Thursday, January 14, 2010

Save the Internet

By James J. Gormley

On behalf of Citizens for Health, an IRS-recognized not-for-profit organization with approximately 100,000 individual consumer members across the United States, I ask you to join with me and with FreePress in stating your strongest possible support for Net Neutrality (FCC Docket No. 09-191).

Visit this link: to file comments directly with the FCC. Once you are there scroll down (it should be near the top) to docket number 09-191 In the Matter of Preserving the Open Internet Broadband industry Practices. Once you click on the 09-191 it will shoot you to a page that already has all the docket details etc. this is the short form that you can use to easily file your comments.

The current Google censorship situation in China is a perfect example of why a 100 percent free and open Internet serves Americans and advances democracy.

Whether it is governments, corporations, advertisers or lobbyists (contributors), none of these groups should have any influence over a 100 percent free and open Internet that encourages the free-est possibly communication of ideas, opinions, facts, information, opportunities, and health information as well, whether it is health information about (or critical of) pharmaceuticals, diet, food, exercise, alternative medicine, herbalism, traditional healing traditions --- it should all be equally available and equally accessible to Americans.

Allowing Internet Service Providers (ISPs) the improper ability to slow down, hinder or block certain information (for example information that does not help their advertising partners) would be an outrageous and unacceptable violation of our Constitutional rights and would be wrong, unethical, anti-American and anti-democracy.

Filings by ISPs dare to suggest that this is about dictating to industry or assigning borders to an evolving medium --- that could not be further from the truth.

In point of fact, industry is attempting to gain greater control over what is, for now, a free highway of information and ideas; consumers are merely trying to protect this medium from telephone, wireless and cable companies’ efforts to turn this into an issue of virtual “eminent domain.” If these corporations and their lobbies are successful, it would make a mockery of this freedom and would not only violate article 17 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights but would, as noted, violate the U.S. Constitution.

For all of these reasons, and many more, I, on behalf of the 100,000 members of Citizens for Health, ask you to call on the FCC to do the right thing: to pass strong and broad Net Neutrality rules.

Doing this will represent one of the most important regulatory protections any Federal agency can pass this decade, and perhaps even this century --- it will represent a legacy advancing democracy and protecting consumers for us, our children and future generations. 

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