Posted 10 years ago on Oct. 22, 2013, 1:38 a.m. EST by UncommonRebels
This content is user submitted and not an official statement
So, net neutrality is dear to my heart. I'm worried that the internet won't last long. The telecom industry sees a huge profit incentive to kill the open internet, and it's winning a war to few realizing is happening:
In 2008, at the first net neutrality hearing, Comcast paid homeless individuals to fill the seats, keeping many pro-net neutrality supporters out.
In 2009, McCain, who claimed not to be a computer user during the 2008 campaign, proposed the Internet Freedom Act, which, ironically, would have ended internet freedom (and shows that he's a total sellout).
And now Verizon has a case being heard in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. Verizon's argument: it has the freedom of speech to control the speech that crosses it's network. An end to net neutrality would would mean ISPs would control our access to news, forums, etc. They could package the net to us like cable, play commercials as we view this very website, or block it entirely, or charge (extort) a fortune for priority web traffic.
Oh, and Obama just appointed Tom Wheeler--long-term telecommunications lobbyist as Chairman of the FCC (pending congressional approval).
All of this is largely a result of the bipartisan Telecommunications Act of 1996, which deregulated media ownership rules and paved the way for the few dominant conglomerates we know today (it was sold under the guise that less regulation would increase competition and save consumers $78 billion over 10 years while adding 1.5 million jobs. The exact opposite occurred: hegemonic telecom companies gobbled up their competitors. By 2003, cable rates were up by 50%, and half a million telecommunications jobs were eliminated.)
This article--about how the GOP tried to include net neutrality as bargaining chip during the government shutdown--is a must read as it paints the best picture of a world without open communication on the net: