From Al Franken:

The Comcast-NBC merger is the first domino. If it falls, the rest will soon follow. If no one stops them, how long do you think it will take before 4 or 5 megacorporations effectively control the flow of information in America not only on television, but online? How long do you think it will take before the Fox News website loads 5 times faster than DailyKos?

It’s almost too late to stop this from happening, but not quite. The government can stop them. . . but first the government has to be MADE to act.

Net Neutrality is THE First Amendment issue of our time. If you want to protect the free flow of information in the country and all that depends on it, you have to help me fight this.

Click here to sign petition


  1. #1 TheDude
    July 28, 2010

    If you think the FCC has a good record for respecting free speech, go ahead and sign. I’m not.

  2. #2 Greg Laden
    July 28, 2010

    The Dude: Nice example of spite you’ve got going there. I suppose you don’t vote as well.

  3. #3 TheDude
    July 28, 2010

    No spite here. You’ll have to forgive me for missing the subtext of your second supposition.

  4. #4 Greg Laden
    July 28, 2010

    Probably meaningless. Here’s the thing: Who else but the FCC regulates these things? No one. You don’t have to like the way the FCC has acted in the past to urge them to not allow a mega mererger like that. So, if you have a choice between signing it and not signing it and you don’t because you don’t like the FCC, then you are by default supporting the merger.

    That makes no sense unless you are secretly in support of the things you seem to say you are against.

  5. #5 Russell
    July 28, 2010

    There’s a part of me that thinks there really needs to be an independent, science-oriented blog network/aggregator. ScienceBlogs hasn’t been the same since The Strike. Too many blogs I once read are now absent. And while Seed may mean well, they inevitably are buffeted by the fickle winds of business.

  6. #6 Ken
    July 29, 2010

    Much of the argument against Net Neutrality is based around the idea that it wouldn’t be fair to tell companies what they can or cannot do with the services they provide. When discussing this with libertarian friends it is a tough issue.

    I like to point out that the media regulations of the past were needed to prevent information monopolies in areas of the country. Deregulation of media was in large part justified because of the ability of the Internet to provide alternative outlets. Without neutrality, however, the Internet cannot properly be that alternative.

    As I see it, you either have to maintain Net Neutrality or you need to bring back the strict media merger and distribution regulations of the past. I wouldn’t Net Neutrality AND more merger regulation.

    Information monopolies scare me.

    It’s also good to remind people that the information boom of network technology had its roots in the forced divestiture of AT&T. Before that, introducing touch-tone dialing was their idea of major advances in communications for a decade.

    The new AT&T is going back to the old ways. After buying up the excess bandwidth resulting from the dot com bust, they were happy to increase sales without significant new investment in infrastructure. Now that infrastructure is running out, their solution is to reduce the amount customers can use the network instead of increasing bandwidth. That smells a lot like “But we gave them touch-tone! What more to they want!”

    So bring on the Net Neutrality, and let’s also break up some too-large media giants while we are at it. I think people would be surprised by a new surge of innovation, investment and reduction of prices. Where’s Judge Greene when you need him?

  7. #7 Ken
    July 29, 2010

    *I wouldn’t Net Neutrality AND more merger regulation

    I meant “I wouldn’t mind Net Neutrality AND more merger regulation”

    (Nothing like preefrooding…)

  8. #8 rob
    July 29, 2010

    if you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.

    i will sign the petition.

    the packets must flow!

  9. #9 Pinky
    July 29, 2010

    Without net neutrality, my computer will be as sickening and as useless as TV.

    The rough voice of dissent is the engine of change. To get the diamonds, all the coal must be allowed.

    I can think of hundreds of examples of the danger of not having net neutrality. For example: it would be simple for the Church of Scientology, with its vast sums of money, to buy a corporation that controls the flow of information. With such control, do you think Scientology will allow any negative portrayal of it’s activities?

    If you are a Republican, your first impulse may be to support the corporations in their takeover of the net. Is that in your best interest? What if the corporations controlling the net were run by the dreaded Liberals?

    Sign the petition. Support Al Franken.

  10. #10 Pinky
    July 29, 2010

    Not signing the petition for net neutrality because of being unhappy with FCC’s past performance is (as my mother would say), cutting off your nose to spite your face.