While the media speculates on just how bad Trump’s NPD is (textbook, if I’m not mistaken) and how easy it is to bait him with a tweet or constant reminders of the size of his, um, crowds, there are some stories that should be covered that are being ignored. The media will continue to amuse itself with Trump and the rest of us need to be proactive.
For example, what is going to happen to Net Neutrality? You know, the thing that prevents Comcast from constructing speedbumps between you and the information you need to see on the internet? Melissa at Shakesville sounds the alarm:
As you may recall, during the election I warned that one of Donald Trump’s first orders of business, were he to be elected, would be to rescind Net Neutrality. Naturally, I was widely dismissed as a big ol’ cuckoo hysteric, by Trump supporters (because Trump loves the internet and is the champion of the little guy) and by lefties (because Net Neutrality is settled and even Trump wouldn’t be so brazen blah blah).
Yeah. He would. Because that’s what authoritarians do. They quash dissent and erode access to factual information in any way they can.
So here we are: “Net Neutrality Foe Ajit Pai Officially Named FCC Chairman.”
As expected, President Trump has elevated Ajit Pai from his FCC Commissioner to Chairman, clearly establishing that the new administration seeks to undo the telecommunications regulations of the previous White House.
…”We need to fire up the weed whacker and remove those rules that are holding back investment, innovation, and job creation,” he recently said about the future direction of the FCC.
The primary target of that weed-whacking is likely to be the 2015 Open Internet Order (better known to the kids as “Net Neutrality”), which prohibits internet service providers from favoring, blocking, or slowing down traffic based on where it’s coming from.
On the day in Feb. 2015 when the FCC voted to approve these rules, Pai spent a full 30 minutes railing against the regulation, repeatedly politicizing it by referring to Net Neutrality as “Obama’s plan to regulate the internet,” and claiming that new taxes and fees were coming, even though the rule does not allow for such charges.
Like many members of the Trump administration, Pai is a fan of “alternative facts.”
Get ready for the conservative talking points about how Net Neutrality crushes business and innovation, despite the fact the precise opposite is true.
Rescinding Net Neutrality favors Internet service providers (ISPs), who are currently disallowed from “forging packets to tamper with certain kinds of traffic or slowing down or even outright blocking protocols or applications.” If they are granted permission to discriminate against sites and services at will, it would not only create a scenario in which access to information is only for those who can afford it, but it would have a chilling effect on free speech.
As I have previously noted: “Net Neutrality is an access issue. Who has access to information, and what kinds of information. One of the most dangerous potential outcomes of subverting Net Neutrality is that media with the broadest potential audience—i.e. kyriarchy-upholding garbage, which makes money hand over fist—will be the most cheaply accessible, while specialized media—i.e. kyriarchy-challenging material, which struggles to turn a profit—will be the most expensive, since media producers invested in social justice don’t tend to get rich from their work.”
And as Shaker Ignatius Cheezburger noted in the comments of that piece: “The other concern being that if the ISP happens to endorse or support certain political or cultural views as a matter of corporate policy, that ISP can now selectively filter certain content for priority delivery that is in keeping with their views and other content that runs contrary to those views for lower priority delivery, or no delivery at all. For example, NARAL or Planned Parenthood suddenly finds its alerts and updates getting bounced from all of its members within the ClearChannel family. Not good. Not good at all.”
In an era where online organizing is so crucial to fighting back (see: THIS POST), the idea of Net Neutrality being rescinded is absolutely chilling.
We need to start fighting back NOW.
To that end, you can call the FCC at 1-888-225-5322 and register your support for Net Neutrality.
Go read the whole thing since something gets lost in translation in editing from an iPhone.
We squashed this ridiculous idea last time with an avalanche of public comment. Looks like we need a sequel.
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