Weíre About to Lose Net Neutrality ó And the Internet as We Know It
2013-11-04 0:00

By Marvin Ammori | Wired

Net neutrality is a dead man walking.
The execution date isnít set, but it could be days, or months (at best). And since net neutrality is the principle forbidding huge telecommunications companies from treating users, websites, or apps differently ó say, by letting some work better than others over their pipes ó the dead man walking isnít some abstract or far-removed principle just for wonks: It affects the internet as we all know it.

Once upon a time, companies like AT&T, Comcast, Verizon, and others declared a war on the internetís foundational principle: that its networks should be ďneutralĒ and users donít need anyoneís permission to invent, create, communicate, broadcast, or share online. The neutral and level playing field provided by permissionless innovation has empowered all of us with the freedom to express ourselves and innovate online without having to seek the permission of a remote telecom executive.

But today, that freedom wonít survive much longer if a federal court ó the second most powerful court in the nation behind the Supreme Court, the DC Circuit ó is set to strike down the nationís net neutrality law, a rule adopted by the Federal Communications Commission in 2010. Some will claim the new solution ďsplits the babyĒ in a way that somehow doesnít kill net neutrality and so we should be grateful. But make no mistake: Despite eight years of public and political activism by multitudes fighting for freedom on the internet, a court decision may soon take it away.

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Read the full article at: wired.com




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