Thursday, June 17, 2010

Don't let corporations become dictators

by Julie Jigsawnovich

The ATTN: Mr. Democrat video by Farbod Khoshtinat states that, "Democracy is not choking the voices so that no harsh word could aggrieve your ears." This video has drawn a worldwide enthusiastic response online. Iranians and non-Iranians alike are leaving glowing comments for it on YouTube. And the analytics map under the video shows world nations growing greener with each ATTN: Mr. Democrat view.

Although the dictatorial regime running the Islamic Republic diligently tries to block Iranians from watching YouTube, the color of Iran on the map proves that many Iranians are finding proxies to access the full internet.

Unfortunately, there's an even bigger threat to internet freedom--not from governments, but from corporations. Corporations could be even more effective than governments at preventing users from choosing what to view.

As Megan Tady wrote in the Huffington Post,"While the Internet allows people to create and share their work with the world without anyone's permission, phone and cable companies like Comcast and AT&T want to control the Internet - deciding which content loads fast, and which doesn't load at all. They could effectively silence artists and media makers everywhere, and you, too."

In addition to the strong grassroots support ATTN: Mr. Democrat received through social networks and private emails--Iranian, Azerbaijanian, French and American writers have embedded the video in their blogs. Plans by Comcast and AT&T to control the internet particularly endanger bloggers and small website owners who support democracy.

As the internet has become a central form of communication, internet freedom/net neutrality is vital to democracy. Don't let corporations become dictators. This issue is urgent, and the impact would be international. Please contact the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) and President Obama, strongly urging them to protect free expression on the Internet--so that we can keep using the Internet the way we want to.

People living in the U.S. can
sign this petition to the FCC.

People living outside the U.S. can
contact the FCC through email here.

Everyone can contact President Obama.

Everyone can thank these Senators for their support.

I recommend the following advocacy group for this issue:

This article was republished at:

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