Wednesday, January 9, 2008

SPECIAL NEWS ALERT: AT&T Announces Plans to Inspect & Filter Internet Traffic & Content

AT&T is proposing the implementation of new filtering technologies "at the network level" that would essentially interrupt in a definitive way the public's freedom to access online content. The concept known as 'net neutrality' refers to consumers and netizens' ability to freely gain access to any site, paid or unpaid, without major telecommunications companies programming access as they do with cable television.

The movement against net neutrality has been spearheaded by giant internet service providers (ISPs) like AT&T and Verizon, who want to profit from permitting consumers access to specific sites. They already charge for end-user access and for content-providers' access, and they charge more if you want higher speeds (bandwidth). Now they seek to ensure that freedom of access be impeded, in order to allow them to manipulate access and information in order to further line their pockets with a medium they did not develop, did not fund, and have not produced.

Existing law bars such filtering from being implemented by ISPs. The First Amendment to the US Constitution states that "Congress shall make no law... abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press". Filtering and restricting access to online content "at the network level" would very directly abridge the freedom of individuals to create and distribute online content, and would limit the ability of the online "press" to freely report the news and generate creative content.

There is no viable legal solution to this issue other than the prohibition of such filtering technologies as a threat to the free market of ideas on which American society, the rule of law as we understand it, and our society of democratic values based on the free expression of ideas, actually do depend.

1 comment:

American Genius said...

This sucks. It is just GREED.
You should get together some kind of action or petition and get it noticed in congress that this is wrong and the people don't like it. Be sure and stop by and let me know if anything like that happens.

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