A La Code: Net Neutrality


Welcome back, friends! Today’s tech topic is Net Neutrality. Net Neutrality is the idea that internet service providers or ISPs and governments who regulate the internet should treat all data and information equally. This has become a hot topic recently because some ISPs and governments have made moves to discriminate or differentiate by individual users, content, websites, platforms, types of equipment, etc., which ultimately means a difference in cost to you as the end user.

Net Neutrality is like lines at Disney World without fastpasses. You can choose to make every ride at an amusement park open to everyone equally or you can, as Disney did, introduce fastpass options for shorter wait times. Unfortunately, you can’t create those shorter wait times with expedited routes to fun without creating longer wait times for others. Some worry that longer lines will have increased waits built in to make the fast passes or shorter lines more attractive.

What happens if we lose Net Neutrality? Well, we’d lose our ability to communicate freely and openly, so basically the idea behind the internet itself. This becomes especially problematic for marginalized folks who have historically not had a voice in public forums. These communities have been able to use the internet to arm themselves with opportunities, organize, and fight back against systematic oppression. Our ISPs would have control over which websites, content or applications could be successful by blocking certain content that they don’t like or compete with their core offerings. Scary, right?

 So what can you do? You can sign online petitions like this one here and write to your local representatives. Pro-tip, use this handy bot, ResistBot, and it will contact your local representative on your behalf in less than two minutes.

What are you doing to fight for Net Neutrality? Share your tips and suggestions below!


Photo credit: Andrew Ho