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Manoj Rao

Your Average Common Man

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If there ever was a time to rue the consummate failure of Google Fiber (and the likes) now is a good moment. It’d have given users more choice, increased the competition in the ISP business, thereby, kept everyone somewhat honest (“there never was much hope just a fool’s hope”).

Selling your data without your explicit permission is simply criminal. This is not the same as Google or FB making money from your Internet history. You have the option to not use any services from these companies, surely this comes at a certain cost, but the option does exist. However, with ISPs and their strange territorial setup in the US (and increasingly in other countries), it’ll be almost impossible for the common Internet user to stay away from being a sitting duck. This single bill here could well thwart all the technological progress that we are hoping for. In extreme cases, ISPs now have enough power to simply prevent you from using websites/products/services that don’t belong to their highest bidders. This is not ‘free-market’ dynamics that the fiscally conservative voters signed up for, it is misguided and wrong.

The downsides don’t end here, any new player entering the ISP business, as long as they don’t hate revenues, will be forced to code up similar nepotism into their network traffic plans.

Being an outsider, the one thing that has baffled me about the US political system is lobbying. In it’s most common form, wealthy corporations fund future policymakers’ election campaign who later return the favour by making policies that are friendly to these corporations even (especially?) when the common man stands to lose big. How does this not amount to criminal activity? How is this not bribery in the open?

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai is leading net neutrality rollback. He was, “coincidentally”, a former employee at Verizon. Verizon stands to gain immensely from this bill.

Shame on you Ajit Pai and shame on all your accomplices.

If you are not angry or frustrated enough on this topic, you are doing it wrong. You can start with this video: