cr> Re: “*hot* Internet issues”


Richard Moore

2/16/96, Craig A. Johnson wrote:
>Now, for a slight change of pace.  This is another *hot* Internet
>issue which may be sizzling by the time the Senate gets around to
>holding hearings on its companion bill.

No surprise here.  The whole cybermall game plan, apart from the areas of
censorship and encryption, was spelled out over a year ago in PFF's "Magna
Carta".  (PFF is Newt's thinktank, which launders money for him, and is
funded by cables, telcos, and media conglomerates, among others.)  If
anyone wants a copy of the article "Cyberspace Inc and the Robber Baron
Age", which analyzes the Magna Carta, let me know off list.  Specifically,
the MC calls for:
        - an end to any useful government role in cyberspace (such as public
          infrastructure, public-service content, protection of independent
          operators, recognition of public sovereignty over airwaves)
        - end to any monopoly-preventing regulations
        - end to any price regulations
        - outright private ownership of electromagnetic spectra
        - strong copyright protection, slanted to favor corporate content owners
        - special tax breaks aimed at enhancing windfall profits to telcos

This is the agenda, and it will all come to pass, smuggled in various bills
justified by whatever rhetoric is convenient, unless there is a
counter-coalition significantly more powerful than any we've seen.  VTW,
Cyber-Rights, and all the net activity put together, have so far amounted
to a mere murmur, totally lost in the noise of the _significant_ lobbying
that has been going on.

        Fighting censorship is good, but it has distracted us from the
overall picture.

        Writing letters to Congress-folks, turning web pages black, and
declaring cyberspace a free territory, are not the way to have any
influence over legislation.  We should either get real, politically, or
quit wasting our time.

Now that the bill has passed, large numbers of individuals, journalists,
small businesses, non-profits, public-interest groups, and public-sector
players, have FINALLY woken up to the threat of the takeover by Cyberspace
Inc.  We saw the changes coming and have been discussing them at length on
this list, but we didn't have a public constituency ready to take the
threat seriously.

        I submit that the time has come for cyber-rights to encourage and
support self-interest coaltions of all the entities mentioned in the
previous paragraph.  Marty Tennant has launched an organizing effort in the
small-business sector, and we could try to lend a hand.  We could also seek
out similar initiatives in the other sectors, or encourage them if they
don't exist.

        I encourage you all to think about how cyber-rights could be most
effective in such an endeavor, and to send in suggestions, which will be
digested to back to the list.  Presumably we could assist with information
dissemenation, facilitate cross-pollenization among coalitions, possibly
serve as an umbrella organization (or better, CPSR), and offer some useful
coordination and encouragement.  But I await ideas from you 500+ rights


 Posted by Richard K. Moore  -  •••@••.•••  -  Wexford, Ireland
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