Posts Tagged ‘James Rucker’

Re: Andy Bloch returns to Rio to defend Internet freedom

It’s about more than just poker, but poker important part of it

by , Jul 23, 2010 | 10:16 am

Thursday morning at the Rio, Andy Bloch was part of a panel at Netroots Nation titled Internet Freedom: Protecting Rights in the Digital Realm. Many in the poker community have heard Bloch’s points about how the government is infringing on the freedom of poker players (UIGEA), but to most in the audience, it was new information to them.

Andy Bloch talking poker and Internet freedom

Andy Bloch talking poker and Internet freedom (Photo by BJ Nemeth)

Bloch stated three reasons why they should care, even if they’re not an online poker player: Basic freedom, the implications and side effects a ban on Internet gambling would have and how it could move to other areas of the Internet, and that people need to be organized and actively defend their rights. Bloch related a story about how he was playing a $1 SNG online (not mentioning Full Tilt Poker, but he was wearing a PPA patch) with an individual who was visually impaired. He stated that the person he was talking to, and others like him, would not be able to play in a brick and mortar casino. He also described how the UIGEA was passed in the middle of the night in 2006, attached to a must-pass bill. At the time, the PPA and poker community weren’t as mobilized as they are today in the effort to regulate Internet gambling.

The other two individuals on the panel, James Rucker of ColorofChange.org discussing net neutrality and Amelia Donoley of the Center for Media Justice discussing how Internet freedom affects migrant and Latino communities. Most of the audience questions (which were difficult to hear on the video) appeared to be geared toward the net neutrality issue, with the fear that big corporations would control the flow of the Internet, forcing out smaller companies and non-profit groups. Andy stated that there are big corporations supporting net neutrality, as well as to help regulate online poker.

At the end of the panel, each panelist had one final opportunity to promote their efforts. Bloch brought out a poker chip with a bar code to enter into a drawing for an Ipad. The other two panelists seemed impressed with his offering as they each picked up a chip. To watch the hearing, it’s available below: