Big Telecom: An Emerging Threat to Our Democracy? Sat, 07/19/2008 - 3:00pm, Ballroom F
Massive telecom companies control virtually all of our voice and internet communications these days-and new evidence shows a near-total lack of commitment to our democracy. AT&T has proposed filtering all content traveling on its network. Verizon tried initially to block NARAL's pro-choice text messages. Most telecom companies are fighting net neutrality. Can democracy survive an assault by those who control the tubes?
PANELISTS: Cindy Cohn, Michael Kieschnick, Matt Stoller, Nancy Keenan, Timothy Karr
I'll be listening but expect less updates than the last one. Puttering around my apartment doing chores.
16:14 - ok, they've started.
16:36 - Cindy is telling EFF's perspective on the FISA and warrantless spying issue. The spying room in San Fransisco, Qwest's refusal to particpate, and what lawsuits EFF will launch to continue this fight going forward.
16:43 - Next panelist is talking about the history of AT&T and its current incarnation as mingled with SBC and describes it in terms of being a "Texas Republican" company. AT&T's sordid history of political contributions is recounted.
16:52 - Stoller with a funny anecdote: "My friend has a copy of the Bill of Rights written on metal. That way, when he goes through an airport metal detector, he goes 'Oh, that must be my bill of rights!'" - Matt uses this as a lead in to the increasing cultural trend of merely obeying authority for silly things that don't really contribute to security.
16:57 - Stoller: "Architecture of Control" and he describes the deeper meaning of the fisa fight being a battle for the soul of a free society or a controlled one.