Mar 11, 2014
‘The Internet Is Fucked’
Posted on Feb 25, 2014
Even if someone printed this out and mailed it to you, you get your information from the Internet, a magical place that is increasingly controlled and manipulated by greedy, lazy corporations. Free speech, as we know it, is gone.
The Federal Communications Commission has refused to classify the dumb pipes that bring the Internet to your front door as dumb pipes, what’s known as “common carrier.” Instead, the regulator treats broadband Internet providers as information services, like AOL or MSNBC.com, because they give you email and ugly home pages to look at. But really because powerful, anti-competitive companies like Comcast have spent tremendous amounts of money to keep it that way. A judge said the FCC can’t impose net neutrality rules on broadband until it correctly identifies ISPs as common carriers, and so right now it’s absolute mayhem.
Nilay Patel of The Verge is a lawyer and tech writer who has written a must-read document for anyone who cares about free speech on the Internet.
Here’s an excerpt:
There is so much more, and even some hope, but you’ll have to go to The Verge to read the whole story.
One point worth underlining: As Todd O’Boyle of Common Cause recently told us on Truthdig Radio, this is fundamentally a free speech issue. A handful of companies with nothing but dollar signs in their eyes have unprecedented control over all American communication. Think about these questions: Where do you get your news? Does that site pay to gain access to you? Comcast owns NBC and NBC News and it’s trying to buy Time Warner so it can be the only truly broadband Internet provider in 19 of the 20 biggest metro areas. In the absence of any regulation, does Comcast have any incentive to let you visit CBS News? Or Truthdig?
Facebook just spent $19 billion on a private text messaging service, because owning communication is incredibly valuable.
The United States is entering a strange new world, where Comcast is our politburo and Verizon is big brother. And the NSA? Well that’s a whole other horrifying blog post. You may have to read about it through the postal service, because the Internet is fucked.
—Posted by Peter Z. Scheer
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