TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Letter to the Internet Community: IOIC - "For an Open Internet"

Letter to the Internet Community: IOIC - "For an Open Internet"

Lauren Weinstein (
Mon, 9 Jan 2006 17:09:32 -0600

David J. Farber
Peter G. Neumann
Lauren Weinstein

January 8, 2006

A Letter to the Internet Community

IOIC - International Open Internet Coalition

"For an Open Internet"

The marvel that is the Internet is under an increasing barrage of
policy, regulatory, and related technologically-enabled attacks
against its fundamental open-access, "end-to-end" operational
model. Under the auspices of PFIR (People For Internet Responsibility),
we have established a new organization -- the International Open
Internet Coalition (IOIC) -- dedicated to the proposition that the
Internet should remain an open and neutral resource, free from
unreasonable interference or restrictions on the actions of businesses,
organizations, individuals, or others related to their access or use
of the Internet.

IOIC has been created as an entity to serve the common interests of
everyone concerned about the increasing levels of restrictions being
planned or implemented relating to the Internet and its users. Such
parties and stakeholders are likely to include all manner of
Web/Internet-based and other businesses, educational and non-profit
organizations, regulatory and government entities, individual
Internet users, and many others.

We cordially invite your participation in what will be a major, ongoing
effort for establishing, preserving, and promoting the critical
concepts of an Open Internet.

The attacks on the Open Internet model -- now seeming to spring forth
daily from a variety of powerful entities -- threaten to permanently
cripple or destroy the very aspects of the Internet that have turned
it into an indispensable utility for all manner of commerce, speech,
education, communication, entertainment, and many other major
aspects of people's lives.

Around the world, both domestic governments and increasingly large
and consolidated Internet Service Providers (ISPs) -- including
ILECS, cable companies, and other telecommunications firms engaging
in ISP activities -- restrict or threaten to restrict their citizens
and Internet users from access to outside Web services of all
sorts. The list of affected services includes search engines,
e-commerce sites, databases, e-mail, VoIP, audio and video
streaming/downloading, P2P and other legitimate file sharing
applications, discussion forums, and a wide range of others.

These have become the targets of controls and censorship directed
against the free flow of commerce, communications, free speech, and
other activities, implemented via throttling and limiting bandwidth
to subscribers and/or by totally blocking or disrupting specific
services and communication types.

In some cases, these moves are part of restrictive regulatory or
political agendas. In other cases, these actions or threats of
restrictions are key to carefully calculated plans by ISPs to give
"walled garden" preferential treatment to their own service
offerings, and to extract "premium access" fees from remote Web
services and other Internet services who are not their subscribers.

The range of issues that are of concern is vast, but the common
thread is clear. An Internet that is increasingly biased away from
being a neutral and open resource is at risk for serious degradation
of its commercial and social values and usefulness, and is ripe for
massive and dangerous abuses.

Our hope and expectation is that IOIC, by providing a focal point
for education, information, discussion, brainstorming, and strategic
planning relating to these issues, will be an effective force for
helping to assure the best possible Internet not only for its
services and users today, but for the future as well.

To participate in this effort or for more information, please send
an appropriate note (which will be read by a human!) to:

or feel free to contact Lauren by phone (09:30-17:30 PST) via:

+1 (818) 225-2800

Thank you very much for your consideration.


David Farber
Distinguished Career Professor of Computer Science and Public Policy,
Carnegie Mellon University
Tel: +1 (412) 726-9889

Peter G. Neumann
Principal Scientist - Computer Science Lab,=20
SRI International
Co-Founder, People For Internet Responsibility -
Chairman, ACM Committee on Computers and Public Policy
Tel: +1 (650) 859-2375

Lauren Weinstein
Co-Founder, People For Internet Responsibility -
Moderator, PRIVACY Forum
Member, ACM Committee on Computers and Public Policy
Tel: +1 (818) 225-2800

(Affiliations shown for identification purposes only.)

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