WEDNEDAY 7/13/17 CALLS TO ACTION: Battle for the Net

Don’t forget tonight night Asheboro Indivisible will be hosting an informational meeting at the Asheboro Library.

We’re coming into a busy season for the RCDP. There are lots of great events and programs coming up. I will keep you updated. That being the case, starting next week I am going to cut our calls to action back to Monday, Wednesday and Friday. If something big happens I will, of course, update you with action items but truly, I’d rather deliver quality content fewer times per week than weak or half-hearted content every day. Thanks for your continued support. You folks are the best!

NET NEUTRALITY:

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Net neutrality is not something we think about very much, that is until it’s taken away. The large telecommunications companies would love nothing more than to limit or block your access to certain parts of the internet in order to force you to pay for access. The internet has become so pervasive and so prevalent in American life that access to it borders on being a right and not just a privilege. We don’t need Big Brother watching us, selling our info or restricting what we can access over the internet.

I wouldn’t normally link you to a Reddit thread because they can get kind of hinky sometimes, but this blog post by the creators of Reddit. This post lays out the necessity of net neutrality very well.

 

We need your voice as we continue the fight for net neutrality

I for one, am against an internet controlled by people and corporations who want to enrich themselves by denying my right to both read and say what I want, when I want and where I want on the internet.

Send a letter to the FCC and Congress at Battle for the Net

or call your Senators and Representative and urge them to protect net neutrality and keep corporations from impeding access and stomping on our First Amendment rights.

The first response to the blog post linked above (which I will copy below just in case it drops out of the first position) cites several instances in which large telecommunications companies have infringed on the neutrality of the net and attempted to block or limit access to customers.

          ” [–]TheNet_ 7572 points x9 

          To those who falsly claim net neutrality does nothing—

          (A history of net neutrality infringements from freepress.)

MADISON RIVER: In 2005, North Carolina ISP Madison River Communications blocked the voice-over-internet protocol (VOIP) service Vonage. Vonage filed a complaint with the FCC after receiving a slew of customer complaints. The FCC stepped in to sanction Madison River and prevent further blocking, but it lacks the authority to stop this kind of abuse today.

COMCAST: In 2005, the nation’s largest ISP, Comcast, began secretly blocking peer-to-peer technologies that its customers were using over its network. Users of services like BitTorrent and Gnutella were unable to connect to these services. 2007 investigations from the Associated Press, the Electronic Frontier Foundation and others confirmed that Comcast was indeed blocking or slowing file-sharing applications without disclosing this fact to its customers.

TELUS: In 2005, Canada’s second-largest telecommunications company, Telus, began blocking access to a serverthat hosted a website supporting a labor strike against the company. Researchers at Harvard and the University of Toronto found that this action resulted in Telus blocking an additional 766 unrelated sites.

AT&T: From 2007–2009, AT&T forced Apple to block Skype and other competing VOIP phone services on the iPhone. The wireless provider wanted to prevent iPhone users from using any application that would allow them to make calls on such “over-the-top” voice services. The Google Voice app received similar treatment from carriers like AT&T when it came on the scene in 2009.

WINDSTREAM: In 2010, Windstream Communications, a DSL provider with more than 1 million customers at the time, copped to hijacking user-search queries made using the Google toolbar within Firefox. Users who believed they had set the browser to the search engine of their choice were redirected to Windstream’s own search portal and results.

MetroPCS: In 2011, MetroPCS, at the time one of the top-five U.S. wireless carriers, announced plans to block streaming video over its 4G network from all sources except YouTube. MetroPCS then threw its weight behind Verizon’s court challenge against the FCC’s 2010 open internet ruling, hoping that rejection of the agency’s authority would allow the company to continue its anti-consumer practices.

PAXFIRE: In 2011, the Electronic Frontier Foundation found that several small ISPs were redirecting search queries via the vendor Paxfire. The ISPs identified in the initial Electronic Frontier Foundation report included Cavalier, Cogent, Frontier, Fuse, DirecPC, RCN and Wide Open West. Paxfire would intercept a person’s search request at Bing and Yahoo and redirect it to another page. By skipping over the search service’s results, the participating ISPs would collect referral fees for delivering users to select websites.

AT&T, SPRINT and VERIZON: From 2011–2013, AT&T, Sprint and Verizon blocked Google Wallet, a mobile-payment system that competed with a similar service called Isis, which all three companies had a stake in developing.

EUROPE: A 2012 report from the Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications found that violations of Net Neutrality affected at least one in five users in Europe. The report found that blocked or slowed connections to services like VOIP, peer-to-peer technologies, gaming applications and email were commonplace.

VERIZON: In 2012, the FCC caught Verizon Wireless blocking people from using tethering applications on their phones. Verizon had asked Google to remove 11 free tethering applications from the Android marketplace. These applications allowed users to circumvent Verizon’s $20 tethering fee and turn their smartphones into Wi-Fi hot spots. By blocking those applications, Verizon violated a Net Neutrality pledge it made to the FCC as a condition of the 2008 airwaves auction.

AT&T: In 2012, AT&T announced that it would disable the FaceTime video-calling app on its customers’ iPhones unless they subscribed to a more expensive text-and-voice plan. AT&T had one goal in mind: separating customers from more of their money by blocking alternatives to AT&T’s own products.

VERIZON: During oral arguments in Verizon v. FCC in 2013, judges asked whether the phone giant would favor some preferred services, content or sites over others if the court overruled the agency’s existing open internet rules. Verizon counsel Helgi Walker had this to say: “I’m authorized to state from my client today that but for these rules we would be exploring those types of arrangements.” Walker’s admission might have gone unnoticed had she not repeated it on at least five separate occasions during arguments.”

SIGN THE 6TH DISTRICT DEMOCRATS’ PETITION FOR NON-PARTISAN REDISTRICTING

UPCOMING EVENTS:

Informational Session from Asheboro Indivisible – Join the folks from Asheboro Indivisible for an informational session and postcard avalanche Thursday July 13, 2017 at 6:30PM in the downstairs meeting room of the Asheboro Library.

Blue Jean Gala Planning Committee/Executive Committee Meeting – Tuesday July 11, 2017 at Democratic Headquarters 803 W. Salisbury St. Asheboro. Blue Jean Gala Meeting at 5:30PM Executive Committee Meeting to follow immediately after at 7:00PM

NCDP Unity Dinner (Formerly Jefferson-Jackson Dinner) Saturday July 15, 2017 7:00-10:00PM at Talley Student Union on the campus of NC State in Raleigh. Guest speaker will be former US Attorney General Eric Holder.

SAVE THE DATE: 9th Annual Defending Democracy Blue Jean Gala – Saturday September 23, 2017, 6:00PM – The Exchange 204 S Fayetteville St, Asheboro, NC  Speakers and entertainment to be announced.

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