It’s a very boring-sounding issue, but net neutrality deserves our attention immediately. The chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, Ajit Pai, is proposing Internet Service Providers, such as AT&T, Verizon, Comcast, etc, have the right to regulate, to speed up, slow down, or even block content and websites. Not surprisingly, Mr Pai is a former lawyer for Verizon.
The internet has always been open and free to all users. Under this proposed scenario, the major ISPs will be able to control what we view and how we view it. It would give them the ability to censor our entire access to the web. More powerful (and wealthier) providers would be able to create “fast” and “slow” lanes, which would slow down competitors’ content. They would effectively decide which websites succeed and which do not.
This is a direct violation of a bedrock tenet of our country: Our First Amendment right to freedom of speech. It is not a partisan issue; it will discriminate against every single American citizen, from our neighborhood shop owner to the CEO of the area’s biggest employer.
Dec. 7 is a national day of protest against this disaster. Show up at your local AT&T or Verizon store and let them know this is not how America should be governed. Contact Sens Bennet and Gardner, and Rep. Tipton, and demand they put pressure on the FCC to stop this assault on our values and independence.
Show up and be heard!
Jane M. Dunn