Monday, January 31, 2011

Hands Off Our Internet!

Dear Fellow Canadians:

We live a good life in the "True North strong and free."​

We are accepted as friends around the world. Even Americans travel with a Maple Leaf patch sewn onto their backpacks because that symbol is the universal shorthand for: "I come in peace -- and most likely to party."​

Recently, a darkness has fallen upon our great land.

Being Canada, this did not occur with violence or even with suddenness -- policies were handed down from on high, politely made the news and have no doubt caused grumbling in every Tim Horton's from coast to coast.​

I speak of decisions (or, rather, shall I call them what they are: dictates and decrees) made by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) and the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council (CBSC).

I refer to the single complaint that caused the Dire Straits song "Money For Nothing" to be banned from Canadian airwaves, proving beyond dispute that Canada is a country ruled not only by the minority, but by the most easily offended minority.

I refer also to the CRTC's proposal to "ease" the ban on broadcasting "false" or "misleading" news.

We are not idiots. We know what that means. The CRTC can massage their idea with the most expensive lawerly terms, run it through a ringer of PR consultants, but that doesn't change what the proposal is: Consciously allowing more bullshit into our news.

Finally, I refer to the CRTC's Telecom Decision 2011-44 "Usage-based billing for Gateway Access Services and third-party Internet access services".

We're adults here at Inside the Hotdog Factory, so I'm going to address you like adults: Only purest, basest, indefensible greed is behind UBB and nothing else. This greed and this "decision" will turn Canada into a third world online nation.

Few, if anyone, in Canada can claim to be oppressed. We do not have a government like that in Egypt or Tunisia or Yemen. But we do have a government that cares little or nothing about your concerns in daily life, or mine.

We know Canadian politicians and bureaucrats. They feather their own nests. They're all about those egregious perks and pensions while the rest of us watch our benefits and salaries and jobs whittled away.

Canada's too large for us to convene in the town square and see what everyone else makes of this state of affairs.

The G20 debacle in Toronto showed us what peaceful assembly will get you in this country -- cops telling you "This isn't Canada right now" before giving you a beating and jailing you for 12 hours before letting you out; the goons never having to account or answer for their actions.

But Canada loves its Internet.

Is it possible that we could use this tool we love to steal back a modicum of the freedom we've lost?

Is it possible for everyone with a keyboard to write their Member of Parliament and the CRTC and tell them "Hands off our Internet!"?

We pay enough for the good life we have in Canada. We're taxed blue, we're squeezed on every side by banks and telephone companies, utilities and agencies of every stripe, subjecting us to the Death of a Thousand Cuts with their fees and surcharges and taxes and taxes and taxes.

Would Canada -- Land of Dudes -- join me in saying to the CRTC and Bell Canada, Rogers and Shaw: "This aggression will not stand!" by demanding from their MP and the CRTC that Telecom Decision 2011-44 be rescinded?

The CRTC is wrong. Telecom Decision 2011-44 must be abolished. The CRTC should be dissolved -- send those bureaucrats scurrying back to the corporations they serve.

There should be no "easing" of the ban on false or misleading news broadcast or printed in this country. You can't ban a song because one person complains about it 25 years after the bloody gawddamned thing was released!

But most of all -- "Hands of our Internet!"​

Will the Land of Dudes tell these pampered, entitlement-drunk bureaucrats "This aggression will not stand!"

Net Neutrality. No bandwidth caps. No provable bullshit in our news.

We're not children. We are polite, hardworking people who put up with a lot of shit from our so-called public servants -- those who must have the word "honourable" etched in stone before their names to remind these whores, thieves and scamps that they wear pants and eat with utensils.​

Go ahead, dear politicians, have Honourable before your names -- just "Hands off our Internet!"

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