Former Rivals Join in Common Cause to Save the Internet

Former Rivals Join in Common Cause to Save the Internet

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moby_event2Which issue aligns artists and musicians with Gun Owners of America? MoveOn.org with the Christian Coalition? The AARP with E-bay and Google? All these bipartisan groups along with 600 others have joined together in an effort to keep the internet free and equal for all websites, no matter how large or small.

Grammy-nominated musician Moby joined today with U.S. Representative Edward Markey (D-MA), ranking Democrat on the House Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet, to demand that Congress reject upcoming legislation that would allow AT&T, Verizon, and other telecommunications giants to give preferential treatment to websites on the Internet, altering the access consumers enjoy.

Save the Internet (savetheinternet.com) is an alliance of organizations from across the political spectrum, consumer groups, educators, small businesses, and bloggers that have joined together to fight the congressional proposal to gut Network Neutrality—the Internet’s First Amendment. . .

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In only a few weeks, 700,000 people have signed a petition on Internet Freedom and 7,000 friends have joined SavetheInternet.com’s MySpace page.

Net Neutrality is the long-held principle that ensures small music blogs and independent news sites open just as easily on people’s computers as large corporate sites. Companies like AT&T are spending millions lobbying Congress to pass legislation that critics charge would set up a discriminatory tollbooth system on the information superhighway. The proposed legislation would allow Internet providers to decide which Web sites work best on people’s computers based on who pays them the most.

“If Congress guts Net Neutrality, independent music and news sites would be choked off, consumer choice would be limited, and the Internet will be become a private toll road auctioned off by companies like AT&T,” Moby warned. “We need to stand up for Internet freedom now. Congress must uphold Network Neutrality.”

Thousands watched the Moby event online, which posted a Congressional call-in number on the screen encouraging viewers to call their representatives to demand they protect Net Neutrality.

“Right now we are heading down a dangerous road that will stifle the openness of the Internet, endanger our global competitiveness, and warp the web into a tiered Internet of bandwidth haves and have-nots. This coalition is the beginning of a nationwide effort to stop creeping Internet protectionism into the free and open World Wide Web. This is the time for Internet users to express themselves to rise up and save the Internet,” said Cong. Markey, the leader of the movement to prevent the COPE Act (HR 5252) from passing without a strong net neutrality provision. Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) will be working from the Republican and Senate side of the aisle in Congress.

Write or call your representative and help keep the Internet a level playing field for all web sites: Find your congressperson with your zip code: www.congress.org

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