Al Franken on net neutrality

September 1, 2010 | By | 2 Replies More

Senator Al Franken is well-focused on the current threat to net neutrality:

If we learned that the government was planning to limit our First Amendment rights, we’d be outraged. Well our rights are under attack – not from the government but from corporations seeking to control the flow of information online.

I believe that net neutrality, preserving a free and open Internet, is the First Amendment issue of our time.

Today, a small Minnesota bookstore’s website loads just as fast as Amazon.com. That’s because right now Internet service providers don’t discriminate between different kinds of content online. So if you have something to say or a product to sell, there is currently no limit to how influential or successful you can be.

But the nation’s largest telephone, Internet, and media companies have a different plan for the Internet. Instead of a level playing field, these companies have made clear they plan to reserve express lanes for their own content and services – or those of big corporations that can afford to pay a higher price – and leave Minnesota’s consumers and small businesses in the slow lane.

We can’t let companies write the rules that they’re supposed to follow. Because if that happens those rules are only going to protect corporations, not the public interest.

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Category: Net neutrality

About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

Comments (2)

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  1. Tony Coyle says:

    From what I can see from the sidelines, Senator Franken is doing a fabulous job in the Senate. It would be wonderful if all of our representatives behaved as consistently in the public interest as Senator Franken does.

    Regarding Net Neutrality – I agree with his statement completely. Especially when most people are served by (at most) one or two wireline providers, it is important that our representatives do not allow monopolistic or cartel-like behaviors from the companies responsible for our access to the Net. This is, indeed, a first amendment issue.

    I have absolutely no issue with companies paying for ad-time, sponsoring material, sponsoring sites, writers, videos, or whatever. I do have issue when they (can) control my access to material that is not in their personal interest.

    Might does not make right.

  2. Ebonmuse says:

    If only we had 99 more like him.

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