/ Cory Doctorow / 6 am Wed, Sep 10 2014
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  • Join the global fight for a neutral net: Big Telecom vs THE WORLD

    Join the global fight for a neutral net: Big Telecom vs THE WORLD

    Today, a coalition of activist groups from all over the world kick off a global campaign for a neutral Internet where big telcoms aren't allowed to decide which websites you can visit based on how much bribery they can extort -- it's called Big Telecom vs the World and it needs your help!

    There's plenty being done inside the US on the Net Neutrality fight, and we're glad to be a part of that. But Net Neutrality isn't a US-only issue; all over the world, ISPs have erected tollbooths that are used to decide which kinds of services can succeed and which ones will fail -- tollbooths that end up making it harder for grassroots activists, community groups, political opposition, and other kinds of vital speech and collective action.

    What's more, a non-Neutral net is one that's easily turned to censorship and surveillance: the more network management and monitoring an ISP is able to accomplish, the more it will be an attractive target for spies, cops and oppressive states.

    Right now, in Canada, the US, the EU and in Brazil, there are crucial regulatory proceedings about the future of Net Neutrality where your voice is needed:

    * In the U.S., there are just 7 days left for citizens to speak out against an FCC proposal that would allow telecom providers to force every service that can’t pay new “prioritization” fees into a slow lane directly affecting over 250 million U.S. Internet users. Over 128,000 people have used OpenMedia’s online tool to send the FCC a message.

    * In Canada, decision-makers at the CRTC are looking into whether large wireless providers are breaking net neutrality rules by discriminating against online content they don’t own. This follows revelations that Bell had been overcharging customers a markup of 800% to watch Netflix instead of Bell-owned content.

    * In the European Union, decision-makers are considering a proposal from the European Parliament to underpin net neutrality provisions into law, however this proposal is facing strong opposition from large European telecom companies.

    * In Brazil, citizens and decision-makers recently passed an Internet Bill of Rights called Marco Civil that enshrines net neutrality and helps set a positive example for the rest of the world.

    There are also key fights in Mexico and Cameroon, and more to come. The Big Telecom vs the World site has lots of ways for you to get involved, from writing to regulators to hosting a Maker Party.

    The cable companies and telcoms operators are multinational, global, and ruthless. There's only one Internet, and when greedy companies and captured regulators break it in one country, they weaken it across the planet. This is everybody's fight, and with Big Telecom vs the World -- initiated by the excellent Canadian activist group Openmedia.ca -- there's a tent big enough for all of us to fit in.

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