Sunday, June 11, 2006

The End of the Internet As We Know It

The end of the internet as we know it -- and the whores who facilitated it

Well, it looks like the time is coming very soon when Verizon, Earthlink, Comcast, and Cablevision will have the power to decide which sites you have access to when you use the Internet.

Do you order flowers online from your local florist? If he doesn't pay up, you won't be able to -- you'll be directed to a national online site that did.

Are you looking for information on sexually-transmitted diseases and how to prevent them? If right-wing Christian groups successfully lobby the service providers to deny you access to sites with such information by using their wallets as weapons, you'll be denied access.

Do you like to get your news from many sources with varying points of view? Soon you'll be limited to only those sites the service providers want you to see -- whether because of the political views of the providers' executives, or because only conservative sites pay up.

Do you use the Web as a user interface for your critical systems? Perhaps your ordering system or help desk software or collections system is web-based? Your systems will be placed in the slow lane unless you pay up.

Yesterday, the Republican-controlled House of Representatives voted 269-152, largely along party lines, to reject an amendment to telecommunications legislation that would have ensured your equal access to any site you wish to visit.

If you had any doubts that politics in Washington are entirely controlled by corporate dollars, here is Exhibit A. Even Republicans give lip service to small businesses being the backbone of economic growth in the 21st century -- and yet here they are, enacting legislation that will cripple the efforts of any small business to use the internet to build its revenues -- unless it can afford the same fees as the big players in their industries.

This telecommunications bill will pass because people don't understand what net neutrality is or why it's important -- or why allowing the telecom companies to charge fees to those serving content over the web will not only stifle free speech, but also cripple the very small businesses Republicans pretend to want to help.

Aside from this blog, here are two ways I and my family are likely to be FINANCIALLY affected by the loss of net neutrality. I urge you to think about how YOU will be affected and either post it in the comments, or spread it as a blog meme on your own blogs.

1. My employment. We build web-based data entry systems for handling case report form data for clinical trials. With many of these trials being grant-based, who will pay the telecom companies for the kind of response time staffers need to enter this data?

2. My sister's business. My sister is a realtor who has taken great pains to build a web site full of information for people who are looking to buy houses in her area. Most realtors have just a page at or at the site of the large brokerages with which they are affiliated. But it's the independent realtor web site that provides the most information to prospective homebuyers. Will people sit around and wait while her web site crawls as it attempts to load?

Click link at top to read the rest.