On the Jan. 14, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia struck down the Federal Communications Commission’s open Internet rules, commonly known as net neutrality.
These rules are what keeps the Internet free. Your Internet service provider must play by the rules of net neutrality, meaning that they cannot block or charge more for things they do not like or approve of.
This is just the latest attempt to censor free speech on the Internet, much like Stop Online Piracy Act and the Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property Act, or PIPA, before it. The difference this time is that it is not giving the power of censorship to the government but to the big businesses that have effective monopolies on the service. If unchecked, the companies will be able to get away with a degraded service at higher cost to the users while stifling freedom and innovation. It will also without question lead to a greater technological divide between those who have and those who have not.
While the monetary reasons are good reasons, it fails to hold a candle to the fact that this is nothing but an unrepentant attack on our rights. This is not a partisan issue, this will affect everyone who uses the internet. There is no issue of States rights or national rights. There is only the struggle for human rights. Will we so easily give up this right hard won, piece by piece?
I enjoy the freedom of information, the exchange of thought and ideas, the many sites of mindless entertainment, as well as sites built for learning. I have grown up with the internet, I do not want to see it die in my time. As this is a fatal cancer that threatens it. I ask you, the people, to let your voices be heard.
Sign the petition at https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/ (search for the net neutrality option) to stop this unconstitutional attack on freedom. Censorship is the tool of tyrants. Spread the word, let your voice be heard.
James L. MacLellan IV