It pains me to write on this subject as often as I have to. Some of you may have been wondering where I’ve been in light of the latest news that President Trump’s FCC has set a date for the attempted repeal of net neutrality. I drafted many articles on this development for our readers, but none seemed to carry the necessary weight given the gravity of the situation. I guess I’ll just have to be blunt and hope that my message approaches the appropriate magnitude of what is happening.
If this goes though, it will suck. A lot.
Despite massive, vocal opposition from the public and private sector, Ajit Pai and the FCC have announced their plan to kill net neutrality and have finally chosen their time. Come December, we may see the end of net neutrality in the United States.
You would think that a decision that will be as disruptive as this one would have been reached incredibly scrupulously. That has not been the case in the slightest. The entire pro-repeal side of this debate has been surrounded by a plethora of corruption. Countless pro-repeal comments on the FCC’s website have likely been faked. The co-opting of both living and dead American identities is nothing short of a felony, and these faked comments are being used to quell the very obvious public opposition to repealing net neutrality. In addition to these faked comments, the real voices of actual citizens and consumers opposing this have gone silenced. The Washington Post’s motto on its site is “Democracy dies in darkness.” Worryingly, we may be in for darker times than ever before.
Please understand, I realize that it may appear I am shouting eschatological cries from my keyboard, but net neutrality is one of the things that allows you to read my words and the words of all of us here at the Merkle. Independant journalism such as ours is built on the fact that all data on the internet is treated the same by ISPs. The moment that stipulation is taken away, prepare for having to pay even more than you already pay your ISP to access certain content. Companies will have to pay ISPs to have their content accessible at speeds that make sense. The only people who win here are the elite and the big telecommunications companies. Literally everyone else loses.
That’s because this is a direct assault on our freedom of speech and our digital rights. When companies – possibly colluding with agencies – can all but shut down access to certain websites, they can exert control over what is seen. Content consumption will become prescribed, not elected.
There is still time
Fighting this will be exhausting. It will happen between two holidays Americans love, and in a season where everyone is generally busier. But we must continue to call our representatives and let them know how much we hate this. What is wild to me is that we have to tell our representatives that we don’t want our rights taken away.
We have to keep calling because, well, it is kind of working. The first Republican lawmaker has publicly come out against the repeal of the Obama-era regulations. However, we will need to turn more to make this happen.
In the end, these are your rights. We cryptocurrency users love our rights. Let’s remind our lawmakers that the internet is and was always meant to be open and fair. Keep your voice equal, and keep your content yours. Don’t pay more than you have to in order to read the articles you love or watch the videos you enjoy. This affects all of us.