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Republican Sen. George Allen is deceiving constituents about his recent vote AGAINST Net Neutrality and Internet freedom--and he's doing it using taxpayer dollars.

Allen has accepted $113,000 in campaign cash from phone and cable companies AT&T, Verizon, Comcast, and Time Warner. Last week, he voted to let them put tollbooths on the Internet and have more control over what you see and do online--a blow to Internet freedom.

Allen is now using his taxpayer-funded website to say he "voted yes" on a bill that "addresses the issue of Net Neutrality." Indeed, as MyDD's Matt Stoller also points out, the bill Allen voted for "addresses" Net Neutrality by putting it on the road to elimination. He voted no on preserving Net Neutrality.

Virginians as diverse as MoveOn and Christian Coalition members called Sen. Allen in recent weeks and asked him to vote for Net Neutrality.

True to his football roots, Allen knew he had to pick a team--he could run the ball down the field for the big telephone and cable companies, or he could play on the side of his constituents. Allen chose money over people. He then chose to head-fake his constituents, using the words "Net Neutrality" and "Internet freedom" to describe his votes against those principles.

Senator Allen's deceptions (and translations):

  • The bill he supported"promotes Internet freedom by keeping government regulation at a minimum." (Translation: It eliminates the Net Neutrality rules that have been on the books for the entire history of the Internet.)
  • You can still "Access any web page." (Translation: Slowly.)
  • You can still"Run any search engine." (Translation: Some run faster than others.)
  • You can still"Receive in clear and plan language information on estimated speeds, capabilities, limitations, and pricing of any Internet services." (Translation: AT&T can tell you blatantly that they're slowing down your favorite websites because it will be perfectly legal.)
  • "This measure requires that the Federal Communications Commission report to Congress annually on Net Neutrality." (Translation: The FCC has no teeth to crack down on Internet discrimination.)

Allen also implies that there is no impending threat to Internet freedom when Net Neutrality is eliminated--ignoring this report in the Washington Post about a telecom executive blatantly saying he will turn the Internet into an auction house when Net Neutrality is gone:

"William L. Smith, chief technology officer for Atlanta-based BellSouth Corp., told reporters and analysts that an Internet service provider such as his firm should be able, for example, to charge Yahoo Inc. for the opportunity to have its search site load faster than that of Google Inc."

But don't worry--Senator Allen still supports "Internet freedom."

If you're a Virginian, you can call Sen. Allen to tell him it's wrong to sell out to companies like AT&T on Net Neutrality--and then deceive the public on a taxpayer-funded website. Here is the number:

Senator George Allen
Phone: 202-224-4024

You can even help MoveOn keep a tally of calls, by reporting your call here:

Together, we shall save the Internet.

Originally posted to AdamGreen on Thu Jul 06, 2006 at 08:44 AM PDT.

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