Internet lines up behind The Declaration of Internet Freedom. A growing number of tech companies and names are demanding basic, unalienable digital rights.
Declaration of Internet Freedom
It's no secret that various parts of the internet have been under attack for some time. Traditional media companies respond with terror at the thought of losing even more business to piracy (though it is questionable just how much they're actually hurting - click here). Cable internet providers want the right to control what speeds you're allowed to access what sites at. And the U.S. government, meanwhile, wants to help these companies out by making streaming copyrighted content punishable by up to five years in prison.
Some major names on the internet have had enough of playing defense. That's why they're launching a new initiative called the Declaration of Internet Freedom. It's a short five-point document - a Bill of Rights of sorts - that lists out the basics of what humanity should expect and deserve from the internet. It reads:
"We stand for a free and open Internet. We support transparent and participatory processes for making Internet policy and the establishment of five basic principles:
Expression: Don't censor the Internet.
Access: Promote universal access to fast and affordable networks.
Openness: Keep the Internet an open network where everyone is free to connect, communicate, write, read, watch, speak, listen, create and innovate.
Innovation: Protect the freedom to innovate and create without permission. Don't block new technologies, and don't punish innovators for their users' actions.
Privacy: Protect privacy and defend everyone's ability to control how their data and devices are used."
The Declaration of Internet Freedom is supported by a number of well-known, high-tech names, such as Mozilla (creators of Firefox), the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), left-wing political opinion site Daily Kos, and right-wing blogging heavyweight Patrick Ruffini. By backing the document, the organization hopes to promote understanding and build support for the cause. Private individuals are urged to take action through partner sites such as the non-profit Electronic Frontier Foundation (click here).
(Look at it this way: one fine morning you go to your computer to access The Tattler so you can read a fine cussing out of some local miscreants, but instead of being taken here you find yourself on a site for Wal*Mart. You try again and you find yourself on a site for Nissan. Try again and this time it is for Stonegate at Sierra Madre. Only after numerous attempts would you be brought here. Those are the sorts of consequences these folks are talking about. If you click here you will be taken to the actual Declaration itself, which you will be asked to sign. I did, and I hope you will as well. They will ask for your organization, so feel free to use The Sierra Madre Tattler should you so wish. )
Questioning the Messianic Conception of Smart Growth
(Mod: Over on one of our favorite sites, New Geography, there is a great little piece entitled "Questioning the Messianic Conception of Smart Growth." It is intriguing stuff, though I doubt the Green Committee or Mayor Moran will be taking it up anytime soon. It certainly is not in line with their current high-density "Transit Village" development agenda. Here is how the article begins:)
A new analysis from the United Kingdom concludes that smart growth (compact city) policies are not inherently preferable to other urban land use policy regimes, despite the claims of proponents. "The current planning policy strategies for land use and transport have virtually no impact on the major long-term increases in resource and energy consumption. They generally tend to increase costs and reduce economic competitiveness." The article goes on: "Claims that compaction will make cities more sustainable have been debated for some time, but they lack conclusive supporting evidence as to the environmental and, particularly, economic and social effects."
(If you wish to read the rest of this inconvenient article, feel free to do so by clicking here. So far you can still find it on the Internet. See you at the parade tomorrow.)