Senator calls net neutrality the 'free speech issue of our time'

You do like free speech, don't you?

The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is messing with net neutrality, and some, including Senator Al Franken, aren't happy.

Franken, a Democrat for Minnesota, has published a video on YouTube proclaiming net neutrality "the free speech issue of our time."

In essence the FCC has proposed new rules that will allow internet service providers to provide "fast lanes" for companies, websites and services that pay for them.

The argument against that is clear: creating "fast lanes" would by definition create slow lanes as well, and services that don't pay will be at a disadvantage. The free flow of information so important to the functioning of society will be hindered.

#NoSlowLane

In the video Franken points out that YouTube itself is a company that at one time benefitted from net neutrality. He says neutrality is part of "the basic architecture of the internet."

"Mom and pop stores would lose even more ground to corporate giants," Franken says. "Big media companies will be able to get their version of the news to consumers faster."

"This is the free speech issue of our time," he continues. "We cannot allow the FCC to implement a pay-to-play system that silences our voices and amplifies that of big corporate interests."

He urges internet users "to rise up and make our voices heard to preserve net neutrality" and head to noslowlane.com.

Meanwhile FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler has done a pretty poor job defending the FCC's proposals, but even his own commission members and major internet corporations are feeling anxious about the measures.