In the next few days, the House of Representatives is going to vote on a bill that would fundamentally alter the Internet. That bill, and one that may come up for a key vote in the Senate in the next few weeks, would give the big phone and cable companies the power to pick and choose what you will be able to see and do on the Internet.
Google has some selfish reasons for taking sides on this political issue, but they seem to be right on this one; as Lawrence Lessig with Robert W. McChesney writes:
Congress is about to cast a historic vote on the future of the Internet. It will decide whether the Internet remains a free and open technology (...) or instead becomes the property of cable and phone companies that can put toll booths at every on-ramp and exit on the information superhighway. (...)
Net neutrality means simply that all like Internet content must be treated alike and move at the same speed over the network. The owners of the Internet’s wires cannot discriminate. This is the simple but brilliant “end-to-end” design of the Internet that has made it such a powerful force for economic and social good: All of the intelligence and control is held by producers and users, not the networks that connect them. (...)
Now Congress faces a legislative decision. Will we reinstate net neutrality and keep the Internet free? Or will we let it die at the hands of network owners itching to become content gatekeepers?
[Thanks Ionut Alex. Chitu of the Google OS blog.]
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