Break the Internet

A few weekends ago, before the Westchester County elections, everywhere I looked I saw lawns dotted with George Latimer signs.

Latimer is a Democrat in an overwhelmingly Democratic county in an overwhelmingly Democratic state. Yet he had an uphill battle against multi-term incumbent Republican Rob Astorino. This is proof that in local politics, candidates aren’t fighting on the issues, they are fighting everyone’s natural tendency to stay home.

And all I could think was: since turnout is the problem, why do those signs say “Latimer for Congress” and not “Vote Latimer for Congress on November 7th and here is where you vote if you’re seeing this sign.” (Nevertheless, Latimer won).

It’s the same thing with Net Neutrality. We have this vague sense that it is a good thing, but the people who care more about it than we do are winning, mostly because we are willing to stay home on the issue.

Let’s not make that mistake.

The issue is simple: today, all content on the Internet has to be treated in the same way, meaning that folks like Verizon, Comcast, etc. can’t prioritize what you see or how fast download speeds are for different content. If Net Neutrality goes away–which is likely unless there’s a massive public outcry today and tomorrow–these companies will have much more control and power. They will be able to charge more for access to content, and one of the fundamental tenets of the Internet will have been broken.

Today there’s a massive campaign to “Break the Internet” which is a call to action for everyone to contact their local congressperson before the December 14th vote (this THURSDAY).

So here’s the deal:

  1. Click on the image below
  2. Fill in the form
  3. Or, if you don’t want to click anywhere, call the U.S. Capitol switchboard, tell them where you’re calling from and that you want to talk to your representative about Net Neutrality, and you in touch with your representative. Call 202-224-3121. And tell them you support Net Neutrality.

This video explains Net Neutrality nicely. Or, for a more out-there version, check this out. But don’t click first, call first: 202-224-3121.


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