The National Conference for Media Reform brought together thousands of policymakers, advocates and tech experts who spent three days discussing such issues as protecting the Internet from government and corporate attempts at limiting its free and unfettered usage. Congressional bills to regulate the Internet, known as SOPA and PIPA, were roundly rejected last year when grassroots activists organized petitions, protests and a one-day service blackout on the Web.
Brooklyn-based activist Elizabeth Stark said the next threats to the Internet are on the doorstep, but she hoped it would not come to similar uprisings.
"We can't have an Internet blackout every few months because that just won't work," she said. "We need to instead keep the pressure on, get people excited and engaged in an ongoing fashion."
Advocates warned about a cyber-security bill in Congress called CISPA that they said is deeply flawed, a move by AT&T to dissolve regulations regarding affordable and open networks, and international trade agreements that would affect Internet freedom.
Stark, an open-Internet advocate and former academic, said blackouts cannot be mounted every time there is a threat. She called it a marathon, not a sprint.
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