At The LAMP, we believe strongly that technology and civic engagement go hand-in-hand, and that being involved in causes important to you is a big part of maintaining a healthy relationship with media. One of the biggest issues surrounding the Internet is that of net neutrality. In a nutshell, net neutrality would mean that, well, the net is neutral. With net neutrality, your Internet Service Provider (ISP) would not be allowed to give preferential treatment to certain websites. So, for example, Verizon would not be able to make a deal with Microsoft making it so that Bing loads faster than Google. In the extreme, your ISP could decide to play nicely only with businesses, political parties, websites or content sharing sites that were friendly to your ISP’s business practices. This is just scratching the surface of the net neutrality debate, and at The LAMP we generally try to avoid getting too political. But net neutrality has a great potential to impact media literacy–what if, perhaps, you could only get your news online from one source?
That’s why we think you should know about The Internet Strikes Back campaign to make your voice heard at key moment in net neutrality legislation. Congress is getting ready to decide if we will have any net neutrality rules at all. If the proposed bill passes it will not only repeal the FCC’s current rules, but also prevent the FCC from making any net neutrality rules in the future. Without government-backed net neutrality rules ISPs will be free to pick and choose which websites work and which websites don’t.
The Internet Strikes Back is a day – February 17th – where we are asking the Internet to call your Representative and tell them how important Net Neutrality is.
Go to www.TheInternetStrikesBack.org to find out more, get a button for your website (like the one in the upper left), and even sign up to participate in advance. If you sign up in advance by clicking the button, you will get a text message on the 17th that will automatically connect you with your Representative.
Don’t sit on the sidelines for this one. Take action to defend a free Internet!