Have you ever surfed the internet, for research, your own enjoyment, etc.? Or enjoyed free WIFI from various shops/locations? With December 14 looming around the corner the ability to do that has a serious chance of being lost. The term “Net Neutrality” has been in the current news a lot recently and if you haven’t looked into the topic, now is a very good time to start catching up. FCC chairman Ajit Pai has proposed taking away the rules set during Obama’s presidency to keep internet service providers from charging extra for streaming and other services as well as slowing down availability to select websites. In simplest words, Net Neutrality protects our rights to freely use the internet. Title II of the Communication Act had been doing a good job in securing our rights, but according to The Morning Consult, support in the Senate has gone down, creating an uncertainty of whether or not the winning vote will keep our freedom. This has been an ongoing issue since the 90s but is now a serious threat.
Without Net Neutrality, internet providers can determine which websites and information will be given to us for free and anything not covered will have to be paid for on a weekly or monthly subscription. This is especially pertinent for college students. The ability to freely use the internet is what gives us the ability to research plenty of information for projects/assignments/etc. This would also be a threat to civil rights, along with breaking the freedom of speech and press in the first amendment. Losing Net Neutrality also completely abandons our internet privacy from providers. What can you do to help keep online freedoms?
I urge you to go online (while you still can for free) and find as many petitions as you can and sign, sign, sign! It may seem like it won’t do anything, but every signature counts and an overwhelming number of petitions will have to be taken seriously and may keep Net Neutrality safe. Take action or prepare for us to no longer have social media.