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OUR VIEW: Net neutrality enhances our freedom

LIFE+WITHOUT+NET+NEUTRALITY%0A%0A%0Aart+by+Anna+Teichroeb
LIFE WITHOUT NET NEUTRALITY


art by Anna Teichroeb

LIFE WITHOUT NET NEUTRALITY art by Anna Teichroeb

LIFE WITHOUT NET NEUTRALITY art by Anna Teichroeb

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On Dec. 14, the Federal Communications Commission ended net neutrality, deciding that American consumers did not need “the level playing field” that the FCC previously made law in February 2015.

This decision, which was motivated by bi-partisan politics and not concern for all citizens, is wrong. This decision by the FCC, backed by the Trump White House, makes it legal to block any lawful content, slow data transmission, or creating fast and slow lanes based on paid premiums.

This December ruling created an uproar throughout the country and even the world. Twenty-two state attorneys general have filed suit against the FCC; however, Texas is not one of them. Does Texas government want higher prices, monopolization by big companies, and less privacy on the Internet? Or is Texas government against anything good Barack Obama did simply because it was done by a Democratic president? This type of partisan politics is what hurts America.

Without net neutrality, the Internet can become similar to satellite TV. This means that you get what you pay for in packages. What is it required buying a social media package that allows you to even access Facebook and Twitter, but you must pay additional fees to access Instagram or Snapchat. This situation already exists in other countries like Portugal, for example. The packages can involve email, video, social media, messaging, anything–all based on how much you can pay.

If you can’t afford it, you could end up on the slow lane of the Internet where only those who can pay get the joys of faster Internet.

Obviously we shouldn’t want this as a society. Why start paying for something that we’ve never had to pay for before? Having unlimited information at our fingertips is an intregal part of our knowledge and development. Without net neutrality, the FCC makes it legal to discriminate based on income. If the poor cannot afford access to news feeds, etc. how then do they do vital things like register to vote or get information about political candidates?

The winners of the end to net neutrality would be big corporations and the rich lining their pockets at the expense of all Americans. If the FCC can regulate the Internet in this way, what will stop them if they decide to monitor what sites people visit and what content they have?

Texas Congressmen need to step up and fight against this irrational violation of each individual’s rights. The Internet, like our elections, should be free.

Schools, businesses (big or small) and individuals all benefit from freedom of information. When that’s taken away to benefit partisan politics, we as a society lose so much opportunity, growth, privacy and freedom. Net Neutrality laws makes the Internet unbiased and open; let’s keep it that way.

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OUR VIEW: Net neutrality enhances our freedom