Les hommes de génie sont des météores destinés à brûler pour éclairer leur siècle.
Men of genius are shooting stars destined to burn to light their century.
Once again, the Battle for the Net is at a critical juncture.
Please don’t turn away from this post. This concerns your Internet, your one historic refuge from powerful government and corporations.
The Internet is at war. Although it is winning, it is still at risk of being suffocated by special interest groups hellbent on curtailing democracy. If you don’t stop them, they’ll slow your Internet to a crawl. If the Internet isn’t protected by the law, cable companies will be able to create “fast lanes”, making the Internet go the way the television networks already are: an utterly useless medium to anyone but that bunch of super-rich, 0.01% scumbags who get all the attention.
Big cable companies are hiring their natural allies, members of the right-wing lunatic fringe, to protect their desire to slow the Internet down and serve the interests of those giant companies at the expense of everyday American consumers and smaller businesses. Their story now is that Title II reclassification of the Internet in the United States, which President Obama and the vast majority of the American public support, will result in greater taxes on consumers. Some big morons on the blogosphere have even bought this sugar-coated poison pill and thus hired out their bodies and souls to corporate greed. Whether or not they are being paid by Comcast to do this performance, or just idiots who have no comprehension of the facts, is irrelevant. What they are saying is a blatant lie. An example of the ads that have targeted lawmakers and constituents, as shown on callcomcast.org:
To prevent this humongous lie from gaining more recognition and acceptance among lawmakers, Internet freedom activists have called upon the general public to bombard the industry shills and their political puppets in Congress with the truth. Title II reclassification, as supported by the President, is the only way to go to protect the Internet as a public necessity.
Comcast’s lobbyists are spreading lies to destroy the Internet. Stop them.
Comcast and their lobbying group NCTA have lost the debate, so now they’re blanketing Washington DC with advertisements that lie, to trick Congress into killing net neutrality. We can’t let them subvert democracy.
You don’t have to take it from Team Internet activists, the experts on Internet freedom, or me. The reality is confirmed by none other than the writer of the Internet Tax Freedom Act, Oregon Senator Ron Wyden:
The claim: If the FCC reclassifies broadband Internet access as a “common carrier” under Title II, consumers could be stuck with new taxes by state and local governments.
In a word: Baloney.
Net Neutrality is not going to invalidate the Internet Tax Freedom Act (ITFA).
My colleagues and I knew people would try to tax the Internet if they could. So in ITFA Congress broadly defined the term “Internet access.” It is illegal to tax the internet. Under Title II or otherwise. The FCC could define the Internet as a series of tubes and ITFA would still prohibit taxes.
The “grandfather clause” in ITFA will not allow cities to suddenly open the Internet up to telecom taxes. If the FCC reclassifies broadband Internet, it will not change if states taxed Internet access before 1998. The FCC has broad authority, but it cannot rewrite history.
So there it is. The choice is either to trust the law and the elected officials entrusted to maintain it, or to trust the promises of the lobbying group NCTA, which represents the very cable companies whose greedy designs on the Internet have led to this need for stronger laws protecting its openness and its tradition as an engine of the alternative media.