As the deadline inches closer, I want to say a bit more about the FCC act on Net Neutrality than a simple red banner.
Today I want to talk about an important matter. Net Neutrality.
Under the leadership of Ajit Pai, the FCC has announced plans to Repeal Net Neutrality Rules, In this post I'll try to over-simplify what Net Neutrality is, break down the FCC plans and let you have your own idea of how things are, or will be.
What is Net Neutrality?
Net neutrality is what forces the Internet Service Providers (ISP) to not undertake actions that can influence or limit what happens on the Internet. Among such actions there can be:
- Bandwith Throttling: Net neutrality disallows slowing down or speeding up certain connections or websites
- Data Discrimination: Net neutrality forbids filtering information that goes through the internet.
- Deep Packet Inspection: Net neutrality disallows checking the data for certain criteria in order to shape the traffic according to certain rules
- Tiering: Net neutrality stops companies from creating "tiers" of Internet services, where to have access to certain parts of the Internet you have to pay a higher price
What could happen if the neutrality gets repealed?
If net Neutrality gets repealed, Cable companies will have the power to shape your traffic. This has a double meaning.
For websites owners, it means that they'll have the power (or be forced to) pay cable companies to have a faster connection to their websites, or at least not being stuck in the so-called "slow lane".
Being stuck in the "slow lane" means losing traffic, which is bad for a website owner.
For users it can mean that if you have a Comcast connection, for instance, your Netflix account will become so slow that it's unusable. Why? Because Comcast has their own Video Streaming service.
Repealing net neutrality could bring us to a "tiered internet" where you have to pay more to access certain parts of the Internet, or have more speed on certain websites. Going back to the Comcast example, you might have to pay double if you really really want to use your Netflix, or Skype, or Youtube...
And now let's get to the scary part: Deep Packet Inspection and Data Discrimination.
Repealing net neutrality can (and most probably will) result in Cable companies being able to look into your internet traffic and reshape it, so they can manipulate your traffic in a way that you get your news from the sources they want.
Reshaping traffic is a dangerous thing for your freedom, a very dangerous one.
But the FCC act is called "restoring internet freedom", why should it be a bad thing?
Well, it does give back freedom, but to cable companies.
Doesn't surprise me that Ajit Pai, the chairman of the FCC wants to give companies such a freedom.
Because he used to hold position in Verizon Communications, which is one of the cable companies pressing for repealing net neutrality. Nothing assures you that he doesn't still hold interest in that company.
Anything else I should know?
Well, the Congress already allowed ISPs to sell your Browsing History in March 2017, just cause.
Tearing down Net Neutrality can give Cable Companies so much power that they won't feel the need to innovate anymore, so this could even stop, or at least slow down by a lot, the development of new technologies and infrastructures. If the cable companies wanted or needed more money, they could just raise their prices, or create new tiers that make you pay for what should be a basic service of an internet connection.
Is there anything I can do?
Yes, there is time until August 16th, 2017 to talk to your representatives and file complaints to the FCC, you need to make your voice loud, before it's too late.
You can go on goFCCyourself.com (Thanks to HBO and John Oliver), which will bring you directly on the FCC's page of the proceeding.
This is the battle for real internet freedom, not the freedom that the Cable Companies want to feed you.
As usual, thank you all for reading this post, I know it was very long, but I feel it was necessary.
See you in the next one.