Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Google, Network Neutrality, and You

The Internet is perhaps the best means of free speech the world has ever known. It's a powerful and massive tool that connects millions world wide. With that power comes responsibility and I applaud Google for being on the public's side more often than not.

Google was right in battling the US Justice Department when it came to internet search records. They were right in not participating with the National Security Agency in their attempt to collect Internet communications without warrants. Google has guts to stand up for what they believe in.

Recently, some have been disappointed that Google has compromised it's principles by working on censored version of google for China. It's a tough call. Either they comply with China's demands or their service will be blocked. I hope that it is not a sign of what might happen. Google has come out pro-network neutrality and again we agree. Network Neutrality will guarantee that the internet stays in the power of the people and away from the greedy ISPs.

This week Congress will be debating whether or not to allow internet service providers (ISP) the right to charge more for specific services. For example if Congress bows before the providers (Verizon, AT&T, AOL, etc...) they can effectively block or charge users to visit certain web sites. Imagine not being able to visit yahoo, google, blogger or CNN simply because your ISP does not allow it or imagine paying a fee to visit those sites!

The ISPs are screaming bloody murder, because they believe that they built the internet pipeline yet the search engines and other websites profit more from it. Since the ISPs can't collect from the websites out-right, they will use other means.

The ISPs claim that they won't block sites. They don't have to, there are other ways. They can make the path to certain websites so slow, that it becomes painful to use. Then they can promote their own internal search engine as a fast way to search the internet. Of course, it won't be as effective and contain as many search results as google.com and yahoo.com can provide, but it doesn't have to. When it comes to speed, most users will use the quickest service.

It all comes down to money and these ISPs are greedy. They want to compete against yahoo and google or at least get a slice of the action. For instance if yahoo wants more access to Verizon customers, they be forced to pay 10 million per quarter. If they can't collect from them, then they will go after you and I. Imagine paying 2-4 bucks more per month just for visiting a certain website. Are you getting angry yet?

People on both sides of the political aisle are upset over this. Please sign the petition to keep the internet free. You can click the ad below.

Save the Internet: Click here

Here's another article, which talks about the dangers of giving into the demands of big business and another one. Don't think that Republicans are in bed with big business? Check out this quote from Grover Norquist:

"The ultra-left has yet to see innovation-stifling regulation it doesn't like, and net neutrality is no exception," said Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform, an IFC founding member. "Not only is net neutrality Internet regulation, but it flies in the face of Internet providers' property rights."

So I guess the ultra-right stance is to allow ISPs to screw over the public. It is obvious, Republicans do not care about you and I. They care only about big business.

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