Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) and The Guild's Felicia Day kicked off a Monday SXSW session schedule by getting straight to the point about internet freedom. Like a wet blanket on a camp fire, Franken warned attendees that the days of unfettered internet access may soon be over.
"The party may almost be over. There's nothing more motivated than a corporation that thinks it's leaving money on the table," said Franken. "An Open Internet: The Last, Best Hope for Independent Producers." Franken continued, "They're coming after our freedom and openness on the Internet. Net neutrality is the First Amendment issue of our time."
Franken was referring to the FCC's recent net neutrality provisions where the the fast lanes of the internet may have toll roads that require users to pay more money and may be charged extra for content that is now free. The implications of "paid prioritization" is what most net neutrality crusaders did not want, but the FCC did not do anything to stop it.
"It's about what content gets stuck in traffic, and what content gets in the high speed lane," Franken said.
"Content should move over the Internet freely, no matter what it is or who owns it," Franken said. "We take it for granted, because that's how it's always been. The Internet has always been democratic — with a small D."
On Monday afternoon The Guild's writer, producer, actress and "gamer chick" Felicia Day also had a lot to say about net neutrality during her keynote.
"I don't want one company regulating everything we do online," Day said. "I find it sad that they're trying to go backwards like that."
"I believe strongly in being able to keep the Internet an open platform," she said. "The Internet is a beautiful place. We're living in the sundance of our time."
"It's an amazing gift that we have. To close it off and to make it harder for people who are entry level and don't have a lot of money to create or consume — well, I'd be involved on any level I need to be," Day added.
Source: Culture Map