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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 12/4/17

Protect Internet Freedom

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From George Lakoff Blog

Net Neutrality - Corporate Interests keep working for death
Net Neutrality - Corporate Interests keep working for death
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Donald Trump and the Republicans are trying to restrict American freedom and destroy the Internet as we know it.

They want to hand control of a crucial public resource -- the Internet -- over to corporations. These corporations will then be able to restrict the flow of information, effectively censor voices of dissent, and charge outrageous prices for access to online services.

This is an attack on American freedom, and it should alarm every citizen who cherishes the free flow of information in the digital age. We can't allow corporations take control of our Internet. But stopping this nefarious scheme requires urgent action on this issue, most commonly known as Net Neutrality.

I don't like the term Net Neutrality because it obscures what's really at stake: FREEDOM. Our freedom to access the information and resources we need to keep our democracy healthy is under threat. Yet, Republicans on the Federal Communications Commission -- led by former Verizon lawyer Ajit Pai -- seek to hand our Internet over to private corporations.

But the Internet is a public resource that belongs to the People. That's because the Internet was developed by our federal government in the 1960s and 1970s. The idea was to "build robust, fault-tolerant communication via computer networks." The result was the Internet, which allows me to type these words on my laptop and share them with all of you immediately.

The US government funded the research and technology to create the Internet. This means American taxpayers paid for it. So, if the Internet belongs to anyone, it should belong to Citizens, not corporate fat cats.

According to Scientific American: "In truth, no private company would have been capable of developing a project like the Internet, which required years of R&D efforts spread out over scores of far-flung agencies, and which began to take off only after decades of investment. Visionary infrastructure projects such as this are part of what has allowed our economy to grow so much in the past century."

The Internet belongs to us. But we have to fight for it right now, or we may lose it. There's ample evidence that fake bots have flooded the Federal Communications Commission's inbox with over a million fake comments supporting corporate control of the Internet. The corporations are working hard to take away your Internet freedom. It's time to make sure the real voices of American citizens are heard on this matter!

Internet freedom is especially important because our entire economy now depends on the Web. Online sales on shopping holidays like Black Friday are overtaking in-store sales. This means the private profit of corporations in this digital age now depend on the use of a public resource we created through our government decades ago. The Internet -- like roads, bridges, ports, and telecommunication systems -- is a publicly funded resource that makes all private profit possible. The private depends on the public! We must never forget this, and we must make a point of saying it -- especially at a time when Republicans are trying to sign away our property to corporations.

It's time for us to make our voices heard. Please join me in standing up for American freedom and the public's right to maintain fair control of a crucial public resource, the Internet.

Please click on the link below to make your voice heard -- and share this with your friend and family.

  • Republicans are attacking our freedom and trying to destroy the Internetas we know it. We must stop them from giving control of our public Internet to corporations.

  • The Internet was developed by the US government and paid for by American taxpayers. This publicly funded resource must remain fair, open and neutral to benefit the American people.

  • All private profit depends on public resources -- roads, bridges, ports, telecommunications, and the Internet. We must never hand public resources over to private corporations.

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George Lakoff is Richard and Rhoda Goldman Distinguished Professor of Cognitive Science and Linguistics at the University of California at Berkeley, where he has taught since 1972. He previously taught at Harvard (1965-69) and the (more...)

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