Back to more mundane topics, the House of Representatives today voted against Internet neutrality. Why should you care? Because now your Internet Service Provider (ISP), which is often given a monopoly by your local government, can choose not to deliver certain kinds of content.
Say you have SBC as your ISP. They get into a dispute with eBay over something that SBC doesn’t want sold (say a modem that can be modified to allow faster web surfing) and eBay refuses to pull auctions for that modem. SBC can now, legally, give preferential service to an eBay competitor. They can also block access to eBay, if they so choose. Read that again. A phone company can legally block traffic to any site they want.
This will, of course, be sold as a “for the children” measure; your ISP can protect your kids from the evil porn sites. But this law didn’t start this way. It started as a pissing match between telephone companies, who missed the boat on providing Internet service, and the big players like Google and eBay who have built their businesses on the backbone of a free and open Internet. Your representatives (which, I have to say, voted almost straight down party lines, mostly Republicans voting for more laws) have put this on you. You no longer have the right to choose what content you get via the Internet. Thanks to government mandated monopolies, you can’t even choose a different ISP.
Remember this the next time you vote. Did you ask your representative to take away your rights? Because that’s exactly what they did today.
House rejects Net neutrality rules