Congress is pushing a law that would abandon the Internet's First Amendment – a principle called Network Neutrality that prevents companies like AT&T, Verizon and Comcast from deciding which Web sites work best for you – based on what site pays them the most. (For more on Net Neutrality, watch this short video.)
The Senate Commerce Committee fell a single vote short this afternoon of passing an amendment to safeguard the free and open Internet as momentum builds toward a full Senate vote on Net Neutrality. The amendment failed by a tie vote of 11-11. All ten Democratic committee members voted in favor with Senator Olympia Snowe (R-ME). The eleven remaining Republican members voted against the amendment.
If the public doesn't speak up now, our elected officials will cave to a multi-million dollar lobbying campaign. Urge your senator to vote NO on the COPE telecom law. It is important that you contact your Senator ASAP and urge others on your email lists to do the same.
UPDATE: Wyden to Block Telecom Bill Without Net Neutrality. U.S. Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) threatened to place a “hold” on major telecommunications legislation recently approved by the Senate Commerce Committee until clear language is included in the legislation that prevents discrimination in Internet access.
Immediately following the Commerce Committee’s vote against a Net Neutrality amendment, Senator Wyden marched onto the floor of the Senate to demand that the legislation include stronger safeguards against phone and cable company discrimination.
Watch the video of Wyden’s speech at the Agonist.