The thing about democracy, beloveds, is that it is not neat, orderly, or quiet. It requires a certain relish for confusion. Molly Ivins
If ever there were a call to relish confusion it is now – the options for “relishment” are myriad. And if ever there were an organized effort to “weaponize” confusion, it is the war to end net neutrality now raging on the nation’s regulatory frontlines.
“Confuse and conquer” is an ancient strategy rendered ever more lethal by the fact that the digital age effectively limits time for the body politic to think, much less thoughtfully discuss. Issues, especially issues involving complex technology, speed their way through a political process well-lubricated with corporate contributions and compliant appointees.
As many but not enough affected Americans know, Wednesday, July 12, is Net Neutrality Day of Action. (https://www.battleforthenet.com/july12 For many of us whose dependence on the Net is assumed without question the ethos of the tool is vague and the implications are vaguer still. Here’s one digestible overview of the issues and implications:
And yet there’s always time to crib for a deep dive into the digital age version of Cliff Notes – some basics:
- ACLU offers this cryptic guide to the essence of net neutrality: https://www.aclu.org/feature/what-net-neutrality
- Common Sense provides a backgrounder on the issues at stake in the net neutrality debate along with examples of what advocates ae doing to resist: https://www.commondreams.org/newswire/2017/07/05/net-neutrality-day-action-july-12-may-be-largest-online-protest-years
- Wired reminds us that it’s OUR Internet – to be used and ruled as the people’s resource. https://www.lifewire.com/net-neutrality-3482853
- Thanks to an alert contributor there’s even a Wikipedia entry with generous links to everything you ever wanted to know about Net Neutrality and were too overwhelmed to ask:
The corporate campaign to confuse the public opponents of net neutrality has clogged the web with more than the citizen owner of the communication tool needs to know. Still, this is a KISS “keep it simple, stupid” moment.
Herb Schiller is the wise man whose words have long shaped my understanding of the principle, if not the technology, of net neutrality. More about Schiller’s prescient caution in this 2013 post: https:/marytreacy.wordpress.com/tag/herbert-i-schiller/
The control of information is something the elite always does, particularly in a despotic form of government. Information, knowledge, is power. If you can control information, you can control people ~ Tom Clancy
BACKGROUNDER- MINNPOST: https://www.minnpost.com/politics-policy/2017/07/everyone-claims-be-open-internet-so-what-s-latest-net-neutrality-fight-reall?utm_source=MinnPost+e-mail+newsletters&utm_campaign=956e5e91b0-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2017_07_21&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_3631302e9c-956e5e91b0-123365126
- November 21 update: https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/11/21/internet-defenders-urge-mass-revolt-fight-fccs-scorched-earth-attack-net-neutrality?utm_term=Internet%20Defenders%20Urge%20Mass%20Revolt%20to%20Fight%20FCC%27s%20%22Scorched-Earth%22%20Attack%20on%20Net%20Neutrality&utm_campaign=News%20%2526%20Views%20%7C%20%27Women%20Are%20Very%20Special%2C%27%20Says%20Trump%2C%20But%20Roy%20Moore%20%27Totally%20Denies%20It%27&utm_content=email&utm_source=Act-On+Software&utm_medium=email&cm_mmc=Act-On%20Software-_-email-_-News%20%2526%20Views%20%7C%20%27Women%20Are%20Very%20Special%2C%27%20Says%20Trump%2C%20But%20Roy%20Moore%20%27Totally%20Denies%20It%27-_-Internet%20Defenders%20Urge%20Mass%20Revolt%20to%20Fight%20FCC%27s%20%22Scorched-Earth%22%20Attack%20on%20Net%20Neutrality
- Net Neutrality at the end of 2017: What libraries need to know.Posted by: Ellen Satterwhite November 21, 2017 in Network NeutralityMillions of internet users have weighed in — including hundreds of libraries and information professionals — to tell FCC Chairman Ajit Pai not to roll back 2015’s Net Neutrality Order. So what happens now? Flying in the face of this widespread and deep public support for strong net neutrality rules, the FCC has signaled it will gut these protections. Here’s what we expect in coming weeks and months:
- FCC Vote: The FCC is expected to be voting at their December meeting, set for December 14on the of the “Restoring Internet Freedom” rule. The draft language for the vote is expected to be released later today. There likely will be a vote of 3 to 2 (along party lines) to reverse Title II reclassification of the internet. The final order is expected to fully reverse the FCC’s 2015 order.
- Release of the Order:The full text of the adopted FCC order will almost certainly not be ready the day of the vote. In 2010, the text of the order (which was subsequently overturned by a federal court) was released two days after it was voted on, and in 2015, the full text was released 14 days after the vote.
- Publication in the Federal Register:The order must then be published in the Federal Register and will not go into effect until at least 30 days after publication. This is an important date for proponents of strong net neutrality rules, as this is when appeals to the new order can begin.
- Legal challenge:There are 60 days to petition for review or appeal the order in the federal court of appeals.
Another front of activity also could play out in Congress. At this point, there are no concrete proposals circulating, and discussion has come mostly from Republican members, with their Democratic colleagues opposed to legislating at this time. Discussions about legislation are likely to ramp up once the FCC’s vote happens.
Throughout, the ALA will continue to work with other supporters of strong net neutrality protections to ensure policymakers know how important a free and open internet is to libraries and the communities we serve. We have fought this fight many times over the past decade, and this will not be the final word on preserving the open and free internet we all need to ensure intellectual freedom and equitable access in the digital age. We will provide analysis of the draft order and additional options for ALA members to raise their voices in support of the Open Internet in the coming weeks.
- 11/22/17 update: http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/the-backlash-is-building-over-the-plan-to-gut-net-neutrality/ar-BBFw1gC?li=BBnb7Kz&ocid=UE01DHP