So in two days we could forever lose the concept of free internet to companies whose sole goal is money-grubbing. Granted, it's not like the internet is free from the capitalistic model right now (take a look at the history of Tumblr to learn all you need to about how the internet functions on an economic model - hint: we're the commodities), however for all intents and purposes, the internet is still largely unrestricted, and arguably the greatest achievement in human history - the modern equivalent to the library of Alexandria. Well, the cable companies want to reenact history and burn the fucker down.
The concept of net neutrality is simple enough to grasp: the internet should have no restrictions on who can access it, and aside from the most basic service fees it should never be a costly thing to access - it should certainly never be split into multiple "lanes" of speed, restricted by pay. I'm simplifying here, so if you want to read further you can check out the articles I'm linking at the bottom of this post.
One of the somewhat terrifying things I've noticed lately is the support against net neutrality, primarily from a libertarian base. They say that the internet is a prime example of a working free market - I say it's much, much more than that. They say that the FCC and government in general shouldn't have their hands on it - I'd rather have the government (a publicly accountable institution) in charge than a private company (whose only accountability is to profit). However there are some larger issues to address as well - some of which we mutually agree on, though I think the good folks of the libertarian base are missing some crucial points.
Now I don't trust the FCC's Tom Wheeler as far as I could throw him, but they are doing some pretty great things lately - from fighting to maintain internet transparency and neutrality, to fighting for the rights of local governments to implement their own local ISPs (something which the big corporations really don't want to happen. For me, the anti-FCC libertarian base is missing a large part of the picture - namely, they seem to be willing to exchange public control through government, for complete control of autonomous corporate entities. While the government is very far from perfect, I'll happily take its clunky system over the private sector monopolists any day.
If you agree with me, go ahead and call your local representative now to fight for Net Neutrality - Tumblr is making it easy for you, just click that little yellow button at the top right of your page.
New Yorker on Tom Wheeler
Excellent National Journal article on the issue
While CommonDreams is pretty damn dubious as a good news source, this article is pretty concise and legitimate.
The "lowdown" on the subject, courtesy of Obama
Good, seemingly neutral article that literally explains the entirety of the current situation.
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