Features

Latino groups demand FCC, Obama and Congress protect Internet freedom

Latinos for Internet Freedom

Latinos say AT&T, Google, Verizon and Comcast spending millions to control Internet, restricting online freedom of all Americans

A new coalition of over 40 national and local organizations representing Latino communities, Latinos for Internet Freedom launched today by filing comments with the Federal Communications Commission to keep the Internet open and protect Latino consumers.

As one of the fastest growing communities in the United States, Latinos number 47 million with nearly 19 million online. The groups say strong Network Neutrality - or open Internet - rules would allow Latino communities to reap the economic and cultural opportunity presented by what many have called, “the most inclusive, democratic and transformative communications system ever created.”

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Franken to speak at FCC Future of the Internet hearing in Minneapolis

Andy Birkey, Minnesota Independent

UPDATE: @reclaimthemedia will tweet comments on tonight's hearing, starting around 3pm PDT. Sen. Al Franken spoke out on net neutrality ahead of a Minnesota visit by officials from the Federal Communications Commission to discuss the same issue. The FCC will hold a hearing at South High School in Minneapolis at 6 pm tonight. Franken said on Tuesday that if telecoms have their way, consumers will end up paying much more and have less open access to the internet.

“Net neutrality means everything travels at the same speed,” said Franken. He said that telecoms want consumers to “pay for the pipes.”

“The internet service providers want to pay for faster, premium access to people who will pay for it,” he said. “That means someone will get FOX before they will get you,” he told Access to Democracy host Alan Miller.

“Ultimately what I’m afraid of,” said Franken, “is that the internet service providers will be made up of about five companies.”

Here's more information from Main Street Project.

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New unity on community radio translator debate; LPFM still 'troubling' to NPR

Todd Urick, Common Frequency

In a rare instance of unity, religious broadcast network Educational Media Foundation (EMF) and grassroots radio advocate Prometheus Radio Project have found common ground regarding the future of Low Power FM (LPFM) and translators. Over the past decade, Prometheus and EMF, the owner of the nationwide KLOVE/AIR 1 FM network, have held opposing views regarding the remaining available radio spectrum. Now for the first time, the organizations have come together on a mutually beneficial policy proposal, submitted to the FCC as a Memorandum of Agreement.

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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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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 MoveOn.org. "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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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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From the blog

NW media justice and social justice organizations head to Detroit

For the next week, Detroit will be the epicenter for two major gatherings for progressive and social justice organizing: the twelfth Allied Media Conference and the second U.S. Social Forum. Washington State and the Northwest will be well-represented, with large delegations from urban and rural social justice organizations, labor unions, student groups and others. Reclaim the Media will be there with a delegation of Seattle-area activists and organizers from our Northwest MAG-Net coalition, including representatives from Reel Grrls, KBCS, Communities Against Rape and Abuse, Hidmo, Youth Media Institute, the Community Alliance for Global Justice and others. Follow the action on Twitter: #amc2010, #nwussf, #mediajustice.

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From the blog

Reichert reverses position on net neutrality

Today, over 170 House Republicans sent FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski a letter urging the Commmission not to proceed with plans to protect an open Internet by reclassifying broadband as a "telecommunications service" rather than as a radically deregulated "information service." All three Washington State GOP representatives signed the letter, including Congressman Dave Reichert, who previously voted in support of net neutrality rules, saying that the Internet "should be an equal place" for people and companies. Reichert has apparently reversed his earlier opinion, and now stands with GOP leadership in support of open Internet opponents (and Reichert donors) AT&T, and Comcast.

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