~ Death of Net neutrality...
On April 23, 2014, the Federal Communications Commission (F.C.C.) announced that it was proposing new rules which would allow broadband Internet service providers (I.S.P.s) the right to discriminate, thus ending Net neutrality.
So, what is Internet neutrality? Simply, I.S.P.s under Net neutrality like Comcast and AT&T are mandated by the F.C.C. to transmit all data on the Internet in the same fashion. In other words, it is against the law to discriminate against certain websites for offering a certain type of content or message, for using a certain platform or application, and for originating from a certain part of the world. Discrimination can come in the form of allowing you to access certain websites, and to download certain content, at different speeds.
~ Just what the hell is Pres. Obama good for?
But discrimination can also come in the form of blocking or hampering of certain websites all together. Case in point: without stringent Net neutrality laws, this was exactly what happened in Canada. In 2005, Canadian telecommunications giant, Telus, blocked its subscribers from accessing "Voices for Change," a website belonging to the Telecommunications Workers Union (T.W.U.). At the time, the Telus workers were on strike.
Now, it is not clear if the F.C.C. has gone that far. So far, its proposal simply allows I.S.P.s to create "express lanes" for whomever is willing to pay. Companies like Netflix and Disney would be able to offer faster connection speeds over everybody else. For example, start-ups of social-networking sites as well as movie and game-downloading sites would find it almost impossible to compete with the majors like Facebook and Netflix. Ordinary sites might find the service that they provide to their visitors eroded due to a traffic-management technique called throttling. It could be used by the I.S.P.s to benefit the majors that pay them a special fee. Learn more about throttling: "Five Internet Service Providers Accused of Throttling Speeds to Get More Cash."
~ The World Wide Web is a global public trust.
But you might say, "What's wrong with that? It's the free market!" Well, the World Wide Web is a global public trust, and Internet data are not unlike television and radio broadcast signals that are transmitted over the PUBLIC airwaves. The Internet was built by a global college of governmental and academic research institutions and the cables were laid on public lands. And it is to the benefit of society – the PEOPLE – that this vitally important social tool of information is not hijacked by a group of self-serving corporations bent on not only destroying fair commercial competition, but also the unfettered dissemination of human knowledge itself.
STOP the killing of NET NEUTRALITY! Sign the petition!
UPDATE: F.C.C. Passes First Vote On Net Neutrality
~ It's not to late to stop it!
(May 15, 2014) Today, the Federal Communications Commission (F.C.C.) approved a new proposal that will kill net neutrality (see main article above, dated May 5th). However, the vote is just to start the wheels in motion and is not final. There is now a 120-day consultation period, so please contact your representative and submit your thoughts to the F.C.C.: www.fcc.gov/comments
~ Protesters being muzzled, like the Internet will be.
UPDATE: President Obama Supports Net Neutrality
~ November 10, 2014.
UPDATE: Victory For Net Neutrality!
~ Feb. 26, 2014. "Neutrality Wins Big & Why You Should Celebrate"