From an Open Internet, Back to the Dark Ages

From an Open Internet, Back to the Dark Ages

Can anyone still doubt that access to a relatively free and open internet is rapidly coming to an end in the west? In China and other autocratic regimes, leaders have simply bent the internet to their will, censoring content that threatens their rule. But in the “democratic” west, it is being done differently. The state does not have to interfere directly – it outsources its dirty work to corporations.
As soon as next month, the net could become the exclusive plaything of the biggest such corporations, determined to squeeze as much profit as possible out of bandwith. Meanwhile, the tools to help us engage in critical thinking, dissent and social mobilisation will be taken away as “net neutrality” becomes a historical footnote, a teething phase, in the “maturing” of the internet.

Net neutrality and the drive to censor the internet

By Andre Damon

Wednesday’s move by the Trump administration to end net neutrality marks a milestone in the offensive by the US government and major corporations to put an end to the free and open internet, paving the way for widespread government censorship of oppositional news and analysis.
Under the current law, upheld by numerous court decisions and reaffirmed by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in 2015, companies that provide internet access to users, known as internet service providers (ISPs), cannot block or impede their users’ access to any website or service.
But the draft proposal published by FCC chairman Ajit Pai Wednesday, and expected to sail through the approval process next month, would put an end to the decades-long treatment of internet services as a public utility, allowing the internet monopolies Comcast, Charter, AT&T and Verizon full ability to block, throttle and promote internet traffic at will.

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Net neutrality: Why Canadians should care about the internet changes in the U.S.

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced its plans to slash net neutrality rules, which were put in place in 2015 to ensure a free and open internet.
This move would allow giant U.S. cable and telecom companies to block or throttle websites and favour their own services if they wish, according to Laura Tribe, the executive director of the advocacy group, Open Media.
Here in Canada, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has previously said it will strengthen its commitment to net neutrality.
“It’s encouraging that the CRTC thinks net neutrality is important,” Tribe said. “But the U.S. decision could set a precedent and then it could come to Canada.”