Lists like this should all be prefaced with this statement of fact: there is absolutely no legitimate support for ending network neutrality anywhere, and anyone acting against net neutrality has a direct and personal short-term financial interest in fostering network monopolies and online extortion. This is usually because they are being paid directly by the incumbent monopolists and extortionists, either as a lobbyist or another form of political campaign financier.
Network neutrality protects capitalist competition online against corrupt government officials picking crony market winners and losers, so there is no legitimate economic or political argument to be made against net neutrality. The only rational discussion left is about how to act to restore net neutrality in the US and abroad, and how quickly.
Let’s start with a lighthearted and semi-serious take on the issues. Of all main stream media analysis, John Oliver’s new show does the best work on this topic.
Data Roads Foundation is responding to this City of Los Angeles Community Broadband Network (LACBN) Initiative and the related Request for Information (RFI), despite the fact it asks the all wrong questions based on a nonsensical approach to infrastructure investment, as defined here:
Los Angeles City officials have figured out yet another way to give an Internet access monopoly away to the incumbent haves, while pretending they’re doing it all for the poor have-nots. They are calling it the City of Los Angeles Community Broadband Network (LACBN), even though their stated approach is nothing like the community fiber networks already deployed in much smaller cities in the US — including the Chattanooga fiber network which was cited in the LACBN FAQ. That FAQ also contains the key flaw in the whole LACBN unicorn-hunting farce — both the question and answer in #4:
4) Why wouldn’t the City have LADWP build out the fiber network and offer internet services?
These rights are such a fundamental basis of human law and governance that they override laws meant to protect against the harms caused by malicious communications, such as terrorist networks and personal threats. Just governments realize there are better ways to protect our fellow citizens and detect harms than to trample on individual freedoms — public anonymous speech reveals wrongs so they can be corrected, and trustworthy private exchanges deepen civil relationships. Denying these rights for illusory claims of “added security” just make everyone worse off. No government or representative has any monopoly on defining “right” or “wrong” for all humans in all times, so these communication rights are necessary to discuss and refine these definitions among equal peers.
In case you can’t tell by the writing style and sparse dates of all the past blog posts here, you should know I’m a fairly reserved guy. My wife actually bought me a shirt that says “Just shy, not anti-social. (You can talk to me!)” I’m not always confident the middle part of that shirt’s declaration is completely true, so I don’t wear it very often. It is proof of my passion for human-centric Internet ownership that this blog exists at all, I’m putting my real name on it, and it has gotten this far with fiscal sponsorship and discussions with Internet-famous people.
Every well functioning non-profit needs more than one driver. In fact, before full incorporation and filing, independent 501(c)(3) organizations are each required to have a functioning Board of Directors. Fiscal sponsorees (like Data Roads Foundation) have a similar group called a Steering Committee. It’s usually also best to have a Board of Advisers, if not multiple Advisory Committees. These groups are almost always unpaid volunteers, even though they are all great leaders who would be paid a hefty sum for their services in the for-profit world.
There’s lots of advice out there about how to choose Board/Committee Members. My personal favorite advice is: advancing a shared social cause is a great excuse to contact and join your heroes. In this case, all of our official Steering Committee Meetings will be held online, so geography isn’t a choice limiter.
My list of the greatest heroes of causes related to Data Roads Foundation is below. Each nominee has a point of online reference next to their name, to show why they belong on this list: