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The Struggle for Net Neutrality

By       Message Stephen Lendman       (Page 4 of 23 pages) Become a premium member to see this article and all articles as one long page.     Permalink

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The Internet will resemble cable TV with providers deciding "which channels, content and applications are available," and at what price.


At stake is whether digital democracy or corporate control will prevail. For media scholar Bob McChesney, it's "a defining issue (at a) critical juncture (window of opportunity) to create a communication system that will be a powerful impetus (for) a more egalitarian, humane, sustainable, and creative (self-governing) society."


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Media reform activists agree that a corporate-free and open Internet must be defended at all costs. The stakes are that high. This battle must be won, but no law mandates it, and under George Bush and the Republican-controlled Congress, several proposed ones were quashed.


HR 3458: The Internet Freedom Preservation Act of 2009

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Introduced on July 31, 2009, it's "To amend the Communications Act of 1934 to establish a national broadband policy, safeguard consumer rights, spur investment and innovation, and for related purposes." It was referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce for consideration.


On October 22, 2009, Senator John McCain (with no cosponsors) introduced S. 1836: A bill to prohibit the Federal Communications Commission from further regulating the Internet." In other words, to prohibit Net Neutrality, an idea McCain calls a "government takeover." It was referred to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation for consideration.


The Center for Responsive Politics and Sunshine Foundation found that from January 2007 - June 2009, McCain was the largest recipient of telecom and industry lobbyist contributions, getting $894,379, including amounts for his presidential campaign. During the same period, 244 members of Congress got $9.4 million, second only to what the pharmaceutical and health products industry gave, according to the Center for Public Integrity.

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On October 23, 2009, a Federation of American Consumers and Travelers news release announced that:


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