Net Neutrality Links
I’m adding this link to the Net Neutrality Page.
For more than a year, telecom lobbyists, who include former Bill Clinton press secretary Mike McCurry, have outgunned Scott and his ragtag army of bloggers, Internet entrepreneurs and consumer-rights activists on Capitol Hill. But on this fall day in his bare-bones office in Washington, Scott is grinning in victory. He knows he has succeeded in tripping up the lobbying goliaths with a simple weapon that couldn’t be more appropriate in the battle over the Internet: a low-budget video posted on YouTube.com.
In the unadorned black-and-white film, college kids sit in front of a webcam and talk about the evils of an Internet without Net neutrality. “Do you want companies to control your clicks?” a goateed young man asks the camera. “This means slower connections to sites that are under competing ISPs,” another says. “Let’s keep the Internet free!” After a guitar solo and a hazy image of the American flag, the video goes black and directs viewers to SavetheInternet.com.
In the first week after it was posted on YouTube on Aug. 17, the video was viewed over 350,000 times, according to figures provided by the site. By comparison, the infamous “macaca” video of Virginia Sen. George Allen calling a man of Indian decent the racial slur, was viewed 200,000 times in roughly the same amount of time. A testament to the power of viral marketing, the Net neutrality video “is doing the work of 30 full-time communications professionals,” [Ben] Scott [coordinator of SavetheInternet] says. “And the best part is, I have no idea who made it.”
In fact, the video was made in a little over an hour by Ben Going, a 21-year-old waiter from Huntsville, Ala., and an aspiring Internet filmmaker. Going says he pieced the video together because he feels that his hobby, his business, his way of life, is under attack. He is not alone. All summer long, hundreds of Web users like Going have flooded the Internet with videos and blog postings. An online petition in favor of Net neutrality has gathered more than 1.1 million signatures, and a letter-writing campaign spawned online has resulted in a flood of letters to Congress members. Barry Piatt, communications director for Sen. Byron Dorgan of North Dakota, a leading Net neutrality advocate, says his office has received close to 1 million letters on Net neutrality, “a virtually unprecedented level” of mail for any issue, let alone one as technical as this one. And the “overwhelming majority” of the letters, Piatt says, favor Net neutrality.
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The battle erupted in the wake of a 2005 Supreme Court ruling, which changed the regulatory classification of ISPs and removed the nondiscrimination protections on the Internet. Facing fewer restrictions on how they could govern the Internet, the likes of AT&T and Verizon made no secret that they intended to create a lucrative Internet fast lane, open only to Web sites that can pay. Critics quickly responded that an Internet where only those who can pay the rent can display their wares will stifle innovation and choice. “Consumers will have all of the choices and selection of a former Soviet Union supermarket,” says Maine Sen. Olympia Snowe, a key ally of Net neutrality.
Here is the link for the above referred to YouTube videol: Save the Internet
–ME “Liz” Strauss
NET NEUTRALITY PAGE