The forum dragon strikes again …. Another proposed Internet legislation

Macbeth reports : According to a report issued today
by Ed Oswald, of Beta News, there is another attack on the internet, this one,
extremely dangerous.. Another instance of a Senator bowing to big business, only
this time, hes taking his citizens lives in his hands, if the bill passes..
It seems the internet and the National weather service providing free access to
such things as live radar, weather and news, is hurting big business..


The forever clueless Pa Senator Rick Santorum, has introduced a bill to end the
NOAA’s right to provide such data free of charge on a web site, claiming it injures
the commercial weather services who require you to pay for their software and
their reports..

Not surprisingly, a major supporter of the bill is Accuweather, a Pa based weather
company who claims that the NWS does not ensure the integrity of its data.. Now
isn’t that a complete hoot..
Not, of course that the Accuweather folks have any financial interest in seeing
the weather services leave the internet. Goodness no!!
Til the end of the 90’s it was the only way to receive real time weather online.For
which, it of course, charged a fee. Go figure they’d like to see NOAA stop offering
that information for nothing…
An excerpt of the article reads

Online data access is seen by the weather service as an extension of its duty
to serve the public. Last year, it eliminated a 13-year-old policy that prevented
it from offering services that the private sector provided. Thus, new products
including mobile weather services and raw weather data appeared, allowing anyone
with the right software to decode and use it for free, making a pay service unnecessary
to most.

Dr. Joel Myers, AccuWeather’s president, and Barry Myers, the company’s vice
president, have argued in public that the actions of the National Weather Service
are hurting their business.

Critics of the plan, however, point to the fact that AccuWeather, the nation’s
largest private weather firm, is located in Senator Santorum’s home state of
Pennsylvania.

Also, BetaNews has learned that throughout 2003 and 2004, both Joel and Barry
Myers have donated nearly $2,750 to Santorum’s 2006 re-election efforts. Public
records also showed that since 1999, the Senator received nearly $5,000 in contributions
from AccuWeather executives, raising questions of whether the company attempted
to court favor with the Senator through campaign contributions.

AccuWeather did not respond to requests for comment on the situation. “

“Regardless of the origins of the legislation, at least one official with
the National Weather Service called the bill dangerous. If the weather service
was required to ensure everyone has “simultaneous and equal access”
to its information, it could bar the weather service from talking to the press,
something it has done at no cost. “


Regardless of the nature of Santorums argument, it becomes clear that he is
indeed clueless.. For long years, the NOAA has worked to find ways to save lives
and property. To find new ways to disseminate information in an effort to prevent
the needless death of literally hundreds of people..
To curtail that in the interests of big business is both wrong, and shortsighted.
Here in Nebraska, the access to free weather services online is both necessary,
and life saving, when faced with spring storms that can and do become tornadic
quickly and with alarming frequency.. Imagine getting the weather only on pay
per view.. same concept.. Now silly me, I thought these guys worked for us..
to provide us with the tools to pursue life liberty and all those wondrous things..

Makes you wonder doesn’t it..who’s side they are really on..
Regards, Macbeth.

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