A recent New York Times cover story reported Verizon and Google are nearing a deal which could threaten Net Neutrality and impede freedom of the internet as we know it.
Dad is always ranting about net neutrality, and he has been for a couple years. You’ve probably seen his Net Neutrality PSA (click here) But WHAT IS NET NEUTRALITY?? We realized we don’t really understand. So we cornered dad at his office and asked him to break down what Net Neutrality means, and why it is so important to you, me and anyone who uses the internet.
Michael Herz joined the discussion and added the important point that Net Neutrality levels the playing field beyond access alone, also guaranteeing the speed at which websites operate. Without Net Neutrality some websites will run faster and with higher quality than others.
Tell me more, Tell me more
As many of you may know, there was disastrous news on the front page of The New York Times [August 4th.] Verizon and other mega-conglomerates may have conspired to kill the last democratic medium: the Internet. It is imperative that we all take action immediately to fight for the only true agent of free information and diversity left in this country. Please spread my anti-mega-conglomerate PSA to all your contacts and post it on your blogs. Call the FCC and your elected representatives and urge them to defend net neutrality. Go to Save the Internet and contribute your thoughts. We must use the Internet to speak out on this matter while we still can. Despite the limits these profit-hungry mega-conglomerates have placed on various media over the years, independent thoughts have triumphed and found another outlet on the Internet. Net neutrality has ensured that no particular type of content is favored over any other. As an individual, I appreciate the Internet’s existence as an instrument of personal expression. As the president of an independent production company, I appreciate the necessity of its existence for all of us. But this democratic medium is being severely threatened. Verizon and Google are about to strike a deal which would allow Verizon to provide better, faster service to Internet content creators willing to pay. Thrown to the wayside will be independent artists and businesses that do not have funding. Specifically, a tiered payment-based system guarantees an end to any hope we have of Internet-based television or radio networks that don’t kowtow to these mega-conglomerates. Generally, it guarantees an end to the independent media voices of our country – a country that is supposed to be based on free thought and shared ideas. We must act swiftly to stand up for the freedoms of speech, expression and information upon which our country was founded.
Lloyd Kaufman President of Troma Entertainment and Creator of *The Toxic Avenger*