Tech

Net Neutrality Ends, And The Internet As You Know It May Change

Net Neutrality Ends, And The Internet As You Know It May Change

The Federal Communications Commission voted to repeal the Obama-era rules requiring internet service providers to treat all content equally in December.

The repeal takes effect today, June 11th. But unlike with the issues of blocking or slowing access to internet services, they've been much less definitive on fast lanes. There were some exceptions (emergency services, mostly), but for the most part, the rules made it illegal for ISPs to slow down (throttle) internet traffic based on content, so long as the data was legal.

More than 20 states sued the government to stop the repeal, as did the public-interest group Free Press and the think tank Open Technology Institute and Firefox browser maker Mozilla.

The chairman hasn't talked about any of those incidents where the ISPs discriminated against content by blocking websites or apps that could be their competitors or how their decision to offer paid and fast lanes to big companies could kill the innovation that is being heralded as the victor of this repeal.

Under the new rules, the Federal Trade Commission will be the agency to handle complaints about broadband privacy and unfair or deceptive business practices by ISPs.

Net neutrality rules enacted under former President Barack Obama expired Monday, completing a move a year ago by the Federal Communications Commission to end the protections.

Watch NOVA's recent video on how today's repeal of net neutrality may hurt-or help-everything from climate science to cybersecurity to medical research. "Plain and simple, thanks to the FCC's rollback of Net Neutrality, Internet providers have the legal green light, the technical ability, and business incentive to discriminate and manipulate what we see, read, and learn online".

Washington and OR now have their own net neutrality laws, and a bill is pending in California's legislature.

More news: At a fashion show, Anthony Bourdain, Kate Spade remembered

No Paid Prioritization: broadband providers may not favor some lawful Internet traffic over other lawful traffic in exchange for consideration - in other words, no "fast lanes". Several states including NY and Washington, have passed regulations that impose net neutrality on a local level.

But wait. What exactly is net neutrality?

That is, except if you live in Washington state.

The net neutrality rules were approved by the FCC in 2015 amid an outpouring of online support.

Some Congressional Democrats are seeking a repeal of their own, the overturning of the 2017 order that ends the 2015 rules.

There are two main schools of thought as to how the end of net neutrality will affect everyday internet users. They can even prevent us from being able to access information on certain topics, news events, or issues the ISP doesn't want us to know about.

Some small-business owners are anxious, too, that industry giants could pay to get an edge and leave them on an unfair playing field.


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