Net neutrality summit
I don't usually run breathless press releases here, but I'm starting to sit up and take notice of the ongoing battles over internet neutrality. If it were up to the evil empire of cable and phone companies, they'd control how the internet looks. No doubt the cable companies would put different websites on different "channels," and you can bet the blogosphere would get relegated to something the likes of cable access.
So given what's at stake, here's an event that looks interesting:
PORTLAND -- U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden will speak about Network Neutrality and the fight in Congress over the future of the Internet at a press conference on Wednesday in Portland. He'll be joined by local business owners and concerned citizens, who will deliver more than 20,000 petitions from Oregon residents supporting Net Neutrality -- the longstanding principle that ensures all Web sites and services are treated equally.When MoveOn and the Gun Owners of America get together, it's like Howard Dean going on a hunting trip with Dick Cheney. Stay behind him, Howie! Anyway, it's an important issue, and it's good that events like these are happening.
WHAT: Press Conference on "The Internet at Risk"
WHEN: Wednesday, Oct. 18, 11:15 a.m.
WHERE: Powell's Books, 1005 W. Burnside, Portland
WHO: U.S. Senator Ron Wyden
Michael Powell, Powell's Books
Alan Davidson, Google
Rich Bader, EasyStreet Online Services
Laura Etherton, OSPIRG
Bruce Fife, American Federation of Musicians and Oregon Alliance to Reform Media
Big telephone and cable companies like AT&T, Qwest and Comcast are spending millions lobbying Congress to eliminate Net Neutrality. This fundamental principle, in place since the Internet was created, prevents Internet service providers from discriminating against content or services traveling over their wires based on which companies pay them the most. Congress is now considering a major overhaul of the nation's telecommunications laws (H.R. 5252), which currently fails to protect Net Neutrality.
Senator Wyden has placed a hold on this legislation until clear language is included in the bill to protect Net Neutrality. In March, Senator Wyden was the first member of Congress to introduce legislation protecting Net Neutrality. He is also a co-sponsor of a bipartisan Net Neutrality measure offered this spring by Sens. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) and Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.).
Net Neutrality is supported by a diverse, growing coalition of big and small businesses, unions, educators, thousands of bloggers and every major consumer group in the country. More than 750 organizations from across the political spectrum have come together as the SavetheInternet.com Coalition, including Free Press, U.S. PIRG, the Christian Coalition, MoveOn, Gun Owners of America, ACLU and the American Library Association. SavetheInternet.com has collected more than 1.2 million petition signatures, including at least 20,000 from Oregon residents.
For more information, please visit www.SavetheInternet.com