“I’m on the FCC. Please stop us from killing net neutrality.” This is the title of a Los Angeles Times article written by Ms. Jessica Rosenworcel, one of the five members of the Federal Communication Commission (FCC).
It seems we are surrounded by death these days. In addition to the various deadly attacks by men who seemed to think killing is some kind of answer to some questions to which most of us find more peaceful solutions, in addition to the genocidal enforcement of government policies and perspectives not shared by the populace in some international communities, in addition to the apparently cavalier, race-related violence perpetrated in the U.S. by law enforcement and others and in addition to the topic presented here for several weeks, namely, the death of democracy itself—in addition to all of that, so it seems, the Internet as we know it is about to die. (more…)
Remember the seekingGood teaser about the crowdfunding endeavor for WikiTribune, a new evidence-based journalistic initiative launched by Jimmy Wales (one of the founders of wikipedia)? The group behind WikiTribune reached their funding goal and has entered the next phase of the project. Take a peek here if you would like a more general update on what is going on with WikiTribune.
Journalists: Holly, Harry & Linh
Holly Brockwell: Former freelance journalist and tech writer from Nottingham, England. She is apparently fairly smart, having joined MENSA at age 12. When she heard about the WikiTribune endeavor, Holly jumped at the chance to approach journalism in a wholly new way, to transcend its current limitations.
You can read more about Holly on her website.
Harry Ridgewell: Harry will be working on stories related to science and politics. Harry would like the practice of journalists referencing their presented facts (that is, posting their sources) to become an industry standard. Everybody tell the truth—a refreshing, albeit utopian idea. Perhaps it is just what we need in these dystopian times.
You can follow Harry on Twitter.
Linh Nguyen: An observer of trends, during her tenure at WIkiTribune, Linh hopes to cover “economic policy, human rights, mental health, foreign affairs, politics and the social side of tech”.
“A free media is one of the pillars of democracy, and we must fight to sustain it”
~ Linh Nguyen
You can follow Linh on her website.
Editor: Peter Bale
A former editor for Reuters, Peter is an international journalist and a former CEO of Center for Public Integrity. He is currently the President of Global Editors’ Network. “Jimmy Wales has a history of creating web products with immense social value built on a commitment to engaging a global community of contributors. He understands the value of journalism to society and at the same time wants to revolutionize the approach to reporting on and explaining the big issues of our time. … It’s a privilege to work with him and a team of innovative journalists, developers and communicators to launch WikiTribune.”
You can follow Peter on Twitter.
WikiTribune plans to launch in September of this year.
Make no mistake about it – enlightenment is a destructive process. It has nothing to do with becoming better or being happier. Enlightenment is the crumbling away of untruth. It’s seeing through the facade of pretense. It’s the complete eradication of everything we imagined to be true. ~ Adyashanti
Naomi Klein: “The worst is yet to come!”
What happens when disaster strikes? What do we do when all normalcy ceases? To whom do we turn when events like the recent Manchester bombing, the Paris attack or events like those on the morning of September 11th, 2001 in New York occur? In her new book, No is Not Enough, activist and author Naomi Klein encourages us to be prepared for such disasters—which she calls “shock” events—not so much for the event itself but for likely actions by the U.S. government in the wake of these occurrences.
In the video below, Amy Goodman of DemocracyNow! interviews Naomi Klein about her book and the general proposal that in the wake of a cataclysmic event, the U.S. government is likely to invoke a series of actions designed to tighten control of the general public. Under the guise of national security relative to a shock event, the government is likely to suspend civil liberties, human rights and the right to privacy. (Part 2 of the interview begins at approximately the 2:20 minute mark and lasts about 15 minutes). In addition to the usual question and answer format, the interview presents a video within the video. In the internal video, produced by the Intercept, Naomi describes a five step preparedness toolkit. She urges us to anticipate inevitable crises, at which times we need to be prepared to mobilize rather than comply with the government’s attempts to contain us—to keep us in our homes, for instance, “for our own safety”. We need to be mindful of the history of the previous U.S. government’s uncharacteristically freedom-destroying responses such as internment of Japanese-Americans during WWI, deportation of Mexicans and Mexican-Americans in the early 1930’s and abandonment of freed slaves in the wake of the Civil War. (more…)
This date – Wednesday, July 12, 2017 – has been designated by several organizations as a “National Day of Action” regarding the future of the Internet. A large number of websites and companies have planned a protest against the attempts by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to undercut the current Internet freedom we enjoy. The issue is what most of us know as “net neutrality”.
In a previous post on the seekingGood.blog (May 11th, 2017), we described a proposal engineered by current FCC chair Ajit Pai in which he is seeking to reclassify telecommunication companies. Of course, such changes do nothing in themselves. However, Pai’s proposal, once implemented, releases telecom companies from their obligation to refrain from restricting access to any Internet site–either through denial of service, slowing down that service, or by instituting pay walls to access content.
Remember when many of us went through a “cable cutting” phase? The proposed rule changes will essentially give telecommunications companies the ability to turn the Internet into a collection of Internet companies–structured like cable companies–leaving us with no escape. Even with regulations, several of these companies have unlawfully attempted content manipulation. With no restrictions, telecoms can essentially own the Internet, behaving as they choose, forcing us to pay for what we now access freely. Additionally, consider the manner in which we have come to voice our opinions. We do not post notes on a message board in the public square. We seldom write letters to elected officials to be delivered days later through snail mail. And most of us do not take to the streets in protest of current governmental decisions. For most of us, speaking against what we do not like or do not accept has become a matter of expressing ourselves electronically. The demise of net neutrality also means the death of free electronic speech.
Thankfully, there is already bipartisan support for preserving net neutrality. Still, nothing is guaranteed. The more We, the People express our ideas to the government, the more that government is likely to ponder its actions as our representatives. Wouldn’t it be a shame if our silence tacitly validated some last minute, backdoor deal to allow telecom companies to steal the Internet?
Think this will all just go away? Or do you need more convincing? Take a look at this video for a general idea of what could happen to your Internet access.
… or how about this one.
Finally, look at this one (perhaps the simplest and the best).
Defend net neutrality!
On July 12th, companies and organizations like Reddit, Netflix, Kickstarter, Vimeo, Amazon, The Nation and the ACLU among many others will participate in an online protest. To find out more details, sign up here.
To let the FCC know your thoughts about potentially losing Internet freedom, follow the specific instructions, (originally posted by the Popular Resistance website) listed below:
Here are step-by-step instructions to help you submit a comment to the FCC.
- Click here to go to the page for Express Filings of comments. This is the simplest format to use.
- Type 17-108 into the top box called “Proceeding(s)”. Yes, in this Orweillian world Pai did title the proposal to end Internet freedom “Restoring Internet Freedom”. It should be called “Promoting Telecom Thievery”.
- Fill out the rest of the form. Yes, you do have to provide your address in order to be counted.
- Type your comment into the box at the bottom. See the advice [below] from Tech Crunch (midway down the page at this link).
- Review your submission and once you are satisfied, click on the ”submit” button at the bottom of the screen.
The window for your comments closes on July 17th – just a few weeks from now. Voice your ideas!
Amy Kroin, Editor, edits all Free Press and Free Press Action Fund communications. She also edits and monitors the Free Press website and creates campaign, educational and outreach materials. Before joining Free Press, Amy served as a writer and editor for a division of Pearson, the media and education company, and earlier served as the arts editor of the Valley Advocate.
We expect the ordinary. As much as we crave excitement and thrills, as much as we would love to live on a steady diet of novelty, we usually assume nothing special will happen in our lives. All those controversies we read about happen to other people—until they happen to us. Those of us in lower Manhattan on the morning of September 11th, 2001 certainly have had a change of heart on this matter. Some of us—including some of us in the seekingGood collective—hold positions “inside” various government, educational and financial organizations in which all kinds of things could occur. These potential events include a variety of nefarious machinations that should be brought to the light of public scrutiny.
ProPublica, one of the best, most respected investigative journalism organizations, has done much to shine a light on shady dealings in various corners of society. They have provided specific methods so we can anonymously submit to them anything we might uncover.
So if you see something…
In a previous post, seekingGood highlighted the need for more investigative journalism. ProPublica has voiced a similar concern. As the first online site to receive the Pulitzer Prize— ProPublica is known for the depth and thoroughness of its stories. However, the articles posted by ProPublic can be challenging for the average reader. Enter Vox. As reported by ProPublica, Vox, a news and opinion website noted for its explanatory journalism, has teamed up with ProPublica to provide visual access to their material. This might help clarify the message of more complicate stories. Sharing resources and research, the ProPublica-Vox collaboration can only be a good thing for investigative journalism and, ultimately, for us.