The Turkish parliament will mull amendments to its 2007 internet censorship law this week, and could well make internet censorship in Turkey much worse. Can you imagine our government routinely censoring websites? Can you imagine the list of censored websites approaching 30,000? Can you imagine our government handing out fines or jail time for comments you make on Facebook? That's what "government control of the internet" looks like -- not (as some right-wing idiots say) our government forcing the big telecom corporations to treat their network traffic neutrally -- and it happens all the time in Turkey. And the amendments under consideration will make this situation worse: they'll give government officials the power to block websites at will without so much as a judge's review, they'll force small businesses to retain all their internet records for a year, and they'll crack down on cafés that don't block websites the way the government would have them do it. We're not Turkish citizens, but we love freedom, and we know there's no such thing as bad PR. So Access Now helps you tell the Turkish President to reject internet censorship.
Meanwhile, the New York Times tried to tell us earlier this week that the public would prefer President Obama to talk less about income inequality and more about "opportunity" -- just as Republicans would, and what a happy coincidence, that! The evidence for this conclusion? A single Pew poll from late January that found almost 70% of Americans wanting our government to do something to ameliorate income inequality, while a little over 80% wanted our government to do something to ameliorate poverty. Over two out of three Americans wanting our government to attack income inequality may not sound like a rightward lurch to you and I, but to the Times, it demonstrated "'broad consensus' that government should help people escape poverty, but 'substantially less agreement' that government should act to reduce the gap between the rich and everyone else." How "substantially" different can one supermajority really be from another? And, ah, doesn't the fight against poverty overlap with the fight against income inequality? If you want to take the New York Times to task for its folly, the link above will tell you how.
Finally, the FCC has received over one million comments from good citizens like you urging the FCC to restore net neutrality; FCC Chair Tom Wheeler supposedly described the public reaction as "boffo," but he also used to be a lobbyist for the same big telecoms which aim to kill network neutrality once and for all, so we can't just hope he'll do the right thing. So Free Press helps you call your Congressfolk and urge them to tell Mr. Wheeler to save net neutrality. A lot is at stake: if you like your favorite liberal blog, for example, consider the possibility that it won't be able to afford whatever tribute the big telecom corporations want to exact, which means you either won't be able to see it or it'll load so slowly that you'll go to some other website that's paid its tribute and thus loads more quickly. Will that website will be better? Maybe, but given the sensationalism and titillation our big telecom corporations seem to prefer, what are the chances, really? More likely you'll be stuck with a choice of clips from TLC reality shows, when you really want to read about the GMO labeling fight. We must not let this happen, not in our America.