Thursday, June 19, 2014

Oh well

Former FCC Commissioner Michael Copps speaking at a conference this week

He called back to an earlier speaker, who had pointed out that the internet, to most users, had become about the very core of freedom of expression: the freedom to say, read, and watch what we want. And with “the likelihood of gatekeeper control” impending, in the form of the FCC’s new proposed net neutrality rule, those freedoms are in danger.

In the end, Copps directly challenged both the FCC and current members of Congress to do more, and do better. “Our democracy depends on what happens between now and the end of this year,” he said. “Are we going to have regulators and legislators with enough gumption to make this happen?”

“I know it can,” he added, calling on the audience in the room to speak up and make their voices heard with lawmakers. But ultimately, he concluded, it all boils down to two questions:

“Whose internet is it anyway? And whose democracy is it anyway?”
We could have had a really nice internet once.  But we would have first needed to have a democracy that would have made it sustainable.

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