How YOU Can Save Net Neutrality

The battle for Net Neutrality is coming to an end. The resolution lies with the United States Senate, who has until April 22, 2018 to overrule the FCC. There are currently 50 votes in favor of Net Neutrality, but #OneMoreVote is needed to win the senate. If this happens, the fight moves to the House of Representatives, where a majority vote will also be needed. How can citizens help fight for Net Neutrality? Well, we have found some of the best online resources that will point you in the right direction.

 

  1. https://www.battleforthenet.com

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If you would like to join the battle for Net neutrality, consider this website, which already has a premade message for you to send to Congress. The site also has a page dedicated to showing you where each senator and representative stands – for or against net neutrality, and provides a link for you to Tweet them your opinion. Also touting a map of protests and video gallery, this site will guide you through the process of making your voice heard by the right people.

 

  1. https://www.change.org/p/save-net-neutrality-netneutrality

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This petition website believes that people everywhere should have the tools to have their voices heard – like an open internet. By adding your name to the petition, you can let Congress and the FCC know where you stand, and be rest assured there is power in numbers.

 

  1. https://www.freepress.net/issues/free-open-internet/net-neutrality

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If you are looking for a monetary way to support Net Neutrality, this website is for you. The “Save the Internet” movement relies on donations to extend their lobbying, legal and organizing power. You can also fundraise on their behalf, or gift them a stock you own.

 

  1. http://www.occupythefcc.com

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Maybe you would rather protest the FCC at their doorstep? This website lets you know how you can support protests at the FCC headquarters, either by participating, signing their petition, calling the FCC chairman, spreading word about the campout on social media, or donating to provide materials. The campout will be all day and night until May 15, 2018.

 

Whichever method you choose, please spread these websites and fight for Net Neutrality on your social media using hashtags like #NeedNeutralNet, #BattlefortheNet, #SavetheInternet, #StoptheFCC and #FightfortheFuture. For more information about Net Neutrality, visit our Twitter page: https://twitter.com/NeedNeutralNet?lang=en

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Canada is at Risk of Losing Net Neutrality

Censorship in Canada
Following the loss of net neutrality in the United States, a handful of Canadian tech companies have begun to follow suit. A coalition of telecom giants lead by Bell are fighting for approval and implementation of a website blocking system. The coalition, ironically calling themselves FairPlay, has disguised this as a method of preventing piracy; however, this will ultimately create an Internet censorship committee if the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) allows this to happen. Should this happen, FairPlay will be the arbiters of what content can and can’t be viewed or shared online, as they will get to decide what they deem to be participating or aiding in the act of piracy. What’s even scarier? The lack of awareness, discussion and publicity on the matter amongst Canadians.

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Who is FairPlay?
As mentioned, FairPlay is the coalition of Canadian telecom giants who are asking the CRTC to implement a website block system and a censorship committee within the federal government. The coalition is lead by Bell, a company already involved in controversies surrounding their #BellLet’sTalk campaign, and consists of other giants such as Cineplex, Rogers, TVB, tiff, and Scotiabank, just to name a few.

What Exactly Are They Doing?
The coalition is currently claiming their efforts to be in the name of piracy and to help content creators, however their proposal not only threatens net neutrality but our freedom of expression online. Their proposal asks that the organization be responsible for deciding which websites are to be blocked without oversight of the courts. This poses a grave threat to our rights to freedom of expression, as expressed in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms because this means that FairPlay can block any website that they deem to be involved in content theft, essentially allowing them to censor websites however they see fit.

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The Significance?
The implications are that FairPlay’s proposal are dire, as they directly violate the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The Internet has lead to a remarkable increase in connectedness, engagement and sharing of information, and to deny anyone the right to this is simply morally and ethically wrong.
Although the organization has not explicitly stated intentions to do so, giving an organization of powerful fatcats the power to be arbiters of what information is to be accessible would be devastating, as the censoring can quickly and easily go beyond those who are participating in piracy. Such power is simply too dangerous in the wrong hands and given to an organization like this, opinions and voices can be silenced. Minority groups or any group with ideals that clash with FairPlay would be a risk, allowing FairPlay full control over what Canadians see online. The danger runs even deeper, as this control over information can lead to manipulation of Canadians opinions on certain topics, similar to how China utilizes its own censorship to do this.

This isn’t about whether or not FairPlay will actually do this, –this is about how no person(s) and/or entity should ever have the power to do this.

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How to Help!
If this isn’t the dystopian future you want to have in Canada, then here are a few way you can take action!
1. Send a comment to the CRTC voicing your opposition to FairPlay. This can be easily done through DontCensor.ca as they include an easy to use tool with a pre-written comment for you to submit.
2. Use your profile pictures on your social media platforms to show your opposition. Once again, DontCensor.ca provides many free pictures to use.
3. Voice your opposition on social media directly at FairPlay. Unfairplay.ca offers an easy tool with a pre-written tweet tagging FairPlay and those associated. Remember however to add the hashtags #needneutralnet, #netneutrality, and #DontCensor!

References

About Us. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.fairplaycanada.com/about-us/

Here’s how we stop Internet censorship in Canada. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://unfairplay.ca/

Say no to website blocking in Canada. (2018, March 06). Retrieved from https://act.openmedia.org/DontCensor#top-of-the-form

Why the CRTC should reject FairPlay’s dangerous website-blocking plan. (2018, February 12). Retrieved from https://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/rob-commentary/why-the-crtc-should-reject-fairplays-dangerous-website-blocking-plan/article37818403/

What You Need To Know About Net Neutrality

 

There are many articles floating around about Net Neutrality. It’s a hot topic – and for a good reason. But getting caught up is daunting. Where do you start? What is important? Why does Ajit Pai get roasted on Twitter on a daily basis? Here are your answers: this is your essential guide to Net Neutrality.

Defining Net Neutrality

So, people are telling you that the Internet should be open and networks should be neutral. They don’t mean that the Internet looks best with neutral tones, accent colors and an open-concept layout. What they do mean is that data on the Internet should not be treated differently based on the source of the content or the user viewing it. Essentially, Net Neutrality protects the freedom and equality of information on the Internet. The Internet has always been neutral in the USA; the government has regulated ISPs, limiting their power in terms of how they provide and charge for Internet services. But this may be changing.

If Net Neutrality is Defeated, What Changes?

If Net Neutrality is defeated, there will be an opportunity for Net Bias. This will change the powers allotted to ISPs, giving them flexibility in the quality of service that they can provide to different content providers and consumers. The Internet may become tiered, with higher loading speeds being provided to content providers and consumers that pay more. Internet bills may change, with consumers paying for bundles of websites where they prefer higher speeds, or metering may be introduced, where consumers pay for the Internet based on their usage. Content bingers beware. ISPs will have the power to throttle the bandwidth of websites that do not pay for premium speeds, or simply block content they do not want consumers to see. Website blocking may be fuelled by the political and economic motivations of ISPs – but they wouldn’t do that, right?

Who Will Be Affected By Net Neutrality Changes?

If you are reading this – the changes may affect you. You are an explorer and consumer of the Internet. If you live in the USA, you may see changes to your Internet, depending on your state. If you live elsewhere, ISPs are trying to convince their local governments to get in on the movement against Net Neutrality. In effected areas, any business with an online presence will be impacted – large companies will have to pay extra for data transmission speed prioritization, but the smaller companies and startups that cannot afford this will witness bandwidth throttling. The need for speed will translate to a bandwidth race where only big corporations can afford to win.

Why Is Net Neutrality Being Contended Now?

This history lesson will be faster than premium tiered bandwidth. In 2015, telecom companies filed a lawsuit against the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC), disputing their Net Neutrality rules as being overly heavy regulation. In 2016, the Court of Appeals sided with the FCC’s Net Neutrality rules. In early 2017, Ajit Pai became the FCC commissioner under the Trump administration – he quickly set up a proposal to remove certain regulations from ISPs, including Net Neutrality rules. In December of 2017, the FCC voted in favor of removing Net Neutrality, and in February 2018 the FCC revealed their plans to the Senate. The Senate now has a short timeline to find a majority opposition to the FCC’s plans.

When Will Changes Take Effect?

While the effective date of the FCC’s Federal Register filing is April 23, 2018, there are pending lawsuits against the FCC and a Senate ruling that may slow the FCC’s plans. Also, while the FCC may succeed in removing Net Neutrality rules, ISPs will not be forced to change their service and pricing policies, they simply have the option to. The Neutral Net  Twitter and #NeedNeutralNet campaign provide timely updates to those interested in the outcome of Net Neutrality rules.