WTF: Discrimination By Our ISP? OK, We Can Freak Out Now

Ball n ChainAh, the old ball ‘n chain…Wait, on the computer? What could it possibly mean?

Well, I’ll tell you. A recent verdict by the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia basically obliterated a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) order from 2010 that said Internet service providers (ISPs) like Verizon, AT&T, Comcast and Time Warner Cable had to abide by the principles of network neutrality.

Under the protection of these principles, the management process of the ISPs had to be clear, and as the Huffington Post writes, they were not to “engage in practices that block, stifle or discriminate against (lawful) websites or traffic types on the Internet.” In other words, no favoritism could be shown by these providers.

But now the game has changed and “net neutrality” may be a thing of the past.

So why should we care ?  Here’s a few reasons the Huffington Post thought up:

1. No more net neutrality means ISPs can now discriminate against content they dislike.

Everyone gets their Internet from an Internet service provider — an ISP like AT&T, Verizon, Comcast or Time Warner Cable. Under net neutrality rules, these ISPs have to treat all content you access over the Internet “roughly the same way” — they can’t speed up traffic from websites they like or delay competitor’s traffic.

Now, with net neutrality gone, ISPs can discriminate, favoring their business partners while delaying or blocking websites they don’t like. Think your cable CEO hates free online porn? Now you’ll know for sure!

2. No more net neutrality means ISPs can now force websites to PAY for faster content delivery.

You know how some sites you go to just load slower than others? Usually, that’s just because the slower site is image heavy, poorly coded, or dealing with intense server load. But with net neutrality gone, ISPs can now start charging hefty fees to websites that want quick content delivery — shifting the long load times to poorer sites that can’t pay up.

Oh and we’re just getting started. Read more at the Huffington Post.

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