Or: How I Stopped Worrying and Learned to Love Network Neutrality
I failed to post this yesterday, but I have some extra time this morning. Yesterday there was a meeting to discuss Net Neutrality at Harvard. Many people showed up to check it out, learn the facts, etc. The odd thing was, every seat was already taken… yet the people sitting there didn’t care about Network Neutrality. Not only did the public get turned away, but even reporters as well. The DailyKOS broke this story, here’s a quote:
This is pretty unbelievable— there was an FCC hearing about Net Neutrality in Harvard yesterday where we had a booth. Comcast was PAYING PEOPLE TO FILL UP SEATS AND CHEER FOR THEM. Tons of folks, including reporters, got turned away. For people that still have a hard time wrapping their heads around what net neutrality is, this about sums up what’s happening.
Did you catch that? Comcast paid to have people fill the seats so no one else could get in. There is a bright side to this, though… it should be much easier to explain what Network Neutrality is now to people. The amazing thing is that people aren’t up in arms about this… hell, Comcast even admitted to doing it:
How big are the stakes in the so-called network neutrality debate now raging before Congress and federal regulators?
Consider this: One side in the debate actually went to the trouble of hiring people off the street to pack a Federal Communications Commission meeting yesterday—and effectively keep some of its opponents out of the room.
Broadband giant Comcast—the subject of the F.C.C. hearing on network neutrality at the Harvard Law School, in Cambridge, Massachusetts—acknowledged that it did exactly that.
Comcast spokeswoman Jennifer Khoury said that the company paid some people to arrive early and hold places in the queue for local Comcast employees who wanted to attend the hearing.
Some of those placeholders, however, did more than wait in line: They filled many of the seats at the meeting, according to eyewitnesses. As a result, scores of Comcast critics and other members of the public were denied entry because the room filled up well before the beginning of the hearing.
Really, what is this?? Why isn’t this being reported with the same fervor that people report the latest Britney Spears disaster? Why is this a byline, if it’s even mentioned at all? People need to be aware of what is happening in the world that will affect them, as opposed to looking to the latest gossip. As of right now this isn’t even on CNN’s front page… what is there? Well we have this breaking news article: “Model Naomi Campbell hospitalized“. OMG! Not Naomi! This is really pathetic and I hope this will change one day, but sadly as long as people are more interested in celebrities rather than real news, it most likely won’t.
Back to the issue at hand… if you would like to do something, please go here:
Late last year Comcast was caught secretly inspecting Internet traffic and crippling users’ ability to share files, download video and use other popular Internet software.
This is a gross violation of Net Neutrality, the longstanding principle that protects free speech online and preserves an open Internet. SavetheInterent.com members filed a complaint, more than 23,000 people contacted the Federal Communications Commission, and the FCC is now investigating Comcast’s blocking.
Thanks to people like you from around the country, the FCC is now holding a public hearing in Boston, Massachusetts, on Feburary 26. Although they are not making space for the public to speak at this hearing, you can still be heard. The FCC is inviting the public to make their voice heard about this vital issue. Fill out the form below and tell the FCC to stop all would-be Internet gatekeepers.
We need to keep the pressure on to ensure that the FCC takes decisive action.
You have until Feb 28th to tell them your thoughts, otherwise Comcast and other giants may win. And if they win, we lose… although you may never hear about it if the News Organizations keep failing to report about it.