Victor Luckerson at The Ringer writes—The Long Fight for the Future of the Internet:
It would be easy to frame the battle over net neutrality as a typical partisan dispute; Pai was named chairman by Trump, while Tom Wheeler, the chairman who pushed through the Title II reclassification, was tapped by Obama. You can also view it as a shadow war between corporate giants: Verizon, Comcast, and AT&T vehemently oppose net neutrality regulations, while companies like Google and Netflix have historically been vocal proponents.
But it’s often been everyday people who have played the most critical role in shaping the internet’s destiny. Hackers, activists, Wikipedia editors, YouTube creators, and even John Oliver fans have all played roles in influencing the trajectory of this fragile gathering place. Even though both the ISPs who build the internet’s pipes and the tech giants who organize its content are trending toward monopolization, individuals still hold a huge influence over its future.
The question in 2017 is whether they will choose to wield that influence. At a time when health care, immigration policy, and environmental regulations are all facing drastic change, convincing people they need to care about complex internet laws may prove tougher this time. And the iconic tech companies that have played key roles in generating public awareness about threats to internet freedom are increasingly positioning themselves as too big to fail. With various competing causes and few name-brand leaders to latch onto, it’s easy to see how bills like the GOP-backed effort to limit citizens’ internet privacy manage to slip under the radar. The new measure, which allows ISPs to sell their customers’ data to advertisers without asking for permission, likely would have caused a firestorm a year ago. Instead, it sailed through Congress in March with little deliberation.
If the internet is to be “saved,” as it has been in the past, the responsibility will fall on its everyday users — people like [Arizonan Robert] Armola. “I felt like it was my duty,” he says of his trip to the town hall. “I had a feeling that if I didn’t go, no one was going to bring it up to him.” […]
• An Activists’ Calendar of Resistance Events
• Indivisible’s list of Resistance Events & Groups
TOP COMMENTS • HIGH IMPACT STORIES
“American inequality didn’t just happen. It was created. Market forces played a role, but it was not market forces alone. In a sense, that should be obvious: economic laws are universal, but our growing inequality—especially the amounts seized by the upper 1 percent—is a distinctly American “achievement.” That outsize inequality is not predestined offers reason for hope, but in reality it is likely to get worse. The forces that have been at play in creating these outcomes are self-reinforcing.”
~Joe Stiglitz, The Price of Inequality: How Today’s Divided Society Endangers Our Future, 2013.
TWEET OF THE DAY
BLAST FROM THE PAST
At Daily Kos on this date in 2008—Fox Military Propagandist Promotes Terrorist Murder:
Does support of terrorists make one a terrorist? Presumably that depends on whether you take Mister Bush’s squint-eyed November 6, 2001, prescription — “You’re either with us or against us in the fight against terror” — in a blindly nationalistic fashion or in a moral one. Terrorism isn’t an ideology. It’s a technique. Much as sophists and thugs – such as the late Jeane Kirkpatrick — like to twist the definition to fit who is carrying out a policy, terrorism can’t be one thing for them and something else for us.
Yet one of the most pre-eminent of the Pentagon’s chosen propaganda team of ex-military-cum-television-analysts, retired Lt. Gen. Tom McInerney, not only supports but promotes terrorism against Iran. He’s still spewing on Fox News despite having been exposed by David Barstow’s revelations three weeks ago.
This isn’t new territory for McInerney. He’s argued for attacks on Iran for as long as Bill Kristol and other neoconservatives have done. As a member of the Iran Policy Committee, McInerney has long argued that the State Department should take the Mujahideen-e Khalq off its terrorist watch list. The group originated as leftwing opposition to the Shah of Iran in 1963 and was involved in various operations, including the taking of U.S. Embassy hostages in 1979 and the bloody suppression of the Shiite revolt in Iraq under Saddam Hussein. Although MEK killed Americans as well as Iranians in the past, it has since adopted a public veneer of being a backer of freedom and democracy as soon as the Iranian mullahs are overturned, the idea being to install one of its founders as Iran’s president. […]
On today’s Kagro in the Morning show, we briefly acknowledge the wild partying following the shaky start Trumpcare got. Then Trump knocks off early for more golf. Does Trump hate Joe & Mika, or what? Does Trump hate fish? Is he the most clueless guy in DC? Is he clueless even about Ivanka?
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