May 12, 2006

I hate the Telecoms

Good Gawd...we are stuck. Currently Sweetie and I are held prisoner by a $175 per phone cancellation fee to Verizon Wireless. But come July 25th, we are out of there. The question is, who do we turn to? Cingular? Nope...they are AT&T. Sprint-Nextel? Working Assets? We can't use Qwest in Nevada, so what Telecom do I turn to that will actually consider the rights of its customers? Shall we all join in the class action lawsuits that must surely be coming?

When I, along with millions of other Americans, read yesterday that all our phone call records (cell, domestic, long distance, and no warrants for them, of course) have been turned over to the NSA (Now Spying on Americans) part of me was angrier than hell. What country am I living in, after all?

Bush was hurriedly thrown in front of the cameras to assure us that, as always, we should TRUST him, that they are only spying on "known" al Qaeda and al Qaeda "associates." WHAT? Tens of millions of domestic call records turned over to the government. Are they saying that there are tens of millions of al Qaeda in the United States? Excuse me, but if these al Qaeda are "known" why the hell haven't they been picked up? Someone please answer that question!!

And the telecoms went along with this. Why? According the USA Today article, the government threatened them with pulling their contracts.

The NSA, which needed Qwest's participation to completely cover the country, pushed back hard.

Trying to put pressure on Qwest, NSA representatives pointedly told Qwest that it was the lone holdout among the big telecommunications companies. It also tried appealing to Qwest's patriotic side: In one meeting, an NSA representative suggested that Qwest's refusal to contribute to the database could compromise national security, one person recalled.

In addition, the agency suggested that Qwest's foot-dragging might affect its ability to get future classified work with the government. Like other big telecommunications companies, Qwest already had classified contracts and hoped to get more.

I am not sure that's the real reason. Take a look at the ad to the right. Net Neutrality. The telecoms want to create a tiered Internet where web page owners who can pay for speed will get faster loading pages, etc. Right now the Internet works much the same way that phone service works. We all pay our monthly charges and we all get the same service. You pick up the phone, dial the number, and voila! your call goes through at the same speed as George Bush's or Paris Hilton's. It doesn't matter who you are or who you are calling.

Currently the same sort of system applies for web hosting. When we pay our monthly web hosting fee, it doesn't matter who we are, what the content is on our pages or anything. My web page doesn't load faster than Amazon.com's, nor does their web site load faster than mine. Both load at the same speed. But, if the telecoms have their way, not only will we be paying for access to the web, owners of web site will ALSO be required to pay fees that will allow their pages to load quickly. If they can't afford it, too bad. Their sites will be choked off. Even the big names on the Internet (Amazon.com, Google, etc) are against this, yet, it appears that our Congress Critters are in bed with the Telecoms. Click on the ad to the right. Learn more. Sign the petition to protect Net Neutrality, call your legislators.

2 comments:

myrna the minx said...

The thing that really doesnt make sense to me is that argument that they can actually search this data and find pertinent information as far as terrorism is concerned. Think about it, they had what they needed to stop Sept. 11 from happening but didnt act on it in time because they hadnt reviewed the data they had yet. They couldnt even analyze what they had then and now they think they can collect more and be able to analyze it effectively?

cls said...

I gotta tell you. It feels neverending today. Depression doesn't even come close to what I feel today. Billion dollar tax cuts for the rich, NSA spying, no end in sight in Iraq. And on and on and on.