TODAY, A FEDERAL APPEALS COURT KILLED FREE SPEECH
ON THE ENTERNET
The Internet will now be controlled by a handful of companies.
Today, a federal appeals court handed over control of free
speech on the Internet to a handful of companies. This is
why it matters.
Say you' re an NRA Republican. You' re from Tennessee.
The websites you go to on a daily basis are Yahoo for your
email and news, ESPN for your sports, and
com, a message board to talk about your
day at the range.
What if one day your access to your email is tine, your Tim
Tebow coverage from ESPN is as loud as ever, and
com inexplicably took times longer to
load? What if you called your Internet service provider and
their answer was, "That' s just the way it is now"?
Say you' re a Whole ' Democrat. You' re from
Portland. You go to Gmail for your email, MSNBC for your
news, Reddit for your cat videos, and an indie music biog
like Said The Gramophone to find your music.
One day, your access to Gmail is fine, your Rachel Maddow
clips are coming in clear as day, and that Youtube video of
a cat taking a bath on Reddit is rolling along smoothly. But
it takes so long to load one song from that indie music biog
you just turn on the radio.
Say you' re entirely apolitical. It doesn' t matter where you
live. You' re struggling with depression because it' s hard to
cope with your mother' s recently diagnosed cancer. You
go to . net. You go to . Corn for help,
when you can' t read the cancer forum anymore.
One day, those sites take ten times longer to load than they
did before. What if you called your Internet service provider
and their answer was, "Verizon now throttles bandwidth to
websites from the Ter. Would you like to
A federal appeals court ruled that the FCC can no longer
enforce which websites Verizon and all other broadband
providers can favor, limit access to, or outright block -
even if it' s to prop up a service or website of their own.
This is nota binary political issue. It is nota Republican or
This is naked corporate greed. It is a bunch of companies
who want to control the largest free informati on platform in
There is nothing good that an individual can derive from
this decision. Nothing.
Before someone tells you otherwise, Internet service
providers' backs were not against the wall in any way.
Bandwidth congestion" is not real. It costs just as much
money, if not more money, to cap the data flowing through
your broadband connection as it does to serve it to you.
Data caps are solely a moneywhoring construct.
Average connection speeds in South Korea are twice as
fast as those in the United States. That gap will grow even
wider now. This ruling is for American
business on a global level.
Tech giants Google, Facebook, Amazon, New: and Yahoo
have come out against rulings like this in the past. Instead,
the decision favors companies with access to pipelines,
like Comcast. It will help them use the Internet as a
marketing tool for its other ventures, like NBC Universal.
The very best scenario a consumer can hope for is this:
Companies will start offering "unlimited" Internet plans to
access the Internet you currently see today. The Web will
be partitioned off into sections, like cable tiers, and those
will offer speedier connections to certain kinds of
websites if you buy into each tier.
The very worst a consumer can expect is that some
information will be deemed too unsavory for public
consumption, while select corporate messages can be
blasted to your home at lightning speed.
This is not a political story. This is corporate greed at its
most blatant and obvious.
Call a Congressman. Get a law passed. Override the better
lawyers, the lobbyists, the bought Congressmen. Do the
impossible. It' s the only way.
ABE VIII] All