... It is rare for all five members of the Federal Communications Commission to leave Washington, D.C., and they want to hear from you. There will be a public comment period* - come speak up to save the Internet!
WHAT: Public Hearing on the Future of the Internet
WHEN: Thursday, April 17th
TIME: 12:00pm to 7:00pm
WHERE: Dinkelspiel Auditorium, Stanford University
(471 Lagunita Drive, Palo Alto, CA)
*The press about this meeting says no onsite public comments, not sure which is which here... but you can submit comments prior to the meeting to be considered--instructions below.
Crossposted at SFKossacks.net
Barring any new tricks from Comcast, the public should be able to attend. The venue holds more than 700 people. And we’ll be sure to be on guard for anyone who plans to bus in paid sleeper cells. [link]
FCC spokesman Robert Kenny said Wednesday's announcement of a hearing at Stanford on April 17 was not related to complaints related to the Harvard event.
"The chair has indicated all along there may be additional hearings," Kenny said. Next month's panel at Stanford "may be the last or the second in several," he said. [link]
The chatter in the local press disagrees with that spin, heh. Remember that delightful FCC hearing held at Harvard? The hearing held in a ridiculously small room... where Comcast paid people to show up early to use up all the seats possible...
The first, held at Harvard University in late February, quickly became controversial after Comcast Corp. admitted to paying "seat-warmers" to fill the auditorium, allegedly to save space for employees, according to news reports. [link]
Well, it looks like there will be an
additional hearing do-over on Thursday, April 17th. Next week! I see this info was available earlier, but I just caught wind of it myself, and make sure you all know too.
Any SF Bay Area Kossacks out there (and your geek friends, we are Geek Central after all) should try very hard to make it to the meeting. Even if we don't all get in, just the fact that hordes of people show up will get this some great news coverage.
Lawrence Lessig will be testifying (he teaches at Stanford), which is terrific. For those who don't know who he is yet:
He is a professor of law at Stanford Law School and founder of its Center for Internet and Society. He is founder and CEO of the Creative Commons and a board member of the Electronic Frontier Foundation and of the Software Freedom Law Center. He is best known as a proponent of reduced legal restrictions on copyright, trademark and radio frequency spectrum, particularly in technology applications. [link]
See why I was excited last year to hear he is an Obama advisor... but folks, this issue transcends this campaign, whoever you support. It concerns every Kossack and every blogger, period. And much, much more... it's not hyperbole to say this affects the future of democracy in this nation.
Net Neutality is everyone's business! Go to SaveTheInternet.com to learn more about how to present this complex issue to people without making their eyes glaze over. (Unless you are me, then that may be an impossible task, but I try...)
FreePress.net is a great source of info as well, and they're the nice folks who brought FCC Commissioner Michael Copps to speak at YearlyKos last year, see my attempt at live-blogging that session here.
Please read the FCC press release (PDF w/links) first, then see the Action Item below.
ASAP Action item: Send your comments to the FCC now!
This hearing at Stanford will be open to the public, but citizens will not permitted to speak. However, those with opinions on net neutrality may submit their comments to the FCC at http://www.fcc.gov/....
The Docket Numbers (required info) are 07-52 and 08-7.
This is not an easy task (...and needs to be fixed--President Obama, put this on your Honey Do list, please ;-)
You may want to read the instruction manual provided at the link. There are two ways to submit your comments: via a web form or email.
The webform looks like the easiest, I advise composing the text of your Brief Comment in a plain-text editor (NotePad, TextEdit, etc.) first, then pasting that into the comment field.
Emailing requires that you first paste in the required XML tags and put your content in that format, if using HTML in comments/diaries drives you nuts, you may not want to go that route.
All info is available at the same FCC link above.
Although attending the meeting and/or submitting comments to the FCC are the near-term actions now, don't forget about this bill:
Reps. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) and Chip Pickering (R-Miss.) today launched the latest salvo in the struggle to keep the Internet free from gatekeepers with the introduction of the "Internet Freedom Preservation Act of 2008" (HR 5353, PDF). [link]
Thanks for reading, and any corrections, additions, and shout-outs to others working on this are appreciated. I'll be in and out for the rest of the day (spent too much time on this unplanned diary ;-) but will edit as needed.
Most of all, please write to the FCC, and try to be at Stanford next Thursday if you can. Any out-of-town Kossacks who want to attend? Let's talk, here and at SFKossacks.net about meeting up.