Support the EFF

There are few things that get us as riled up as threats to the interwebz (that big series of tubes).  We are hearing, over and over again from the telecoms, “they paid for the infrastructure”. They may have some cash in it, but they are using public land (right of way) and public airwaves (doled out by the FCC). There was a comment on a post at Wired about the similarity to the railroad and steel barons that hits the nail on the head. Once the freedom to travel anywhere on the web is lost, we will see the price of everything go up.  This isn’t an alarmist viewpoint, it is a realistic viewpoint.

Everyone already pays into the telecom soup. You pay for access at home (and not even world-class access) and over the air on your cell bill and the telecoms are profitable. The Google-Verizon deal stinks for consumers and Wired, I believe, has it right. It is the first step in creating a tiered internet. One version for those that can afford to pay for it, and a ghetto version.

One of the hopes held out was that the new Administration would actually fulfill promises and keep the net neutral. Instead, they have been cozy with the telecoms and negotiating digital trade agreements in secret. We needed Teddy Roosevelt and we got Tammany Hall.

What is going on now is akin to trying to pull out of your driveway and having the construction company who built the street stop you and tell you to pay them to drive on it, then another fee for going over 10mph, then another to get on the interstate, then another to pull into McDonalds, and you can’t get to Burger King or that local greasy spoon if you agree to drive on their roads. This isn’t far-fetched. The little guys will get choked out. They are the competition, they will be the ones that innovate, so they are the enemy. It is not in our interest as capitalists or as a free society to let this happen.

Support the EFF with more than just a “Hear hear!” Google played watch dog pretty well for a while, but they are a corporation, and like every other corporation, they are only interested in increasing the bottom line. Corporations have no soul, no conscience, and certainly no patriotism. It’s up to us to draw the line. And it is line that needs to be drawn. The EFF has been standing on that line, but they can use all the help they can get.

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