The internet as it stands today is truly the wild wild west. With everything available on the darknet from cocaine to hitmen to prostitutes, and unregistered guns. There is no censorship. No FCC to censor and regulate like TV and radio are subject to. An abundance of anonymity allows for everyone’s voice to be heard equally. The internet has become an integral part of most of our lives, From transactions to communication to entertainment and social media It’s a medium one can‘t escape.
In an age where internet content is essentially a utility, the internet should not be regulated, censored, or controlled by any government because it would be detrimental to commerce, communication, and a threat to our freedom. Any regulation could put the internet we know of today at risk, You may recall a term called net neutrality.
Net neutrality is classifying the internet as a utility and putting restrictions and regulation on internet service providers (ISP‘s) It would force the lSP’s to let all traffic on the internet run at the same speed On the surface it sounds great.
All websites treated equally, Fairness and equality on the internet, but it is not as simple as it seems. With net neutrality, you are assuming everything is of equal importance and nothing should take priority over anything else. To put this into simple terms, that is like saying an giant 8gb movie is worth the same as an teeny tiny 8mb kindle ebook. In reality, if you let companies decide if they should implement net neutrality into their service, you receive more competition in a free market absent of restraint and regulation from the government.
There are also anti-trust laws previously passed ensuring a small part of net neutrality without impeding on the free market (McDowell). Another bill working its way through congress is COICA or the Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act. Essentially, this bill would effectively censor the internet. The government could impose fines on websites for posting taboo wordsr Just like radio and television, no more bad words, no more crude and lewd content (Kaelin). Arbitrarily banning words should not happen especially at the hands of an untrustworthy government, Countries that have passed laws like this include North Korea, Cuba, and Saudi Arabia (USA Today). They can just do away with content they don’t want the populous to see, Internet is tracked and directly reported to the government if any information gets out about revolts and important news.
There is a website called ‘Amnesty International’s It’s priority is to put important events and uprisings on their front page and to spread information in countries under authoritarian rule. This website is blocked in most of those same countries (Internet Censorship) Another reason against regulation is that it would be extremely hard to regulate fairly if not costlyi Currently lobbyists pay the government not to regulate the internet and keep it expanding With those lobbyists no longer paying off the government, we will feel the financial burden of a consistently increasing 16.1% internet tax (Kerpen) It would be hard to regulate fairly, Who’s decision is it to decide whether a word is profanity or not? it’s completely subjective. Sure, banning bad words would not be fun, but the scarier part is that they could take down anything they felt offensive with that power.
This leads to a skewed media and a controlled press as well as other 151 amendment offending tactics. This could happen. Politicians use the phrase ‘Net Neutrality’ to disguise this as a good thing; a positive bill for the people of the internet. Net neutrality wouldn‘t have all that power to censor, but it is one step closer to that regulation. A common reason for internet regulation is that it could help stop terrorist attacks, drug and human trafficking, child pornography and more, but let‘s weigh that against everything positive that the internet has to offer (Manohar). Bottom line is that the internet we know and love is open, Let’s keep it that way Let‘s let the free market decide which 15? we will all run to if Time Warner Cable wants to make a few extra bucks off the websites that want their content represented. The government should not have control of our free and open internet. Thank you.