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Why Net Neutrality is Important to Freedom

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posted on Sep, 10 2014 @ 05:03 AM
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Some of you may be aware that in the past couple years, but most notably in recent months the US government has been trying its best to pass laws that restrict the internet, how its used, and how companies are able to make money from it. This has come to be known as 'Net Neutrality'.

What is Net Neutrality and why is it important?


Net Neutrality is the Internet’s guiding principle: It preserves our right to communicate freely online. This is the definition of an open Internet. Net Neutrality means an Internet that enables and protects free speech. It means that Internet service providers should provide us with open networks — and should not block or discriminate against any applications or content that ride over those networks. Just as your phone company cannot decide who you could call and what you say on that call, your ISP should not be concerned with what content you view or post online. The court’s January 2014 ruling has eliminated the only existing Net Neutrality protections on the books. ISPs now have the ability to block websites and applications.


So what does that mean for people like us who frequently use the internet?


TextThe January 2014 court decision has destroyed protections that keep the Internet open and safeguards its users’ privacy and individual choice. ISPs like AT&T, Comcast, Time Warner Cable and Verizon want to take the worst aspects of the cable TV system and impose them on the Internet.

Expect Internet blackouts that extend far beyond the popular content vendors as smaller websites are caught in the crossfire. Tweets, emails and texts will be mysteriously delayed or dropped. Videos will load slowly, if at all. Websites will work fine one minute, and time out another. Your ISP will claim it’s not their fault, and you’ll have no idea who is to blame. You also won’t be able to vote with your feet and wallet, as there’s no competition in broadband, and all ISPs will be playing this game.

ISPs hate the idea that they’re nothing more than providers of “dumb pipes,” or connections that simply carry our traffic. Now that they’re free from any legal restraints, the ISPs will try to get Internet companies to pay tolls and threaten to block or delay them if they don’t. Exclusive deals could become the norm, with AT&T exclusively bringing you Netflix or Time Warner Cable as the sole source for YouTube.

Sauce

This is a major social issue. The internet is what i would consider one of the last bastions of true freedom we still have. Freedom of speech in public has been relegated to 'free speech zones' and 'permit to protest' laws... not truly fitting the definition of FREE any more. In contrast the internet allows the freedom of expression widely and in many forms. Artwork, politics, videos, music; all of these mediums of expression would be subject to censorship with out net neutrality. Censorship is bad, mmkay?

As an example to chew on, lets imagine that the ISP abovetopsecret.com uses decides that a post on this websight meets their qualifications for removal? Since the FCC sucks at their job, that ISP would be able to remove that post under some soon-to-be-loophole that grants them total control over their 'blocks' of the internet. This is an extreme example, but not an impossible scenario. If deals were struck between internet providers and online services such as Youtube, or Netflix, to use the examples from the link, monopolies on internet content would become a regular occurence. Censorship provided by the people providing you internet.

We all pay for a service to use the internet. Lets keep that service the way it is now, and not allow ISP's to become sudo government enforcers of content... thanks FCC, you suck.


edit on 10-9-2014 by AnonyMason because: fix link try 1




posted on Sep, 10 2014 @ 05:44 AM
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Star and flag for an important subject that seems to keep recycling itself and coming back over and over.

Thing is, especially with technology, should there be internet regulation then there will always be ways to get around it. It will be another cat and mouse game that the regulators never 100% get their way, while at the same time being another burden to bear and deal with as an average user.
edit on 10-9-2014 by Philippines because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 10 2014 @ 06:02 AM
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At this time the regualtors are far too unable to even enforce new regulations.

It definitely is a reoccuring fight. They tried SOPA and then they tried CISPA. Since those didn't work the way their proposers had hoped they have now decided to let big corporations do it for them.

This is not only a concern over corporate monopoly of a service, but also a huge concern for personal privacy. If big ISP's are given carte blanch to do as they please they will be able to monitor literally everything you do online... **more than they already do** This means they would log all your data, and sell it to the highest bidder(s).

So say your someone who cares about you internet privacy and takes steps to ensure that it exists. For example, the use of a VPN, the use of the Tor Network, the use of tools like proxychains or ssh encryption; none of that would be allowed by 'Team Cable'. Want to use encryption? They will require your keys. Want to use a VPN? They will need to know who's providing it to you. The Tor network? Totally out of the question. Those IP's are regularly censored already due to spam and hacks coming from tor exit nodes.

If Net Neutrality dies, companies like ATT, Verizon (PRISM companies i may add) and Comsuck will be your paid for service that eliminates any shred of internet privacy you have left. All your data r belonging to Team Cable... they sell it to China, and give it to the NSA freely.



posted on Sep, 10 2014 @ 09:07 AM
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So, I'm not even going to lie. I am too paranoid to submit my comments regarding this issue through that website you linked, the one that says the FCC is taking comments or whatever. I wrote out a big comment on there, then it asked for all my identifying info and I totally chickened out. Paranoid, I tell ya.

Also, I'd like to share this information with people I know, but sadly, there aren't many who would understand the implications.

Thanks for sharing here though, s&f for forcing me to learn about something I hadn't put much time into understanding.



posted on Sep, 10 2014 @ 09:43 AM
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originally posted by: AnonyMason
At this time the regualtors are far too unable to even enforce new regulations.

It definitely is a reoccuring fight. They tried SOPA and then they tried CISPA. Since those didn't work the way their proposers had hoped they have now decided to let big corporations do it for them.

This is not only a concern over corporate monopoly of a service, but also a huge concern for personal privacy. If big ISP's are given carte blanch to do as they please they will be able to monitor literally everything you do online... **more than they already do** This means they would log all your data, and sell it to the highest bidder(s).

So say your someone who cares about you internet privacy and takes steps to ensure that it exists. For example, the use of a VPN, the use of the Tor Network, the use of tools like proxychains or ssh encryption; none of that would be allowed by 'Team Cable'. Want to use encryption? They will require your keys. Want to use a VPN? They will need to know who's providing it to you. The Tor network? Totally out of the question. Those IP's are regularly censored already due to spam and hacks coming from tor exit nodes.

If Net Neutrality dies, companies like ATT, Verizon (PRISM companies i may add) and Comsuck will be your paid for service that eliminates any shred of internet privacy you have left. All your data r belonging to Team Cable... they sell it to China, and give it to the NSA freely.


I signed up a long time ago for a VPN called IronSocket for many reasons; mostly for protecting my privacy, but also for content streaming (dns proxy) and the http/socks5 proxies included - and they're located out of the USA in Hong Kong.

Now you're talking about VPNs being affected as well, but where do you see documented as happening, or drawing conclusions? What will net neutrality mean for VPN providers located in the USA? With the recent Heartbleed bug, they ones who listen probably still have other ways of breaking or bypassing the encryption if they need to.



posted on Sep, 10 2014 @ 10:04 AM
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a reply to: Philippines

As of now there is no plans drawn up that will require you to give up information on your VPN provider.

**security tip of the day: don't post your VPN provider in a public forum... defeats part of the purpose of routing traffic through a private network**

However, what other, more intelligent privacy advocates and security experts think will happen (and what i see as perfectly logical) is a scenario like this: The FCC gives big ISP corporations the ability to 'manage' their respective internet blocks how they choose too. Essentially they would wash their hands of the internet and watch 'Team Cable' chop it into thousands of pieces. The effect of this would be a rapid increase in User Privacy Agreement modifications that state things like "we reserve the right to monitor and track your internet usage data" and "we reserve the right to sell that data to the highest bidder".

Certain services we all use regularly already have privacy agreements that look something like this. Google for example provides many excelent services to a great many people. They are very open about their privacy policy which states that when you use a google service they track you through web widgets, and analytics cookies. To make money they turn around and sell all that information to third party advertising companies who use this information to craft ad traffic based on what your interests are. I am still an avid Goggler because they are very open about this policy, and other similar policies that are not very privacy oriented. At least they tell their users that. Other companies do this same stuff and aren't as open about it, which i see as a problem.

When it comes to you connecting through a VPN your ISP can only see limited traffic. Once you pass through the ISP's server pipe(s) and are through your VPN, they lose sight of what happens on the other side, meaning they lose part of their ability to accurately track you and make money. Another example could be the use of encryption. When you encrypt outgoing packets your ISP can see them only as a jumbled mess of nonsense due to the encryption. So even though they can't monitor your traffic efficiently they can still see that you are blasting out streams of encrypted data onto the internet somewhere which would be justification enough for them to flag and throttle your connection back. I have had this battle with my own ISP already several times. In thier eyes encryption is a signal of nefarious activities. In my eyes encryption is a way to maintain some degree of privacy during online communications.

To them, this is a matter of control and huge, i mean rediculously huge margins for potential proffits. For us, this means an average joe version of the internet, and then the internet that 'they' allow more privilaged customers to use. The combination of crappified internet and major breaches of personal privacy are a bit overwhelming. If you're not freaking out completely over net neutrality, it's time to start.



posted on Sep, 10 2014 @ 10:21 AM
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a reply to: MojaveBurning

It's never a question of are we paranoid. The better question is are we paranoid enough?

If net neutrality disapears the next version of the internet is going to be the wild west for big ISP (Team Cable). It's going to be an all out race for ISP companies to collect, store, and sell every available piece of data they get their hands on. Ever wonder how Google and Facebook became mega companies literally over night? Data, data, data, and also metadata. ISP coporations, ad corporations and the NSA(PRISM program) all want your data. Net neutrality disapears, all your data belongs to them and your ability to do anything about it become extremely hindered.
edit on 10-9-2014 by AnonyMason because: sp



posted on Sep, 10 2014 @ 10:39 AM
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originally posted by: AnonyMason
a reply to: Philippines

When it comes to you connecting through a VPN your ISP can only see limited traffic. Once you pass through the ISP's server pipe(s) and are through your VPN, they lose sight of what happens on the other side, meaning they lose part of their ability to accurately track you and make money. Another example could be the use of encryption. When you encrypt outgoing packets your ISP can see them only as a jumbled mess of nonsense due to the encryption. So even though they can't monitor your traffic efficiently they can still see that you are blasting out streams of encrypted data onto the internet somewhere which would be justification enough for them to flag and throttle your connection back. I have had this battle with my own ISP already several times. In thier eyes encryption is a signal of nefarious activities. In my eyes encryption is a way to maintain some degree of privacy during online communications.

To them, this is a matter of control and huge, i mean rediculously huge margins for potential proffits. For us, this means an average joe version of the internet, and then the internet that 'they' allow more privilaged customers to use. The combination of crappified internet and major breaches of personal privacy are a bit overwhelming. If you're not freaking out completely over net neutrality, it's time to start.


These last two paragraphs seem the most salient and alarming. The way you word it, to me, does make it sound like the end of the current internet as we know it.

On the first part, throttling based on service/protocol/port/etc. is wrong if it is not discussed on the terms/privacy policy. However, on making money - breaking down the services into categories like tor, ftp, news groups, vpn, and a lot more - the ISPs could datamine your behavior and charge you based on your usage. Or as you say, throttle you.

Your second paragraph also makes perfect sense for the motive -- money and power, and continuity of it.



posted on Sep, 10 2014 @ 10:47 AM
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a reply to: Philippines

Precisely that.

You want to view the full version of your favorite websight? That will cost you an extra fee. You want to encrypt your data or use a privacy service, theres a fee for that too.

The scary part of this is there's no laws preventing them throttling right now. Comcast and ATT have been suspected of this for some time. With no real evidence to offer aside from saying i monitor my network and my internet usage with high verbosity. I've seen my ISP tweak my connection on the fly, and when i approached them about it, they told me to reset my modem. I LOL'd at that tech. I've busted them several times for jacking with my connection but was unable to get them to fess up to it.

If net neutrality actually dies whatever hesitations they have in doing what they're thinking of doing will be gone too. Hence the reason for a full fledged internet freakout... like, now.

EDTA:
This is the very simplified version of this discussion. Theres a major beef that comes into play and it's with the FCC failing majorly to do it's job. For more brain smashing discussions about why the FCC sucks and net neutrality you guys may consider searching for the difference between a Tier 1, Tier 2, and Tier 3 service space and why they are being gobbled up by bigger ISP providers. $$$
edit on 10-9-2014 by AnonyMason because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 10 2014 @ 10:51 AM
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As with every cool invention in history the corporate types will find a way to screw us over. It's only a matter of time and, unfortunately, it's beyond our control.



posted on Sep, 10 2014 @ 02:42 PM
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Here's the problem - The way that Net Neutrality is being proposed now is to protect the big telecoms. The FCC rules would allow ISPs to charge companies like Netflix more to use their networks. Now, think about it ... who are the big ISPs? They're also the big cable companies. What's been taking it in the shorts thanks to companies like Netflix? Cable subscriptions.

This isn't about you or protecting you or even protecting the "freedom" of the Internet. This is about protecting the big telecoms by forcing Netflix and streaming services like it to have to raise their prices to punish people who have decided they'd rather not pay punitive fees for a cable bill in order to receive all those channels (including propaganda news nets) they never watch, but instead would rather pay a lower monthly fee to only get the stuff they want to watch when they want to watch it.



posted on Sep, 10 2014 @ 07:35 PM
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Funny that you shared this because yesterday a savetheinternet popup ad came up. Guessing that you seen it and decided to share?

It asked for personal information. Sorry but that was suspect.

The comment above is explaining, pretty close to what had I read a while back on Net Neutrality, seems it really isn't what it is claimed to be. Be careful about it.



posted on Sep, 11 2014 @ 12:23 PM
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a reply to: dreamingawake

Yes. I was motivated to write a thread on ATS because of their support. I've been supporting Fight fo the Future, the EFF, battleforthenet, and some other groups for a few years now. It's important to get involved in good causes. We don't need more regulations and we definitely do not need an internet under the control of massive corporations.

Anyway, there was nothing suspect about the personoal information request. Government petitions usually require some personal information. But since you didn't it's really a null issue.

The problem with the term 'net neutrality' is that it's scope is ver broad. It's used by privacy groups, freedom of speach groups, and by the government. So yes, there can be some confusion about what it means. However, my thread has been pretty clear on what I define as net neutrality, and the reasons I support the groups mentioned.

It's all a personal choice. Like I said, I was very proud of the ATS owners and staff for running that banner yesterday, and thought i would share a little more information with you all. There is far more detailed information available. A Google search should suffice for those who want to learn more about it. The bottom line for people who enjoy the internet the way it is: everything is going to change if 'Team Cable' gets control. And since they have the money and the lobbyists, they probably will. Enjoy a nice slow internet!



posted on Sep, 11 2014 @ 12:31 PM
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originally posted by: AnonyMason
a reply to: dreamingawake

The problem with the term 'net neutrality' is that it's scope is ver broad. It's used by privacy groups, freedom of speach groups, and by the government. So yes, there can be some confusion about what it means. However, my thread has been pretty clear on what I define as net neutrality, and the reasons I support the groups mentioned.



I'm all with you. I live in the middle of nowhere. I don't have many resources I can use to help, but I am on the internet so I can support what I love, remotely. No ballot or anything necessary except to drive awareness to what this is, and everyone online can get involved without leaving their internet device.

I'll keep bumping this post because the ramification(s) are shocking, and this shouldn't be buried on the forum.

As to a definition of a term, and what this means, I think the way you word it is great. Maybe it needs some simplified approach to make people consider and know:
a) the definition of "net neutrality"
b) what it means for the consumer
c) what it means for the provider
d) the outcome for the internet in general

and more I'm sure, and better ways to phrase that



posted on Sep, 11 2014 @ 10:00 PM
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If anyone wants more reading on this subject I wrote this post awhile back, it's long or I would just copy/paste the information

www.abovetopsecret.com...

The tl;dr version is that Net Neutrality keeps the internet competitive, or as competitive as it can be when ISP's act as monopolies. An analogy here (and I think I used this in my linked thread) is what would happen to the roadways if we built them with tax dollars, handed them to private corporations, gave each corporation a monopoly over a specific area, and then gave them the ability to meter access to the road, access to the destination, the contents of what is being transported, and even the ability to analyze how important that travel is so they know how willing the person would be to pay. That's what removing Net Neutrality does to the internet. Lets say you're a company that makes widgets. Your ISP can come up to you after you've had a good month of online sales and outside the terms of your contract say "give us 90% of your profits from last month or we throttle your website and your customers will go elsewhere". Removing Net Neutrality gives them that power.



originally posted by: Restricted
As with every cool invention in history the corporate types will find a way to screw us over. It's only a matter of time and, unfortunately, it's beyond our control.


Not quite accurate, the rest of the world still has their unscrewed up internet. Ultimately besides making for a more miserable customer experience the big loser here is going to be any US company that tries to perform online activities. Google, Facebook, Microsoft, even ATS... they lose. The rest of the world will just go around them.
edit on 11-9-2014 by Aazadan because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 11 2014 @ 11:16 PM
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IMHO, they should hit the kill switch or set off an EMP. We need to get back in touch with each other and nature. Technology is destroying us. All this information will be hardly useful, when SHTF. We're being set up for a big fall.



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