Save the Bits!

OK, this may not be directly a transportation issue (actually, for me it is, since my primary mode of commuting is telecommuting), but anyone who uses the blogosphere should be concerned about this.

One of the basic guiding principals that has made the Internet successful is that all packets are equal (this is sometimes expressed by saying that all the intelligence in the network is at the edges, the middle is dumb and transparent). The idea is that everyone’s content moves on an equal basis. You may opt to pay for a different sized pipe at the edge, but in the middle, everyone is equal.

Several large telecom providers are asking congress to change that model. Moveon has a petition opposing this, which I have signed on to, and I urge all of you to do so as well.

Subject: Congress is selling out the Internet

Hi,

Do you buy books online, use Google, or download to an Ipod? These activities will be hurt if Congress passes a radical law that gives giant corporations more control over the Internet.

Internet providers like AT&T and Verizon are lobbying Congress hard to gut Network Neutrality, the Internet’s First Amendment. Net Neutrality prevents AT&T from choosing which websites open most easily for you based on which site pays AT&T more. Amazon.com doesn’t have to outbid Barnes & Noble for the right to work more properly on your computer.

Politicians don’t think we are paying attention to this issue. Many of them take campaign checks from big telecom companies and are on the verge of selling out to people like AT&T’s CEO, who openly says, “The internet can’t be free.”

The free and open Internet is under siege–can you sign this petition letting your member of Congress know you support preserving Network Neutrality? Click here:

http://www.civic.moveon.org/save_the_internet

A list of all the ways you might be affected by Net Neutrality is located on the bottom of this link: http://civic.moveon.org/alerts/savetheinternet.html

Thanks!

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