PRESERVE NET NEUTRALITY IF YOU VALUE YOUR FREEDOM OF SPEECH!
An article by Polina Hristova, Journalist at ROCCO
Big corporations are trying to take another swipe at net neutrality as Comcast, AT&T, Verizon and Communications Inc. sided with Federal Communications Commission against Google, Netflix, Amazon, Snap, Microsoft, Twitter and Facebook over the net neutrality order (2015) and whether the rules secured by the Obama administration should be rescinded.
The outrage that followed online brought forth a fresh breeze of hope; without the net neutrality order, an open season will be declared on the Internet market, leaving it vulnerable to the wishes and influences of big telecom corporations who seek to profit from humanity’s greatest invention.
If abolished, the ISPs can not only slow down the connection and block content – they can also create slow and fast lanes, inspiring a hostile and insecure environment for most businesses which would not be able to afford to operate normally. The change might affect only the US for now, but it would be a matter of time before this conservative veil falls upon Europe and the rest of the world.
It might be too radical to say that we are walking in China’s footsteps and about to have a Great Firewall banning images of Winnie the Pooh , but it would be the beginning of the end – before we know it, our privacy would be a thing of the past.
Even though opinions online have been strong, these people form a minority; most are completely unaware of what this conflict means and need a more simplified explanation in order to understand the seriousness of the subject. If you want to battle for net neutrality, it is your responsibility to spread the message, dumb it down if you will, as long as it is understood by everyone.
“We’ll cap your internet speed to a crawl, give you basic internet starting at $19.99, and can pay an extra $19.99 for fast internet. It includes access to all corporately sponsored websites. You want to use Reddit? Pay $9.99 for our social media package, which includes Reddit, Twitter, Facebook and other sites. You want to watch Netflix? That’s an additional $9.99 for our streaming package. You want to play games that require Internet service? That’s an additional $9.99. Like to watch porn? $9.99 to access all porn sites.
Don’t want to pay for access to these sites? Don’t worry, we’ll be generous and give you 200 GB monthly for access to sites not covered in your bundle (just to give a taste) and charge $9.99 per 10 GB overage (which will be billed automatically. Also, we’ll sneak this into the ToS (that very few people read) so we can bait them into paying overage charges. The FCC won’t do shit about it, look at who’s running it!”
“It’s similar to something like water or electricity – you can only charge for the resource used… you can’t charge extra for what it is used FOR. You can’t charge a premium if you decide to pour water into a glass and drink it vs. using it to water your plants.”
YouTuber TotalBiscuit explains in this informative video on net neutrality why it matters an imperative watch if you want to have a firmer understanding of the topic.
If net neutrality did not exist, millions of online businesses would not stand a chance, let alone be thriving – this action is merely a plot for malicious corporate interests. It could affect freedom of speech, as well as your interpersonal relations with the world.
We can joke and say that the Americans will have another reason, besides Donald Trump, to move to Canada, but this is serious and it has happened before. It seems like the corporations will keep on pushing until they wear us down; this war of attrition needs to be stopped before it’s too late and a big chunk of the world falls into obscurity, dragging the hems with it.
It is foolish to assume there will be no collateral damage.
Unfortunately, the only way to assure uncensored access to the Internet and make it politically untenable is to see it as a bipartisan issue – an unattainable goal if the left and the right remain diametrically opposed.
Do your part and inform everyone you know.