Net Neutrality RIP: Essential Parts of America's DNA - Independence and Privacy - Are About to Be Destroyed

It's a way bigger deal than the way the internet works.

Without network neutrality - the ability of individual citizens to get and share the information they want with a modicum of privacy and anonymity - the American Revolution wouldn't have happened. Maybe that's why the Trump administration wants to kill net neutrality now.

The flyer from "Rusticus" appeared on trees all over the community one morning in the Boston autumn of 1773:

"Are we in like Manner to be given up to the Disposal of the East India Company, who have now the Assurance, to step forth in Aid of the Minister, to execute his Plan, of enslaving America? Their Conduct in Asia, for some Years past, has given simple Proof, how little they regard the Laws of Nations, the Rights, Liberties, or Lives of Men.

"They have levied War, excited Rebellions, dethroned lawful Princes, and sacrificed Millions for the Sake of Gain. The Revenues of Mighty Kingdoms have centered in their Coffers. And these not being sufficient to glut their Avarice, they have, by the most unparalleled Barbarities, Extortions, and Monopolies, stripped the miserable Inhabitants of their Property, and reduced whole Provinces to Indigence and Ruin.

"Fifteen hundred Thousands, it is said, perished by Famine in one Year, not because the Earth denied its Fruits; but [because] this Company and their Servants engulfed all the Necessaries of Life, and set them at so high a Rate that the poor could not purchase them.

"Resolve therefore, nobly resolve, and publish to the World your Resolutions, that no Man will receive the Tea, no Man will let his Stores, or suffer the Vessel that brings it to moor at his Wharf, and that if any Person assists at unloading, landing, or storing it, he shall ever after be deemed an Enemy to his Country, and never be employed by his Fellow Citizens."

That flyer, in part, kicked off the first big event of what eventually came to be known as the American Revolution. Today we call the 1773 rebellion the Boston Tea Party (although for the first 50 years after it happened, it was simply known as "that incident in Boston Harbor"). But if the British of the day had been able to suppress the colonists' free speech and anonymity, the USA might still be part of the UK

You can arguably draw a direct line from Rusticus' flyer to both the creation of our independing nation, and to the First Amendment, because Rusticus' flyer was an important part of the "free and independent press" of the day.

Today that role is filled in large part by the internet. Instead of running around in the dead of night nailing flyers to trees, people now post their political missives to blogs and Twitter feeds, and those very posts, in overwhelming numbers, led former FCC chairman Tom Wheeler to put net neutrality into law via Title II of the Telecommunications Act. Arguably, they also led to lots of political upheaval over the past few years, ranging from the Bernie Sanders phenomenon to the election (and impeachment investigations) of Donald Trump.

Consider how differently the Boston Tea Party and the American Revolution might have gone down if the East India Company owned the right to regulate and censor all pamphlets before or immediately after they were put up. Or if the EI Company were able to track with great precision who posted a notice, when and where.

That's what the big internet service providers want to do with you and me.

Read more here.


Dianereynolds's picture
Dianereynolds 5 years 26 weeks ago

I am told if we move to China we will have few if any restrictions with a side bonus being they are a more free society.

欢迎登机 anybody?

Ou812's picture
Ou812 5 years 26 weeks ago

@1 Diane:


gmiklashek950's picture
gmiklashek950 5 years 26 weeks ago

I don't know, Thom. I do a lot of commenting on various news sites and am almost always impressed with the low quality of the general comments by my fellows. Most are hyper-emotional and seem to serve as an outlet for pent-up adolescent angst, with little or no actual information or higher purpose. Maybe being forced to return to word of mouth and local publications wouldn't be all bad. This great internet experiment is still up for grabs as far as I can see. Your day-time callers are another indicator of the inability of so many of us to express ourselves verbally or through any medium. The utter lack of informed opinion on the part of tRump's supporters, due to their lack of interest in the truth of any matter, is another indicator of the power of established media like Fox News, hardwired into tRump's brain as it obviously is. No doubt the real issue with "net neurtality" is the same as everywhere in our amoral society at this point: money and new opportunities to wrest it from the helpless masses. I'll just talking to freinds for now, although I do appreciate your efforts and this website. Thank you!

Legend 5 years 26 weeks ago

Unregulated Capitalism will make our free internet much worse than China's. It is one of the first steps needed in Fascism. Merry Xmas Diane and OU812. You will lose your freedom.

ckrob's picture
ckrob 5 years 26 weeks ago

Off topic:

A prominent conservative Supreme Court Justice was interrupted today leaving a meeting with five billionaire contributors to the Republican Party. He was found to be carrying a large brown paper bag stuffed with what appeared to be several million dollars in cash. When it was indicated that the situation looked incriminating, the Justice stated that money is speech and that the content of the bag was merely a record of the most important part of the lunch conversation.

wmleidy's picture
wmleidy 5 years 26 weeks ago

where obama once penned the audacity of hope to show a way forward, republicans have shown america the audacity of greed. america took back its country in 1932 and it needs to take back its country again, with haste. the nation deserves better than a theocratic corporatocracy that has become bereft of ethics, morality or compassion.

Legend 5 years 26 weeks ago

#5. References?

Trump just opened up 1.9 million acres of our canyonlands to oil drilling and mining. Payoff to the 1%.

Everyday is a new low.

Russians and Republicans are allies.

Oldskoold's picture
Oldskoold 5 years 26 weeks ago

You hit the nail on the head there Legend! Russians/Republicans are interchangeable as I see it! Same damn difference either way.

longbid's picture
longbid 5 years 26 weeks ago

It is net neuterality period.

HotCoffee's picture
HotCoffee 5 years 26 weeks ago

Where one person can only see nightmares another can see opertunities....

Pied Piper's New Internet Isn't Just Possible—It's Almost Here

Crunch Network

Building a brand-new Internet

Now if I could just get cell phone service...ugg!

The sky hasn't fallen yet.

Diane R

too funny!

2950-10K's picture
2950-10K 5 years 26 weeks ago

If only the Dems when in power had the same lack of scruples as the Koch Party. Let the relentless treachery of Crooked Donny , McConnell, and their self serving bastards be a lesson in offense for the next time at bat... if there is one. Sam Adams sure as hell didn't believe in a timid defense during the late 1760's early 70's.

My first piece of advice to Dems: Better invite UN observers in to oversee the 2018 election.

Suggestions regarding overcoming the loss of net neutrality: Woodstock size music/political concerts, non-stop Bernie size political rallies, a return to Occupy, and continued progressive anonymous infiltration of our FBI and CIA.

Ou812's picture
Ou812 5 years 26 weeks ago


Those are good articles. Technology is moving so fast, it's almost impossible to keep up with it. Capitalism works, competition works. Thanks.

Check out this article "How to get cell service in remote areas"

2950-10K's picture
2950-10K 5 years 26 weeks ago

BTW: Trump is toast once the Voodoo economics bill gets passed. Not sure why knowledge of the Koch's desire to install Pence is still flying under the radar.

Record manipulated market inflation not a concern yet..LMAO! Welcome to The United States of Amnesia!

Dianereynolds's picture
Dianereynolds 5 years 26 weeks ago

Worry not Rick Steves. I am sure Al Gore is busy reworking his invention to circumvent all government control.

road runner, Thanks for your night time gift. Time to iron your antifa gear. The mid terms are right around the corner. Don't forget how well those actions were accepted by the voting public.

I do think it is funny your worrying about the Koch Bros removing Trump and installing Pence. Isn't that what all the leftie/socialists have been trying to do for just over a year? Maybe it is actually your guys operating out of your dark web bunkers that are in bed with the Koch's.

Beep beep!

HotCoffee's picture
HotCoffee 5 years 26 weeks ago


You found my house!

Thanks I just might give it a try.

HotCoffee's picture
HotCoffee 5 years 26 weeks ago
Legend 5 years 26 weeks ago

HC, If you are getting internet at your home you can get a cell booster that attaches to your router for less than $200. Works great.

HotCoffee's picture
HotCoffee 5 years 26 weeks ago

Thanks Legend I'll check on it.

HotCoffee's picture
HotCoffee 5 years 26 weeks ago

So here I am in totally Dem California and what's in the news...seems we need the UN to check on our bathrooms!!! I guess we Dems can't quite do that ourselves, need help from the UN. UGGG!!!

United Nations expert to examine Southland anti-poverty efforts–Not a JokeDecember 4, 2017 By Stephen Frank Leave a Comment

This is not a joke—the United Nations is worried that Southern California is not doing enough for the poor. Wonder what they are doing in the Middle East—creating refugees, accepting genocide of Christians, but worried if L.A. is providing toilet for the homeless. Glad that President Trump is withdrawing from numerous UN organizations—and will continue to do so. Maybe next years he will cut our 25% of the total UN budget from our budget.

Philip Alston, the U.N. special rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, will begin his time in the region by attending a forum on homelessness organized by the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California. The forum at the group’s headquarters in the Westlake district will include sessions on bail and the impact of fines and fees on the human rights of people living in poverty.

There will also be a segment on anti-homeless laws and quality of life ordinances, with a focus on Orange County, according to David Colker, a press and communications strategist with the ACLU of Southern California.

Yes the homeless should have toilets, no we shouldn't need help from the UN to check them out. Seriously Jerry Brown can't find anyone in our large expansive system to do that job???

Legend 5 years 26 weeks ago

CA a hepatitis problem because the homeless defecates in the streets. What I found when working in the bay area is CA has very few public rest rooms. Where I live most stores have public restrooms. in CA they are locked up. Eventually everyone has to go.

HotCoffee's picture
HotCoffee 5 years 26 weeks ago

Your right about the hepatitis..I however still think Ca. should make it an in house priority once you bring in the UN how do you get them out. Didn't they bring diarrhea to Haiti? I don't think that would happen here but it sets a prescient.

Isn't it little odd that the ACLU would be calling the shots?

Whats next bring them to every state for the opiod problem?

Great if you want to expand the NWO into our own backyard.

I really don't want more government of any's gotten to the point you can't scratch your butt without someone watching.

Nomastrump's picture
Nomastrump 5 years 26 weeks ago

Another nail driven deeply into America's coffin. America's epithaph reads like the grafiti on a pay toilet bathroom's wall: here I sit, broken hearted... paid my quarter and only Far***. That sums up my life-long experience in this so-called "Land of Opportunity." Served in the military... struggle to pull myslef by bootstarps.. but never allowed to share in the "wealth" of this nation. Too old now, I can only sum up the "American experience" this way: Life sucks, and then you die... leaving your family to pay burial experiences as SS only pays $250. God Bless America? Nope... may God damn America.. oh wait, he did already... Republicans prove that daily.

Nomastrump's picture
Nomastrump 5 years 26 weeks ago

Fair assessment. I am too old and economically challenged now in my senior years... I regret that I did not immigrate to Australia many years ago when I was offered the opportunity by Australian Government. America is such a backward nation... still run by Calvinistic "Chosen vs Not Chosen" social constructs that deny all other's access to the equality "marketed" by the founders. Understand this: There is no separation of Church and State via the core theology of Republican Party... Calvinism... as was in the begining... and still is. Laws passed by them are based upon their "celestial" entitlement by virtue of being "Chosen" which obligates them to deny the needs of others.. if one has a need.. it's prima facia evidence of not being "Chosen" and the "faithful" are obligated not to share... as "God's will" rules the plight the "Not Chosen." To provide health care or education.. shelter.. equality...etc violates their "covenant" from being "Chosen": to prosper as they do. Thus, all that equality stated in Constitutiona and Bill of Rights was and is simply "marketing collateral" to "sell" a product: The USA... for the few "Chosen" among us, not the many of us that are "Not Chosen" ... That is America's true social construct via the "Calvin" model.. our "Civil Religion."

HotCoffee's picture
HotCoffee 5 years 26 weeks ago

I have had challenges at times getting by...yet I'm so blessed not to be in Syria, Lybia and many other parts of the world.

It's all how you choose to look at it I guess...can always find someone struggling harder.

HotCoffee's picture
HotCoffee 5 years 26 weeks ago

For those who might be interested.....

Discover the truth in this free 7-part documentary series, featuring over 50 doctors, scientists, researchers and survivors of thyroid disease, lupus, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, lyme & even Alzheimer’s & dementia plus many more!

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2950-10K's picture
2950-10K 5 years 26 weeks ago

Diane: Don't quit your day job for a profession in comedy.. ..! BTW: That's a track time...nothing to do with the roads.

I'm not worried about Crooked Donny getting fired and thus his financial empire falling apart, actually makes me happy. Being the most hated man in this country as well as on the planet will end up leaving him bankrupt....nobody will dare be involved in business with him and or his family after all is said and done. I'm just pointing out who is really in control....the Kochs and it's called Fascism.

Yes, I'm an anti-fascist and consider myself a patriot who will fight to the victorious end just like my rebel ancestors did in the late 18th century.

Tell me what you think the Kochpublicans are doing to benefit you...give us all something to respond to.... instead or your usual nothing crap.

Dianereynolds's picture
Dianereynolds 5 years 26 weeks ago

Beep beep. your last sentence is the only one that makes sense so here goes as short as I can make it.

When I was 14 my dad told me I could have a car if I paid for it. That is when I took my first job seriously. At 15 I has accumulated enough make that happen. My point is, I discovered early on, that if I set a goal and worked hard, it would eventually happen. No excuses, handouts, or complaints, just hard work.

Over my years in business I found most of the time when republicans were in office the business community had a positive attitude about making long term investments in equipment and labor. This meant they bought my products. I am not going to go into detail because Hartmann has poisoned reality with his re-write of history but I will tell you in my case being on 100% commission, Republicans in office produced far more income for me, my customers, and my suppliers than when a democrat was in the White House. Argue if you want, but my W2’s will prove you wrong. Overlap and exceptions? Only a handful over a very long time.

HotCoffee's picture
HotCoffee 5 years 26 weeks ago

Tradgety and opertunity often come hand & hand. The fires in Ca. is truly hell, I'm so sorry for everyone affected. When it's all over there with be opertunity for Contractors and laborers. The more skills a person has the more opertunity no matter who's in office.

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