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What is Net Neutrality?

June 29, 2017 • Cybersecurity

When you surf the Web, you should be free to choose what you want to access and free to share it without interference, restriction or limitation. You and you alone should be able to control your online experience and connect to the sites you choose to visit.

This is net neutrality, a principle that prohibits Internet service providers (ISPs) from restricting access by speeding up, slowing down or blocking any websites, applications or content.

Net neutrality rules, adopted by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in 2015,

  • make the Internet free and open
  • preserve your right to communicate freely online
  • make possible an Internet that protects free speech
  • allow you to access and share information without interference
  • give startups and entrepreneurs access to broadband networks without undue influence from ISPs
  • ensure that wired and wireless Internet service is available to everyone and subject to government regulation

Despite their existing to keep the Internet open, net neutrality rules are under attack and have been from they time they were adopted: ISPs are still trying to challenge them in court. Those who oppose net neutrality would love nothing more than to dismantle it.

Without net neutrality, ISPs could interfere with your Internet experience by

  • slowing down their competitors’ content
  • blocking, throttling or otherwise interfering with web traffic
  • charging extra fees to content providers who can afford premium services
  • relegating those who cannot afford preferential plans to a slower service tier
  • blocking content they deem contentious or in conflict with their own ideals or leanings

If we were to lose net neutrality, ISPs, rather than users, would be free decide which who is heard and who is not. Cable and phone companies would bring an end to the open Internet, silencing innovators, forward thinkers and activists, and determining which websites, content and applications will succeed.

This is a bold crackdown on dissent. The Trump administration calls net neutrality an intrusive example of government overreach and is doing all it can to reverse it. On May 18, 2017, the FCC, voted 2-1 to review the 2015 rules. Having taken the first step in the process of repealing and replacing net neutrality, the FCC is now looking to regulate the Internet on a case-by-case basis. This carries serious implications for all Internet users, particularly those who rely on the open Internet to

  • create markets
  • reach customers
  • launch their business
  • advertise products and services
  • foster job growth, competition and innovation

It’s time to sound the alarm about the FCC’s attack on net neutrality. On July 12, 2017, websites, Internet users and online communities will come together to protest this imminent threat to the open Internet.

Join the protest and spread the word at

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