Sunday, April 30, 2017

Extra Credit Post: Net Neutrality

The freedom of the internet as we know it may very well be in jeopardy. FCC chair Ajit Pai mentioned in a speech in Washington last week that he is aiming to reverse rules that give the government greater regulatory power over internet service providers, arguing that they cost jobs (what?) and depressed investment.

Behind all of the rhetoric, what this all boils down to is that the FCC wants to allow internet service providers (Cox, Time Warner, Verizon etc.) to have the ability to slow down service to certain sites. This opens the door to situations where an ISP can threaten to slow down the connection to a site, unless said site pays them their dues (bribes).

Currently, ISPs are regulated as a public utility. ISPs are not allowed to slow down service to a website in particular for whatever reason they want. What the Republicans are trying to do are reverse the Obama-era regulations, likely for the sake of the telecommunication company lobby, then hide behind the premise of "smaller government". What this (among many other things) is turning into is "small government", let's let our corporate buddies run rampant and do whatever they please at the expense of the American people, the economy, and the environment.

This very well could be the death of the internet as we know it. Sadly, not a larger percentage of the American people know this is going on. The main stream media outlets are too busy whining about Russia all day, and are not attacking Trump on things that will actually affect the American people's day to day life, such as the end of net neutrality.

A few weeks ago, Trump reversed a rule allowing ISPs to sell your personal information to third parties. polls indicate the 8% of American people supported it, but they quietly went through with it anyways. I, personally, did not see the warranted outrage. Things like this are a strong indication that Americans need to gravitate away from corporate partisan media such as CNN, Fox News, and MSNBC, and take independent media more into consideration. They seem to be the ones reporting on things like this. Unfortunately, with the end of net neutrality, independent media may start to disappear.

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