REAL WORLD EVENT DISCUSSIONS

RE: The last bastion of freedom: POOF!

POSTED BY: SIGNYM
UPDATED: Monday, February 6, 2006 15:28
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VIEWED: 1978
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Friday, February 3, 2006 9:31 AM

SIGNYM

I believe in solving problems, not sharing them.


The End of the Internet?
by JEFF CHESTER

The nation's largest telephone and cable companies are crafting an alarming set of strategies that would transform the free, open and nondiscriminatory Internet of today to a privately run and branded service that would charge a fee for virtually everything we do online.

Verizon, Comcast, Bell South and other communications giants are developing strategies that would track and store information on our every move in cyberspace in a vast data-collection and marketing system, the scope of which could rival the National Security Agency. According to white papers now being circulated in the cable, telephone and telecommunications industries, those with the deepest pockets--corporations, special-interest groups and major advertisers--would get preferred treatment. Content from these providers would have first priority on our computer and television screens, while information seen as undesirable, such as peer-to-peer communications, could be relegated to a slow lane or simply shut out....
To make this pay-to-play vision a reality, phone and cable lobbyists are now engaged in a political campaign to further weaken the nation's communications policy laws. They want the federal government to permit them to operate Internet and other digital communications services as private networks, free of policy safeguards or governmental oversight. Indeed, both the Congress and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) are considering proposals that will have far-reaching impact on the Internet's future.

... To ward off the prospect of virtual toll booths on the information highway, some new media companies and public-interest groups are calling for new federal policies requiring "network neutrality" on the Internet. Common Cause, Amazon, Google, Free Press, Media Access Project and Consumers Union, among others, have proposed that broadband providers would be prohibited from discriminating against all forms of digital content. For example, phone or cable companies would not be allowed to slow down competing or undesirable content.

Without proactive intervention, the values and issues that we care about--civil rights, economic justice, the environment and fair elections--will be further threatened by this push for corporate control. Imagine how the next presidential election would unfold if major political advertisers could make strategic payments to Comcast so that ads from Democratic and Republican candidates were more visible and user-friendly than ads of third-party candidates with less funds. Consider what would happen if an online advertisement promoting nuclear power prominently popped up on a cable broadband page, while a competing message from an environmental group was relegated to the margins. It is possible that all forms of civic and noncommercial online programming would be pushed to the end of a commercial digital queue.

www.thenation.com/doc/20060213/chester

The notion of "free speech" is outmoded. Clearly, free speech belongs to those with the most money.

---------------------------------
Please don't think they give a shit.

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Friday, February 3, 2006 11:04 AM

FLETCH2


Well this has been tried before. Compuserve pretty much locked people inside their service, AOL tried. Unless the government legislates a monopoly you simply chose a new provider. There is still massive overcapacity in the broadband optical networks, there are still firms like Global Crossing that built out and are now struggling to make money. I recently spoke with a guy that is putting internet points-of-presence into places like India, his startup costs were tiny compared to 20 years ago because equipment and network costs are down.

If AOL/Comcast want to do this fine, they just handed guys like him a market.

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Friday, February 3, 2006 11:56 AM

FINN MAC CUMHAL


I’m pretty sure the Internet isn’t the last bastion of freedom, and I’m equally sure it isn’t going to disappear overnight. And even if it does, I survived just fine without it for most of my life.

I don’t really know all the details, and since The Nation is a notoriously unreliable source of information, I’m not inclined to take it too seriously.

Anyway, I really don’t see that much wrong with turning the internet over to the private sector, if indeed that it is what they are doing. And the Internet could definitely use a degree of regulation. The information on the Internet is seriously lacking in accountability. I’m just not sure it can be done.




Oh, he's so full of manure, that man! We could lay him in the dirt and grow another one just like him.
-- Ruby

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Friday, February 3, 2006 1:18 PM

PIRATEJENNY


Quote:

Without proactive intervention, the values and issues that we care about--civil rights, economic justice, the environment and fair elections--will be further threatened by this push for corporate control



This is just another attempt to infringe on our civil rights and freedoms. and we the people are letting it happen.

It doesn't matter wether someone thinks its wrong or not, or that the internet needs regulation or not its not about that, and this is what alot of people aren't getting because this stuff is bigger then what they think. Ignorance is bliss!! wether we agree or not we need to protect our feedom and our rights reguardless of what we feel or think.

This administration is working hand in hand with Corportions which is why this kind of thing is allowed to happen, its all about the rich and the powerful.

its not a question of we're going to loose our freedom and civil rights, its that we are loosing our freedom and civil rights and if we let it happen then we have no one to blame but ourselves.

Ignorance is no longer an excuse, and I personally will not tolerate it, we need to start talking about the people in this administion as the crimnals they are, and the people who continually make excuses for them as people who are supporting crimnals.

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Friday, February 3, 2006 2:25 PM

SERGEANTX


Quote:

Originally posted by Finn mac Cumhal:
I’m pretty sure the Internet isn’t the last bastion of freedom, and I’m equally sure it isn’t going to disappear overnight. And even if it does, I survived just fine without it for most of my life.

I don’t really know all the details, and since The Nation is a notoriously unreliable source of information, I’m not inclined to take it too seriously.

Anyway, I really don’t see that much wrong with turning the internet over to the private sector, if indeed that it is what they are doing. And the Internet could definitely use a degree of regulation. The information on the Internet is seriously lacking in accountability. I’m just not sure it can be done.



You're reliable, Finn, I'll give you that.

SergeantX

"Dream a little dream or you can live a little dream. I'd rather live it, cause dreamers always chase but never get it." Aesop Rock

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Friday, February 3, 2006 2:45 PM

KANESKI


It's ye olde Sony trick all over. On a bigger scale, I'll give it that, but the same stunt. "Let's control content that goes to our customers. Let's make sure they can only do what we say they can do." / "Screw you guys, where's the iPod store?".

Fletch is right - unless a legitimate monopoly is made, this thing isn't going to happen the way they think.

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Friday, February 3, 2006 7:21 PM

DREAMTROVE


I think the nation is a reliable source of information, just not of opinions. They're rather alarmist. I think that such a move by companies, who all three when combined are approximately the size of microsoft, and invididually are smaller than google or cisco, is going to have little impact. The conventional communications companies want a way to tax the internet, but they left it too late. The internet is now financial many times the size of the old communications industry, and if the Coms annoys the .coms then the latter will simply purchase the former on an off day.

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Sunday, February 5, 2006 9:12 PM

STILLFREE


"Anyway, I really don’t see that much wrong with turning the internet over to the private sector, if indeed that it is what they are doing. And the Internet could definitely use a degree of regulation. The information on the Internet is seriously lacking in accountability. I’m just not sure it can be done."

I'm looking forward to spending some time reading this gentleman's other posts. I suppose it's not that unlikely that someone would watch Serenity and side with the Alliance.

In response: yes, information on the Internet is unreliable. But instead of doing your homework and checking sources, you'd rather give all power to groups who's only interest is to shear you and eat you, metaphorically speaking. While the Internet may not be the last bastion of freedom, in this age of almost completely controlled media and wire-tapped phones, it's certainly the most important medium by FAR. You would trust a group of people actively working to cut you off from all sources of uncenscored information in order to make it easier to systematically take all power from you as an individual, autonomous being?

I sure hope the pop-ups are good.

"So me and mine gotta lay down and die...so you can live in your better world?"

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Monday, February 6, 2006 2:18 PM

FINN MAC CUMHAL


Quote:

Originally posted by StillFree:
I'm looking forward to spending some time reading this gentleman's other posts. I suppose it's not that unlikely that someone would watch Serenity and side with the Alliance.

Reading my other posts? Or intentionally misinterpreting them?

I hope you do read and enjoy my other posts. Perhaps if you do so with a little less narrow mindedness then you “read” this one, you might even agree with some of them.




Oh, he's so full of manure, that man! We could lay him in the dirt and grow another one just like him.
-- Ruby

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Monday, February 6, 2006 3:03 PM

CHRISISALL


Quote:

Originally posted by Finn mac Cumhal:
The Nation is a notoriously unreliable source of information

Just curious, Finn, is there any particular reason you feel this way? Or just a general dislike of their leftist take on things?

Remember, Gore created the internet Chrisisall

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Monday, February 6, 2006 3:08 PM

FINN MAC CUMHAL


Quote:

Originally posted by chrisisall:
Quote:

Originally posted by Finn mac Cumhal:
The Nation is a notoriously unreliable source of information

Just curious, Finn, is there any particular reason you feel this way? Or just a general dislike of their leftist take on things?

I don’t really dislike their Leftist take on things. As far as Left-wing sources go, it is a good one. But it is a Left-wing source, not an unbiased one. It will provide information that has a Left-wing slant, but it may not provide the whole story; and as such, it is unreliable. People seem to be taking offense at the comment, but it is purely an observation.




Oh, he's so full of manure, that man! We could lay him in the dirt and grow another one just like him.
-- Ruby

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Monday, February 6, 2006 3:28 PM

CHRISISALL


Quote:

Originally posted by Finn mac Cumhal:
It will provide information that has a Left-wing slant, but it may not provide the whole story; and as such, it is unreliable. People seem to be taking offense at the comment, but it is purely an observation.


No offence taken here.
I regard The Nation as a fire alarm of sorts. How big is the fire? Well, they treat every fire as big, so that's not why I read it (when I do), I use them as a pointer, then follow up with other sources.
Their conspiracy theories are cool, though

Infrequent Nation reader Chrisisall

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