The administration of Donald Trump is thirsty for reform but is not quite clear whom they benefit. Computer experts have warned the American President’s repeal of laws guaranteeing free access to the internet is an attack on fundamental human rights.
An example for this is another backdoor draft of the Republican Party. This time, the net neutrality law, passed in the last term of Barack Obama fell under fire.
The law ensures that Internet service providers are not allowed to stop users from accessing certain web content or to control the speed at certain sites for a fee. Network neutrality sounds very complicated but is actually very simple principle – namely, internet providers are obliged to deliver all websites equal access and equal speed network. If this principle is eliminated competition will be killed and monopolies will invade the pitch.
Despite the protests of the citizens and technology companies at their meetings the Federal Communications Commission voted to repeal the law, leaving control of Internet content in the hands of a few providers. Besides a monopoly on the market withdrawal may lead to a negative effect on the democratic process in the country.
According to most online theorists Network neutrality should be seen as a fundamental human right. But the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission Ajit Sing, who Donald Trump appointed at the beginning of his mandate, does not think like that. He is a former employee of Verizon, one of the largest providers in the country.
The culmination comes after the revocation procedure. The proposal went through public discussion. The Attorney General of New York launched an investigation, but he said that the commission “does not cooperate.”
Voting in favor of the Pei’s proposal could lead to an overall change in the Internet ecosystem in the United States. Suppliers will have the opportunity to introduce additional fees for access to certain content and slow connection to certain sites or even stop it.
The effect of this will be too great for companies the likes of Facebook or Amazon, but would seriously disadvantage in smaller platforms and content producers.
“Net neutrality is something that we are all used to” – said Simeon Enchev, Bulgarian student in Southhampton and currently studying Computer science with Artificial Intelligence: “Taking that away from the citizens of America is extremely dangerous move, in my opinion. Americans are proud of their democracy and this move of the FCC is a slap in the face for most people.”
Even after the majority voted against the removal of net neutrality, the FCC still proceeded with their decision. The vote of the senate played a bigger role in this decision, which affects the whole country. This proves that the American people have lost their power to take part in such political decisions.
According to Simeon the bigger problem here is not convenience while browsing, but the loss of online anonymity: “The government would be able track and monitor every online activity of the citizens of America and this is what I find especially worrying. The people of America would not be able to browse freely and carelessly. “
“Plenty of places in the world have already declared internet access and the internet itself as a basic human right.” – shared Spencer Grant, who is an American, currently studying in Bournemouth, UK. In his opinion: “If a country were to block the internet, there’s really no coming back from that.”
“Net neutrality is incredibly important! It is imperative that people maintain the ability to communicate with other people worldwide if we want to stay on the course of steady and exponential technological and cultural progress that we’ve been on for the last couple of decades.”
He also added that without net neutrality, entire generations of people will lose touch with not only other global cultures but the cultures of the internet.
“The internet has to remain neutral, and it is fortunate that most places have realized this in response to the USA’s egregious error in judgment in regards to this issue.”