey Amendment” which will preserve Internet freedom. It comes up for a vote starting this week in a House committee, and will come up later in the full House and Senate as well. The only way the “Markey Amendment” will pass is if we speak up.

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