[Libs-Or] Net Neutrality and Intellectual Freedom

Garnetta Wilker gkwilker2 at gmail.com
Wed Jun 18 11:20:54 PDT 2014

The OLA Intellectual Freedom Committee joins the American Library
Association in recognizing that net neutrality is an intellectual freedom
issue.  Net neutrality is the principle that all data traveling on the
Internet should be treated equally.  If net neutrality is not maintained,
then cable companies and others would be allowed to pay for preferential
treatment, which could relegate libraries and other nonprofits to the “slow
lane” of Internet traffic.  Intellectual freedom, which is the “right of
all peoples to seek and receive information from all points of view without
restriction,” requires that net neutrality be maintained so that
information flows freely to all users.

On May 15th of this year, the Federal Communication Commission (FCC)
presented a proposal that has been interpreted as replacing the principle
of net neutrality with a two-tiered Internet system allowing paid
prioritization.  The FCC is accepting public comments
<http://www.fcc.gov/comments> on this proposal for 60 days, then will
accept follow-up comments through Sept. 10th.     See the Reuters article “Amid
protests, U.S. FCC proposes new 'net neutrality' rules
for a summary of this complex proposal.

Senator Ron Wyden, after being awarded the OLA 2014 Intellectual Freedom
Champion award
discussed net neutrality during a Round Table discussion at Multnomah
County Library
 Senator Wyden spoke about the advantages of having the FCC reclassify
Internet Service Providers as common carriers under Title II of the
Communications Act of 1934.  As a common carrier, ISPs would be prevented
from making any “unjust or unreasonable discrimination” in charges or
services.  Senator Wyden also discussed the need to increase public
recognition of how important net neutrality is for libraries, which are the
primary source of Internet access for many people and a key provider of
educational resources.

Here is more information about net neutrality and its importance to

·         The American Library Association statement on net neutrality

·         ALA District Dispatch blog post on theFCC’s May 15th actions

·         ALA, ARL and EDUCAUSE’s open letter to the FCC Chairman

·         “Why the death of net neutrality would be a disaster for libraries
Washington Post blog, May 16, 2014

·         John Oliver's 13-minute viral video with a humorous explanation
of net neutrality

o        clip with original HBO language

o        clip with bleeped language

·         FCC “Send Us Your Comments form <http://www.fcc.gov/comments>

Feel free to contact the OLA Intellectual Freedom Committee with your
questions or comments.

​Roberta Richards <rrichard at pcc.edu>  and  Garnetta Wilker
<gkwilker2 at gmail.com>
Co-Chairs, Intellectual Freedom Committee, Oregon Library Association
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