Net Neutrality Negates Censorship

Posted on April 8, 2015 by


On 26 February 2015, the Federal Communications Commission approved its net neutrality rules, which reclassifies broadband Internet as a Title II public utility. This essentially keeps the Internet “free” by preventing internet service providers (ISPs) from discriminating against certain data based on the user, platform, and content, among other factors.

“[Net neutrality] sounds pretty good,” senior Phil Nasados said.

Net neutrality is the idea that all Internet traffic should be treated equally. The recent decision made by the FCC is a major victory for proponents of an “open” Internet. Without Title II, ISPs such as Comcast and Verizon can block or interfere with online content at their whim.

The term “network neutrality” originated in 2003. Tim Wu, a law professor at Columbia University, coined the term in a paper he wrote about broadband discrimination.

Although it is a complex issue, net neutrality is still championed by many as one of the most important free-speech issues today.

In a handwritten note addressed to the online community of Reddit, President Barack Obama thanked users of the website for helping raise the issue to the FCC.

“Thanks Redditors! Wish I could upvote every one of you for helping keep the Internet free and open,” Obama said.

However, the debate over net neutrality is far from over. Companies like Comcast and Verizon will likely put up a fight, as this decision means a loss of business for them. Also, several Republicans have spoken out against the FCC’s decision.

“Net neutrality is very important because it allows the Internet to be free to everyone and discourages discrimination,” senior Adam Bentz said.

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