Net Neutrality – An Urgent Call to Action

The Federal Communications Commission decided Thursday to allow public comment on whether it should modify its rules regarding net neutrality. We cannot overstate the importance of this issue, or this opportunity. We urge everyone who values the free exchange of ideas and individual expression to take this opportunity to make your voice heard.The Internet is the most open, democratic, and free channel for the exchange of ideas in the history of the world. We at The Contrarian Perspective value self determination and independence above all else. Until now, the ability to reach a large audience was reserved solely to the wealthy and powerful, due to the great expense of getting the message out. The Internet has changed all that. Now, anyone with a great idea can reach a virtually unlimited audience. The only limit is the merit and appeal of your idea. If others find your ideal compelling, it can’t help but spread and reach its full potential, whether you’re an Iowa soybean farmer or a Fortune 500 ceo.Change is Bad for Them, But Good for UsTraditional media outlets view this freedom as a threat, and rightly so. They have achieved great wealth and power through maintaining a stranglehold on the channels of delivery of information. The Internet takes their control away, and it seems that every day we hear yet another story about yet another desperate attempt by the media establishment to get it back. From harassing ten-year-old mp3 downloaders, to initiating denial-of-service attacks against file-sharing networks, to suing YouTube, they will do anything to block the free flow of information and ideas, because in truth control over the means of distribution is the only thing of value they ever created. The ideas themselves have always come from the artists, reporters, writers, and musicians who were forced to do business with media outlets in order to get their message out.An Assault on MeritocracyOn the Internet, competition for your audience is based largely on merit, and this scares the media elite of the world to death. Rather than compete on a level playing by creating better ideas, they would much prefer to operate as they have done in the past: on an uneven playing field manipulated by money and back-room deals, where what you read and what you hear is chosen for you by a small cabal of media executives. That is the motivation behind their initiatives to create priority traffic based on who has the most money. They want to seize control of the means of communication, so they can again make unlimited profits by catering to the lowest common denominator. Make no mistake. Whatever rhetoric the lobbyists they employ may spew out, this is their motivation, and it is their only motivation. It is vital that their efforts to trample on freedom of communication be stopped immediately, and permanently. Otherwise, we run the risk of reversing the revolutionary ability of individual voices to spread their ideas.We are no fans of regulation, but it is important to understand that opponents of net neutrality are not fighting regulation. Rather, they are fighting to make themselves the regulators. Don’t be fooled by their pseudo-libertarian posturing. The only thing worse than government control is a private monopoly.It is especially revealing that Google is one of the greatest supporters of net neutrality. With its enormous resources and staggering traffic load, Google would stand to benefit enormously if net neutrality were rejected. But Google has shown that it understands the great value that freedom of information creates for society as a whole, and is willing to put this ahead of its own pecuniary interest. For that, it should be applauded, and its message deserves close attention.Speak Up NowComments may be submitted to the FCC through Ms. Heather Hendrickson. You may email Ms. Hendrickson at Reference docket number 07-52 in your emails. We urge you to contact Ms. Hendrickson and make your voice heard, if you ever want it to be heard again.We hereby grant permission for you to excerpt any portion of this article you wish in your communications to the FCC. You may also distribute this article freely in unedited form, so long as you include a link back to Get the word out before it’s too late.


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