The Following is the translation of a Medium series I published in article form
While I have previously brought up net neutrality, I must continue to bring it up, until enough people truly understand the implications of its non-existence.
You may be asking yourself a couple of questions if you even made it to this page.
- What is net neutrality?
- Why do I care?
- Government regulation is bad, so why is this asshole encouraging it?
- Can I do anything to affect the future of the internet?
- Do I read on as this issue affects me as the internet has placed this sentence in front of me?
Let’s start with the most important question you could have asked yourself
What is Net Neutrality?
I will not pretend that everyone fully understands the implications, principals, protections and importance of net neutrality, so I would like the opportunity to help you better understand an issue that affects everyone in the country who connects to the internet.
Net neutrality is the principle that Internet service providers and governments regulating the Internet must treat all data on the Internet the same, not discriminating or charging differentially by user, content, website, platform, application, type of attached equipment, or mode of communication
This isn’t a theory or preemptive measure to stop internet service providers. It was born out of an alarming level of abuse perpetrated by the providers over time.
Let’s take a look at some good old fashion consumer abuse and censorship, but first here is a very accurate description of the state and fate of net neutrality.
Ok moviing on.
Here We Go
Broadband providers have both the incentive and the ability to interfere with the internet. That hasn’t stopped network neutrality opponents from claiming that the threat is “theoretical,” or that applying time-honored common carrier principles to the internet is a “solution in search of a problem.” In fact, real abuses happened consistently before the FCC put its network neutrality rules in place.
Historical Justifications For Regulations Currently Active
- AT&T censors a political rhetoric — 2007
- Preface: use of BitTorrent does not equal illegal action. It is a technology designed to efficiently share files, often large in size, via a peer to peer model of distribution.
So when Comcast decided to throttle or slow down the connections of paid customers for using BitTorrent, it raised, and still raises, a few questions on how that is fair, or why that should be legal.
- In 2007, Verizon joins in on the fun. Apparently they don’t want people having an opinion on abortion rights or policy — if you’re pro-choice that is.
It is important to note, that the current head of the FCC worked as an attorney for Verizon. Doing what you ask? Fighting against net neutrality. Here is Ajit Pai in his current role in society. Want to know more about his previous one? Call Rich Young, Media Contact for Verizon who posted this. Here is his phone number: 202-515-2514.
- T-Mobile’s artful ‘promotion’ to misguide consumers to use certain streaming services and in turn “defacto” discouraged the use of others.
Why Should I Care?
Besides the obvious likelihood you will be taken advantage of, charged more or given limited options when it comes to how you use your bandwidth, you must think a little deeper to understand a fundamental impact it has on things such as:
- Monopolization of content.
- Corporate Propoganda (like what they are doing now in the light of having regulations recended. Misleading the public).
- Fake News (actual fake news, not what high school drop outs and crack heads call journalism)
- Free Speech
- Free Press
- Free Thought
This issue reaches The Constitution of The United States of America.
But I thought government regulation is bad!
Well, a blanket statement or position of this nature is dangerous no matter what the topic at hand is.
More importantly, in the matter of net neutrality, the government actually has been protecting you from predatory business practices, and violations of business ethics. The government gains what by making sure you are allowed to use Sling TV or Playstation Vue instead of AT&T, Comcast, FIOS etc.? Do you actually believe officials at the FCC are partners or investors of small startup streaming services? Or are so “left” that they want to deny a truly open market? If you believe that you’re misinformed. If you are informed and believe that you are either:
b) fucking stupid
c) apathetic to civil liberty
The truth is that net neutrality really is important. Reclassification of ISPs could have serious unforeseen impacts. It is the digital equivalent to:
Fire and fury. The likes of which the world has never seen.
Don’t be blind. Furthermore, let me remind you that this potentially can affect anyone, irregardless of your views, opinions, behaviors, customer loyalty and on and on. This isn’t a political issue. I admit that I brought a little politics in this particular piece, but only to contextually describe concerns of no net neutrality. If you voted for a potato, I don’t care. If you use the internet you should care.
Can I do anything to protect the future of the internet, and thereby protect my interests as a consumer of it?
Yes you can. But you don’t have much time. Go to this link, sign up, enter your number, get involved. There is opposition, you must be willing to take a stand.
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