Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Why I'm putting the moves on Al Franken

You care about net neutrality. I know this, because you are currently using the Internet. It's neat, isn't it? You type in a few words here, click on a button there, and off you go to a world where information is everywhere, iPhones are wildly inappropriate, and people spend weeks animating songs about their cats. There's nothing else like it in the whole wide world, and you love it. This is net neutrality.

What isn't net neutrality is being charged more by your Internet service provider for certain activities (like streaming a Netflix movie); what isn't net neutrality is setting up a tiered pay system, with those sites that can pay top-tier prices earning faster load times ; what isn't net neutrality is data discrimination. Net neutrality is what allows Etsy to compete with Target; Jolie Holland to compete with Katy Perry; entrepreneurs to compete with Microsoft; West Seattle Blog to compete with The Seattle Times; news in general to compete with Fox.

How to handle net neutrality is being battled out right now, both in the U.S. and in Canada (hi, Canada!) Who opposes net neutrality? Those who stand to make money off net not-neutrality - and those with an insane amount of money to throw into lobbying efforts: telecom giants like AT&T and Verizon.

Who supports net neutrality? Me. You. A handful of senators, like Al Franken (and Washington state's own Maria Cantwell!). And a rapidly growing grassroots organization called The Open Source Democracy Foundation, founded and operated by a group of smart, concerned, and wickedly sexy Reddit users.

Here's where it gets fun.

OSDF is courting two senators for Valentine's Day: Al Franken (supports net neutrality) and Kay Hutchison (opposes it), but they need our help. OSDF is collecting handmade Valentines from supporters, and will hand deliver! them to the senators' offices on Valentines Day. For realsies! You can make your own valentine and send it to OSDF to be included, or fill out the form on their site and have totally awesome OSDF volunteers make the valentine for you. Visit the OSDF's site for more information on why each senator was selected and how to participate. But act quickly! The number of valentines to make is rapidly growing, so I suspect they'll have to cut it off soon.

"Now is an incredibly important time to make your voice heard for Net Neutrality. With the approval of the NBC/Comcast merger, court challenges from Verizon and MetroPCS to the FCC’s Net Neutrality rules, and Rep. Marsha Blackburn’s legislation to strip the FCC of any authority to enforce Net Neutrality rules, we need to demonstrate that we are not backing down."

-The Open Source Democracy Foundation Blog

For more information on OSDF, visit their website, blog, Facebook page, Reddit feed, or come have dinner with me and The Man (he's the sexy in the founding team mentioned above, and a damn fine cook to boot).

1 comment:

Bobbi Janay said...

Interesting concept. Also it is Kay Bailey Hutchison. I am from Texas that is how I know.

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