How can we stop corporations from limiting our access to websites on the Internet?
Danger: Net Neutrality is at Risk
Both government and major media corporations are continually trying to undermine the freedom of the Internet.
The Cyber Security Act threatens to authorize Chinese-style censorship of Internet sites and content. Government control of the Internet not only threatens our access to information, but also creates the possibility of being shut down. For example, in the 2011 Egyptian Revolution, the government completely turned off the Internet throughout the country because the people were using it to organize and rally the masses. This shows the extreme vulnerability of the people when government has control of the Internet or when there are laws in place to allow them to override the private sector. By keeping the Internet open, we can maintain access to diverse, critical information and effective organizing tools.
Companies including AT&T, Verizon, Comcast, and Google are also trying to get rid of net neutrality and set up a tiered system of content delivery so that people who pay more can have their websites load more quickly. This would further discriminate among people by giving quicker access to those who can pay more.
Opportunity: Citizen Pressure Can Keep the Internet Open
Citizens benefit from having free, open, neutral Internet access – it means we can access and share information freely, connect with anyone online, and go to any website without interference. As private media corporations endanger this reality, a cross coalition movement – of everyday citizens, organizations, religions, and communities – has formed to keep the Internet fair and equal. The SavetheInternet.com Coalition has grown to include more than 850 organizations, 1.6 million people, and 6,000 bloggers. By keeping the pressure on, we can keep the Internet neutral, which is absolutely essential for effective organizing, networking, activism, and communication on a global scale.
To see how activists stopped Time Warner’s price gouging in April of 2009, check out the success story.
What Can I Do?
This well organized coalition consists of “more than a million people who have banded together with thousands of non-profit organizations, businesses and bloggers to protect Internet freedom.” Their website constantly features important actions – you can join the coalition and receive the latest news, sign petitions, and get involved.