It can be very tiring sometimes, having to consistently stand up and fight so for so many of our basic rights. However, if we don't stand up right now and fight to save Net Neutrality, then it's going to become a helluva lot harder to stand up and fight for all our other basic rights.
Net Neutrality may sound extremely boring (what- IP routing protocols aren't your bag?) and like something that's not relevant to our everyday lives, but you'll really miss it, if and when it's gone. If the Federal Communications Commission votes to repeal net neutrality in nine days, then our daily lives will change dramatically, and greatly for the worse.
However, we still have plenty of time to protest and make our voices heard.
You can text "resist" to 50409.
You can call the FCC at 1-888-225-5322 and say you oppose the man who wants to kill the internet, Trump appointed FCC Chair Ajit Pai.
You can also go to VerizonProtests.com and join a protest on Thursday at a Verizon location near you.
Use the hashtags #SaveNetNeutrality #StopTheFCC and #NetNeutrality to spread word of your activism.
Now you may be wondering why Verizon of all places? (Is this a grassroots movement to combat consistently terrible customer service on multiple levels and a ridiculous amount of dropped calls?)
Well, Pai is a former Verizon lawyer, and he's nothing but a corporate lobbyist. His agenda, outlined in a manifesto published by the extremely pro big business Wall Street Journal, is to give all control of the internet to the internet service providers. The ISPs will then have the power to control how difficult or easy it is to access certain content on the world wide web.
They would then be able to make access to certain sites faster or slower, and then decide which sites are free, and what URLs would require a surcharge.
Obviously, the ISPs would then make content that they own easily and freely accessible, while all other competitor content would be expensive and difficult to access.
The toll road analogy is the best example we can use to describe what we have in net neutrality right now, and what we could lose on December 14th. Here below are the two segments on Net Neutrality that Last Week Tonight with John Oliver did, which edify you on everything you need to know about Pai and the cable company lobby.
Pai is perhaps the most sinister kind of corporate shill, as he portrays himself as a relatable harmless and seemingly likable dork.
"Hey, no one with a cartoonish oversized Reese's coffee mug could be evil, right?...Did you see my quirky coffee mug? Have I shown you my coffee mug, the one advertising candy that conveys I'm just like you?
"Have you seen how big it is?"
Saving Net Neutrality is only the first step.
Once we maintain it, then we have to take steps towards achieving a truly democratized internet. To say that the net is truly neutral right now is Orwellian Doublespeak in its truest sense. Just look at the duopoly of Google and Facebook.
Think about how many sites you can login to with Facebook. Think about how pretty much no other website has managed to inter-weave itself into the very roots and architecture of the internet like that.
Think about how Google is a verb. Think about how Search Engine Optimization is an entire field that's devoted to nothing but trying to appease the Google Gods. Think about how big wealthy companies with the budget for SEO departments can game the system set up and run by Google so much better than your everyday online mom and pop shop. This is definitely not free market, pure competition laissez-faire, and you that is not up for debate.
It's more like the mantra of SEO in its purest form- "if you ain't cheatin' you ain't tryin.'"
We have a long ways to go to reach true net neutrality, but we first need to make sure things don't continue going in the wrong direction.
Stand up for Net Neutrality!
Don't let Pai and the corporate interests he represents have their way on the 14th!
Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net and TheBank.News, which is partnered with News Now. Banks, a former writer for the Washington Times, NBC Chicago.com and Chicago Tribune.com, currently contributes regularly to WGN CLTV and the Tribune corporation blogging community Chicago Now.
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