Musings

Getting Political

Oh look, an update! Fight For The Future Blog


Don’t worry, just for a little bit… only while I have to!
For the record, I generally hate politics and think of it as a system incongruent with our ideals, but almost entirely unresponsive in practice. I feel entirely ineffective as a citizen, and this entire post is most likely going to be useless, but when something has a great enough emotional weight it will move anyone to try what they believe to be impossible.

Net Neutrality = The Internet as you probably think of it right now

It’s important to me to feel that I will always have full access to any corner of the internet. I also don’t like bills, but that’s another story.

What, in broad strokes, the FCC and Internet Service Providers (ISP) are doing:

  • Chopping up the internet website by website, based on demand
    • i.e. Netflix > Yahoo
  • Popular sites become an extra commodity – even if you pay for the service itself
    • i.e. Buying a cable sports/movie “package” for TV
  • Less popular sites, like this one that actually provide a voice for people, will trickle in at much slower speeds.
  • Don’t forget that “popular” is now decided by your provider (Comcast, Verizon, etc) and American politics shows that those with more money are also closer to politics. So, despite sounding like a conspiracy theory, a risk of complete or partial (slow/reduced access) censorship is very real. China has been doing this for years. It’s called the Great Firewall of China by the outside world. Google it while you can.

I’m not suggesting that my site is important – by any means – but the lack of hierarchy, the freedom of choice, the delight of discovery, whatever you want to call it, is dependent on a blind or neutral connection to all of the websites in the world: Net Neutrality.

We have lost this battle. The United States does not legally require your service providers to be neutral with regards to the internet content they serve you. To finish off the saying… we haven’t lost the war.

Illustrated Explanation of Net Neutrality

This video does a much better job than I did:

Related petitions

Fight For the Future: Tell the FCC we need Net Neutrality
Whitehouse.gov: Remove Tom Wheeler from his position as FCC Chairman

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