Top Of My Head

Thoughts on everything from Politics to Video Games

Tag: Freedom

Net Neutrality Challenged

According to a story on Politico, Verizon is going to court to challenge the FCC’s ruling on Net Neutrality.  They want “to stop the agency from requiring Internet companies to treat all Web traffic equally.”

Of course these companies want to limit who can limit who accesses their networks – they will make more money if they charge website owners for the ability to receive traffic from their websites.  It is an added revenue stream.  I understand the drive for profit.  However; it is something the government should prevent.

Stopping the traffic and controlling the traffic flow on the Internet Superhighway is counter-productive and bad for America.  Think of it this way…Let’s say you decide to drive from Kenosha down to Mundelein, IL.  You get on the toll road and you pay your toll for the privileged of using the road.  This is like you paying for your Internet access.  Now, you have to stop for gas and you see a Shell station, except you’re driving on a road controlled by Verizon and Shell hasn’t paid Verizon any extra money, therefore; Verizon isn’t going to allow you off the highway to enter the Shell station.  It doesn’t matter that Shell pays for their location (their website hosting package); it doesn’t matter that Shell pays Comcast for their own Internet access.  You are a Verizon customer and they will not let you stop at Shell, because they want Shell to pay them.

These extra charges that Verizon is suing in order to propose – and, yes, I realize that their claim is that the FCC doesn’t have the authority to “regulate broadband networks”, however; once the regulation to treat all traffic equally is lifted, watch the charging begin – will harm small businesses, as well as blogs – and, yes, even mine.

Amazingly, the Verizon lawyer said the following in a statment: “We believe this assertion of authority goes well beyond any authority provided by Congress, and creates uncertainty for the communications industry, innovators, investors and consumers.”  I laugh at the idea that the FCC regulation creates uncertainty.  Not knowing about how a ruling on this will affect non-Internet providers will cause more uncertainty.

The problem is that they could actually win they’re court case.  Right now, our courts are placing companies on the same level as people.  It is not a far stretch to believe that they will overturn the FCC’s regulation.

Congress needs to step up to the plate and swing for a home run.  Keeping the playing field equal on the Internet is essential to our freedoms.  If you don’t believe me, take a good look at China – where people can’t access Google.  The difference is that it won’t be our government that controls us – it will be the companies.

Net Neutrality

I know that I shouldn’t be surprised every time someone supports a group, candidate or even an idea that  goes against their own best interest.  Tea Party supporters do this all the time.  Followers of Saint Palin do it too and the people who watch Glenn Beck do not have a real grasp of the issues.  The people who are going to vote for Ron Johnson come to mind as well.

Case in point, Net Neutrality.  To Beck, Net Neutrality is Obama’s plan to put our country on the path of socialism.  To him, this is an Obama backed plan.  Unfortunately, the followers of Beck believe that Beck can make no mistakes.  The problem is that – when it comes to Net Neutrality – Glenn Beck doesn’t know his arse from a hole in the ground.

Net Neutrality didn’t rise up after Obama was in office.  The idea of keeping the access to information on the Internet “free” has been around since the late 1990’s.  But, if you’re on the right, you wouldn’t know that. The ring wing pundits don’t admit that. They are so against anything that might be supported by this administration, they’ve lost sight of the correct side of an issue.

To put it simply, “Net neutrality is this: If I pay to connect to the Net with a certain quality of service, and you pay to connect with that or greater quality of service, then we can communicate at that level.” (Quoted from Tim Berners-Lee on his blog. Don’t know who Tim Berners-Lee is Google him.)

The problem is that companies – such as Verizon and AT&T – are shoving lobbying dollars to Congress to allow them to determine what content YOU can see via their networks.  If you want to view a website that your ISP doesn’t want to allow on their network, they can do that if we DON’T have Net Neutrality.  I can’t stress this enough.  It is imperative that we keep the Internet free flowing and allow the free flow of information.  Content providers pay for their access – you pay for your access – I pay for mine.  We shouldn’t have to be prevented from seeing another’s website because our ISP doesn’t have an agreement with them or they want to charge them money above and beyond what they’ve paid for their hosting.

Period.

Net Neutrality is in trouble – and I blame Glenn Beck

Net Neutrality – People who are new to the Internet, this term probably doesn’t mean much. To people like Glenn Beck, it means nothing but something else to lord over the President’s head. To small bloggers like myself, it means freedom.

Back in April, I discussed Net Neutrality and its importance.  I mentioned then, as I’m mentioning now, that both Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh are against Net Neutrality.  The difference between then and now is that then, I didn’t think that within days Net Neutrality would go away and vanish forever and now I do.

For those who don’t know, the Internet is a vast maze of servers.  Each ISP – Internet Service Provider – has a certain amount of bandwidth that it provides each customer.  There are tiered systems to how fast the customer can get on the Internet.  I don’t have a problem with this.  This is how ISPs make money.

On the other side of the coin are the Internet content providers – in other words, people like me, as well as YouTube, CNN, Fox News, etc.  Some of us charge you, the consumer, for the content and some of us don’t.  Some of us only make money from the ads that appear on our sites.

ISPs, such as Verizon and AT&T, want the Internet content providers to pay them money to have our content get priority.  In other words, I pay them money and they let me drive in the fast lane.  I don’t pay them money and my site is sitting behind the slow driver who has had their right blinker on for the last ten miles.

And, you – the consumer – lose.

You lose the ability to read the sites you want to read, when you want to read them.  Traffic will flow the way the ISPs want it to flow.  For example, if someone wanted to start a new site like YouTube, with the deal that is days away from being signed by Verizon and Google (which owns YouTube), well, let’s just say it wouldn’t be worth their while.  Verizon would merely put the traffic to YouTube’s rival site in the slow lane with me.

And, that’s exactly how it will be for everything.  Looking for a campground?  Well, the only ones you’ll find are the ones who were able to pay for that extra boost – to Verizon and AT&T.    Do you want to order a video game?  Well, Amazon paid more than GameStop, so guess where your traffic is going?

Net Neutrality isn’t a partisan issue, like Beck and Limbaugh want you to believe.  It is a freedom issue.  It is about greed.  You all ready pay your ISP.  I pay a web hosting company and my ISP.  Why should I have to pay YOUR ISP so you can view my site?  How is that fair?

And, think about it, this could affect elections.  Every politician has a website, if only the incumbent has enough money to buy the right to be in the fast lane, you’ll never reach his opponent’s website.

Is that what you want?

I know online petitions don’t really work too well, but I’m hoping that Google and Verizon will change their minds about this deal.  Here is the link to the petition.

You need to contact your Congressman and your Senator.  We need the FCC to have the right to put a stop to this.

Before it is too late.

Net Neutrality and the Right Wing

I just received a message from Media Matters regarding the Right Wing and Net Neutrality.  Apparently, Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh suffer from Obama Derangement Syndrome.  They both have a serious case of it, because they are convinced that Net Neutrality is a BAD thing and that is simply not true.

The big communications companies don’t want Net Neutrality.  They want to charge me more in order to have their customers come visit my blog and they want to charge consumers more for reading my blog.  And, my blog is just a sample.  Beck and Limbaugh will be heard because they have big contracts and a lot of money backing them.  People like me will not be heard, because I can’t afford to pay Comcast, AT&T and Verizon more money to obtain readers.  I’m not that dedicated as a blogger to charge for content and I happen to believe that free speech means it should be FREE.

This is one of those few issues where the Christian Coalition and the ACLU actually AGREE.  They both know that if someone decides to put up roadblocks to sites, democracy will be in trouble.

Maybe, you don’t agree with one blog I’ve ever posted.  Maybe, you hate my guts, as I know at least two people out there do.  Maybe, you think I should die a horrible and terrifying death — and, maybe, you’re right.  Maybe, I’m the awful person YOU think I am, but the First Amendment guarantees me the right to free speech.  I pay for the hosting of this website.  I pay for my Internet access.  I shouldn’t have to pay YOUR Internet provider to have my blog come up in search engines or have people visit.

YOU shouldn’t have to pay to have YOUR blog read, either.

That is what Net Neutrality defends against.

Don’t listen to Glenn and Rush on this issue — Contact the FCC and let them know YOU support Net Neutrality.  Read up on it on your own. 

You can start here:  http://free.convio.net/site/Advocacy?pagename=homepage&id=437

God Bless America!

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