I’m definitely not someone who is up on all the latest technology, and that’s why when I heard about the fight for net neutrality in the past I just glossed over it as something that was not of concern to me. But yesterday I finally looked into the issue deeper, and realized that the fight for net neutrality directly affects citizen bloggers like me, and really, it affects the direction our world is headed. It’s imperative that we continue to have a free and equal internet space, and honestly the idea that we might not have that has just never occurred to me as a millennial.
Like everything else in the world, and especially in America, corporations are looking to capitalize on internet. And capitalizing means competition, and in a capitalistic society- competition usually ends up meaning monopolies and less freedom of individual choice.
In 2015, open internet protections were created under the Obama administration which prevented providers such as AT&T, Charter, Comcast and Verizon from slowing down and blocking access to certain parts of the web. However, recently the federal court ruled that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has the power to regulate net neutrality. The FCC is an independent federal government program overseen by Congress which regulates communications law in the US and abroad by radio, television, wire, satellite. Ajit Pai, the FCC’s new chairman appointed by Trump, plans to overturn the open internet protection and give cable companies control over the internet.
This means that the internet will cease to be an open source resource to be explored, and people will instead to directed toward what the cable companies want people to see, similar to the route television has gone. Internet service providers will no longer be obligated to treat and transmit all bits of information equally, which threatens the healthy checks and balances system the current internet allows for.
Day of Action
Today is the internet wide day of action in the fight for net neutrality, organized by Fight for the Future, and internet advocacy nonprofit working to promote the internet’s power for good. and various online agencies- Amazon, Spotify, Reddit, Facebook, Google, Twitter and many others- are participating, showcasing pop-up boxes with the below information:
This is the web without net neutrality.
Cable companies want to get rid of net neutrality. Without it, sites like ours could be censored, slowed down, or forced to charge extra fees. We can stop them and keep the Internet open, fast, and awesome if we all contact Congress and the FCC, but we only have a few days left. Learn more.
Apparently, this is a really important time for the sake of internet freedom, and really the freedom of information seeing as how important internet is to our daily lives in the 21st century. The internet has helped expose gross injustices, and without its neutrality we could see a shift toward less progress, and more repression. I encourage you to continue to learn more about the fight for net neutrality, and I will too.
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