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A Free World In Danger Essay

1118 words - 5 pages

Scott Cleland from Net Competition said that net neutrality legislations “mean less privacy for all Americans, as Net neutrality would require more government monitoring and surveillance of Internet traffic” (qtd. from “Net Neutrality”). But what is he talking about anyway? Net neutrality, or the separation between internet service providers (ISP’s) and the content being retrieved through their networks, is an extremely hot topic nowadays. The ideals of net neutrality can be compared to the way you would use electricity in your home. You do not pay your power company a “toaster fee” just so you can plug in your toaster, or a “light bulb fee” just so you can turn on your lights (Gordon; ...view middle of the document...

Although the United States does not have federal internet regulations for the consumer, each state has its own set of internet privacy laws. For example, the New Jersey Online Privacy Protection Act states: The operator of any website or online service [is required] to provide notice on its website, in a clear and conspicuous manner… what personal information is collected by the operator, how the operator uses such information, and what information may be shared with other companies…. [and] the operator of a website or online service [is required] to establish and maintain reasonable procedures to protect the confidentiality, security, and integrity of personal information the operator collects and maintains (New Jersey). While the government does have the ability to monitor network connections, those connections will stay confidential and secure. There will be no loss of privacy, despite Cleland’s conclusion of the opposite. Another consideration that should be made is our right to free speech. Larry Pratt, director of Gun Owners of America, said that the Brady Campaign (an anti-gun violence group) and Gun Owners of America “should have the same fair use of the internet highway”, and that “if we want to buy 100 units of internet broadband capability, that should be the same price to us as somebody else… [we should] be able to get our message out regardless of what [ISP’s] may or may not like” (“Moyers”). Without net neutrality, if a certain ISP does not agree with the beliefs of Gun Owners of America, they could discriminate against the group by slowing down the Gun Owners of America website, or charging the organization a higher price for internet bandwidth. With the ISP working against Gun Owners of America, less people will be able to view the organization’s website. This forces customers to view the internet world through a misleading lens, preventing people across the country from seeing the whole picture, and therefore infringing our right to free speech. The consumer should be making the decisions, not the network monopolies. Furthermore, consider the service providers. Why do you think ISP’s want to put a damper on net neutrality if it is such a benefit to customers? They believe there is more money to be made that way. They argue that charging companies equal rates would cause job...

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