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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How the Google/Verizon proposal could kill the internet in 5 years

Annalee Newitz, i09

Earlier this week Google and Verizon pledged to uphold a set of network principles that could transform the internet into a husk of its former self. Let's look down the barrel of the Googlezon future.

Keep in mind that the two-page Googlezon proposal, which you can read here, isn't law, though both companies have requested that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) turn it into a formal regulation. Even if it isn't law, though, Googlezon has stated it will follow the proposal's principles. And mostly those principles are harbingers of a dystopian media future.

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Why the FCC's net neutrality negotiations failed - and the opportunity that presents

Gigi Sohn, Public Knowledge

This summer has been one of the most exhausting in recent memory.  First, there has been a constant barrage of record heat and humidity.  Second, there is the continuing battle over whether and how to preserve the FCC’s authority to protect broadband consumers and ensure universal broadband access.  While the former is somewhat predictable for Washington, the latter has been like a soap opera, with lots of plot twists, make-ups and break-ups and nearly a few tears (of utter frustration).

The latest wrinkle came on Thursday, when FCC Chief of Staff Eddie Lazarus declared the end of the two month negotiations between AT&T, Verizon and the National Cable & Telecommunications Association on one side, and Google, the Internet telephony provider Skype and the Open Internet Coalition (an industry-public interest coalition of which PK is a member) on the other.  Lazarus said the talks have “been productive on several fronts, but has not generated a robust framework to preserve the openness and freedom of the Internet - one that drives innovation, investment, free speech, and consumer choice.” 

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The USDA's latest shameful chapter

Reid Mukai, Community Alliance for Global Justice

On July 19, right-wing ideologue Andrew Brietbart released a video of out-of-context snippets of a speech given by Shirley Sherrod, effectively distorting a personal story of empathy and redemption into an inflammatory account of reverse discrimination. Just hours after media began spreading the doctored evidence of racism, Sherrod (who served as Georgia State Director of Rural Development for just over a year), was forced to resign. Disappointingly, during the time she needed help the most, Sherrod received no support from anyone in a position of power. In fact the NAACP and Obama rapidly responded by publicly condemning her alleged comments. This incident follows a series of racially charged smear campaigns expedited by Brietbart and other conservative bullies (including Glen Beck and Rush Limbaugh) against the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN), the Obama administration’s former Special Advisor for Green Jobs, Van Jones and Obama’s former pastor Rev. Jeremiah Wright. To her credit, Sherrod didn’t leave without a fight and defended herself during the ordeal and through the aftermath.

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Google-Verizon net neutrality pact riddled with loopholes

Matt Lasar, Ars Technica

Even before Google and Verizon published their sweeping new Internet proposals for Congress, the net neutrality troops were out in force against the alliance.

"DON'T BE EVIL," proclaimed the Monday morning banner headline announcing the delivery of a petition signed by 300,000 people urging the search engine giant to back away from its alliance with Verizon.

"Google has always presented itself as a different kind of corporate entity," warned Justin Ruben, executive director of "The fact that they are involved in a deal that would kill Internet freedom directly contradicts this image. We hope that Google will reconsider before they are seen as just another giant corporation out to make a buck regardless of the consequence."

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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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Consumer advocates protest Google-Verizon net neutrality statement

Byron Acohido, Technology Live

Howls of protest are pouring in from consumer advocacy groups over Google's latest stance on Net Neutrality. The search giant earlier today teamed up with Verizon on a joint policy statement that left room for Internet providers to charge Web sites premium fees for some services.

The two companies called for "a new, enforceable prohibition against discriminatory practices. This means that for the first time, wireline broadband providers would not be able to discriminate against or prioritize lawful Internet content, applications or services in a way that causes harm to users or competition."

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Public interest groups want Genachowski to set deadline for clarifying broadband jurisdiction

New America Foundation

A coalition of public interest organizations presented their unified position to FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski and his senior staff on the Commission's Open Internet and Broadband Internet Service Framework proceedings. Amid reports of a deal between Verizon and Google to prioritize certain traffic on the Internet and the FCC announcing the end of closed-door meetings with the largest Internet companies and Internet Service Providers, the proposed framework comes at a critically important time. At the meeting the coalition stressed the importance of setting a firm deadline for the FCC to clarify its jurisdiction over broadband service as well a necessary framework for enforcing meaningful Open Internet rules.

The unified position public interest groups laid out to FCC Chairman Genachowski this week parallels strong support from Congressional leadership and the White House calling for immediate action to preserve an open Internet," stated Sascha Meinrath, Director of the New America Foundation's Open Technology Initiative. "Non-discrimination and consumer protections are critically important for innovation and Chairman Genachowski has a once-in-a-generation opportunity to ensure that our 21st Century economy is built upon a sound foundation."

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