Internet Wars -- Episode Two: Attack of the Paid-For Industry Shills

Posted by Mitchell - September 28, 2006 (entry 435)

Two months ago, the struggle to prevent the internet's impending slide into the Hellmouth seemed hopeless. Now, the landscape has changed dramatically for the better. And it has forced the opposition to reach into its bag of dirty tricks:

* Suing practically every Chicago suburb for, you know, being concerned about local media, which has evoked a, um, rather touchy response from the National League of Cities (Hey, Ed Whitacre smells funny. There, can AT&T sue me now?)

* Setting up transparently false, faux grassroots organizations which are paid shills for the telcos

* Devising false cartoons to distract people from the real issues -- hey kind of like some other instances of cartoons used for political ends

* Threatening the financial industry with insecure networks if neutrality provisions pass. (That's too wack for words. That's like saying: "Hey, you have a rash on your hand? Let's cure it by cutting off your arm.")

But, what's encouraging is that people are fighting back:

* Some 600 Michigan communities tell AT&T: to deal with us local franchise agreements and compete for cable TV customers

* The House and Senate Judiciary committees want a piece of the telecom action, and would slow the fast track down, to the public's benefit, if they get what they want.

* The SaveTheInternet coalition, of which CMA is a charter member, reports a growing and bipartisan movement, with echoes of our victorious FCC fight three years ago.

* And of course, there's my vote for the funniest internet video ever made.

Oh, and there's this wee series of protests next week.

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