There is a potential new law; which if enacted, could change the way you view privacy. Let’s break down the good and bad guys in this seemingly never ending battle.
Net Neutrality is a positive term. It means that no matter where you are on the internet or what you are doing there, it is private. “It means that ISPs should provide us with open networks — and shouldn’t block or discriminate against any applications or content that ride over those networks. Just as your phone company shouldn’t decide who you call and what you say on that call, your ISP shouldn’t interfere with the content you view or post online.”
So if “net neutrality” is lost, cable and phone companies like Verizon, Comcast and AT&T would decide which websites and applications get most traffic and ultimately survive. That means if a company does not like something, it could be gone. Just with a simple no and a little enactment. And if these companies have certain agendas then there could be a decline in certain rights. Net neutrality is the super hero fighting for citizens’ rights, with or without a cape.
Phone and Cable Companies and Congress
Following the video game analogy, if net neutrality is the good guy, the phone and cable companies are the bad guys. Net Neutrality rules; or Title II, state that the FCC has the authority it needs to ensure that these big phone and cable companies can’t block, set back or otherwise interfere with web traffic. Title II means an even playing field; allowing internet users to share and access information at their own will with no interference. Title II is the FCC’s second attempt to keep rights for citizens. But the head of the bad guys; the final boss, Chairman Ajit Pai wants to scale things back with his “Restoring Freedom Act.” scale back citizens’ rights.
Just after Title II was enacted, some big telecommunications companies immediately filed a suit. But on June 14 2016, the federal appeals court ruled in favor of the FCC and freedom to use the internet as the user chooses. But net neutrality opponents in congress have tried everything in their power to wrestle control back. The bill Title X; introduced last year, “This fake Net Neutrality bill is riddled with loopholes and would legalize harmful discriminatory practices. It would also strip the FCC of its authority to adopt and enforce rules.”
Chairman Pai seems to show no concern for the outrage against his decisions. Pai’s act would “overturn the classification of broadband providers as common carriers and to repeal or replace the net neutrality rules that forbid blocking, throttling, and paid prioritization.” When comments came pouring in about his attempt to draw back what the FCC can control, Pai stated the number of the comments did not matter, but the content did. This insinuates that he believes that the number of people who disagree with him do not matter. That the voices of those that campaign for free use of the internet will not stop him.
Net neutrality is important, not just for privacy and making sure everyone has a chance. But also for movements and businesses. Most movements, like “Black Lives Matter” and most startup businesses make their foundations on the internet. It is a way to spread awareness about a brand or unjustifiable actions occurring. Without net neutrality and companies deciding who survives and who doesn’t, it could mean an end to dynamic and unfettered ideas and inventions.
The deadline for filing comments against Pai’s decision is July 17 2017 and reply comments are due August 16 2017. The FCC will make a final decision sometime after that. Now is the time to fight for the freedom of speech enshrined in the American constitution. Net neutrality must be preserved as part of the internet experience and we should be able to use the internet freely without the threat of unnecessary censure or clandestine manipulation.
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