Where exactly is the United States headed to? While most of the developing and developed nations are embracing the idea of the open internet, the United States is rolling back to the stone ages. The Trump administration has brought in many changes so far – whether they are even close to being “sensible” or not is a topic for another day – but for now, the internet community is furious that Trump-appointed Ajit Pai, Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is taking steps to weaken enforcement of net neutrality.
FCC Head doesn’t want open Internet
For those who don’t have a clear idea about what net neutrality is all about – it’s the principle that Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and governments regulating the internet should treat all data on the Internet the same, regardless of the user, content, website, platform, application, type of attached equipment or mode of communication. There’s also the idea of “open internet” – an idea that the full resources of the Internet and means to operate on it should be easily accessible to all individuals, companies, and organizations.
In what’s being seen as a ridiculous move, FCC’s Ajit Pai has issued a proposal to eliminate Title II net neutrality rules altogether. FCC had approved a set of net neutrality rules in 2015 to keep the Internet open and fair, prohibiting ISPs from intentionally speeding up or slowing down traffic from targeted websites. The FCC had also voted to reclassify Internet providers as common carriers, just like telephone services.
Soon after Pai’s made the proposal, several users started to criticize the move. Senator Patty Murray termed Pai’s move as “shameful” and reiterated that “the idea underlying net neutrality is a simple one – the internet should be free and open”. Amazon, Facebook, Google, Apple and many other tech giants have begun to show their support for net neutrality. More than 800 startups have signed a letter urging Pai to protect net neutrality.
“We … depend on an open Internet — including enforceable net neutrality rules that ensure big cable companies can’t discriminate against people like us, the startup companies wrote.
We support strong net neutrality rules and will continue to fight for rules that protect the open Internet”, said Facebook spokesperson.
“Hell hath no fury like the Internet scorned” says Evan Greer, Campaign Director, Fight For The Future.
What do you think about this proposal? Feel free to post your thoughts in the comments section!