Sunday, March 2, 2008

The Internet Freedom Preservation Act of 2008 (HR 5353) - Part II

So, after writing to my representative and sending the letter I posted in "Part I", I get this slack-jawed response from my representative:

"Thank you for contacting me to express your support for H.R. 5353, the Internet Freedom Preservation Act of 2008. I appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts on this matter with me.

As you know, Congress is considering legislation that would prohibit broadband network operators from discriminating against various types of internet traffic and require providers to treat all internet sites equally.

This proposed regulation on broadband network operators is typically labeled "net neutrality" or "digital nondiscrimination." Two bills were introduced during the 109th Congress, one by Rep. Edward Markey (D-MA), H.R. 5273, the Network Neutrality Act of 2006 and another by Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-WI), H.R. 5417, the Internet Freedom and Nondiscrimination Act of 2006 that would legislate this type of internet regulation. H.R. 5417 was considered and approved in the House Judiciary Committee; however, it was not brought before the whole House for a vote. Rep. Markey recently introduced similar legislation in the 110th Congress, H.R. 5353, the Internet Freedom Preservation Act of 2008.

This legislation is currently being reviewed by the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. The internet has surpassed even the most ambitious expectations and is quickly becoming the paramount form of information delivery throughout the world. Broadband network providers have invested a significant amount of money to build the current high speed network we rely on today.

The government must not unnecessarily regulate the internet which would impede future development and investment in new broadband facilities. You can be sure that I will continue to monitor this important issue and will certainly keep your comments in mind should H.R. 5353 come before the House for a vote."

Now I know why I didn't vote for this schmuck. It's dipsticks like this that give representative democracy a bad name.

First, he attempts to lengthen his response with fluff about the the bill, which is nothing more than the same information I already sent to him, apparently attempting to appear as though he is knowledgable on the subject.

Then he injects verbiage that clearly indicates he sides with the network providers on the matter, without actually having balls enough to flat out say he does, and he does it in a way that twists my request to be one for him to stop the government from preventing network providers' attempt to regulate the Internet.

It's no wonder why so few people bother to write their representative.

At any rate, my response was as follows:

"I have seen no attempt from government to regulate the Internet, as you have stated is happening. I have only seen your fellow representatives attempt to keep the Internet open and free through H.R. 5353.

Those attempting to regulate the Internet are the broadband network providers, those whom "have invested a significant amount of money to build the current high speed network we rely on today", as you have reminded me.

Let me remind you that those investments and a profit thereafter are already being returned to the providers in enormous amounts of money from their standard charges. If you are concerned about the providers' ability to manipulate their investments as they see fit (and there is nothing wrong with that) allowing them the freedom to alter their charges to customers of their service - the end user - should continue.

But when providers manipulate the Internet and websites themselves, that is just wrong. The Internet is a location of expanded free speech, commerce, individual investments, and the dissemination of knowledge, most of which is protected by the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States, something which you are sworn to uphold (I hope), regardless of how much was invested."

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