Companies like AT&T want the
power to decide which Web sites open properly on your
computer—based on which sites pay them the most. This will
distort the entire Internet.
Next week, Congress votes on
the fate of the free and open Internet. Can you sign
our petition to save the Internet?
Big Internet operators like AT&T and Verizon want
the power to decide which Web sites open properly on our
computers—giving them control over what we do and where we search
online. So far, Congress has caved to their demands.
But because of intense public pressure, some
members of Congress are starting to switch from AT&T's side to ours!
In just a week, Congress saw over 250,000 of us sign a petition
demanding the Internet stay free. Joining this call are tech
pioneers like Google and Microsoft, diverse groups ranging from
MoveOn to Gun Owners of America, and even some celebrities.
If enough of us stand up now, there's still time
for the House of Representatives to do the right thing next week
when it votes on whether to protect or destroy Network
Neutrality—the Internet's First Amendment and the key to Internet
Can you join our
petition asking Congress to protect the free and open Internet?
This petition will be delivered to your members
of Congress, and everyone who signs will be kept informed of the
next steps we can take to keep the pressure on Congress this week.
Companies like AT&T are spending millions
lobbying Congress to gut Net Neutrality. A House committee voted to
go along with AT&T's scheme last week, but we are fighting back hard
before next week's full House vote. We want to raise public
awareness of this issue and hand Congress 350,000 signatures.
To reach this goal, we're launching a
contest: Ask your friends to sign the petition and you can win one
of 10 iPod Nanos or one of 40 BarnesandNoble.com gift certificates.
Start by signing the petition yourself, and you'll receive
instructions to enter the contest.
Snopes.com, which monitors various causes that
circulate on the Internet, recently explained this issue:
Simply put, network neutrality means that no
web site's traffic has precedence over any other's...Whether a
user searches for recipes using Google, reads an article on
snopes.com, or looks at a friend's MySpace profile, all of that
data is treated equally and delivered from the originating web
site to the user's web browser with the same priority. In recent
months, however, some of the telephone and cable companies that
control the telecommunications networks over which Internet data
flows have floated the idea of creating the electronic
equivalent of a paid carpool lane.
If companies like AT&T have their way, Web sites
ranging from Google to eBay to MoveOn either pay the equivalent of
protection money to get into the "fast lane" or risk opening slowly
on your computer. We can't allow the Internet—this incredible medium
which has been such a revolutionary force for democratic
participation, economic innovation, and free speech—to become
captive to large corporations.
Thank you for all you do.
–Eli Pariser, Noah T. Winer, and Adam Green
Monday, May 1st, 2006
P.S. You can support this member-driven
campaign today. As companies like AT&T spend millions
lobbying Congress to gut Internet freedom, we will win this fight
because of the power of regular people. A donation of $10, $20, or
more would go a long way. You can donate by clicking here:
P.P.S. If Congress abandons Network
Neutrality, who will be affected?
groups like MoveOn—Political organizing could be slowed by a
handful of dominant Internet providers who ask advocacy groups to
pay "protection money" for their websites and online features to
charity's website could open at snail-speed, and online
contributions could grind to a halt, if nonprofits can't pay
dominant Internet providers for access to "the fast lane" of
search engine could pay dominant Internet providers like AT&T to
guarantee the competing search engine opens faster than Google on
- Innovators with the "next big idea"—Startups
and entrepreneurs will be muscled out of the marketplace by big
corporations that pay Internet providers for dominant placing on the
Web. The little guy will be left in the "slow lane" with inferior
Internet service, unable to compete.
listeners—A company like Comcast could slow access to iTunes,
steering you to a higher-priced music service that it owned.
purchasers—Companies could pay Internet providers to
guarantee their online sales process faster than competitors—if
BarnesandNoble.com was much slower than Amazon.com that would
distort your choice as a consumer.
businesses and tele-commuters—When Internet companies like
AT&T favor their own services, you won't be able to choose more
affordable providers for online video, teleconferencing, Internet
phone calls, and software that connects your home computer to your
retirees—Your choices as a consumer could be controlled by
your Internet provider, steering you to their preferred services for
online banking, health care information, sending photos, planning
will skyrocket to post and share video and audio clips—silencing
citizen journalists and putting more power in the hands of a few
corporate-owned media outlets.