Imagine an internet that is split in to two tiers, those that have and those that have not. Similar to a highway or road in which traffic on one side is allowed to pass faster, more smoothly and ultimately reach it’s destination without interference, stopping at lights or getting stuck in a traffic jam. The other side a slow lane which is more congested, slower, busier and an all round more uncomfortable journey.
Internet Slowdown Day
Battle For The Net have launched a new campaign aimed at preserving Net Neutrality. Internet Slowdown which is set to take place on September 10th 2014 will see websites and services that support the initiative displaying a banner or emblem which depicts the typical “spinning logo” that is seen when content is buffering or taking time to load. While there will be no specific slow down of your internet access or the sites that support the scheme the symbolisation of the logo gives an indication of what could be possible should Net Neutrality be further eroded with new laws should those who oppose it be successful.
The FCC itself has received over a million comments prior to the Internet Slowdown campaign and it is believed that very few are against Net Neutrality. Where big business, corporations and the government is concerned no matter how big the voice of the people is it is nearly always the case that money talks and when huge sums are involved, greasing palms and pushing for changes that benefit those with money always seem to come out on top.
The Internet Slowdown campaign has already received support from leading internet services and websites such as Reddit, Kickstarter, Vimeo, Mozilla amongst many others with large adult sites Redtube, YouPorn and PornHub also getting involved. The date of September 10th has been chosen as a precursor to a decision by the FCC on the long term implications of Net Neutrality which is scheduled to come to a close 5 days after the Battle For The Net initiative.
Backed by LiquidVPN
LiquidVPN are always on the pulse when it comes to all internet and security related matters. Net Neutrality falls within the fundamental ideals that the service aims to uphold and work towards. With this in mind LiquidVPN have given their full backing to the Battle For The Net initiative and will be displaying the appropriate banners on September 10th to show their support. Furthermore they are spreading the word to the further internet and their user base by promoting the campaign via social media and other outlets. With your favourite VPN provider showing support now is the time as a user to get behind them and get involved too!
How can I get involved?
— LiquidVPN (@LiquidVPN) September 6, 2014
While small and large websites will be making a visual stand against the erosion of Net Neutrality individuals can also get involved by signing a petition on the Battle For The Net website known as the “Citizen Letter” which registers your distaste towards the two tiered internet system which the major cable companies are lobbying to introduce.
Net Neutrality is of massive importance in the United States where most users only have access to one local internet provider. Unlike Europe and other parts of the world where users have a wide range of internet service providers to choose from regardless of where they live, this gives the ability to vote with their feet which is far less prevalent in the US and why the issue of Net Neutrality is of much more importance to each and every individual user.
What is Net Neutrality?
Net Neutrality is the ideal that all data and traffic on the internet should be treated exactly the same regardless of it’s purpose or who is accessing such data. This is essentially the ethos of the internet and was the basic intention of the infrastructure. Fast forward a decade or more and the internet has become ever more commercialised. While this in itself is not a bad thing as it has brought many technological advances the upshot is that money talks and when big business is involved the option to squeeze more money out of every facet of anything usually follows suit.
For the past few years Net Neutrality has been under threat in the United States with internet service providers attempting to extract further profit from every avenue of the internet. If allowable in entirety it would see certain types of traffic prioritised over others, this could include certain types of data or even certain websites having the ability to push through traffic faster and more efficiently than others.
The way in which this would be enabled would be via a basic payment model. This goes against over two decades of how the internet has been administered and would lead to those who can pay being able to offer better services than those who can’t. Not only would this stifle innovation but would also price out small developers and websites who could never compete with organisations who have deep pockets and endless funds available to take priority. In a nutshell the internet would be forever changed from a public resource into a full commercialised product.
In May 2014 Net Neutrality took a knock when the Federal Communications Commission voted in favour of allowing ISPs and other providers of telecommunications the ability to charge providers of content to push their services faster and in a priority manner over traffic that hasn’t paid for the privilege. Non more so than services such as Netflix felt the brunt of this.
Users can register their voice for Net Neutrality at the Battle For The Net website or by signing the petition at one of the websites taking part in the campaign. Details are also available for websites interested in supporting the scheme.