28 April 2006 | Organic Bytes (Organic Consumers Assn)

A nationwide network of nonprofit organizations, including the Organic Consumers Association, are mobilizing to stop Congress from passing a law that would enable telecommunications giants to control the flow of traffic on the internet. Companies like AT&T, Verizon and Comcast are pressuring Congress to pass the “Telecom Reform Bill” that would allow them to restrict or slow down your access to certain websites on the internet. As an example, last year, Canada’s version of AT&T — Telus — blocked their internet customers from visiting a web site sympathetic to workers with whom Telus was negotiating. This controversial bill would create a similar situation in the U.S. whereby telephone and cable companies would have increased power to control how well (or poorly) specific websites, including those operated by nonprofit organizations, would function on your computer. The current construction of the internet allows everyone to compete on a level playing field. This is the reason that the internet is a force for economic innovation, civic participation and free speech. If the public doesn’t speak up now, Congress will hand over control of the internet to these telecommunications monopolies.

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