This makes us a little nervous.
Minnesota Sen. Al Franken gave a speech to hundreds of attendees at this year's South By Southwest festival on the subject of net neutrality, warning that we may be facing "the First Amendment issue of our time."
Referring to the threat of corporations taking over the internet, the senator said:
"I came here to warn you, the party may be over. They're coming after the Internet hoping to destroy the very thing that makes it such an important [medium] for independent artists and entrepreneurs: its openness and freedom.”
As an opponent of the Comcast acquisition of NBC Universal, Franken singled out the corporate giant.
Alleging that the cable company wants "to put Netflix out of business entirely" due to their streaming video business that could pose as a threat to Comcast's cable franchise, he warned:
"In the end, the American people will end up paying a lot more for worse service."
He encouraged festival attendees to fight the political influence of the big telecom firms, saying:
"Unfortunately one thing these big corporations have that we don't is the ability to purchase favorable political outcomes. Big telecoms have lots of [lobbyists], and good ones, too. … The end of net neutrality would benefit no one but these corporate giants."
He ended his speech by encouraging people to fight to preserve net neutrality to avoid a future in which they're "stuck listening to the Black Eyed Peas and reminiscing about the days before you had to sell out to make it.”
Ha! Now THAT'S a scary thought!
The senator continued:
“Let's not let the government sell us out. Let's fight for net neutrality. Let's keep Austin weird. Let's keep the Internet weird. Let's keep the Internet free."
Well said, sir! We couldn't agree more! After all, this internet thing is kind of our life blood.
Are U afraid of corporations or the government taking over the internet?
[Image via WENN.]
Tags: al franken, america, black eyed peas, business, fight, government, internet, political, scary, sxsw