Wednesday, August 2, 2006

Net Neutrality 4 - Ebay Urges Action! (nadavlog)


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SavetheInternet.com has issued this warning - They think we are not payin' attention - they need to think again!

Sen. Ted Stevens is trying to pull a fast one, and get a cloture vote on net neutrality before Congress is scheduled to recess this week. Hes been buttonholing three Senators in particular to gain their cloture vote:

Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas

Ben Nelson of Nebraska

Joe Lieberman of Connecticut

Please call and/or FAX these Senators and let them know how important it is that they vote against cloture because voting with Stevens means voting with the corporate shills who want to charge you extra to exercise your right to free speech on the internet. You can call toll free through the Capitol switchboard at 888-355-3588 or 202-224-3121 & ask for these senators or your Senator's office!

Stevens is shooting for a cloture vote on Thursday and has plans to keep everyone in a lame duck session to force a vote on net neutrality after Congress is supposed to be in recess.
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Also, here's Ebay's take -

Net Neutrality and the eBay Community: A Call to Action

Dear Ebay user or concerned activist who likes the internet,

As you know, I almost never reach out to you personally with a request to get involved in a debate in the U.S. Congress. However, today I feel I must.

Right now, the telephone and cable companies in control of Internet access are trying to use their enormous political muscl to dramatically change the Internet. It might be hard to believe, but lawmakers in Washington are seriously debating whether consumers should be free to use the Internet as they want in the future.

Join me by clicking here -- http://www.ebaymainstreet.com/netneutrality -- to send a message to your representatives in Congress.

The phone and cable companies now control more than 95% of all Internet access. These large corporations are spending millions of dollars to promote legislation that would allow them to divide the Internet into a two-tiered system.

The top tier would be a "Pay-to-Play" high-speed toll-road restricted to only the largest companies that can afford to pay high fees for preferential access to the Net.

The bottom tier -- the slow lane -- would be what is left for everyone else. If the fast lane is the information "super-highway," the slow lane will operate more like a dirt road.

Today's Internet is an incredible open marketplace for goods, services, information and ideas. We can't give that up. A two-lane system will restrict innovation because start-ups and small companies -- the companies that can't afford the high fees -- will be unable to succeed, and we'll lose out on the jobs, creativity and inspiration that come with them.

The power belongs with Internet users, not the big phone and cable companies. Let's use that power to send as many messages as possible to our elected officials in Washington. Please join me by clicking here right now to send a message to your representatives in Congress before it is too late. You can make the difference.

Thank you for reading this note. I hope you'll make your voice heard today.

Sincerely,

Meg Whitman
President and CEO
eBay Inc.

P.S. If you have any questions about this issue, please contact us at government_relations@ebay.com.
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Here's a piece from itsournet.org, ebay's "government relations" platform:

What Happens if Congress Destroys Net Neutrality?

If Congress caves in to the telephone and cable companies’ power grab, they will use that power to dictate your content. The Net as we know it will be radically altered. Destroying Net Neutrality would result in:

* Discrimination – Phone and cable companies will be able to steer you to Web content and services that they own or have exclusive deals with.
* Higher Costs – If content providers are charged new fees to “ensure” that you can view their sites, they will pass these fees through to consumers like you and small businesses.
* Reduced Investment – Investors will have little reason to support new, Internet-based content and services if there is no guarantee they can even get on the net. Innovation will plummet.
* Compromised Global Competitiveness - The US will lose its lead on the Internet as innovation moves to more fertile, open markets overseas.


Download the PDF of Ebay's Plea for Posterity... so you can remember how you didn't take action and lost your freedom of expression on the internet.