The internet will stay free and open thanks to a ruling by the Federal Communications Commission in the US on February 26. Internet activists waged a grassroots campaign to protect “net neutrality” and galvanised nearly 4 million submissions in support of the campaign to prevent internet service providers (ISPs) discriminating against particular websites.
SaveTheInternet.com said: “Without net neutrality, cable and phone companies could carve the internet into fast and slow lanes. An ISP could slow down its competitors' content or block political opinions it disagreed with. ISPs could charge extra fees to the few content companies that could afford to pay for preferential treatment — relegating everyone else to a slower tier of service.”
OSLO DIVESTS FROM FOSSIL FUELS
Norway’s capital city, Oslo, announced on March 3 it will sell its investments in coal companies. The move follows a rally of 1000 people in the city last month as part of a global campaign that is demanding governments and universities divest from fossil fuels.
Finance commissioner Eirik Lae Solberg told Norway’s state broadcaster NRK: “We are pulling ourselves out of coal companies, because power generation based on coal is one of the most environmentally harmful in the energy sector. We want to use our investments to promote more environmentally-friendly energy and a more environmentally-friendly society.”
BDS CAMPAIGN GAINS ON US CAMPUSES
Since January, student councils at four more US campuses voted to join the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement against Israeli-made goods. The most recent was the University of California at Davis, where eight members voted in favour of joining the campaign and two against.
In December, the University of California Student-Workers Union — the union covering student academic staff such as tutors and teaching assistants — voted 65% in favour of joining the BDS campaign.
In 2005, Palestinian groups initiated the BDS campaign and called for international support. The aim is to put pressure on Israel until it complies with international law and Palestinian rights.