Communications Rights

Democratic Reps lay out "true Open Internet principles"

Office of Rep. Jay Inslee

This morning, Rep. Jay Inslee (WA-01), Rep. Ed Markey (MA-07), Rep. Anna Eshoo (CA-14), and Rep. Mike Doyle (PA-14), all members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, laid out a set of open internet principles in a letter to Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski. The letter addresses directly the recent policy proposal from Google and Verizon by laying out principles that would keep the internet open, implement the FCC s broadband plan to increase broadband access, and deny broadband service providers the ability to control consumer choice.

"Americans online experience shouldn't be dictated by corporate CEO's," said Rep. Inslee. "Innovation and creativity online have given rise to millions of jobs and tremendous economic growth, in large part because individual consumers have been free to access what they want. The principles we have set forth in this letter coincide with that fact. Net neutrality is not about imposing a new set of rules, net neutrality is about preserving the open Internet and empowering consumers and small businesses to bring the next generation of entrepreneurial drive to the world wide web."

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300,000 tell Google: don't sell out the open Internet

Free Press

Public Interest Groups Deliver Boxes of Petition Signatures to Google's DC Office

Momentum for Net Neutrality Builds As Public Outcry Grows Against Google-Verizon Deal

Free Press, Civic Action, CREDO Action, the Progressive Campaign Change Committee and today delivered petitions on behalf of more than 300,000 people challenging Google to stand by its 'don't be evil' motto and to call off a deal with Verizon that would jeopardize the future of the open Internet.

"Google's self-proclaimed motto is 'don't be evil,' but Google is about to cut a deal with Verizon that would end the Internet as we know it," said Becky Bond, political director of CREDO Action. "Google' corporate leadership needs to listen to its users and return to its roots as a strong defender of Net Neutrality."

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Public interest groups to FCC chair: Google/Verizon proposal fails; FCC must act

Media and Democracy Coalition

In a letter to FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, MDC member groups highlighted how a policy proposal from Google and Verizon fails to protect the Open Internet. The groups call on the Commission to act swiftly to oversee broadband and adopt strong Open Internet rules. You can download a PDF of the letter here.

Julius Genachowski
Federal Communications Commission
445 12th St SW
Washington, D.C. 20554

cc: Commissioner Michael Copps
Commissioner Robert McDowell
Commission Mignon Clyburn
Commissioner Meredith Attwell Baker

August 12, 2010

Dear Chairman Genachowski:

We would like to thank you for meeting with representatives of the public interest community last week and providing us with the opportunity to articulate a framework for broadband oversight and open Internet policy to which the undersigned organizations remain committed.

In light of this week’s announcement from Google and Verizon, we wish to highlight the ways in which the companies’ proposed policy fails to meet the framework we discussed, thus does not protect an open Internet.

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Inslee hits Google/Verizon proposal, urges FCC action on open Internet

Office of Congressman Jay Inslee

This afternoon Congressman Jay Inslee (WA-01) released the following statement regarding the policy proposal released jointly by Google and Verizon on rules for access to the internet:

"This afternoon's announcement from Google and Verizon falls far short of the net neutrality principles necessary to protect consumers online. I m disappointed that such esteemed leaders would put forward a policy proposal that fails to protect the very foundation of the Internet s success open access for all. Many of us have been warning for a number of years that broadband service providers would begin to use a lack of net neutrality regulations to prioritize their increasingly diverse business offerings and content, thereby jeopardizing open internet access. Today's announcement is one more reason that the FCC must act to reclassify broadband and protect consumers online. The American people deserve nothing less than a free and open internet where ideas and innovation are allowed to flourish, and today s proposal has made it even clearer that we cannot rely on industry alone to do just that."

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For iPhone users, getting out of jail is free

Dev-Team Blog

Fantastic news today from the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF). After a lot of hard work and mountains of paperwork, jailbreaking your iPhone is now explicitly a permitted fair use under the DMCA!

The first of EFF’s three successful requests clarifies the legality of cell phone “jailbreaking” — software modifications that liberate iPhones and other handsets to run applications from sources other than those approved by the phone maker.

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Civil Rights 2.0: NAACP should officially reverse position on net neutrality

Sable Verity, The Fresh Xpress

As people of color we know beyond a shadow of a doubt the way we are portrayed in the media is more about stereotypes than truth. It’s not just news media but entertainment media as well. Those in control of the images and information we consume don’t care to accurately portray people of color, or see the importance in empowering said people to help paint the fuller picture--something the NAACP has historically battled against.

The internet on the other hand, is different. Sites like the FXP and its vast network of Black writers share perspectives, opinions and truths the consumer couldn’t get anywhere else. Ask yourself how you would feel if your internet service provider decided it didn’t like such sites, and prevented your access. What if we couldn't find online:

The Oscar Grant shooting video.

Video of military abuses overseas.

Voter registration information.

Access to family planning clinics.

This is why the debate over net neutrality is so important--and why the NAACP should rethink its stance on this important civil and human rights issue.

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Inslee leads letter calling on FCC to preserve a free and open Internet

Office of Rep. Jay Inslee

This week, Rep. Jay Inslee responded to constituent concerns by sending a letter to the Federal Communications Commission, urging the FCC to follow through with reclassifying broadband as a telecommunications service. Reversing a radical, deregulatory change made during the previous administration, reclassification will preserve the FCC's authority to enforce long-recognized rules treating all data equally, and will allow the FCC to implement its National Broadband Plan, bringing broadband service to millions of underserved Americans. The letter was signed by thirty-two members of Congress (full text below).

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Some clarity in war over Internet access

Tyrone Brown, Media Access Project

The fight over open access to the Internet has turned into a public relations war and a political football in Congress.

Last month, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski announced his proposal to clarify the agency's authority to oversee the likes of AT&T, Verizon and Comcast in their critical roles as providers of transport links to high-speed Internet access. His approach has strong support from fellow Commissioners Michael Copps and Mignon Clyburn.

Since that announcement, opponents of his proposal have recruited proxies to mount a major disinformation campaign. Separate groups of Democratic and Republican congressmen have communicated their opposition to the proposal while others in Congress have supported it. Civil liberties and civil rights groups have weighed in for or against the proposal, depending on whether they see it as promoting or slowing broadband deployment and adoption.

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Urban Internet inequalities reinforce social inequalities

Marcos Martinez, Seattle Digital Justice Coalition

The message couldn't have been more clear last month when FCC staff sat in a crowded Seattle conference room with about 80 local folks, gathered to share our opinions on preserving a fair and open Internet. Even in the tech capital of Seattle, urban communities need broadband access that is more fair, more affordable, and more reliable—and we need consumer protections from Internet providers who would keep many of us stuck in Internet slow lanes rather than treating us all fairly.

In Seattle, our local Digital Justice Coalition, led by Reclaim the Media and other MAG-Net member organizations, is calling for both local and national solutions for expanding digital rights. We're pushing our city government to build a publicly-owned fiber broadband network, in order to provide affordable, fast broadband to every home/office in Seattle. But for the long term, federal policies are needed to protect our digital rights--not just in tech centers like Seattle, but in all urban and rural communities. That's why MAG-Net member organizations across the country are continuing to push the FCC and our elected officials to enact policies that make high-quality broadband access truly universal, maintain a fair and open Internet, and encourage all people to become fully engaged participants in our digital democracy.

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Community groups urge FCC to protect local community media

Alliance for Communications Democracy

Hundreds of community groups and local residents from across the country urged the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) this week to strengthen local democracy, media diversity and public safety by supporting the nation's largest network of community-based media organizations -- Public, Educational and Government (PEG) Access cable TV centers.

"As local newspapers close, media companies consolidate, and national broadcasters dominate radio & television, PEG Access centers are increasingly the only source of community news, civic programming, diverse views and local emergency information," said Alliance for Communications Democracy (ACD) President Rob Brading of MetroEast Community Media in Gresham, Oregon.

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The media's job is to interest the public in the public interest. -John Dewey