Thursday, May 18, 2006

Ted Stevens vs. net neutrality

Senator Stevens' telecom bill will change internet regulation such that internet servers can distort what appears on a search or limit content posted according to what you can pay--or perhaps, what they don't want you to see. Here's what Buzzflash has to say about it:
The United States Congress is currently drafting a bill known as “The Communications Opportunity, Promotion and Efficiency Act of 2006”, known as “COPE.” This means privatizing the Internet, by allowing such private corporations as AT&T, BellSouth, Verizon and others to actually own it, and, in the process operate the Internet and other digital communications services as private networks. The bill very, very clearly states that “certain classes of Internet providers may-- not unreasonably-- impair, interfere, restrict or limit applications or services such as Web sites or voice-over IP phone connections.”
So the public will no longer have open access to the web. We'll only have what the big guys want us to see (unless we already know exactly where the information is, or the info provider happens to find a free and open service provider). Read Josh Silver's discussion of the regulations and net neutrality--and the megabucks these companies are trying to make off us.

And this bill is all very chummy, as Jason Lee Miller points out in his column: Stevens' biggest campaign contributors include those who would benefit most by this legislation--News Corp., Verizon, Viacom, AT&T, Sprint...are we surprised that our senator is apparently bought and paid for?

The San Francisco Chronicle describes how this works, and how the House dropped net neutrality. In the Senate, in an example of typical Democrat thought inversion, Hawaii Senator Daniel Inouye agreed to cosponsor Stevens' version of the bill: "My not a demonstration of support for the bill itself." Uh, isn't co-sponsorship supposed to BE support for what you sponsor? It sure functions that way...

Stevens' rationale is that the FCC should monitor the market over a five-year period and then figure out what to do, which sounds reasonable, except that, of course, his bill will already establish or allow certain reprehensible practices, as per above.

Save the has more on this, as does Free

The full committee hearing statements and webcast are here.


RogerARTcom said...



OK 2 copy and PASS IT ON image at...

Anonymous said...

Good article but..most of the links here are 404s.

Can this be fixed?

Deirdre Helfferich said...

Linkage fixed! I hope...seems okay now, anyway.

Robert Ellman said...

This bill is truly an assault on democracy. What are they afraid of? Answer, bloggers like us speak truth to power.