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Light ‘Em Up on Net Neutrality


The net neutrality fight moves to the Senate this week, with Ted Steven’s Senate Commerce Committee set to vote on the bill on Thursday.  Time to pick up the phones again, boys and girls, because this is crunch time.

Save the Internet has a great excerpt from a debate with Mike McCurry and’s Paul Misener on the net neutrality issue.  PoliticsTV has video of the debate — it’s great.  As Misener says:

"That’s not the way the Internet works. The Internet does not have all this content in there unless the user asks for it. When you hit return on your browzer it actually sends out a ‘get command’ to the server; it’s a very illustrative name for a command in computer code. It actually says ‘get’– that means now send me the file. That file never gets into the pipes owned by the network operators that Mike represents unless their customer who’s paid for that access asks for it. So we’re not clogging their pipes at all. We’re only providing the content that we hope our joint customers want to see."

It’s a great debate, and one that is well worth watching for the back and forth.  Are we going to continue to have a free exchange of ideas — or are we going to have to pay double to some corporate gatekeeper in order to have any sort of discussion?  Who gets to decide what is or is not appropriate discourse — the free market or corporate gatekeepers?  With what are you comfortable on this issue?  These are the questions you ought to be asking yourself — and your elected representatives.

You can contact the members of the Senate Commerce Committee via the main switchboard toll free at:  1-888-355-3588.  Or you can contact them individually at the following phone and fax numbers:

Chairman Ted Stevens (AK): (202) 224-3004; (202) 224-2354 FAX
John McCain (AZ):  (202) 224-2235; Fax: (202) 228-2862
Conrad Burns (MT):  202-224-2644; Fax: 202-224-8594
Trent Lott (MS): (202) 224-6253; Fax: (202) 224-2262
Kay Bailey Hutchison (TX): 202-224-5922; 202-224-0776 (FAX)
Olympia J. Snowe (ME):  (202) 224-5344; FAX (202) 224-1946
Gordon H. Smith (OR):  202.224.3753; Fax: 202.228.3997
John Ensign (NV):  (202) 224-6244; Fax: (202) 228-2193
George Allen (VA):  (202) 224-4024; Fax: (202) 224-5432
John E. Sununu (NH):  (202) 224-2841; FAX (202) 228-4131
Jim DeMint (SC):  202-224-6121; Fax: 202-228-5143
David Vitter (LA):  (202) 224-4623; Fax: (202) 228-5061
Co-Chairman Daniel K. Inouye (HI): 202-224-3934; Fax: 202-224-6747
John D. Rockefeller (WV):  (202) 224-6472; (202) 224-7665 Fax
John F. Kerry (MA):  (202) 224-2742 – Phone; (202) 224-8525 – Fax
Byron L. Dorgan (ND):  202-224-2551; Fax: 202-224-1193
Barbara Boxer (CA): 202-224-3553
Bill Nelson (FL):  202-224-5274; Fax: 202-228-2183
Maria Cantwell (WA):  202-224-3441; 202-228-0514 – FAX
Frank R. Lautenberg (NJ):  (202) 224-3224; Fax: (202) 228-4054
E. Benjamin Nelson (NE):  Tel: (202) 224-6551; Fax: (202) 228-0012
Mark Pryor (AR):  (202) 224-2353; Fax: (202) 228-0908

When you have Sen. Ted Stevens giving a speech to the TelCo industry, you pretty much know where he stands.  But a lot of these Senators are on the bubble, and your phone call or FAX could make all the difference.

UPDATE:  Also, please contact Sen. Arlen Specter, Chairman of the Judiciary Committee, and ask that he consider oversight on the legality of this issue.  202-224-4254

UPDATE #2:  As Dover Bitch reminds us in the comments — letters to the editor and calls to talk radio are also much appreciated to put more local pressure on Senators on this issue.  Use BobbyG’s success as incentive.  (Go, BobbyG!)

UPDATE #3Josh is keeping a handy tally on who does or does not support the net neutrality issue.  (Thanks to reader NJ Progressive for the tip.)

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Christy Hardin Smith

Christy Hardin Smith

Christy is a "recovering" attorney, who earned her undergraduate degree at Smith College, in American Studies and Government, concentrating in American Foreign Policy. She then went on to graduate studies at the University of Pennsylvania in the field of political science and international relations/security studies, before attending law school at the College of Law at West Virginia University, where she was Associate Editor of the Law Review. Christy was a partner in her own firm for several years, where she practiced in a number of areas including criminal defense, child abuse and neglect representation, domestic law, civil litigation, and she was an attorney for a small municipality, before switching hats to become a state prosecutor. Christy has extensive trial experience, and has worked for years both in and out of the court system to improve the lives of at risk children.

Email: reddhedd AT firedoglake DOT com