Trump FCC's Net Neutrality law will soon either get reversed or pass, changing the course of internet for good

The internet could lose its freedom within the next couple of weeks due to the latest net neutrality law that the Trump administration is trying to pass. Here’s what net neutrality is, why it’s good, and what will happen if it goes away.

The internet has become an indispensable part of every human’s life in the civilized world. From sharing content and ideas to doing your job or catching up with a distant family member, everything requires an internet connection. And while it may not be a wonderful place where everyone gets along, at least it’s the same for everyone.

The vast majority of internet users get their access from one of the few telecommunications companies that take on the task of allowing us to send and receive data over the internet, using their resources and channels. In addition, we are assured that the data that comes and goes through our devices is not being manipulated, filtered or altered in any way.

That last concept may seem a bit self-explanatory but provided today’s technologies at hand, one would be surprised to find out how a bulk of data could be used. Emails, phone calls, messages; everything that is generated on the internet can be scrutinized by changing the way that the servers allow data flow. For instance, a server could recognize the source of specific string of data and be programmed to slow that string down, or speed it up respectively.

For that reason, back in 2015, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) started passing rules to bolster the transparency of internet usage. In other words, we – as users –  were certain that we had full control over our data and consequently over our web browsing experience. That was so far.

Last December, 2017, the Trump FCC voted to get rid of the free internet – and the net neutrality rules that sustain it. Specifically, it was FCC Chairman Ajit Pai’s plan to end net neutrality. If that is done successfully, there will be nothing left to stop the internet providers by having full control of the way we use the internet.

Back in 2007, there was an incident, where a broadband provider interfered with internet data passing through their servers. First, AT&T censored the phrases “George Bush, leave this world alone” and “George Bush, find yourself another home”. Both sentences came out of Eddie Vedder's mouth during their August performance. AT&T had promised exclusive coverage and yet, muted content that contained no profanity, even though the company’s spokesperson claimed that the censorship aimed at preventing the youth visiting the website from being exposed to “excessive profanity”.

If that’s still too theoretical for you let’s see an example. In case the net neutrality dies for good, the next time you’ll want to read an article from a specific news network that you like, you may find that the page is not loading properly or the connection is just too slow. That will probably be your internet provider’s doing. Why, you ask? Because that news network’s competitor, will have paid the internet provider to transfer its data faster while slowing all other strings of data down.

Moreover, having cancelled all rules that guarantee net neutrality, who’s to say that the same internet providers will refuse to provide access to specific websites because of ‘inappropriate content’ or simply different believes?

Currently, the Congressional Review Act gives Congress the power to reverse this hasty action within 60 legislative days of its enactment. While the intention of the Trump FCC is allegedly to filter disturbing content such as ISIS members beheading war prisoners on YouTube, this is definitely not the way to go about it.

If you want to get further involved, take a loot on the ‘Red Alert for Net Neutrality’ website or read more on ACLU’s site. If you have any further questions on the matter, feel free to share them in the comments below!

Published : May 24 2018