February 07, 2006

The Progress & Freedom Foundation -- The Internet's Worst Enemy

The Progress & Freedom Foundation is not about progress or freedom. If it weren't so insidious an organization, the name would be a funny example of jabberwocky at its best.

It is an organization of corporations that does not have the interests of progress or freedom at its core. What it does have is self-interest, motivated by greed and profit.

One of the primary purposes of the Progress & Freedom Foundation is to take corporate control of the internet. Its first goal is described this way: "Deregulation of communications markets, including immediate deregulation of broadband services, and forbearance from regulation of wireless communications and the Internet."

The other anti-progress and anti-freedom goals are described here.

Supporters of The Progress & Freedom Foundation include -

Apple; AT&T; BellSouth; BMG; Business Software Alliance; Cellular Telecommunications & Internet Association; Cisco; Clear Channel Communications; Comcast Corporation; CompTIA; Disney; eBay; EchoStar Communications Corporation; Edison Electric Institute; EMI Group; FirstEnergy; Google; Hewlett-Packard Company; Howrey LLP; Intel; Intellectual Ventures; Intuit; Level 3 Communications; MCI; MGM; Microsoft; Motorola; National Cable & Telecommunications Association; NBC Universal; Nextel Communications; Nortel; Pinnacle West Capital Corporation; Progress Energy; QUALCOMM Incorporated; Qwest Communications; Sony Music Entertainment Inc.; Southern Company; Sprint; Sun Microsystems; Sybase, Inc.; Symantec Corporation; Telecommunications Industry Association; The News Corporation Limited; The SABRE Group; Time Warner; T-Mobile; VeriSign, Inc.; Verizon Communications; VIACOM; Visa USA; Vivendi; Winstar; Xcel Energy; XM Satellite Radio.

These corporations are not the friends of progress and freedom. They certainly are not the friends of a free and unfettered internet. They are voracious capitalist carnivores who see in the internet only one thing -- an enormous profit-center which they are working ceaselessly to own and operate. It would be progress for them if they were able take control freely of this huge potential.

In their own words, "For ten years, from the beginning of the Internet Revolution in 1993, through the high-tech meltdown of 2000-2002 and beyond, PFF has been a consistent voice for a market-oriented approach to capturing the opportunities presented by technological progress."

Reminiscent of many Politburo and KGB front organizations, they make up a name that represents the exact opposite of their strategy and purposes.

What PFF names itself and what it stands for is a classic example of Orwellian doublethink -- namely, holding two contradictory ideas in mind at the same time. In this case, PFF believes that its desire to dominate the internet is progress and will set us all free. Its compulsion, however, to own the internet is the irresistible force against which progress and freedom crash.

For a fuller discussion of the threat to the internet, read "The End of the Internet"
By Jeffrey Chester, The Nation (thanks to AlterNet for the link)

1 comment:

Kvatch said...

Well discarding Apple, the next two are part of the same cabal that want to turn the Internet a "pay-for-performance" medium. Got a competitor to Skype...BANG! No more Skype on your network. Not on Blogger, better pair up or your miserble blog will be delivered at 300 baud.