We Don't Do . . .

. . . a lot of activism here at The Agonist, but this is one time when every single one of you should drop what you are doing and sign this petition.


Otherwise, kiss the internet as you know it good-bye.

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Sean Paul Kelley

Traveler of the (real) Silk Road, scholar and historian, photographer and writer - founder of The Agonist.

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  • eom
    May we have the clarity to see what is required of us, the courage to accept it, and the capacity to discharge it.
    Robert Fripp

  • I am terrified that large corporate lobbies and the establishment in general are systematically trying to destroy the free Internet, and shut down and impede as many non-corporate sources of information as possible. Also, the recent deletion of 70,000+ blogs because of an apparently fake Al Qaeda magazine, due to some strange process by fiat of the Department of Homeland Security, is deeply troubling and lacks any due process. (Do you really think Al Qaeda suggests its supporters contact them over GMail, as the magazine states? How dumb is that?!)

    The recent work by pro-lockdown legislators to narrow a needed proposed shield law, to exclude websites like Wikileaks, is also appalling and totally at odds with all the principles that have made our country economically viable, as well as a genuine marketplace of ideas. Responsibility for violating overgrown and corrupt secrecy rules falls not with websites, but with whoever violates their oath not to propagate sensitive information. I am disgusted that newspaper lobbyists are working to suppress protection for excellent websites like Cryptome.org that actually shed sunlight on the staggeringly vast wastes of Top Secret America.

    The effort to destroy Net Neutrality and replace Internet service priority rules with cartel structures and deals will surely damage the US economy deeply, and give corporate fatcats the upper hand yet again to squelch the new avenues of information rapidly making them obsolete. This week it was reported Verizon and Google are nearing a deal to destroy Net Neutrality on Google-powered Verizon devices, and this kind of arrangement is fundamentally no different than Rockefeller, Carnegie, Standard Oil and other inefficient monopolist systems of previous eras. We will never get out of this deep economic collapse if legislation protecting fatcats is the only work product from Washington DC.

    I work as a Web developer, developing sites for many people. The agenda against Net Neutrality is most directly an agenda against my clients, who deserve to make their sites available on equitable network standards. This is nothing more than cartels versus independent producers. How can my industry remain viable, let alone vibrant, if Net Neutrality gets destroyed by politicians and corporate lobbyists?

    I agree with everything added below by FreePress.net:
    Net Neutrality is the cornerstone of innovation, free speech and democracy on the Internet.

    More than 1.9 million Americans have expressed support for Net Neutrality at Congress and the FCC. They want control over the Internet to remain in the hands of the people who use it every day.

    Please stand with the public by protecting Net Neutrality once and for all.


  • What really kills me on these deals is not just what is given away, but how little in return is received for it. We get sold out for a mess of pottage – essentially, little more than a promise to continue funding a politician’s election campaign as well as his opponents – while the big guys get hundreds of billions or trillions of dollars worth of representation.

    This is why I’m depressed about the upcoming brouhaha about what to do when the Bush tax cuts expire. You’d think that the Democrats would be in an unassailable position on this one. Let those cuts expire they way they were legislated to for anyone making over $250 K/year and enact separate legislation to the give the “middle class” a tax cut. Let the Republicans beef; the worst that could happen would be that those tax cuts would expire for everyone.

    But can’t you just see this one happening: In order to be “bipartisan” and to “pass a bill that will provide middle-class relief”, the exemption will be raised from $250 thousand to $10 million and there will be all sorts of twisty language to exempt large chunks of those making more.

    And of course, afterwords, Obama will speechify about what a great bill this is, how “sometimes you have to settle for half a loaf”[1] and point out that taxes have increased on the wealthy and that the “middle class” got their tax cut because of the tireless work of the Democrats. Then Rahm will make some unofficial but much-publicized remark about the DFH’s not being supportive enough and that just goes to show you what a bunch of losers they are.

    [1]At what point will this man admit that “sometimes” is code for “always”?

  • Computerworld, By Sharon Gaudin, August 5

    Google today denied reports that it is in talks with Verizon for a deal that could undermine Net neutrality.

    According to reports in today’s Wall Street Journal and The New York Times, Google and Verizon, both major online players, are close to finalizing an agreement that would have Verizon speeding some online content more quickly than other content if the content’s creators pay for it. YouTube, which is owned by Google, could greatly benefit by having its bandwidth-heavy videos get priority treatment.

    Google, however, told Computerworld this morning that there is no basis to the reports.

    “The New York Times is quite simply wrong,” wrote Mistique Cano, a Google spokeswoman, in an e-mail. “We have not had any conversations with Verizon about paying for carriage of Google traffic. We remain as committed as we always have been to an open Internet.”

    One owes respect to the living. To the dead, one owes only the truth.

  • What is not yet clear to me is how this will affect nations beyond American borders, and how they will respond to it.

    If America sells the Internet to entertainment and telecom companies, does this in any way force other nations to accept such filtering and manipulations, such speeding up and slowing down of content?

    Last week, Chile became the first nation to make Net Neutrality law. There will be others.

    It seems this is a powerful argument for keeping the Net neutral, an argument I have not seen advanced anywhere.

    If America puts these kind of ‘net settings’ in place, the rest of the world will move light years beyond us. We will be watching TeeVee on the web while other nations innovate and reinvent a new world.

  • PC Magazine, By Mark Hachman, August 13

    Mountain View, CA – Free Press, ColorofChange.org, and other consumer groups held a rally at Google headquarters on Friday, protesting the company’s proposed net neutrality plan with Verizon.

    The proposal, protesters claimed, will create a two- or multi-tier Internet, which would favor established media giants, freezing out startups and the average consumer.

    The protest, which attracted between 30 and 50 people, was originally organized by Free Press, one of the consumer groups that has protested the relationship between the two companies.

    Protesters submitted a list of what organizers said was 300,000 signatures of people opposed to the proposed arrangement, which would allow Google and Verizon the freedom to add new services on the Internet that would not be constrained by network neutrality policies. The wireless industry would also be exempt from net neutrality, a term used to describe a world in which every Internet service and Web site is given equal weight and equal priority over the others.

    Google public-relations representatives appeared and said they would accept the signatures inside Googles headquarters, which they later did. Google is also accepting comments on the proposal on its public policy blog.

    The Latest Save The Internet petition

    Google and Verizon just announced they’re planning a massive corporate takeover of the Internet.

    FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski must denounce this deal and restore the FCC’s authority to protect Net Neutrality once and for all.

    It’s not up to Google and Verizon to make public policy. Tell Chairman Genachowski to denounce this deal and save the Internet.

    One owes respect to the living. To the dead, one owes only the truth.

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