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I despise politics in the gym, on Facebook and this website, but there is an issue coming up before congress . . . again, that is going to shape so many aspects of our future I have to bring it to your attention.
If you already know what I am talking about, hit the link below to call your congressmen. Tell them you won't re-elect someone who repeals internet neutrality. Seriously, call them.
Here is what is going on again:
Congress is discussing a FCC Proposal (designed by the current FCC Chairman who is a former Verizon Lawyer) to once again try to roll back the protections placed on the internet by congress in 2015.
Net Neutrality is the right for everything and everyone to have the same "weight" on the internet from Amazon to porn, cat videos to academic research, Facebook to mom and pop shops. The internet, which was designed and freely given away to the public by its creator Tim Berners. (TED talk link) is potentially going to be consolidated into the hands of a select few corporate juggernauts.
This matter relates to:
Human Rights: The Arab Spring and other protests were largely organized and via the internet. Wikileaks - (link) and it's ability for whistle blowers and citizen oversight and The Panama Papers - (link) with its massive disclosure of US and World wide government corruption, wouldn't exist with out the internet. These are just a few of countless examples where the internet has helped concerned citizens have the power to play David against government Goliaths.
Freedom of Speech: Stripping away internet protections would give the power (and price) of what we are able to view on the internet to four major corporations (AT&T, Time Warner, Comcast and Verizon), who have already been proven to act in violations of the laws currently in place. Have you ever had a customer service problem with these companies already? They would literally have the power to turn every cat video into an advertisement. It would be impossible for anyone not already in league with these Service Providers to get their word out.
Consolidation of Corporate Power: The internet is how we research, find and buy goods. If this power was limited to just four companies who chose what we get to view and purchase, how would the Mom and Pop shops ever compete on a global level? The short answer is they wouldn't. This would be the largest consolidation of corporate power in American History and the literal death knell of the American "Bootstrap" Dream.
So get on the horn and let congress know that this is important to its constituents. To do nothing is to be complacent with the stripping of your liberty. The world and most of us existed without the internet, but the world is never going to be without some version of it going forward. You can now take action to make sure that it is free for all, as it was designed, and not another act of corporate over reach.
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