Harris O'Malley
Agent of a higher Power

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Monday, Wendesday and Friday
Save the Internet: Click here

OK, folks. If you know much about me by now, you'd know that I don't support stuff like this willy-nilly or without knowing what's going on. The fact of the matter is, major telcoms like AT&T and Comcast and ISPs like Time-Warner want to become the end-all/be-all of information flow on the 'net. What used to be a regular e-mail hoax has actually and perversely come true.

These folks have lobbied Congress to end Net Neutrality, the idea that all data travelling on the Internet is treated the same. Should these folks get their way, only companies and websites that pay the bribe toll will actually be processed at the proper speeds. Those that don't pay would be slowed to the point of nigh-unusability, if they even come up at all.

My interest in this is fairly obvious. But what does this mean for the average user?

Imagine trying to, say find accurate information about a medication you've been perscribed, but one that has serious potential side-effects. You want to know more, so naturally you start looking it up online. Well, now instead of finding sites that might actually give the full information, you find yourself being directed to the parmacutical compan's "astroturf" website which will happily feed you the company line and send you on your merry way. Want to know whether your new drugs are gonna give you a stroke or cause your jaw to rot out of your skull? Too freakin' bad, amigo. You're hosed.

These are documented side-effects from FDA approved drugs, I might add.

Then of course, there's the potential political ramifications should certain political parties and/or their closely aligned 501c3's get in on the act. Suddenly it becomes impossible to get to the websites for the opposing candidates.

Or for that matter the news. Rupert Murdoch has deeper pockets than CNN, The New York Times, the LA Times or the Washington post. Do you want Fox News to be the only news you can read online?

The bill in question is the "Communications Opportunity, Promotion and Enhancement Act of 2006" or COPE Act (HR 5252), sponsored by Commerce Committee Chairman Joe Barton (R-Texas), Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.), Rep. Charles Pickering (R-Miss.) and Rep. Bobby Rush (D-Ill.). Want to make sure this insane idea doesn't go through?

Go here. Read all that they have to offer, then sign the petition. Now, because your average congress-critter will take an online petition about as seriously as George Lucas took the calls for him to hand over Episode III to Peter Jackson, you should also print and mail your letter to the various applicable parties. The website does all the hard work for you; it will track down your senators and representatives and generate a easily customized letter to them with the relevant information filled in. All you need to do is print and mail that sucker. When you take the time to actually write a physical note, they take it much more seriously.

Beware the propaganda sites, while you're at it. Sites like Dontregulate.org and Hands off The Internet are propaganda sites designed and paid for by the telcom coalition that's trying to push this on us.

Make your voice heard people. Before it's too late to say anything at all.
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Harris O'Malley ||    External Homepage ·  Blog · 

Artist. Writer. Publisher. Occasional Saviour of Humanity. Also: Rockin' like Dokken. ... full profile