Saturday, July 7, 2012



Could Internet users’ rights be enshrined in the U.S. Constitution?
Two lawmakers instrumental in defeating the Stop Online Piracy Act, better known as SOPA, are now calling for a “Digital Bill of Rights” to define and protect the liberties of Internet users in the United States.
Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) joined with Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) Monday morning at the Personal Democracy Forum in New York City to announce their proposal. A draft version of the Digital Bill of Rights is live on Rep. Issa’s personal site,, where his constituents can comment upon proposed legislation.
The Digital Bill of Rights are:
1. Freedom – digital citizens have a right to a free, uncensored Internet
2. Openness – digital citizens have a right to an open, unobstructed Internet
3. Equality – all digital citizens are created equal on the Internet
4. Participation – digital citizens have a right to peaceably participate where and how they choose on the Internet
5. Creativity – digital citizens have a right to create, grow and collaborate on the Internet and be held accountable for what they create
6. Sharing – digital citizens have a right to freely share their ideas, lawful discoveries and opinions on the Internet
7. Accessibility – digital citizens have a right to access the Internet equally, regardless of who they are or where they are
8. Association – digital citizens have a right to freely associate on the Internet
9. Privacy – digital citizens have a right to privacy on the Internet
10. Property – digital citizens have a right to benefit from what they create, and be secure in their intellectual property on the Internet.
The rights could be translated to be in support of net neutrality, the ability to opt-out of online tracking programs and the right for Internet users to protect their creations. Conversely, they oppose legislation that would compromise Internet users’ privacy — an objection that was common amongst the anti-SOPA movement.
For Issa, the Digital Bill of Rights is an important step for giving less technology-savvy lawmakers and government agencies a frame of reference for addressing Internet issues in the future. It’s also key, he believes, to protecting the Internet without relying on last-minute uproar to kill legislation perceived as threatening.
“Government is flying blind, interfering and regulating without understanding even the basics,” wrote Issa on his website. “We have a rare opportunity to give government marching orders on how to treat the Internet, those who use it and the innovation it supports.”
Sen. Wyden likened the effort to a modern-day “digital Constitutional convention” during the announcement Monday morning, adding that the idea is an essential ingredient of building a community that can address Internet issues in Washington.
“In the past, the way you got the word out was through a phone tree,” said Wyden. “We’re talking about building a system that will create a signal throughout the community.”
Do you want a Digital Bill of Rights to become law? Answer our poll below, then share your ideas for other rights in the comments.

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 An image of the U.S. flag is reflected in the lens of a supporter of U.S. Republican presidential candidate, Congressman Ron Paul, at a rally outside Independence Hall in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, April 22, 2012. (Daylife)

Ron Paul Takes Up Internet Freedom With New 'Technology Revolution' Manifesto

Young people have been a driving force in the Paul campaign, and the focus on internet freedom should only bolster that support.

Following in the wake of numerous attempts by the government to regulate various aspects of the internet – from SOPA to ACTA and any number of other bills and trade agreements – the document lays out a digital laissez-faire approach to internet freedom.

“The revolution is occurring around the world,” the document reads. “It is occurring in the private sector, not the public sector. It is occurring despite wrongheaded attempts by governments to micromanage markets through disastrous industrial policy. And it is driven by the Internet, the single greatest catalyst in history for individual liberty and free markets.”

Warning of “internet collectivists” out to appropriate the language of freedom, the new Manifesto argues that further regulation of the internet will lead to less freedom online rather than more. They argue that any attempt by the government to increase its regulatory power is ludicrous, noting the hypocrisy in advocating that ”private sector data collection practices must be scrutinized and tightly regulated inthe name of ‘protecting consumers,’ at the same time as government’s warrantless surveillance and collection of private citizens’ Internet data has dramatically increased.”

The new document serves as something of a counterpoint to the recently released Declaration of Internet Freedom, an online petition put together by Free Press which urges an end to censorship but also the promotion of universal access to the internet.

“Internet collectivists are clever,” the manifesto reads. “They are masters at hijacking the language of freedom and liberty to disingenuously pushfor more centralized control. ‘Openness’ means government control of privately owned infrastructure.’Net neutrality’ means government acting as arbiter and enforcer of what it deems to be ‘neutral’.”

I’ve always had a soft spot for Ron Paul, even though he’s far more conservative and far more libertarian than I am. I have a soft spot for internet freedom as well, and have written about the various threats to that freedom at one time or another.

But I’m a little irked by some of the language of this document, truth be told, even though I’m always happy to see more people up in arms about things like internet censorship.

I’ve argued before that what this country really needs is a Civil Liberties Caucus in congress – not a right-leaning or left-leaning one, either. We need people like Ron Wyden on the left and Ron Paul on the right, even though they may not agree on everything, who are willing to go up against civil-liberty-quashing laws and attempts at censorship. I want people to start voting with this as a priority, regardless of ideological labels (a task that is, truthfully, much harder than it sounds.)

In other words, the last thing we need is one group of civil liberties advocates calling the other group “internet collectivists.” The stakes are too high. The number of elected officials who even care about blocking a bill like SOPA is frighteningly small to begin with. It’s all too People’s Front of Judea for me:

Of course, there really are very real philosophical differences between small government advocates like Ron Paul and his civil libertarian colleagues on the left.

Someone like me would happily sign on to the Declaration of Internet Freedom, for instance, and would gladly support government efforts to get more people online.

Is the internet a human right? I’m not sure it matters, honestly. Internet Access is an important piece of our human and societal and economic infrastructure. Investing public dollars to get more people online (especially rural people and the poor) just makes sense, especially when you dispense with the largely fruitless “rights” language that has become a crutch more than anything in political discussion lately. I believe in human rights, but more often than not both the right and the left appropriate rights language and freedom-speak to score political points.

So here’s a question for both members of the right and the left (and libertarians!) who care about internet freedom: is it worth setting aside your differences just a little bit and working against a common enemy? Is ideological purity more important than results? Where does principle leave off and pragmatism begin?

Because, quite frankly, I don’t care if you’re a collectivist or if you’re John Galt.

If you want to stop censorship and rein in an increasingly intrusive anti-piracy regime, that’s all I care about. That and the results.

I’ve reached out to the Campaign For Liberty about the new manifesto and its implications, and will publish something more detailed on the matter soon.

An Artist’s Rendering Of The Higgs Boson

Commissioned by the ATLAS Experiment at CERN, artist Josef Kristofoletti creates a three-story mural of that goddamn particle you’ve been hearing so much about.
Decades of research and billions in spending recently culminated in a monster of a discovery that has the science community and media outlets, for lack of a better description, spazzing out--but who could blame them? CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, announced they may have found the ever-illusive Higgs boson particle that’s the crucial element to advancing our understanding of life in the universe. And in case you’re wondering where the groundbreaking roadwork took place to uncover the Higgs boson particle, just look for the three-story multicolored mural painted on the side of CERN’s Atlas control room in Geneva.
Created in 2010 by Austin-based artist Josef Kristofoletti, the massive rendering was a year-long collaborative effort between Kristofoletti and Atlas (one of the teams working at the Large Hadron Collider) to visualize this difficult-to-comprehend element of physics. See how it all came together in the time-lapse video below:

And here’s a little something extra for the layman seeking a better understanding of the Higgs boson from people who are actually qualified to speak on such things:

[Image: CERN/Claudia Marcelloni]

Libertarian icon Rand Paul, a U.S. Senator from Kentucky, has released through the Campaign for Liberty a four-page manifesto outlining his goals and ideas for regulating the Internet.

Paul wants to make preserving the Internet along conservative principles the rallying call of the next generation of conservative voters. Whereas the elder Ron Paul has become a leading voice calling for a financial audit of the Federal Reserve System, the younger Rand wants protecting the Internet from government intrusion to be his own claim to political fame.

Sources close to the Paul family told Buzzfeed that Internet regulation (or rather lack thereof) will become the younger statesman’s prime policy objective in the near future. In the first step on Paul’s new digital crusade, the Campaign for Liberty, which was founded by Paul’s father, Rep. Ron Paul, released a four-page manifesto titled “The Technology Revolution.”

The manifesto claims that a technology revolution “is occurring around the world,” largely in spite of wrongheaded government attempts at oversight. Applying time-honored Conservative tenets to the web, the document advocates for less government regulation of the Internet and innovative digital companies, less government intrusion into Internet users’ activity and the abolition of net neutrality. The manifesto ultimately views such a deregulated Internet as a necessary ingredient to economic growth.

“The true technology revolutionaries have little need for big government and never have,” reads the manifesto, pointing to companies such as Apple and Microsoft. “Technology revolutionaries succeed because of the decentralized nature of the Internet, which defies government control [sic]. As a consequence, decentralization has unlocked individual self-empowerment, entrepreneurialism, creativity, innovation and the creation of new markets in ways never before imagined in human history.”

The accuses the Obama administration and some of the technology industry of impeding innovation through “micro-management,” antitrust lawsuits and other methods. Overlooked in the text is the fact that some of the technology luminaries that Paul holds up, namely Apple and Microsoft, are the same firms that observers accuse of stifling further innovation using the very lawsuits condemned in the document.

The manifesto advocates for expanded private property rights on the Internet, and it also dismisses net neutrality — the idea that government and Internet Service Providers should place no restrictions on consumers’ access to the Internet — as “government acting as arbiter and enforcer of what it deems to be ‘neutral.’”

That’s a direct challenge to those such as Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple, who advocate a more open-source Internet culture.

“The early Internet was so accidental, it also was free and open in this sense,” wrote Wozniak in an open letter to the FCC about net neutrality. “The Internet has become as important as anything man has ever created. But those freedoms are being chipped away. Please, I beg you, open your senses to the will of the people to keep the Internet as free as possible.”

The Technology Revolution concludes by assessing that the Internet has produced a revolution but it has not “changed everything,” and therefore it can still be best protected by applying conservatism’s “core principles” to it. “This is our revolution. Government needs to get out of the way,” ends the document.

Paul may be likely to receive mixed reviews to the proposals. Internet activists have fiercely debated the best solutions for protecting innovation and creativity on the Internet, and those activists are positioned across party lines and political ideology. For decades, such theories have blended elements of conservative, libertarian and progressive thought.

Internet regulation and other digital issues have caused unlikely alliances to form in Congress. Republican Rep. Darrel Issa (R-Calif.) and Democratic Senator Ron Wyden have worked together on several Internet-related bills, for example.

And the Stop Online Piracy Act, better known as SOPA, which galvanized the Internet community to rally against what it considered government intrusion into the Internet, was written by a Republican and had 19 Republican supporters. In the end, however, 113 Republicans either rejected it or were leaning towards rejecting it, according to ProPublica.

The manifesto comes just as dozens of organizations, including some left-leaning progressive groups, have signed’s Declaration of Internet Freedom. Some of the declaration’s principles are not that far off from Paul’s manifesto.

Read the full text of “The Technology Revolution” below, then tell us what you think of it in the comments below.

99220534 the Technology Revolution


Ron Paul’s Anti-Net Neutrality ‘Internet Freedom’ Campaign Distorts Liberty

  Gregory Ferenstein
posted yesterday

The libertarian super-duo, Congressman Ron Paul and his son, U.S. Senator Rand Paul, launched an “Internet Freedom” campaign this week that has come out swinging against net neutrality, branding it as a clever attempt at more government intervention. “The Technology Revolution” manifesto decries any attempt to regulate private Internet service providers as an affront to liberty, yet seems to ignore that powerful telecommunications monopolies can wield as much coercion over the future of the Internet as the government. A world without a level playing field of Internet bandwidth allows powerful companies to favor their well-endowed corporate friends over the scrappy startups that power the most vibrant innovation on the web.
The father/son manifesto praises the Internet as an unqualified libertarian success story, “companies, like Apple,” it explains, are ” responsible for creating almost half a million jobs in the United States since the iPhone was introduced…All in less than 5 years, and all without government permission, partnerships, subsidies, or regulations!”
The manifesto says that supporters of net neutrality, a law requiring all Internet providers to give equal bandwidth to all web sites, “are masters at hijacking the language of freedom and liberty to disingenuously push for more centralized control.”

Though net neutrality is designed to protect nascent businesses’ internet speeds from being throttled, The Pauls argue that such government regulation is contrary to the vision of the Founding Fathers.
Team Paul, however, should double-check the intellectual mentors to the American Founding Fathers and their direct lessons for economic innovation.

John Locke, the philosophical godfather of modern “Liberty,” warned as much against government coercion as he did against the wasteful hoarding of common resources. “The NATURAL liberty of man is to be free from any superior power on earth, and not to be under the will or legislative authority of man,” wrote Locke, in the familiar language of small government-lovers everywhere.
However, Locke also argued that common resources, such as land, needed to be protected from overuse, so that myriad individuals could cultivate the kinds of innovation that promoted widespread prosperity. “But if they perished, in his possession, without their due use; if the fruit rotted, or the venison putrefied, before he could spend it, he offended against the common law of nature,” he warned.

There are three very important reasons why the Internet is a common resource and needs protection from powerful corporations.

1. Scrappy startups need protection from overbearing competitors. Without net neutrality, well-endowed incumbent corporations could pay service providers to reroute more bandwidth to themselves, killing startups in their fragile infancy. Myspace could have easily outspent Facebook for more Internet speed, condemning Facebook to the same fate as its predecessor, Friendster, which lost many of its users to frustratingly slow download speeds. As Union Square venture capitalist, Albert Wenger, explained his profit-seeking support of net neutrality, “Our own bias here is clear: we are pro-startup and pro-innovation.”

2. Internet providers need an incentive to equally sacrifice bandwidth to peer-to-peer download services. The same pirate-friendly peer-to-peer services that stream gigabytes of Hollywood movies are also vital for sharing the open-source software, such as Linux, that are essential to the technical underpinnings of the Internet. While Internet service providers benefit from the free open-source, each individual company has a financial incentive to restrict Internet speed over peer-to-peer services, so long as other providers are willing to let open-source code stream alongside bandwidth hogging multimedia files. This is the so-called “tragedy of the commons,” wherein the self-interest of everyone overusing common resources collectively screws everyone (for a more intuitive example, think about how overfishing with explosives dries up food supplies, and why governments would have an incentive to restrict the practice.)

3. Internet service providers are a virtual monopoly. Many individuals have only one option for high-speed Internet. Consumers cannot threaten to leave for a competitor, and are therefore held captive by providers who can favor the highest paying websites, even if they are offering a sub-par product. (For an amusing story of just how tightly controlled these monopolies are, check out Apple Co-Founder Steve Wozniak’s pro net-neutrality tale of how his attempt to create his own service was shut down.)

The government is not the only threat to liberty. Our philosophical predecessors warned mostly of governments largely because free market capitalism, and the terrors of non-state monopolies, were over a century away. Unbridled choice is, and has never, been the definition of liberty. The free and equal opportunity to innovate common resources for individual and social gain was the vision of Locke, the Founding Fathers, and should be the principle of a free Internet.

Declaration of Internet Freedom

The Technology Revolution: A Campaign for Liberty Manifesto

Posted by Brad @ 11:11 pm on July 5th 2012
So where might the Revolution go next? According to his campaign team, the next step on the liberty train is to be internet freedom, which is intended to supersede even End the Fed as the next Paul hobbyhorse.
Kentucky senator Rand and his father Ron Paul, who has not yet formally conceded the Republican presidential nomination, will throw their weight behind a new online manifesto set to be released today by the Paul-founded Campaign for Liberty. The new push, Paul aides say, will in some ways displace what has been their movement’s long-running top priority, shutting down the Federal Reserve Bank. The move is an attempt to stake a libertarian claim to a central public issue of the next decade, and to move from the esoteric terrain of high finance to the everyday world of cable modems and Facebook.
This is all great, in a shallow sense. When I get in actual discussions about libertarianism with people, who view it as a kind of utopianism, the internet is usually the example I give of what a nearly pure libertarian “state” would look like (or the Amish; it depends on my mood). It really is one of the cleanest examples around of how that might play out writ large, warts and all.

However, as Brian Doherty reports, in typical Jesse Benton fashion, it’s not really enough to just claim the mantle of internet freedom and find constructive ways to work towards that end. No, one must immediately start such an effort by setting up an “Us vs. Them” mentality, where “Us” is the Paul brand and “Them” is any other pigfucker that dare try to advance roughly the same cause from any other starting point (and, unspoken, anybody else that might compete for donations). So, the manifesto is short on specific discussions of common enemies, and more appears to be geared at trying to pick fights with groups who are advancing internet freedom from a progressive bent.

Some of which I appreciate, to be sure – one can very easily hurt internet freedom by trying to just go after corporations in short sighted and vindictive ways, one can argue that one of the greatest threats to internet freedom is the “commons” argument, which implies the government needs to claim ownership of and then regulate bandwidth as they used to with radio/TV, and under the rubric of internet freedom, some initially progressively-veiled notions like Net Neutrality would be really, really terrible for the cause in practice.

I appreciate all of that.

But at the same time, going out of your way to pick fights with progressives and immediately enter the realm of “internet freedom” by going after the people who have been working their asses off for the cause, even if you disagree with their bent, for years and years while you’ve been sleeping on it, strikes me as narcissistic, petty, cynical, and counter productive. If your actual goal was to advance internet freedom, the FIRST thing you do, I think, is to start going out to the orgs like the Electronic Frontier Foundation or the ACLU or other places who have been doing good work on this for a long time, and plugging yourself in with them. Even if you have disagreements with them, finding the common ground first seems to me to be the only sensible approach.

But of course, that’s not how the Paul team, lead by Benton, approach these kinds of things. Instead, they view everything from a competitive advantage standpoint, and to their mind, anybody that does not explicitly sign on to be subsumed to Paul is an enemy, even if working for the same cause. Paul himself is not generally this way (either Paul, actually), but if Benton had his way, you can guarantee that Dennis Kucinich or Jim Jeffords or Barney Frank would never have entered the conversation on issues – instead they would have been crucified for being Trojan Horses whose support for the cause was merely a smokescreen masking their real collectivist agenda etc. etc. etc. Paul seems to intuitively understand both comity and creating working alliances on an issue by issue basis – the team he has more or less given control over managing his “brand” most certainly do not.

So, they take a wonderful cause to champion, and that’s awesome. And their first order of business is to declare essentially everybody who has up until this point working for it to be the REAL enemy. Great.

It’s been a very slow process, but while Ron Paul remains my hero, I’m very intrigued by Rand as a Senator, I think I have to finally declare myself about off the Paul / Campaign for Liberty train. If they spent half as much time actually building coalitions to achieve concrete things as they did trying to sow mistrust and contempt to keep donors loyal, they could really do something.

The irony, I suppose, is that according to Team Paul, liberty can only REALLY be supported by signing on and pledging fealty to their managed and centralized organization. Everybody outside those confines are Enemies of the State.

The declaration has five straightforward principles:

Steve Wozniak to the FCC: Keep the Internet Free

By Steve Wozniak
Dec 21 2010, 8:30 AM ET  NetNeutrality2-Post.jpg
To whom it may concern:

I have always loved humor and laughter. As a young engineer I got an impulse to start a Dial-a-Joke in the San Jose/San Francisco area. I was aware of such humor services in other countries, such as Australia. This idea came from my belief in laughter. I could scarcely believe that I was the first person to create such a simple service in my region. Why was I the first? This was 1972 and it was illegal in the U.S. to use your own telephone. It was illegal in the U.S. to use your own answering machine. Hence it also virtually impossible to buy or own such devices. We had a monopoly phone system in our country then.

The major expense for a young engineer is the rent of an apartment. The only answering machine I could legally use, by leasing (not purchasing) it from our phone company, the Codaphone 700, was designed for businesses like theaters. It was out of the price range of creative individuals wanting to try something new like dial-a-joke. This machine leased for more than a typical car payment each month. Despite my great passion and success with Dial-a-Joke, I could not afford it and eventually had to stop after a couple of years. By then, a San Francisco radio station had also started such a service. I believe that my Dial-a-Joke was the most called single line (no extensions) number in the country at that time due to the shortness of my jokes and the high popularity of the service.

Yes, my guard stood hard when abstract threats
Too nobel to neglect
Deceived me into thinking
I had something to protect
Good and bad, I define these terms
Quite clear, no doubt somehow
Ahh, but I was so much older then
I'm younger than that now

-- Bob Dylan
Moving ahead, I have owned four homes in my life. None of these had cable TV, even though one was a new development where the law required cable. None of these had DSL, including my current home, which is only .8 miles up a hill from the populous (constant-homes) town I live in. I pay for a T1 line, which costs many times what DSL runs for about 1/10 the bandwidth. That's as close as I can come to broadband where I live. The local phone providers don't have any obligation to serve all of their phone customers with DSL. They also have no requirement to service everyone living in the geographic area for which they have a monopoly. This is what has happened without regulatory control, despite every politician and president and CEO and PR person since the beginning of the Internet boon saying how important it was to ensure that everyone be provided broadband access.

As a side note, I once phoned the cable company in the town I lived in. I could look from my bedroom window at homes ¾ of a mile away which had cable. I told the cable company that I would be willing to pay the cost of laying cable to my home. The cable company looked into it and got back to me that they could not do this because there were not enough homes on my hill to pay for the monthly rental of running their cable on telephone poles.
In the earliest days of satellite TV to homes, you would buy a receiver and pay a fee to get all the common cable channels. I had a large family (two adults, six kids) and felt like making every room a lot easier to wire for TV. Rather than place a satellite receiver in each room, I'd provide all the common channels on a normal cable, like cable companies do. In my garage, I set up three racks of satellite receivers. I paid for one receiver to access CNN. I paid for another to access TNT. I paid for others to access HBO and other such networks. I had about 30 or 40 channels done this way. I had modulators to put each of these channels onto standard cable TV channels on one cable, which was distributed throughout my home. I could buy any TV I liked and plug it in anywhere in the home and it immediately watch everything without having to install another satellite receiver in that room. I literally had my own cable TV 'company' in the garage, which I called Woz TV, except that I even kept signals in stereo, a quality step that virtually every cable company skipped.

Then I got this idea that I could pretty easily run my signal through the wires in conduits up and down our 60-home neighborhood. The neighborhood had been partially wired for cable before the cable company went bankrupt as the neighborhood was being developed. I phoned HBO and asked how much they would charge me just to be a nice guy and share my signal with 60 neighbors. What came back was an answer that I couldn't do such a personal thing. I had to be a cable company charging my neighbors certain rates and then a percentage of what I was charging, with minimums, had to be paid for HBO. I instantly realized that you couldn't do something nice in your garage as a normal person and I gave up the idea.
The Internet has become as important as anything man has ever created. But those freedoms are being chipped away.
When young, I remember clearly how my father told me why our country was so great, mainly based on the constitution and Bill of Rights. Over my lifetime, I've seen those rights disregarded at every step. Loopholes abound. It's sad. For example, my (Eisenhower Republican) father explained the sanctity of your home and how it could not easily be entered. It was your own private abode. And you had a right to listen to any radio signals that came because the air was free and if it came into your home you had a right to listen to it. That principle went away with a ban on radios that could tune in cell phone frequencies in the days of analog cell phones. Nobody but myself seemed to treat this as a core principle that was too much to give up.
I was also taught that space, and the moon, were free and open. Nobody owned them. No country owned them. I loved this concept of the purest things in the universe being unowned.

The early Internet was so accidental, it also was free and open in this sense. The Internet has become as important as anything man has ever created. But those freedoms are being chipped away.
Please, I beg you, open your senses to the will of the people to keep the Internet as free as possible. 
Local ISP's should provide connection to the Internet but then it should be treated as though you own those wires and can choose what to do with them when and how you want to, as long as you don't destruct them. I don't want to feel that whichever content supplier had the best government connections or paid the most money determined what I can watch and for how much. This is the monopolistic approach and not representative of a truly free market in the case of today's Internet.

Imagine that when we started Apple we set things up so that we could charge purchasers of our computers by the number of bits they use. The personal computer revolution would have been delayed a decade or more. If I had to pay for each bit I used on my 6502 microprocessor, I would not have been able to build my own computers anyway. What if we paid for our roads per mile that we drove? It would be fair and understandable to charge more for someone who drives more. But one of the most wonderful things in our current life is getting in the car and driving anywhere we feel like at this moment, and with no accounting for cost. You just get in your car and go. This is one of the most popular themes of our life and even our popular music. It's a type of freedom from some concerns that makes us happy and not complain. The roads are already paid for. You rarely hear people complain that roads are "free." The government shines when it comes to having provided us pathways to drive around our country. We don't think of the roadways as being negative like telecommunication carriers. It's a rare breath of fresh air.

I frequently speak to different types of audiences all over the country. When I'm asked my feeling on Net Neutrality I tell the open truth. When I was first asked to "sign on" with some good people interested in Net Neutrality my initial thought was that the economic system works better with tiered pricing for various customers. On the other hand, I'm a founder of the EFF and I care a lot about individuals and their own importance. Finally, the thought hit me that every time and in every way that the telecommunications careers have had power or control, we the people wind up getting screwed. Every audience that I speak this statement and phrase to bursts into applause.

That's how the people think. They don't want this to encroach on their Internet freedom.

I was brought up being told that one of the main purposes of our government is to help people who need help. When I was very young, this made me prouder than anything else of my government. I felt that way until the year that the San Jose Draft board voted 5-3 to call me not a student because I'd submitted my grades instead of the proper form, and made me 1A for service in Vietnam. As soon as I got a safe draft lottery number, they sent me a letter saying that they would grant me a 2S student deferment, because then they could get a shot at me in a later year. What was this game? Why was the government doing this sort of thing to a citizen? They aren't always about helping the people.

We have very few government agencies that the populace views as looking out for them, the people. The FCC is one of these agencies that is still wearing a white hat. Not only is current action on Net Neutrality one of the most important times ever for the FCC, it's probably the most momentous and watched action of any government agency in memorable times in terms of setting our perception of whether the government represents the wealthy powers or the average citizen, of whether the government is good or is bad. This decision is important far beyond the domain of the FCC itself.

Woz Signature.jpg

Steve Wozniak - Steve Wozniak is a computer engineer who co-founded Apple Computer, Inc. with Steve Jobs. He created the Apple I and Apple II series computers in the mid-1970s. After earning the National Medal of Technology in 1985, Wozniak left Apple to work on various business and philanthropic ventures.