Ted Cruz Attacks Net Neutrality - Opponents Respond with July 12 Action
In some countries, such as China, the government will monitor citizens’ internet usage, filtering and vetting what users can access. Americans largely disparage this kind of activity as suppression of free access to information.
Ted Cruz and John Cornyn, who have already succeeded in eliminating federal privacy regulations that prevented ISP’s from selling your web browsing history without your permission, are siding with ISP’s again - this time to eliminate net neutrality. Currently, through FCC regulation, ISP’s are legally prohibited from manipulating in any manner user internet access based on their (the ISP’S) own preferences - in other words, they must remain neutral in content access.
So, if your internet provider, let’s say Comcast for this example, favors Yahoo! because they received a financial contribution from them, they cannot then speed up the connection to Yahoo! nor slow down, censor, or block the connection to gmail or other Yahoo! Competitors. This is a very simple concept: Your internet provider does not get to dictate what internet content you can access.
In addition to the intrusion of internet rights on an individual user level, “paid prioritization” by ISP’s may threaten smaller content providers that would not be able to compete with the financial contributions of massive companies or conglomerates in order to maintain accessibility to their content.
The two Texas Senators seek to eliminate the FCC’s ability to enforce net neutrality by co-sponsoring the ironically named “Restoring Internet Freedom Act” (more like Removing Internet Freedom Act, am I right?). Texas is the only state with both Senators sponsoring this dangerous legislation.
It’s difficult to understand why one, let alone both Senators would support this until you follow detective reasoning 101 and trace the money. These ISP’s are major campaign contributors and spend major lobbying dollars in Washington. Almost every lawmaker sponsoring the legislation have received financial support from ISP’s and some have investments in these companies - looks like they are engaging in “paid prioritization” themselves, unfortunately prioritizing profits over people.
Tech companies like Amazon, Reddit, Etsy, and Kickstarter among others are leading an “internet-wide day of action to save net neutrality” on July 12. While widespread rejection throughout Cruz’s crusade against net neutrality has not deterred him in the slightest, hopefully his efforts will once again be thwarted by the combined efforts of tech companies, advocacy organizations, and internet users.