An end to internet privacy

Maddye Cavanagh, News Assistant Editor

Since the beginning of the internet, net neutrality has ensured access to virtually any website or application with little to no delay. In 2015, a set of laws was put in place to ensure net neutrality for everyone. Recently, the Federal Communications Commission released a plan to eliminate free internet access for all companies and internet providers.

Whether people know it or not, they use net neutrality everyday. Without it, big companies such as Netflix and Google will have to pay for faster connection, creating internet “fast lanes”. This means that smaller companies will be forced to have a slower internet connection, or even no connection at all. Along with this, people can pay to slow another website or application down to the point where it will not work. Consumers will experience slower connection and will ultimately be monitored by the FCC and the government.

“There can be no truly open internet without net neutrality,” former FCC Commissioner Michael Copps said. “To believe otherwise is to be captive to special interest power brokers or to an old and discredited ideology that thinks monopoly, and not government oversight, best serves the nation.”

If the new law is passed by Congress, the internet will now be seen as a “utility”. This means it can be taxed, monitored, regulated, and even shut down if seen  as necessary. Higher up government and FCC officials will have the power to take down any material from the internet. Every sense of online privacy could go out the door without net neutrality.

“The reality is that Congress provides a critical role in overseeing the FCC,” Pro Net Neutrality Director Evan Greer said. “If they sit back and do nothing and allow the FCC to move forward with this vote, then the blood of the internet is on their hands as well, and they will be to blame for getting rid of these basic consumer protections.”

Over 750,000 people have called Congress after the FCC released their plan, according to Rallies and protests have been held outside of Verizon stores and congressional offices since the reveal of the law last month. The vote to repeal net neutrality was won by three to two. However, it still has to be passed by Congress.

Maddye Cavanagh

News Assistant Editor