Sunday, August 29, 2010

The End of Net Neutrality and What That Means for Democracy

Craig Aaron, Managing Director of Free Press, has a must read article at Huffington Press about the dangers of the Google-Verizon Pact. Here are a few excerpts from his must read article:

"What Google and Verizon are proposing is fake Net Neutrality. You can read their framework for yourself here or go here to see Google twisting itself in knots about this suddenly "thorny issue." But here are the basics of what the two companies are proposing:

1. Under their proposal, there would be no Net Neutrality on wireless networks -- meaning anything goes, from blocking websites and applications to pay-for-priority treatment.

2. Their proposed standard for "non-discrimination" on wired networks is so weak that actions like Comcast's widely denounced blocking of BitTorrent would be allowed.

3. The deal would let ISPs like Verizon -- instead of Internet users like you -- decide which applications deserve the best quality of service. That's not the way the Internet has ever worked, and it threatens to close the door on tomorrow's innovative applications. (If RealPlayer had been favored a few years ago, would we ever have gotten YouTube?)

4. The deal would allow ISPs to effectively split the Internet into "two pipes" -- one of which would be reserved for "managed services," a pay-for-play platform for content and applications. This is the proverbial toll road on the information superhighway, a fast lane reserved for the select few, while the rest of us are stuck on the cyber-equivalent of a winding dirt road."

Majia here: The internet offers the best access to information that has ever existed in human history.

I read analyses, news reports, personal experiences, raw data, etc on the Internet. I particularly enjoy the wide array of viewpoints available. THIS WILL BE COMPROMISED by a system that allows some companies to pay for faster internet delivery.

Our democracy is under siege and the discussions about why, how, and what to do about it are found on the Internet.

The new system will enable censorship so that audiences will only have access to sites that pay for their delivery and/or that are deemed pro-consumer.

The net will constrict and constrain rather than expand and embrace....

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