Imagine a “buy local” web application custom-made for Asheville and western North Carolina by one of our own local digital media entrepreneurs.
Now imagine that this homegrown “killer app” to support our local economy cannot achieve widespread use because AT&T, Verizon, Charter, and Apple demand licensing fees to use the app on their networks and/or devices.
Unfortunately, this scenario is not only likely, it is completely legal. How we got to this place is explained in a June 16 column originally appearing in the Asheville Citizen-Times.
At 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 10 at the Community Church of Chapel Hill, I will be discussing how we can remedy this situation in a free talk titled “the Corporate Takeover of the Internet and How To Stop It.”
President Obama made a strong commitment to an open Internet — to policies that protect our civil liberties, our freedom to innovate, AND ensure that, with broadband access, the interests of Main Street come before those of Wall Street.
Not surprisingly, the telephone and cable companies and their allies have launched a ferocious all-out attack – proclaiming a “government takeover of the Internet” – to stop this reform in its tracks.
Fortunately, for the first time in American history, we have a substantial, nationwide media-reform movement to give the Administration — and its allies in Congress and at the FCC — the support they need to withstand the attacks from these powerful corporate interests.
But the media reform movement cannot do this alone. We need ALL stakeholders – especially those from the “buy local” community – to help us seize this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
If we fail, the Internet will be radically changed into an arm of what President Eisenhower called the “military-industrial complex” — but with a high-tech surveillance capability of Orwellian proportions (think retinal-scan/face-recognition via every street-corner camera and mobile phone. Yes, that’s right — our mobile phones!!).
Please forward this link far and wide to your friends and neighbors.
With your help, we can “Save the Internet” – and preserve our ability to build strong “buy local” communities. Si se puede!!