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The death of Net Neutrality: How corporate monopolies will sabotage independent information


Kit Walsh, a staff attorney at EFF, working on free speech, net neutrality, copyright, coders' rights, and other issues, spoke to Aaron Mate and The Real News about the latest developments on Trump administration's attempt to kill Net Neutrality.

Walsh gave an example of how the corporate cartel on the Internet field will attempt to sabotage independent websites that are not aligned with the mainstream media narratives, in case that the plan of the chair of the Federal Communications Commission, Ajit Pai, will pass through Congress.

Walsh also revealed that there is a continuous fierce fight between the public who overwhelmingly supports free Internet and the corporate monopolies who seek to impose a covert censorship through a new McCarthyism in order to silent the truly independent information inside the Web.

Walsh describes the kind of blackmail and sabotage against an independent news website like the Real News:

For instance, Comcast owns a share in Universal Media Company. AT&T has its own streaming media platform. Verizon briefly had a news platform where they said that people were not to discuss net neutrality or mass surveillance, because that was contrary to their corporate interests.

So, what companies can do if this proposed order goes through is they'll be able to threaten to block access to your website. So they'll say, "Hey Real News, it would be a shame if you could no longer reach Verizon customers. Why don't you pay us an extra fee?" And short of that, they can say, "We're going to speed up our own news content. It's gonna be a better experience for people. And your connection is going to be degraded."

That connection, that internet subscribers are already paying for, they're gonna put road bumps in the way so, when they go to watch the Real News, they're not able to get a high quality stream. They have to make do with less bandwidth or it's less reliable.

In the previous cycle, back in 2015. We broke records for comments to the FCC. And the overwhelming majority were in favor of protecting net neutrality with legally enforceable rules, which ultimately it did. This cycle, there were a lot of comments from both sides. There were some form letters, many of which are people legitimately agreeing with the content of those form letters, some maybe not. And under any measure, the FCC has acknowledged that the majority favored net neutrality and keeping the existing scheme. And an analysis that was done by the ISPs themselves, which you would expect to favor their side, actually found that of all the people who went to the FCC website, who bothered to type in their own unique comments, 98 percent favored net neutrality. So, it's very clear that public sentiment is on the side of keeping these rules. People are not interested in handing over control of what they're able to read and do online to their internet service providers.

Yesterday was the day that Ajit Pai announced his intentions clearly. And just that day alone, our coalition drove 175,000 calls to Congress. Congress is the place where the FCC vote can be stopped right now. So the today's announcement is just a proposed order. They're going to vote December 14th. FCC votes have been stopped in the past. And if we keep melting down the phone lines at Congress, that's our best shot.


Therefore, what we will see in case that the new plan will pass through Congress, is a further, official step by the establishment to silence independent information sources.

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