Grammy-nominated musician Moby joined with Rep. Edward Markey (D-Mass.), ranking Democrat on the House Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet, to demand that Congress reject upcoming legislation that could allow AT&T, Verizon, and other telecommunications giants to take over the Internet.
“If Congress guts Net Neutrality, independent music and news sites would be choked off, consumer choice would be limited, and the Internet will be become a private toll road auctioned off by companies like AT&T,” Moby warned. “We need to stand up for Internet freedom now. Congress must uphold Network Neutrality.”
The growing list of major artists and musicians who have signed on to the Artists and Musicians for Internet Freedom petition includes Moby, R.E.M., Q-Tip, the Indigo Girls, Jill Sobule, Wilco, Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails, the Roots, the Dixie Chicks, and others. These artists join Internet advocates, political groups on the right and left, consumer groups, and more than 600 diverse organizations in the SavetheInternet.com Coalition. This coalition is uniting Internet users against a congressional proposal to gut Network Neutrality — the Internet’s First Amendment.
Net Neutrality is the principle that ensures small music blogs and independent news sites open just as easily on people’s computers as large corporate sites. Companies like AT&T are spending millions lobbying Congress to pass legislation that critics charge would set up a discriminatory tollbooth system on the information superhighway. The proposed legislation would allow Internet providers to decide which Web sites work best on people’s computers based on who pays them the most, favoring large corporations with deep coffers while marginalizing everyday people, community groups and small businesses.
“The legislation in the House of Representatives threatens the Internet as we know it,” said Rep. Markey, author of H.R 5273, “Save the Internet Act of 2006,” which would preserve the open architecture of the Internet and prevent companies from downgrading and discriminating regarding Internet access and services.
The text of Moby’s remarks are available at www.freepress.net/savetheinternet/=mobyspeech.