Rally at 3 p.m. this afternoon #OpNSA
If you are a long-time reader here, you know why this matters—otherwise, scroll down.
(Sorry for quick post; crazy busy day.)
It seems to me, from what I have read, that the FCC is playing lip service to an open Internet and ”Net Neutrality, but going ahead with plans to discriminate based on payments. We have Congressional representatives conservative and liberal in favor; the president has said that his is in favor, but that it is not his decision (funny how htat works; he seems to pick and choose what he will decide on his own. )
We must PUSH! Speak out!
BREAKING (at least for me; I have not been on the ’Net since this morning): FCC voted to end ’Net Neutrality, not to regulate the ’Net as a common carrier. Massive outcry to all 5 commissioners is needed; some of them expressed concerns. Check with Daily Kos, EFF, etc. Verizon and ATT are against us; Netflix, Google, Amazon support ’Net neutrality.
Occupy the FCC—a group led, I believe, by Fight for the Future, together with EFF and others, have been camped outside the FCC in Washington, D.C. waiting for today’s meeting. The FCC has proposed tw0-tiered Internet service, with preferred (read paying) content providers getting faster speeds. They claim that no speeds would be reduced, that they would just accelerate some—but that is not the point. Once other speeds are accelerated, what we now consider “normal”—which already varies based on the equipment with which one accesses the ’Net—would seem quite slow, and the preference would be for the sites of those entities who can afford to pay to stay in the fast lane—certainly not most of “the 99%”, not those involved in sociopolitical activism.
Already, there have been petitions, and Tom Wheeler (@FCCTomWheeler), chairperson of the FCC, has responded (at least I have received an e-mail in reply to one I signed) that he [paraphrasing; will edit when I can get back to my e-mail] “believes in an open Internet”—interesting, as he has been promoting the two-tiered approach.
We do have a partial victory—the FCC is seeking public comment on regulating the Internet as a public utility. This seems right to me; like (almost exactly) telephone service, like water or electricity, the Internet, for better or worse (mostly, I think, better, until I wonder about what skills we might have lost) has become virtually a necessity; certainly enables us to do as much as we do and communicate more efficiently (although sometimes not as personally; we can also drown in information overload). Telephone companies are considered “common carriers”, all phone calls are created equal—so must be all Internet communication.
So our site did not participate, but I hope that everyone visiting here did—and that we all keep fighting. This from EFF: https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2014/02/how-big-was-day-we-fight-back
. . . but that does not mean that we are not aware of what is happening, fighting on our own. Speaking for myself, I came here a couple of days ago to figure out how to put up the banner for “The Day We Fight Back”, yesterday (ugh!) and failed miserably—tech challenged. My time would have been better spent writing a post, as I am doing now.
The letter that was sent by those who clicked on the links presented in that banner hit on various Internet issues, including our own FISA, but also SOPA, the TPP, etc.
I hope everyone has been following the TPP information—TransPacific Partnership. It seems that, from what has been leaked/reported about these secret negotiations, the main elements of SOPA—the Stop Online Piracy Act that was defeated by public outcry last year—are included in the TPP. This takes it out of U.S.A. jurisdiction, makes it global and gives our government a pass—they can say that their hands are tied, they are just following the international agreement. Please, get involved—there are weekly conference calls on Sundays, “TPP Tuesday” Twitter storms weekly, and probably more where you live.
Yes, we still care—we are also very busy, but let’s all find a bit of time to keep abreast of these issues, and communicate wherever we are.
So we kicked the surveillance state in the shins a little bit yesterday.
Originally posted on Montgomery County Civil Rights Coalition:
On Saturday, December 7, 2013, two carloads of activists drove to the NSA headquarters at Fort Meade to demonstrate against the U.S. surveillance state.
They unfurled banners over US-295 with a simple message:
Save America – Close the NSA.
[videography, sound by N. van der Sluys, T. Nephew; for a sharper image while playing
the videos, click the settings "gear" icon (lower right menu) and select 720p HD]
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The action, organized by the Bill of Rights Defense Committee with activists from Code Pink, Restore the Fourth, and the Montgomery County Civil Rights Coalition, helps kick off similar protests around the country leading up to the Bill of Rights Day on December 15th.