Could a Congressional bill kill Indymedia?
29 Mar 2006 22:08 GMT
After a 2005 Supreme Court ruling, the question of internet service providers discriminating against controversial or unprofitable internet content is now an open one in America. In other words, can major telecom and cable companies raise fees and discriminate against certain content providers (like Indymedia)?
But that open question could close soon, as Congress has debated the future of the Internet. At stake is the principle of network neutrality — that those who handle the lanes of internet traffic don't discriminate what's on those digital roads, or why.
In the wake of collapsed negotiations in the U.S. House, one lobbyist-back bill has been announced — the Communications Opportunity, Promotion, and Enhancement Act of 2006 — which could seriously blunt network neutrality and internet freedom in the U.S. The COPE Act's initial sponsors include Illinois Representatives Dennis Hastert and Bobby Rush (the only Democrat). If successful, this bill could galvanize efforts to markedly corporatize the internet.
Read more: Free Press: Net Freedom Now | Senators mull an internet with restrictions | The End of the Blogosphere? | Small World Podcast | Interview on Chicago Indymedia's From The Trenches | Common Cause's Net Neutrality Campaign | Net Neutrality Banner Ads