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genieroze Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-11-06 01:01 AM
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Commentary: Keep the Internet neutral, fair and free
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Commentary: Keep the Internet neutral, fair and free

By Craig Newmark
Special to CNN

Saturday, June 10, 2006; Posted: 12:23 p.m. EDT (16:23 GMT)

Editor's note: Craig Newmark is the founder and customer service representative of, an online community that helps people find jobs, places to live or other services unique to their city. In 2005, Time magazine named him one of America's most influential people.

(CNN) -- Most Americans believe that if you play fair and work hard, you'll get ahead. But this notion is threatened by legislation passed Thursday night by the U.S. House of Representatives that would allow Internet service providers to play favorites among different Web sites.

Here's a real world example that shows how this would work. Let's say you call Joe's Pizza and the first thing you hear is a message saying you'll be connected in a minute or two, but if you want, you can be connected to Pizza Hut right away. That's not fair, right? You called Joe's and want some Joe's pizza. Well, that's how some telecommunications executives want the Internet to operate, with some Web sites easier to access than others. For them, this would be a money-making regime.

Next stop is the Senate. If this becomes law, your Yahoo Inc. e-mail account could operate more slowly, unless Yahoo ponies up big bucks to the major telecommunication companies that bring the Internet into your home. By the same token, your craigslist classifieds (I'm the Craig from craigslist) could grind to a halt, unless my company pays up. This is not fair.

Telecommunication companies already control the pipes that carry the Internet into your home. Now they want control which sites you visit and how you experience them. They would provide privileged access for themselves and their preferred partners while charging other businesses for varying levels of service.
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