Enjoy browsing the open Internet because if the U.S. Federal Communication Commission has their way the days of ‘net neutrality’ are over. In a complete 180, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler, is moving forward with allowing telecommunication companies to build Internet ‘fast lanes’. What this means is that companies can pay to have their sites and content on those fast lanes where smaller, non-paying premium sites will be suppressed. As a user when you browse around Amazon, Google, Disney, Netflix will load faster than others. This is bad in so many ways. The Internet is the last frontier of freedom of consumerism, expression, consumption and the United States government under the weight of telecommunication lobbyists are going to lay the ground work to crush it.
Chairman Wheeler is going down a road that we will never be able to change or get out of. The army of legal teams to attempt to pull this back if it’s implemented will immediately take any small company out of the ring to fight this. Telecommunication companies will be handed the keys to the Internet and are poised to make billions from what equates to extortion fees from the service providers and the users. The Internet was built and up to now has been focused on delivering legal content the same to anyone that requests it. You pay for your broadband pipe and all the content is delivered the same, unimpeded from your ISP. This is what will change.
Comcast and Time Warner, along with Verizon, have been the main proponents on getting the ability to control and throttle content through their networks. As a side note, Comcast trying to buy Time Warner adds a darker cloud over this situation. If the FCC allows Comcast, for example, to throttle or classify content you as a user suffer. Comcast could partner with MSNBC and only deliver MSNBC news first at a higher speed than other news sites. They can throttle Netflix down to slower, non-HD required speeds unless you pay more to Comcast to get access to the new ‘fast lane’ Internet.
The FCC says that they will not allow discrimination but by default those without the money to pay the ‘fast lane’ fees are already discriminated against. Never having a chance from the beginning because they can’t pay each ISP their fees. As a small business owner, why bother at that point? Now you have innovation suppression. I can see a tiered classification system for sites, Tier A, B, C, etc… Take one step farther and now Comcast can hold the Internet hostage for pricing that not only do you pay for broadband to your house you have to pay for what Tiers of websites you want to access.
Now you have the Cable TV subscription of the Internet and that’s exactly what they are going for.
Think farther ahead in a George Orwell mindset. What if there are a set of news sites, blogs, videos that go against your company’s values, practices, or political backings? Move them to the slowest Tier they have, blocking it would be illegal and they would never get away from it, but make it load so horribly it’s unusable… under these new FCC rules the groundwork is there for this to take place. Throw in President’s Obama push for an Internet ‘kill switch’ in times on national emergency (or uprising) and you get into even scarier territory.
The end of net neutrality is the end of the Internet as we know it. The Internet will become the next cable tv, overpriced, content focused based on deepest pockets, and premiere services isolated and offered for premiere fees.
This won’t be the last post about this from Binary Blogger.
End of Line.
Binary Blogger has spent 20 years in the Information Security space currently providing security solutions and evangelism to clients. From early web application programming, system administration, senior management to enterprise consulting I provide practical security analysis and solutions to help companies and individuals figure out HOW to be secure every day.