Topic

internet freedom

57 petitions

Update posted 3 months ago

Petition to Comcast, AT&T

The Lie of Comcast Data Caps

In an increasingly cloud connected and IoT world, we are faced with a conundrum. Many of the population of the U.S.A live in an area where the is either a functional duopoly or monopoly on internet connections or has limited access to internet at all. In my area in West Michigan we have two choices, AT&T (which is VERY slow ~15mbps AND has data caps) or Comcast (which has data caps). So Comcast is the only real option for a true high-speed connection. In a world where games no longer come on disks, but are available ONLY as downloads, this 1024 GB usage limit is a reverse in modernization of our ISPs and a clear money grab by a company that does NOT care about the customer, but only their bottom line. To put 1024 GB into perspective, Gears of War 4, has a download size of over 100GB, so you could use up 10% of your available data on ONE game. When the rest of your family is streaming music, Netflix in 4K, Youtube, Hulu, downloading/uploading images, or as a photography professional, uploading RAW images which could range in 30-50MB EACH, you can see where this begins to be a problem.  To be clear, I am 100% pro capitalism, but this is how capitalism works, they have a choice to make ridiculous and anti-consumer decisions in their policies, and we have a choice to fight it or leave. In this case there is no real option to leave, so we will have to fight it! Comcast claims, arbitrarily, "A terabyte of data is enough to power 12,000 hours of online gaming in a month." This is a vast overstatement, and a total misdirection for the average consumer. This data is a number that THEY came up with, does not include voice chat over services like Teamspeak, Mumble, Discord, etc, and does not include streaming to Twitch. It also does not include ANY other use of the internet, including updating those games that you are playing, which require frequent updates to even start up, or any other usage or streaming on the internet by anyone else in the house. Another claim by Comcast is that this is about "fairness" and that "you use more, you'll pay more, you use less, you'll pay less" but again, this is at best a misdirection, and at worst a total lie. Those who use less are not paying less, they are paying the same that we all already have been paying, and are only increasing the cost for those of us who utilize their internet connections everyday. Also, the amount of data you are using does not affect Comcast in anyway and does not increase costs to Comcast at all. This is completely and unequivocally a money grab. In conclusion, as more and more things become internet connected, video becomes higher quality, games get larger, and more people have more than 1 device connected at a time, this data cap sets a dangerous precedent for everyone, and not just "the 1% of users use more than 1TB of data" as our worlds become increasingly connected. This can turn into what the cellphone industry turned into, paying for different amount of data access, and no one wants that, except money hungry Comcast!  

Anthony Punt
380 supporters
Started 3 months ago

Petition to The Government of Uganda

Stop the tax on Social Media and Mobile Money. #CountMyVoiceUG

Background On May 30, 2018, The Government of Uganda passed into law the Excise Duty (Amendment) Bill, 2018 which seeks to tax Social Media and Mobile Money usage in Uganda. The law was officially effected on July 1, 2018, and requires users of over-the-top (OTT) platforms such as WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter, and Skype, Hangouts, Instagram and other social media platforms in Uganda to pay an obligatory daily charge of 200 Ugandan Shillings. President Yoweri Museveni and the Parliament implemented this unconventional bill, claiming that young people use social media platforms to promote "gossip" in the country. Contrary to the President's beliefs, the majority of youth in Uganda are using social media to create new jobs, connect to both local and international audiences, and find markets for their products using platforms such as Instagram and Facebook. The tax will have a substantial adverse impact on the social, economic and civic development of Uganda. It goes against the Internet’s fundamental principle as a universally open platform for freedom of speech, access to information and public participation. The tax also suffocates the digital economy, the predominant money making sector, and a key component for fostering innovation and creativity. In order for the digital economy to thrive, innovators and entrepreneurs need to depend on e-payments, e-learning, and social media as a means of growing their businesses, increasing their professional knowledge, communicating and adding overall value to the state of the economy and their communities. The tax also discourages Internet usage by undermining the freedom of expression by marginalized groups like women, the disabled, and the poor. In fact, it will likely only increase the digital divide, leaving groups already marginalized with a further gap in benefiting from the digital economy. Mobile Money has become instrumental in bringing the majority of unbanked Ugandans into the formal banking sector. For a population of over 44 million, there 22 million Mobile Money subscribers as of 2017. The tax implemented on Mobile Money requires subscribers to pay a 0.5% receiving and withdrawal tax on top of paying withdrawal fee mandated by mobile network operators. The result makes using Mobile Money expensive for the majority of users. For youth across the country, Mobile Money has been at the core of driving Innovative local solutions and new business models have resulted in the mobile payments space. The tax on Mobile Money will render the majority of the youth unemployed and thus widen the already high rate of unemployment in the Country. As young people, we cannot allow this to happen. Keeping quiet means that we are going to have to forfeit all the life-changing opportunities that social media and financial inclusion provide. The IssuesAs youth we see three fundamental issues wrong with these taxes: The taxes were implemented unilaterally and without public input The faulty rationale provided is contrary to the best interests of the citizenry The Social Media Tax is contrary to the fundamental principles of a healthy, open Internet Our DemandWe, the young people of Uganda demand that the Social Media and Mobile Money taxes be annulled because they suppress job creation, talent development, innovation, and freedom of expression. Moving Forward Youth represent 78% of the population and the majority of the users of the Internet and social media. Our voices must be counted and heard for policy changes that will have such a great impact. We believe in the multi-stakeholder approach of Internet governance that requires that all stakeholders, i.e. private and public sector be involved in drafting and adopting policies that affect Internet usage. Additionally, we hope that our campaign will raise much-needed awareness in the region and globally so that other governments hoping to take the same measures engage all voices and make informed decisions that put the people, including youth, at the heart of Internet policy. What will we do with our collected signatures?We will deliver them to Hon. Robert Kyagulanyi who will present them to Parliament to represent the voices of the people and urge parliament to review the bill. Please join us as we call upon the Ugandan Government to reconsider the taxes on Social Media and Mobile Money.

Evelyn Namara, Mary Helda Akongo, Mwotta Bidemmu, Sarah Kiden and Isabel Odida
2,267 supporters