Lies, damn lies and FUD


This is SOOOOOOOOO evil!

An outfit calling itself “Hands Off the Internet” has just fielded a television spot opposing Net Neutrality. In 30 seconds it makes a series of utterly false claims and even more twisted buzzwords, designed to have the following effect:

1. Convince the viewers that some nutcases out here are trying to get congress to ENACT something called “Net Neutrality” thus preventing “progress” and “competition” on the internet.

2. Pretend that when a major newswpaper such as the Washington Post editiorializes that Congress should “stay out of cyberspace,” this supports the goals of the backers of the ad, when in fact it does just the opposite by supporting the status quo, which has been assigned this label of “Net Neutrality.”

Thereby,

3. Stirring the emotions of an unthinking public to bring an outcry that in fact is contrary to the interests of that public’s actual opinion, which is generally that, yes indeed, rules governing how internet access is distributed SHOULD NOT CHANGE.

I am about willing to pay a hundred bucks cold cash* to anyone who can demonstrate that this “Hands Off the Internet” organization is not a wholly-owned or fully-funded creature of the telecommunications giants, whose goal is to get congress to ACT by enacting NEW arrangements that would allow those companies to impose control of bandwidth based on content, and control of content based on the payment of big money. This corporate control of the flow of information is what is referred to in Orwellian style, in the ad, as “competition.” Make no mistake: The opponents of so-called net neutrality want to make it less likely that the average surfer will ever see what YOU post to the internet.

Expose them. Please.

(a public service rant.)

* [edit: I get to keep my cash. See the page listing supporters of handsoff.org, including AT&T, Cingular, Bell South, etc… According to Sourcewatch.org,

The bulk of HOTI’s financial support comes from the newly re-formed AT&T, which has funneled hundreds of thousands of dollars into HOTI ad campaigns, including extensive advertising buys across the blogosphere and in mainstream and beltway press. Nowhere throughout these ads is it disclosed that the effort is funded by the nation’s largest telecommunications companies and lobbyists. Instead, HOTI ads are fashioned to look and feel like genuine grassroots efforts, backed by broad popular suport.

]

[EDIT as of August 1, 2006]: There is a slashdot discussion today rehashing the arguments, and buried deep within is a link to an excellent summary of the issues involved.

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