Although many of us are busy preparing for finals, there is an extremely important battle happening right now that has direct ramifications for all of us. On Dec.14, right as we are taking our final exams, the Federal Communications Commission is going to vote to dismantle net neutrality.
Net neutrality is what keeps internet service providers like Verizon, Comcast, Time Warner and AT&T from charging extra fees, censoring online content or changing what we can see and do on the Internet via throttling websites, apps and online services.
Let me provide an illustration. Imagine that this was about physical mail. Mail carriers could open your mail and charge you different amounts according to what they found inside. They could choose to remove something or not to send it at all. Perhaps they would charge an extra fee if your recipient doesn’t use that mail carrier very often. Or they could refuse to deliver any package that didn’t come from one of their partner companies.
That would be completely absurd and intolerable. Some of these things are punishable by law. Should we fail to successfully defend net neutrality, however, all these practices and more will be fair game for internet service providers.
Despite today’s turbulent political climate, I urge you to not let politics get in the way. In fact, net neutrality should not be a partisan issue at all. Ever since the internet’s inception, it has been a fundamental principle that it provides open access to information and provides a platform for business, freedom of expression and the wide variety of applications we see today.
So, the time to act is now. It may not be convenient, but the future of the internet is at stake. Let your voice be heard; soon it will be too late.
Text “RESIST” to 50409 to get started defending freedom of expression on the Internet.
Class of 2019
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