When you open the web browser on your internet-connected-device, you expect to be linked with every website or content you desire. But what if the government or your internet service provider messes up with the data and exposes you only to the websites or content of its own choice? It would definitely be disgusting!
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When you go online, you expect to have full control of your internet experience which means you expect Net Neutrality. Net Neutrality is the internet guiding principle that prohibits ISPs like Verizon, Comcast, and AT&T to speed up, slow down or block any website or content that is legal.
The Internet has always worked on the principle of Net Neutrality allowing the user to share and access desired information without interference. But right now, the availability of free and open internet worldwide is in jeopardy as the Trump government has officially launched the plan to dismantle Net Neutrality.
What Is Net Neutrality?
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Net Neutrality is the concept of an open internet where no legal website or content is blocked or discriminated over other. It means that ISPs should provide the user unrestricted access to any legal website, application or content. Without Net Neutrality, an internet service provider can block, speed up or slow down any content or could charge extra fees to companies that could pay for preferential treatment.
Is Net Neutrality A Good Idea Or Bad?
There are always two facets of an argument either good or bad. Likewise, Net Neutrality can be favorable for someone or unfavorable for the other. Given are a few points that can help you decide is controlling the internet a good idea or bad.
Freedom of Expression
Net Neutrality allows any website, blog, application, news or content to be available online if it is legal. It means the user has a right to freely express his opinions and thoughts on the internet. When it comes to movements against any unfavorable government policy, it is only because of net neutrality that the protestors can spread their words freely. Otherwise, the government or internet service providers can manipulate the information blocking the content they don’t want you to see or streaming videos that are not suitable for them or are against their interests.
Innovations and Competition:
Net Neutrality is crucial for small businesses and start-ups which rely on the internet to launch their business, promote their product or service, and reach customers. It is because of an open internet that scores of companies have been able to flourish online. Similarly, the open internet is necessary for job opportunities, innovation, and competition. Without it, we would never have the next Google or Facebook.
Objectionable Content and Censorship
Net Neutrality makes it possible to access legal but age-sensitive content such as pornography. While there are various parental control software to block inappropriate websites on a family computer, more children have smartphones and internet connected devices which they can use without parental supervision. If an internet service provider blocks these services at a network level, all the devices connected to that network won’t be able to see that content.
The internet service providers can decide which service to speed up and which to slow down. For example, Google’s Gmail could be faster than Microsoft’s Hotmail depending on how much both companies pay to ISPs. Likewise, providers can crack down on peer-to-peer file sharing which is responsible for piracy or illegal downloads.
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Network Expansion and Monitoring
The internet service providers could charge money for faster or uninterrupted internet access to big bandwidth hogs and could invest that money in upgrading their network.
Whatever activity you perform on the internet can be monitored; however, without Net Neutrality, the internet providers could better monitor everything that their customers do on the internet, use information or sell product or service.
The above points make it clear that Net Neutrality favors people and alternatives are only favorable for the dictators or internet service providers.
The Bottom Line
Net Neutrality is not something negotiable but it is a MUST. We have a right to know everything in our society and democracy, so we cannot accept anything less than this. It is the need of the hour to defend our rights to freely communicate on an open internet.
Brooke is tech geek and technology expert. She manages content at TheOneSpy. She mostly writes latest tech news, researched content, product reviews, digital parenting, social media norms, and online security. Read her latest material on snapchat spy software. Follow her on twitter @brookechloe7