The Commission should establish a broadband “Bill of Rights” that will allow individual Americans and small organizations the basic right to broadcast and communicate over broadband. This Bill of Rights should include the following features:
1. All individual Internet stations have the right to broadcast and communicate over the Internet without interference by corporations and/or government.
2. Any charges or fees must be applied equally to users without favoritism.
3. If broadband usage exceeds existing capacity, usage can be rationed (in terms of bits per second) with all Internet users having the same proportional reduction in capacity for the duration of the shortage. There must be no favoritism at all for large organizations.
4. Government and/or private organizations may not monitor the content of Internet transmissions unless such monitoring is done by lawful court order. This will establish the appropriate privacy of Internet web casts, web sites, and email traffic.
5. First Amendment rights on the Internet shall be the same as the First Amendment rights for print and radio/TV broadcast media.
6. Intellectual property rights, such as copyright, shall be the same as the rights applying to print and radio/TV broadcast media.
7. All Internet station journalists and bloggers shall be recognized as legitimate journalists with the same rights of access as print or conventional broadcast station journalists.
8. The freedom of association and assembly shall apply to gatherings conducted on the Internet.
We must protect all Americans’ access to Internet broadcasting and all other uses of the Internet. This is basic to America’s democratic future.
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