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October 5, 2014 / bswitaba

An Open Letter to President Obama

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Dear Mr President,

I hope this letter finds you well – if at all it happens to reach you.

I am writing from the magical land where your roots emanate.

The aim of this letter is not to ask for a handout but to speak on behalf of Kenya, and that of other netizens the world over.

Mr. President, at the just concluded UN sponsored IGF in Istanbul – Turkey, the Net Neutrality debate topped the agenda of the meeting. I however do feel that this should have been a non-issue in the IG ecosystem in the first place if only you had kept your promise.

As a candidate in 2008, you were crystal clear about your commitment to ensure the principle of Net Neutrality. So far you seem to have backpedaled on the very promise.
When the three democrats you appointed to the FCC voted to move forward with a plan to allow broadband carriers to provide an exclusive “fast lane” to commercial companies that pay extra fees to get their content transmitted online, you kept silent.
Paulo Freire once said: “Washing one’s hands of the conflict between the powerful and the powerless means to side with the powerful, not to be neutral”.

Mr. President in order to uphold your integrity, I urge you to simply keep the promise.
You may or may not be versed with the Swahili saying “Ahadi ni deni” ( translation: A promise is a debt).

Being the president of the most powerful nation in the world, you should and must ensure the protection of the principles embodied in the Declaration of Internet Freedom i.e freedom of expression, access, openness, innovation and privacy — to preserve our rights.
A free and open Internet is the greatest technology of our time, and control should never be at the mercy of corporations.

As an Internet governance ambassador and a strong advocate of net neutrality, a level playing field for whoever has the best idea should and must be the modus operandi.
Lest you have forgotten, without a level playing field, there would be no e-bay, Amazon, Google and last but not least Facebook – the platform that connected you with the majority of the youth who overwhelmingly voted you into the White house.

So Mr. President, stand up for Net neutrality principles and leave a legacy worth admiring.

Yours truly,
B.S. Witaba.

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2 Comments

Leave a Comment
  1. CYPRIAN AENDE / Jan 28 2015 8:36 am

    GOOD STUFF BONFACE

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