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Motherboard: Meet Marsha Blackburn, Big Telecom's Best Friend in Congress

Fri, 07/18/2014 - 14:04 -- Eva Prkachin

This Tennessee Congresswoman has some scary ideas on the future of the Internet and telecommunications. If she has you concerned, you better speak up at https://OpenMedia.org/SlowLane

Article by Ben Makuch for Motherboard

Rep. Marsha Blackburn, the Tennessee Republican, has built a reputation as one of the most conservative members of Congress, especially on tech policy. A strong free market advocate, Blackburn vehemently opposes net neutrality, which she calls "socialistic," and has been a strong critic of what she views as activist Federal Communications Commission policy.

The Top 5 milestones in the fight to stop the Internet slow lane… this week.

Fri, 07/18/2014 - 12:31 -- Eva Prkachin

Earlier this week, the United States Federal Communications Commission (or FCC) extended its deadline for initial comments on rules that would allow Big Telecom conglomerates to force all websites who can’t pay expensive fees for privileged access into an Internet slow lane. The reason for the delay? Internet users around the world spoke out in such great numbers that the FCC’s servers came crashing down.

Needless to say, it’s been a busy week in the fight for authentic net neutrality. So, to get us all up to speed on where the debate currently sits, we’ve summed up some of the most noteworthy events in the last week below. Let us know in the comments if we missed anything!

The top 5 unexpected allies in the fight against the Internet Slow Lane

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 14:10 -- Eva Prkachin

What do websites devoted to frat-boy humor, handmade and vintage clothes, and saving the environment all have in common? They’re all passionate about saving the Internet from being forced into a slow lane. No, we’re not kidding.

The fight to save the open Internet as we know it has found allies in unexpected places. And your OpenMedia team isn’t the first to notice this. As Michael Masnick writing for TechDirt notes, “It's also been fantastic to see that a number of innovative startups have decided to speak out on how important an open and free internet is for being able to build their businesses, to innovate and to compete on the modern internet.”

Tech Crunch: Tech Blogger Tries To Cancel Comcast Service, Hilarity Ensues

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 09:30 -- Eva Prkachin

This big telecom provider takes the cake for disrespectful customer service. These are the same companies pushing the Internet slow lane. And they expect us to trust them. Speak out at https://OpenMedia.org/SlowLane

Article by John Biggs for Tech Crunch

If there’s one guy in the world who knows whether or not he wants to cancel his Comcast service, it’s Ryan Block. The former head of Engadget, founder of GDGT, and now product dude at AOL, Block probably knows exactly why he wants to cancel his Comcast service and, presumably, he’s not going to tell you or a Comcast service rep who refuses to take “No” for an answer.

But when he called to cancel his service over the phone and prepare the return of his cable card, the rep refused in the worst way possible. The pair entered a Kafka-esque conversation where the only answer to any question asked would have been total submission to the Comcast Cause. The call, which already went on for 10 minutes by the time Block decided to record it, is an example of a rep sticking to his script and a customer with the patience of Job (and an understanding of Internet virality) putting up with aural torture in order to show the world how crazy Comcast is.

We crashed the FCC’s website. So we took your voices straight to their offices in Washington, D.C.

Tue, 07/15/2014 - 15:31 -- Josh Tabish

We did it! Public outcry over Big Telecom’s efforts to force everyone (except those with really deep pockets) into an Internet slow lane has crashed the U.S. Federal Communication Commission's (FCC) website.

Today was the final day to file initial comments with the FCC on the raging debate over Net Neutrality - that is, the idea that no Internet data should be forced into a slow lane online because of expensive ‘prioritization’ fees. Early this morning, the public comment system received an extraordinary amount of traffic from Internet users around the world. So far, the FCC has received over 670,000 comments on its proposal through their online system.

In response to the FCC’s website fail, your OpenMedia team made sure your voices were being heard, by hand-delivering comments to the FCC’s central office in Washington, D.C. The delivery took place in cooperation with dozens of other groups in the fight for the open Internet. For our part, we took the names of over 125,00 Internet users who have joined the OpenMedia community by signing on to our Say No to the Internet Slow Lane campaign.

Reddit is crowd-sourcing ways to push back against the Internet slow lane. You should join them.

Mon, 07/14/2014 - 15:44 -- Eva Prkachin

Good news everyone! Our friends at reddit are crowd-sourcing a formal submission to the U.S. FCC about proposed rules that could force businesses and users everywhere into an Internet slow lane. As many of you already know, U.S. Big Telecom companies have been aggressively pushing a set of rules that would force everyone except those with deep, deep pockets (think: major media conglomerates) into a second-tier of service that could slow their content to a crawl.

At the heart of the debate is the status of “net neutrality” – arguably the founding principle of the Internet, and a key component to innovation online. Those familiar with reddit (AKA: “the front page of the Internet”) will be unsurprised that the company has come out strongly in support of the open Internet and authentic net neutrality.

While there are many reasons to be concerned about the future of net neutrality, we think reddit sums it pretty well:

Huffington Post: 11 scary things about the TPP negotiators don't want you to know

Fri, 07/11/2014 - 12:00 -- Eva Prkachin

Top 11 things the government doesn't want you to know about the TPP. Number 3 has really got me worried. Which one bothers you the most?

Article by Daniel Tencer for The Huffington Post

  1. It Could Criminalize Small-Scale Downloading
  2. Canada’s new copyright laws, passed last fall, cap the liability for unauthorized downloading of copyrighted material at $5,000, so long as the downloading is not for commercial purposes. But the TPP could force Canada to institute criminal penalties even for small-time downloaders, according to a number of consumer advocacy groups.

The TPP Internet Censorship Circus is in town and it’s more secretive than ever

Thu, 07/10/2014 - 15:17 -- Eva Prkachin

The bureaucrats and industry lobbyists negotiating the Trans-Pacific Partnership have gone to great lengths to keep their plans a secret before, but this takes the cake. After scheduling the next round of bargaining for Vancouver, negotiators quietly made a last minute switch to Ottawa with only a week to go before the round began.

The TPP is an international agreement involving Canada and 11 other countries, involving 40% of the global economy, that threatens to censor free expression online amongst other concerns spanning environmental protections, jobs, public health, and even our democratic rights.

Throughout this week in Ottawa, negotiators worked to ink a binding international agreement behind closed doors, which experts say could block web content, invade your privacy, and make your Internet more expensive.

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