The ECA has issued an "Action Alert" asking its members to help influence a Massachusetts net neutrality law sponsored by Massachusetts Representative Tom Sannicandro. The full alert from the ECA is below:
"The internet has allowed mass communication and collaboration on a scale never before seen in human history. People from vast distances are able to work together on projects and weigh in with thoughts concerning issues that matter to them. We ask you to add your thoughts regarding an issue that should matter to you – net neutrality.
Massachusetts Representative Tom Sannicandro has recognized this tool for what it is and will introduce a bill concerning Net Neutrality that involves people’s input using LexPop. You can get started and add your thoughts about Net Neutrality here.
The idea of public participation in policy isn’t new; it’s an idea that’s been tossed around for some time now. This is the first time it’s being done in the United States and it’s appropriate that it concerns the issue of Net Neutrality which is the very heart of openness online.
We’ve put together a dashboard for you to learn a bit more about Net Neutrality and check out some of the other campaigns we’ve run on the issue. After you’ve studied up, head over to LexPop and add in additional links for research and discussion in the first phase of this collaborative effort. The first phase ends on March 20. Here’s our opportunity to directly influence policy and make sure we get an internet that’s free and open. Get involved today."
Here’s what LexPop says about working with on this issue:
"Over the next few weeks, we’ll be working with Representative Tom Sannicandro of Massachusetts to create a net neutrality law. And let’s make it good — if we come up with something substantive, Representative Sannicandro has agreed to introduce our bill to the MA House of Representatives. LexPop.org is devoted to expanding participation in democracy. Simply put, we think our policy will be better if more voices are heard."
And here is how the process works:
"The MA Net Neutrality policy drive will proceed through three phases, and each has its own page on LexPop. During any given stage, the other stages will be locked.
Phase One: Hearing. In the first step, participants provide links to research and discuss problems and solutions. This step is crucially important as the research and discussion will form the backbone of the policy we create. Tentative end date: 3.20.2011.
Phase Two: Markup. In this step, participants will draw from the research ideas, comments, and arguments to outline the policy. Use the discussion page to hash out the details and give the policy shape. Tentative end date: 4.3.2011.
Phase Three: Build the Bill. By this step, the major arguments should have been settled and the decisions made. What is left now is for the participants to draft the legislative text to prepare it for submission. Tentative end date: 4.15.2011.
There won’t be a distinct phase for it, but it is also important to recognize the best contributors and discuss whether we have the initial time lengths right. Remember, it’s all about collaboration."
[Full Disclosure: Game Politics is an ECA publication.]