Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Crunch time - threat to free speech!

Today, Steve Anderson, the Save Our Net guru, reminded me that the CRTC, our federal regulator for the internet, will be issuing a landmark ruling shortly on access to the internet. Twice delayed, the upcoming CRTC ruling will have long term implications. And you can have an impact on that ruling BUT only if you do it NOW.

For months now, major ISPs, like Bell, have been throttling your access to the internet. The CRTC will be ruling on whether this can continue. This is the first step in the battle for commodification of the internet.

As the two most recent federal elections have shown, the internet opens up our democracies.

The ISPs would like to close it down and channel it, just like cable television. The plan is to force you to purchase a package of channels for access to certain websites. In conversation with my own ISP in June, I discovered that these packages are being developed for marketing right now. The impact on independent websites and blogs would be catastrophic. You'd have to pay extra to view a website that is not on the approved list! Or to visit this blog!!!

These companies have been caught:
• throttling or slowing Internet traffic to businesses and consumers;
• blocking access to websites that criticized them;
• crippling consumer devices and applications.

The time for action is NOW. Steve Anderson has been working tirelessly on this issue for months with his work on the Net , DemocraticMedia. ca and websites as well as several Facebook groups. He and others have done the research and now he needs our help to put a STOP to throttling.

Here's Steve's list:

join the facebook group SaveOurNet

add to your FB status update

write to the CRTC, here's the media release with submission date and form

sign the petition

For bloggers, there's a button to add to show your support which you'll noticed I've just added. Let's see if we can double the entries on the petition in the next couple of days.

I've been following this issue for months and it really is past time to act on this critical issue that will have an impact on our freedom of speech online.

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