Why Phone and Cable Companies Want to Kill the Internet’s Most Democratic Right
Lobbyists representing phone and cable companies have now reorganized and doubled down on disinformation campaigns. They are crying censorship against advocates who want to preserve the built-in democracy of the Internet that guarantees everyone a voice.
After all, corporations are people, folks. Therefore, net neutrality advocates are interfering with these large companies free speech rights.
Industry-funded think tanks have argued that any enforceable effort to protect the open Internet denies phone and cable companies their First Amendment right “by compelling them to convey content providers’ messages with which they may disagree.”
This specious argument asserts that these large companies are de facto editors of Internet content and in that role they should be able to delimit the free speech of the rest of us. News flash: they are not the “owners” of the Internet.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will soon announce its new rules. Will the Internet be re-established as a common carrier, like all other public utilities, or will it allow large corporations own the Internet, charging more for privileged “fast lanes” (a cost to be passed on to consumers) and relegating the rest of us to wobbly “slow lanes” or no lane at all because your content has been censored?
Here is what you need to know . . .
Returning the Internet to the widely used common-carrier standard is what these industry types fear most. It’s a fear that has reached a fever pitch after an overwhelming majority of the public urged the FCC to protect real Net Neutrality and reclassify broadband providers as common carriers under Title II of the Communications Act.
“Are your phone lines censored? Are enterprise lines censored? Are mobile voice services censored? All of these are common carriers. We need the same assurances with our Internet communications.” (Marvin Ammori, a First Amendment scholar and Internet policy consultant, Washington, D.C.)
Any two-way communications network that serves the public is not supposed to block, degrade or otherwise unreasonably discriminate in the transmission of the content it carries across its networks.
Why do we so often champion net neutrality? Believing as we do that all oppression and coercive systems by governments, corporations, and religious hierarchies stand in the way of economic and social justice (and peace), it is important that the powerless always have an unhindered voice. Human rights deserve, need, our active protection whether pertaining equality rights, sexual freedom, the environment, immigration, etc., and the end of all war and racism. For more, check out our related manifesto.
What’s your issue? What do you feel passionately about? Let us know what you are doing. If you are just going to sit there, get up and get busy, okay?