Why we must prepare to defend our freedom in the inevitable fight to come.
Freedom is precious thing. Too often people of wealth and power try to take it away from us to advance their agenda. One of our favourite free places in the world is the internet. We use to escape the real world. Our normal lives are pathetic and boring compared to the facade we put up online. Do people know that i’m actually a big introvert and despise most people I meet? Or that I’m writing this post in my boxers? Probably not (hi NSA). But recently the notion of freedom of the internet has been shaken in one country, and its implications could ruin internet for the rest of the world.
US recently dropped their net neutrality laws. Meaning that ISP’s can charge certain websites more money to make their site run faster than their competitors.
For those of you who have been living under a rock, let me sum it up as fact as I can:
- Imagine that you’re the developer of a new social media app, a potential competitor to Facebook. But you’re rookie, and that money you borrowed from your mom cannot compare to Mark Zuckerberg’s wallet.
- If there is no net neutrality, Facebook can ask your ISP’s(Vodafone, etc) to slow down your site for users and/or speed up his. This ensures that no one will want to use your site anymore. A Free Internet ensures that you’re an equal competitor to Facebook and they don’t have any advantages over you.
But this only the tip, at its worst it will look like your tv bill, where you have to subscribe to specific websites and cannot access any other.
Imagine the horror.
The funniest part is that 83% of Americans wanted Open Internet Laws protected. But Trump just said:
How does one man manage to be in the wrong about EVERYTHING, I will never understand.
But why should we Indians care about what happens to America? The answer is painfully simple. Its because they’re America.
Only recently we won a battle for Net Neutrality in the form of FreeBasics. A zero-rating system created by Facebook and used in 63 countries, including Pakistan. We protested unyieldingly and shut it down before it could take hold. But now that a powerful nation like the US has struck it down, other developing nations will consider as precedence. Combined with intense lobbying from internet companies, we’re looking down a deep barrel here. When it comes to the internet, US is the nation we look up to, being home to tech moguls like Microsoft and Google. Could this inspire the greedy Cos to take another shot at it here? Having the second most number of internet users in the world, we sit in the global scenario like a plump duck in hunting season.
Why should you be concerned?
This will affect everyone. Personally, as a writer it means my blog audience will decrease substantially. Why would anyone PAY to read it? I know I wouldn’t.
It will also affect YOU in major ways. Think about it, no net neutrality means you could be charged for sites you view but don’t tell anyone. You may have to pay to “subscribe” to Pirate Bay and similar sites; and paying for a pirate site completely defeats the purpose.
If that still doesn’t convince you, then I have one final card to play.
To all my perverted friends and readers out there-
You will have to Pay. For. Porn.
So if not for my blog, please support net neutrality for your porn. For our PirateBay. For our idea of a Free Internet. Because one day they will come for, and when that day comes, we must stand firm in our resolve to protect our free and open internet.