I have a dream that one day we will all be employees and consumers of the same global company. And frankly, it scares the shit out of me.
Big Internet operators like AT&T and Verizon want the power to decide which Web sites open properly on our computers—giving them control over what we do and where we search online. So far, Congress has caved to their demands.
But because of intense public pressure, some members of Congress are starting to switch from AT&T's side to ours! In just a week, Congress saw over 250,000 of us sign a petition demanding the Internet stay free. Joining this call are tech pioneers like Google and Microsoft, diverse groups ranging from MoveOn to Gun Owners of America, and even some celebrities.
If enough of us stand up now, there's still time for the House of Representatives to do the right thing next week when it votes on whether to protect or destroy Network Neutrality—the Internet's First Amendment and the key to Internet freedom.
Can you join our petition asking Congress to protect the free and open Internet?
This petition will be delivered to your members of Congress, and everyone who signs will be kept informed of the next steps we can take to keep the pressure on Congress this week.
Companies like AT&T are spending millions lobbying Congress to gut Net Neutrality. A House committee voted to go along with AT&T's scheme last week, but we are fighting back hard before next week's full House vote. We want to raise public awareness of this issue and hand Congress 350,000 signatures.
To reach this goal, we're launching a contest: Ask your friends to sign the petition and you can win one of 10 iPod Nanos or one of 40 BarnesandNoble.com gift certificates. Start by signing the petition yourself, and you'll receive instructions to enter the contest.
Snopes.com, which monitors various causes that circulate on the Internet, recently explained this issue:
Simply put, network neutrality means that no web site's traffic has precedence over any other's...Whether a user searches for recipes using Google, reads an article on snopes.com, or looks at a friend's MySpace profile, all of that data is treated equally and delivered from the originating web site to the user's web browser with the same priority. In recent months, however, some of the telephone and cable companies that control the telecommunications networks over which Internet data flows have floated the idea of creating the electronic equivalent of a paid carpool lane.
If companies like AT&T have their way, Web sites ranging from Google to eBay to MoveOn either pay the equivalent of protection money to get into the "fast lane" or risk opening slowly on your computer. We can't allow the Internet—this incredible medium which has been such a revolutionary force for democratic participation, economic innovation, and free speech—to become captive to large corporations.