By Zachariah Summers, staff writer
When will the higher-ups in government finally understand the importance of an open internet in today’s society? The Information Age and all that it stands for is being attacked again by several key members of the FCC.
Once more, certain politicians want to give ISPs the ability to not only sell our internet usage data to private industries, essentially putting a monetary value on our very lives, but to also enable them to throttle access to certain websites behind additional payment.
There is an inherent trust in security that we give to our internet service providers: a trust that signifies that what we search is limited to them, their servers, and the government. It’s a trust that makes being online so comforting– it gives us the knowledge that private industries and individuals can’t purchase the very details of our lives like an internet buffet. It is also a trust that we, as consumers, have taken for granted, and rightly so.
This is not the first time that our internet independence has been invaded by incompetent individuals; in fact, it has been an ongoing battle since as early as 2004. The most recent debacle occurred in late 2014, in which the events that went underway closely imitate the crisis that is happening now. The ruling was that the current usage and access to the internet was directly representative of the First Amendment and that threatening that free access would be considered unconstitutional.
So, what changed?
Well, we now have to deal with Ajit Pai. Ajit was appointed in January by our 45th president to be the new chairman of the FCC, and it’s clear to see that Ajit is wholly incapable of engaging in any sort of consumer- empathetic action. Soon after he was appointed, he rolled back several pro-consumer online policies that were set into place during the 44th’s administration, further pushing the monetary agenda that the 45th’s campaign promoted.
As young adults, most students at River Hill are unable to vote and typically cannot engage in politics on an international level. However, your voice still can be heard by your local representatives, and if you do have a comment on this issue, you should visit Battle for the Net’s website. Whether you are for this change or if you are against it, it creates a simple way to contact your representatives, and has more information about the topic, in order to educate yourself.