Did you know about “net neutrality” a.k.a. “cable company fuckery” as John Oliver once called it? Well it matters because if you value access to the information and the media you like, you need to pay attention. Whether you enjoy Buzzfeed or The Guardian some people want to mess with the internet.
If you need a recap read this article for starters. Now if you wonder why I write about this from the Netherlands let me explain.
Many companies and content creators that make up the servers, services and infrastructure of what we now know as the internet are in the U.S. When the FCC want to stop treating all data as equal under the Trump administration expect strange things to happen. When I mention strange things think of this:
- A company wants its content to load faster; creates a skewed internet that benefits corporations.
- Governments and politicians can directly influence what we have access to.
- Corporate lobbies can directly influence what we have access to.
- The internet becomes a place where independent content creators can only compete with big budgets and/or a lot of influence.
- The “Right To Be Forgotten” can become a tool for direct censorship…
I grew up with the internet in the early 2000’s. Before then I loved visiting the library as I had almost free access to information which I could read, copy and borrow with a library pass. When the internet became a thing 56K modems and all over the phone line a new world opened up.
That world was and still is the world of information connected by internet protocols and technology. It connects individuals and groups from all over the planet. Globalisation is a good thing when it enables mutual understanding between people from completely different places on our blue and green planet.
In a world of tyrants, corrupt officials and greedy corporations we need one platform that enables us to simply look things up and decide for ourselves. If you want people like Erdögan to shut down social media again because criticism beware.
I do not want governments, politicians and corporations to tell me what I can and cannot have access to. We no longer live in Medieval times. This is the 21st century.
The internet must remain neutral if you want to keep your access to information.