Americas, USA, Human Rights, Politics, Science & Tech

Lobbying, FCC, and Net Neutrality: Freedom for Sale!

Congratulations America, you once again prioritized personal financial gain of major corporations over your citizens! When the FCC revoked Net Neutrality yesterday, it marked the dangerous departure from freedom of speech into a grim capitalistic dystopia that could very well shape the country in all the wrong ways.

Yeah, I know. America loves its capitalism. And that’s fine, I have nothing against it as long as it doesn’t interfere with basic human rights. The FCC’s vote against Net Neutrality, which passed with a 3 (Conservatives) to 2 (Democrats) majority, is not the root of this disease, it’s its nasty rash that soon enough could cover all of us.

It is, once again, a symbolic representation of what’s so uniquely wrong in this country that all but runs on its delusion of freedom. Freedom is all nice and shiny, especially when it’s practiced with a flag over the porch and a gun under your pillow. Keep that if you will, but with the loss of Net Neutrality, ISPs bought some of your freedom just to sell it back to you. If that’s not the essence of the American Dream, I don’t know what is. Feel free yet?

FCC: Lobbying is All Fun and Games

Internet corporations have been lobbying hard and spent huge amounts of money to get to this point, proving that in the USA, everything is for sale. How can anyone claim to be the free member of a democracy, when lobbying influences and sometimes even dominates political decision-making. It’s not just the FCC and Net Neutrality, it’s Pharmaceuticals, Guns, you name it. If there’s a buck to be made, you can be sure that your individual rights are drowned by a paycheque in someone else’s pocket.

How big of a paycheque? Try over 3 Billion US Dollars a year on average over the past ten years across all industries. The top player? Pharmaceuticals naturally. Do we even want to know what they’re paying this much for? Let’s just say the Opioid Crisis didn’t just appear out of the mishandling of a few poppy plants.

Bye Bye Net Neutrality: What’s the Course of Action?

But back to the FCC and Net Neutrality. What does it really mean? Well, put in an overly simplified nutshell, it means the internet is now in full control of your ISPs to do as they please. It basically overrules the government’s involvement securing the equal treatment of everything and everyone on the internet. With Net Neutrality revoked, ISPs could do a number of things. They could use information on what you do as they please, they could disadvantage individual users and websites by throttling their internet speeds, they can do everything. ISP’s are the exclusive gatekeepers of the internet now and when they say they don’t like something they can restrict its access legally.

They can theoretically disadvantage competitors and censor anyone. But will they? Well, if this decision continues to stand as is, they probably will. Of course, they are all denying it now. Why would they use their newly bought advantage to their advantage? That’s insane, or is it? You tell me.

While the vote has technically passed, not everything is lost. There will be lawsuits and the FCC’s decision can be overthrown in Congress, as some Democrats already advocated to do. This means one thing for Americans: Don’t sit on your freedom, stand up, call your Congressman or Congresswomen and stand up for a fair and free internet.

Corporations being in charge of anything cannot ever be in the interest of the general population and it’s about time Republicans and everyone else realizes that. You cannot buy freedom, you have to fight for it. But unless we do, we might as well clean our guns on our porch under the giant flag of freedom we love so much.

About Andreas Salmen

Born and raised in Germany, learned a job in IT and Business and ultimately decided that this wasn't exactly where my life was going to end. Left everything behind to become a writing backpacker instead. The world's crumbling away anyway so why not write about it and get a few good Instagram pics on the way, am I right?

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