The Federal Communications Commission – FCC – is back at it again, and this time they’re close to getting what they want. Here’s why that should frighten you.
It comes around so regularly it may as well be clockwork. The Federal Communications Commission is firing on all cylinders as they gear up for yet another attempt at dismantling Net Neutrality.
‘So, what?’ We hear you say. What is Net Neutrality and why should you care? Well, sit down little fella, strap in and ready yourself to feel a rage that can scarcely be rivaled. Net Neutrality is the basic guiding principle upon which all online interactions have been governed since the ‘net became a core part of our lives.
After being fought for a decade, Net Neutrality granted all ISP customers extensive protections against shady and monopolistic business practices. Until now. Now, the FCC themselves are mounting an attack on Net Neutrality – and they’ve even got a former Verizon lawyer heading the project, Ajit Pai.
Pai and his corrupt hooligans are pitching a message of deregulation and a free market, but what they’re really doing is playing into the hands of every major ISP that stands to profit off it. But don’t be mistaken – this is just as much about control as it is money.
Should Net Neutrality be disemboweled, and ISPs revert to a “light touch” Title I approach, there is nothing prohibiting them from instituting “fast lanes” in their services, upping charges on consumers for speeds and access we’ve enjoyed for years on end. Still, the most frightening thing about repealing Net Neutrality comes from the sheer control that ISP would be able to exert over what you see or don’t see.
Imagine attempting to access your favorite news site only to realize that it has been banned by your ISP due to a conflict of interest. You can’t act on a story that you never even see, now can you? In a world without Net Neutrality, ISP could easily ally themselves into entities akin to massive media broadcasting outlets – and push their political agenda relentlessly. But it’s not all tied in with politics.
Small business would absolutely get hammered under a reversion to Title I. One of the only reasons that small businesses and entrepreneurs have been able to succeed online is due to a level playing field. Without Net Neutrality, you could kiss that concept. The businesses that would thrive would be only the ones who get visibility – and those who get visibility will have to have fat budgets to grease the palms of whatever ISP reigns in there area of operations.
Alas, there are still some of you out there thinking “Well, thankfully I don’t live in America, so why should I care?” While it’s true that the large majority of changes would be relegated to those living in the states, don’t fool yourself into thinking that this would be an isolated incident.
Should the ISPs get their way, the world will witness some of the most brutally effective censorship and propaganda platforms ever created – and the ruling parties of other countries will doubtless take interest. If you have a moment, take the time to save the Internet – you’ll be glad you did.