Download the Telecom Policy Toolkit from the UMass Boston Tactical Media Group!

April 30, 2006

(Tactical Media Group Blog)

"New Telecom Policy Toolkit Available!

Download a Adobe PDF copy of the first version of our Telecom Policy Toolkit!"


Why “Anti Discrimination” & “Build Out” Matter More Than “Net Neutrality”

April 30, 2006

(crossposted from April 27, 2006)

Broadcasting and Cable's John Eggerton writes

"Not included in the bill are voted-down amendments that would have held national video franchisees to a build-out schedule and toughened prohibitions on red-lining–building out more attractive parts of a franchise and bypassing ones with less potential return on investment or, as Ed Markey (D-MA) puts it, 'the other side of the tracks.' Still the bill as passed has language that requires telephone companies getting into video service to eventually serve all of a franchise, rather than allowing them to choose which parts of an area to offer service to, as the bill passed out of the Telecommunications Subcommittee allowed. That anti-redlining addition sat well with the cable industry, which had been pushing for it, but was not enough for Rep Markey and others who wanted build-out requirements as well." writes:

"Among the casualties today were these amendments;

1) Anti-Discrimination Amendment

An amendment to a national video franchising bill that would prevent discrimination of service based on race, religion, sex, or national origin. The amendment was defeated 29-23.

2) Build-Out Amendment (Red-lining)
An amendment that would have set build-out requirements for new franchisees under a national video franchise scheme being considered by Congress. Defeated 29-22, introduced by Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.)
A weaker amendment passed, but since it set no timetable provisions concerning 'build-out', it will be nearly impossible to enforce – nice planning!"

What good is net neutrality without net service? These laws are not just about the Internet, they are about voice, video, and the Internet.

At Comcast, "Digital Cable, High-Speed Internet, Comcast Digital Voice."

At Verizon, "Phone, Internet, TV"

At Time Warner Cable, "Cable, High Speed Online, Digital Phone"

At AT&T/SBC, "Voice, Internet, Digital Satellite TV"

This legislation allows the largest voice, video, and Internet companies to serve only the communities of their choosing–the ones that will bring the most profits. What about everyone else?

This issue is not about network neutrality. It's about non-network discrimination.

Danny Schechter and Sarah-Ann Shaw

April 30, 2006

Danny Schechter and Sarah-Ann Shaw at Friday's film screening of "Weapons of Mass Deception".

ACMEBoston Co-Sponsored Screening “Weapons of Mass Deception” This Friday April 28

April 26, 2006

ACMEBoston is pleased to announce that we will co-sponsor a screening of Danny Schecther's film, "Weapons of Mass Deception", on Friday, April 28, 2006 at Emerson College.


There will be a special screening of the critically-acclaimed film on media, propaganda, war and their discontents, "Weapons of Mass Deception," Friday, April 28th, at 7 p.m., at the Bill Bordy Theater at Emerson College (216 Tremont St., Boston, one block from the Boylston St. Green Line T stop).

Director Danny Schecter, well-known human rights and media activist from Boston, will be on hand to introduce the film and take questions from the audience. For more info on the film, check out the "Weapons of Mass Deception" website.

Danny Schecter's work represents a unique combination of independent documentary making with sharp media criticism and analysis. For more info on "The News Dissector", check out his blog.

The screening is sponsored by the Community Media and Technology Program of the College of Public and Community Service at UMass Boston, and co-sponsored by Emerson People for Social Justice, Massachusetts Global Action, and ACMEBoston.

For more info, email Jason Pramas at

ACMEBoston Member John Gianvito Wednesday April 26th Film Screening

April 24, 2006

Come to a special screening of ACMEBoston member and Emerson College Film Professor John Gianvito's film (click on image below to enlarge or download):

The Mad Songs Of Fernanda Hussein
Directed by John Gianvito

Howard Zinn writes, "Both a work of art and a critical piece of history, The Mad Songs of Fernanda Hussein is throughly engaging as a story and provocative as an examination of American values."

Lucy Parsons Center

549 Columbus Ave
Boston, MA
(617) 267-6272

Director will be present for the screening!!

Made over six years on a minsicule budget with a cast of nonprofessionals, The Mad Songs Of Fernada Hussein melds fiction and documentary to examine the lasting ramifications of the 1991 Persian Gulf War on three characters in New Mexico. The Fernanda Hussein of the title is a Mexican American mother separated from her Arab husband whose children are targeted due to anti-Iraqi sentiments. Interwoven are two other stories, one following a young teenage boy, adrift in his anger, struggling to find a way to affect change; the other, the story of a returning veteran (portrayed by a Gulf war veteran) indelibly marked by what he?s witnessed and participated in.

"My goal was to try to create a time-capsule of what it felt like to be in America during that period, to preserve as best possible the memories I had of that time, with the hope of encouraging reflection." – John Gianvito

Lucy Parsons Center Calendar

Net Neutrality Video

April 23, 2006

From Public Knowledge:

"Today we created a little video on net neutrality. It can be a difficult issue to understand, so we tried to make it as straight-forward as possible. Please share it with your friends."

Watch the video.

Sign The Petition for Internet Freedom at

April 23, 2006

Save The Internet

"Congress is now pushing a law that would end the free and open Internet as we know it. Internet providers like AT&T and Verizon are lobbying Congress hard to gut Network Neutrality, the Internet's First Amendment. Net Neutrality prevents AT&T from choosing which websites open most easily for you based on which site pays AT&T more. So Amazon doesn't have to outbid Barnes & Noble for the right to work more properly on your computer.

Many members of Congress take campaign contributions from these companies, and they don't think the public are paying attention to this issue. Let's show them we care – please sign this petition today.

For more information, or to link to MoveOn's outreach on this issue, check out:

If Congress abandons Network Neutrality, who will be affected?

* Advocacy groups like MoveOn–Political organizing could be slowed by a handful of dominant Internet providers who ask advocacy groups to pay "protection money" for their websites and online features to work correctly.

* Nonprofits–A charity's website could open at snail-speed, and online contributions could grind to a halt, if nonprofits can't pay dominant Internet providers for access to "the fast lane" of Internet service.

* Google users–Another search engine could pay dominant Internet providers like AT&T to guarantee the competing search engine opens faster than Google on your computer.

* Innovators with the 'next big idea'–Startups and entrepreneurs will be muscled out of the marketplace by big corporations that pay Internet providers for dominant placing on the Web. The little guy will be left in the "slow lane" with inferior Internet service, unable to compete.

* Ipod listeners–A company like Comcast could slow access to iTunes, steering you to a higher-priced music service that it owned.

* Online purchasers–Companies could pay Internet providers to guarantee their online sales process faster than competitors with lower prices–distorting your choice as a consumer.

* Small businesses and tele-commuters–When Internet companies like AT&T favor their own services, you won't be able to choose more affordable providers for online video, teleconferencing, Internet phone calls, and software that connects your home computer to your office.

* Parents and retirees–Your choices as a consumer could be controlled by your Internet provider, steering you to their preferred services for online banking, health care information, sending photos, planning vacations, etc.

* Bloggers–Costs will skyrocket to post and share video and audio clips–silencing citizen journalists and putting more power in the hands of a few corporate-owned media outlets."

Sign The Petition.