Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. (Amendment I)
The amendment contains no ‘Unless…’ clause. Nor, admittedly, does it expressly name freedom of the people to access the internet. So why does net neutrality continue to be such a hot political topic, even at it remains one of the unspoken issues in the lamestream media (yes, on this topic, I’ll tip my hat to Sarah P. for that moniker)?
Certainly unemployment, wars in Afghanistan and Libya, national debt, and flooding along the Mississippi have taken most of the attention of most Americans. Yet the debate overrages on in Congress, and our on this issue in previous posts.
Last week, Democrat from Minnesota, continued his fight to ensure the survival of net neutrality as major internet, cable, and cell-phone service providers try to build tiers and toll booths through the system. His 20-minute speech is presented here:
Nonprofits, greening organizations, and charities should be especially engaged in this issue, as their abilities to reach their constituents along the same network and at the same speed as Microsoft, BP, and Philip Morris International is entirely dependent on the neutrality of the net. Once it goes, you are at the mercy of your provider. So are these (and many other) corporations, of course – but they can afford to pay the tolls. Can your organization?
Have you not heard about the issue on the news? Read about it in the papers? Seen it posted on national news websites? Why should you? Those very corporations will be able to afford to get through the hoops tele/web providers want to establish, giving them advantage over any smaller competitors. Which will only further reduce the media landscape to a dozen or so providers.
Now, imagine recent events in the middle east if the net were not neutral: freedom of speech would have been abridged simply because people could not afford to get their tweets from Tahrir Square out before the government sent out its counter-messages. Which means others might not have heard about the assembly taking place. Which would lessen the impact of their efforts to petition their governments to redress grievances. Now, they just have to be shot.
Fortunately for network providers in the US, most Americans are not aware of the issue, because same lamestream media is not going to tell them about it. Unfortunately, according to another good line from the eighteenth century (usually attributed to Edmund Burke): “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.”