As some (or many) of you may have heard, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in the US is voting in a week to decide whether the laws relating to the concept of Net Neutrality should be revoked. This may not seem that major, but it could possibly mean a slow death for communities such as this one.
At the present time, the laws allow unfettered and equal access to all parts of the internet (at least they are meant to). Sure, there are some exceptions, as there are with everything. But these laws mean that ISP companies can...I'm not putting this right. Yes, I could of backspaced, but I wouldn't be truely telling you what I think then, would I???
OK, let me put it like this. There have always been laws about the internet, ever since Tim Berners Lee created the first HTTP system, creating the modern net. However, until 2014 when Barrack Obama put laws into place restricting how Internet Service Providers operating in the US could control how their clients accessed the net. This is from a forbes magazine article published two days ago AEST:
...That means broadband providers like Comcast, AT&T and Verizon can treat internet traffic differently if it is necessary to maintain and protect their networks. Wu called this permissible ground for discrimination. What’s forbidden is discrimination that could distort entire markets and harm the consumer. Technically, this could mean discrimination based on IP addresses, domain names, cookie information, and other factors, according to his paper. Net neutrality aims to protect the legitimate needs of ISPs to manage their networks while preventing the abuse of this power.
For example, if an online game takes up a lot of bandwidth or capacity, the ISP could handle it two ways. It could block traffic from the site through its IP address. But this act would violate net neutrality because by blocking access to this online game, it benefits other gaming sites and distorts the market, ultimately harming consumers. The right way to do it is to focus on bandwidth usage instead, Wu wrote. Gamers who want a better experience would have to buy more bandwidth, or curtail their gaming. Here, the consumer has the choice of paying up or limiting playtime. This, he said, is “market choice” not one “dictated by the filtering policy” of the ISP...
This is only one of the things that will change. If we let the ISP's have this one in the US, they'll pounce like a pack of Kroot hounds elsewhere in the world. Soon, it'll be like there was never such a thing as a free internet. I'm probably being dramatic, but so what??? Would you be cool if you found out your home was about to be bulldozed??? No, you'd pull a Arthur Dent and lie in front of the bulldozers. I know that this seems like a overreaction, and to tell the truth, I'm trying to convince myself that I'm actually not freaking out about nothing. But there is evidence in history that shows that even things that appeared small lead to horrible events. The internet is more than a global communications system. It's our home, our workspace, our library, our second brain. It's more than just something for corporate pen-pushers to define and shape to suit their needs. It's sites like ATT that best exemplify how the net is a culture and a enviroment in it's own way. Sites where people can come together to share ideas, to debate things they love, and to grow a community in the same way you would cultivate a garden.
To take a leaf from our factions book, net neutrality is all about the greater good. The Tau'va of the internet is at risk, and I'm not going to let the place which I practically grew up in be ripped apart to be thrown out into the hoards of rampaging corporate tyranids to be turned into meaningless slurry.
I'm not asking you to agree with me. If the mods don't think that this will affect ATT, then they can happily delete this thread. This year, 2017, has seen a drastic fall in the hopes that humanity has for a better future. The US has fallen into a political quagmire (which I will refrain from elaborating on). The climate has now gotten to the point here in Australia where we're seeing massive rises in temprature change. Some of you may live in LA, which is currently burning from a freak uncontrollable fire. Companies have begun flexing their muscles, with the mining giant Adani enlisting the Queensland State Government to open a eyesore of a coal mine right in the heart of Australia's Gold Coast. Governments are falining to resolve problems, and things look grimdark for our future.
But as with any fire, a spark must set it off. The internet is the one place where we can all escape from the stuff that is going on IRL. ATT is such a place, and if it is locked off by ISP's, it will reduce the community. If open content creation and interent culture is culled, this creates creates a internet where freedom of speech online is laughed at by the corps, then we have lost another part of our lives to the spreadsheets of the corps.
If I sound like the Space Communists we all love, I apologise. So I'm going to get to my point. I'd like any of the mods who believe in such a thing as a free internet to move this post to a place where everyone can see it. This message has to spread, and I'm not taking no for a answer. If you are reading this, and have reached this point without leaving, head to https://advocacy.mozilla.org/en-US/net-neutrality/ and do as they say on that page. This is our home on the net, and this is comparable to a unwarranted demolition. Hell, I'm probably going to lose some face on ATT for doing this. But this message needs to be heard, and my status on one of my favorite sites is nothing compared to everyone's future online.
So get the message out. We have a week until the internet as a culture begins to die. Let's make that week count. Peace and Goodwill to y'all ATT. Merry Christmas too.