(Please welcome Senator John Kerry, who joins us in the comments — jh)
I realize there’s a certain primary in Pennsylvania on Tuesday that a lot of people are thinking about -– myself included (in fact, I’ll be on the ground there again tomorrow) — but one of the things I think those of us in the Senate need to do is try to keep some focus on another big event that day which we can’t afford to get lost in the shuffle because it affects net neutrality.
The Senate Commerce Committee is holding a hearing on Tuesday to look at the future of the Internet, and a big part of that equation is net neutrality.
Obviously — and I know you don’t need to hear it from me — we need to keep up the pressure on this issue. The uncertainty isn’t helpful, and we have to set the rules of the road and protect the innovative world of a free and open Internet.
When we held hearings previously about net neutrality, many of us who were pushing for it warned that without net neutrality we’d start to have problems as companies started making their own rules on what they would allow to happen on their networks. And it turns out we were right.
Today, you may have noticed, is the fourth annual Blogosphere Day, with a whole set of different voices of the blogosphere coming together to fundraise for a specific cause. I want to chime in here and do my part.
The blogosphere, the netroots, the online activists, however you want to name it, the overall change brought about by the activism online has already been enormous. Using these new communications tools, all of us, whether it’s Senators or everyday citizen activists, are able to pool our efforts to greatly enhance the power and effectiveness of grassroots action.
I got into politics as an activist, working to stop a misguided war gone terribly wrong and also, in the first Earth Day, just as a citizen in my community trying to achieve environmental protections we take for granted today.
Now, over 35 years later, a new generation of activists is, ironically and somewhat tragically, working to do the exact same things. From a horrifically counterproductive foreign policy that undermines our values and makes us less safe to a global climate crisis that is growing ever more acute, the challenges are enormous.
But I’m enormously optimistic, and a lot (more…)