I remember that day.
I chose to allow Comcast to start charging for email. It didn’t happen quickly, but after the FCC repealed net neutrality the service providers started offering “packages”. These packages included items that were once unrestricted, but soon they were considered a typical part of the “basic” plan. For only another $5 per month, you could also get unrestricted access to Netflix, Hulu, and Facebook. They were the last holdout – Facebook. The others were bought by the ISP’s as they’re market value soon plummeted. Tor disappeared. Never heard a word about it – but then the media websites were controlled by the ISP’s, so why would we hear even a peep?
Slowly, over the course of decades, every single packet of information became filtered and taxed. The voices of the masses were quelled by a deafening silence – the sound of censorship. We allowed it to happen because nobody ever thought it would come to this. We used to get these prank messages, that we had to forward this message or post something on our page, to prevent from being charged by Facebook – and we did it. Happily – out of mere caution. Little did we know that the government would endorse such an act. They did. They did it. Now we pay extra for everything, and can’t speak up to change it. They won’t permit it, and the people that used to govern us are powerless to stop it!
Repealing net neutrality is a grave error.
If Internet service providers are permitted to influence our activity, it will serve to chill our freedoms. We have all moved our communication and expression to the Internet. We email, we tweet, we like, we blog. Americans are digital. Allowing any corporate entity to affect this communication will affect our freedom of that expression, and this would be a violation of our most important right.
The FCC must enforce and maintain net neutrality.
We cannot, as Americans, allow any possibility of infringement on our right to free speech. This repeal could be considered a violation of our fundamental constitutional rights. The panic of websites charging for emails and messaging would become real – and beyond our span of control. Corporations are legally created “people”, and permitting a “person” the power to restrict our freedom without due process is unlawful. The US government is in no way authorized to do this.
If the electric company charged us more for cooking than lighting, it would impact our eating habits. If the water utility charged us more for bathing than drinking, it would influence our hygiene. If the phone company charged us more for calling our friends, it would reduce our social behavior. An Internet service provider cannot be allowed any opportunity to influence our speech, and they would do just that. Don’t get it confused!
This is NO JOKE. A failure to act now may lead to these very stories (at the top) being shared with your grandkids. 2 minutes is all it takes! Do it!