AIPAC doesn’t like the drift of some IC bloggers. So they pressure IC’s internet service carrier to slow our site way down. It takes hours to load and watch that sexy Persian dance video and we stop coming to the site. This hypothetical scenario doesn’t happen right now because of something called net neutrality. The internet service provider doesn’t look at IC data and say, “this data must wait till tomorrow because I’ve got a higher paying customer” or worst “I’m not sending this data at all because the government or a lobby group won’t like it.” With net neutrality nothing is sacred. But the internet Axis of Evil, Google and Verizon, are proposing to kill the wonderful world of net neutrality that we now enjoy and perhaps don’t appreciate.
Like everything else in history, this "new communications technology" scenario has played out before. In the heyday of the telegraph, Western Union refused to transmit reports that didn't come from its own news reporters. So the government made a rule that said the company had to be neutral—we got telegraph neutrality. The beautiful rule they applied to Western Union is called the common carrier rule (later extended to the telephone). Thanks to this rule you can call and order any kind of pizza you want. A telephone service that happens to be owned by a peperoni company can’t say “We can’t let you make this phone call because you don’t like peperoni on your pizza.”
Turns out this democratic rule didn’t apply to text messages. Go figure! In 2007 Verizon blocked text messages from a political group that advocated free choice in the abortion issue. US law said “none of my business” because the Constitution forbids only the government from stifling free speech. Private companies like Google or Verizon can stifle all they want. Western Union had to cave to free speech because the government told them that the "common carrier" rule applied to them. Verizon is trying to duck the same fate by arguing that a disgruntled pro-choice activist is free to dump Verizon and use another service which doen't mind the abortion controversy. They're not a monopoly like Western Union used to be.
Would IC hypothetically as a political or commercial target be free to
use other internet service providers?These alternatives could also be
pressured, or charge high “black market” prices.What happened with text messages can happen with websites if Google and Verizon succeed in getting the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) to adopt their internet murdering proposal. Following in the footsteps of other treasonous government regulatory agencies like the Environmental Protection Agency or the Securities and Exchange Commission, the FCC is making fake protests while holding closed door meetings with Google and Verizon. As in, screw public interest, goodbye net neutrality.
What would keep this nightmare scenario from happening is an FFC rule that slaps down the Google-Verizon proposal and makes it so that no internet service provider can refuse IC. They should make net neutrality the law of the land. Net neutrality activists have been trying to accomplish just that, but FCC regulators seem to take moneyed interests more seriously than the public that actually pays their salaries.
Democracy, use it or lose it. A pissed off petition to sign can be found here.
Note: Google-Verizon is sneakily proposing non-neutrality only on wireless internet services. But they know full well that wireless is the future. Try buying a dial phone or a tube TV these days and you’ll catch my drift.
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