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Net Neutrality: will the future really be brighter?

[Email]

Google, Verizon and Net Nuetrality

Dear MoveOn member,

Big news: according to reports, Google is about to cut a terrible deal with Verizon that would end the fair, open Internet as we know it.1

The reported Google-Verizon deal would allow giant corporations to control which websites load quickly and easily on the Internet and dump everyone else onto an Internet slow lane. This is exactly the kind of unequal playing field that Google itself has opposed in the past.2

We only have a few days to stop it, so we’re launching a grassroots protest calling on Google to scuttle the deal. Will you sign our emergency petition to Google? Click here to sign:

http://pol.moveon.org/google/?id=22383-14611215-y.s5g3x&t=4

The petition says: “Google: Say no to the reported agreement with Verizon to kill Net Neutrality and the open Internet.”

The Internet was founded on the principle that all data is equal—and that no corporation should be able to decide whose data goes faster or slower. It’s this principle, called Net Neutrality, that has made the Internet such an amazing platform for individual speech, democratic action, and entrepreneurial creativity.3

And until now, Google—which uses the corporate motto “Don’t Be Evil”—has been a staunch defender of Net Neutrality.4 But now, Google is threatening to turn the Internet into a closed, pay-to-play, cash cow for large corporations. This move is evil, and Google knows it.

Here’s why this is a big deal. President Obama’s new Federal Communications Commission (FCC) chair initially came out strong for Net Neutrality, in line with the President’s campaign promises.5 But the big telecom companies launched a lobbying frenzy, and soon the FCC was meeting with them behind closed doors.

Because Google and Verizon are two powerhouse corporations that have historically been on opposite sides of this issue, an agreement between them will put enormous pressure on the FCC to go along with their recommendations. Essentially, two giant corporations may be deciding the future of the Internet—if the Obama administration goes along, and if the public doesn’t push back right away. Click here to help stop them now:

http://pol.moveon.org/google/?id=22383-14611215-y.s5g3x&t=5

Google was once a champion on this issue—Google chief executive Eric Schmidt once attacked “phone and cable monopolies” who “want the power to choose who gets access to high-speed lanes and whose content gets seen first and fastest.”6

But today’s news stories report that under the new deal, Verizon could be allowed to give some sites preferential treatment. Even more ominously, it appears that Verizon would have free rein to discriminate on the mobile Internet (smartphones, cell phones, etc). Since that’s where most people will access the Net going forward, this would essentially spell the end of Net Neutrality.

Google has issued a short, carefully worded statement challenging some of the details in The New York Times story, but it hasn’t denied that it is going along with this agreement to kill Net Neutrality.7 So much for “Don’t be evil.” Will you sign our petition today and tell Google not to be evil on Net Neutrality?

http://pol.moveon.org/google/?id=22383-14611215-y.s5g3x&t=6

Thanks for all you do.

–Kat, Justin, Carrie, Steven, and the rest of the team

Sources:

1. “Google and Verizon Near Deal on Web Pay Tiers,” The New York Times, August 5, 2010
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/05/technology/05secret.html

2. “Google Just Killed Net Neutrality,” Gizmodo, August 5, 2010
http://gizmodo.com/5605310/google-just-killed-net-neutrality
3. “Network Neutrality Fact Sheet,” Common Cause, April 6, 2010
http://www.moveon.org/r?r=87794&id=22383-14611215-y.s5g3x&t=7

4. Google Investor Relations: Code of Conduct, accessed August 5, 2010
http://investor.google.com/corporate/code-of-conduct.html

5. “FCC Chair Proposes Net Neutrality Rules,” Digital Daily, September 21, 2009
http://www.moveon.org/r?r=87795&id=22383-14611215-y.s5g3x&t=8

6. “Google Just Killed Net Neutrality,” Gizmodo, August 5, 2010
http://gizmodo.com/5605310/google-just-killed-net-neutrality

7. “Google Denies Priority Internet Access Deal With Verizon,” PC Magazine, August 5, 2010
http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2367436,00.asp

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