About one month ago, numerous internet giants and companies, like Netflix and Tumblr, did a call to awareness known as Slow Internet Day to show people what they could look forward to in the future. On May 15th, democrats voted up an FCC regulation that would allow major companies to prioritize their content by paying for faster internet service. Now that doesn’t sound so bad, right? It just means that the actual content that people want to see will get good service whereas unpopular stuff like child porn will go slow right?
Nope. Think again. The internet is unique in that all companies and organizations have an even playing field as far as speeds and tampering with that will ultimately start to slowly enforce a regulation on it. Sure, some negative content will suffer, but at the same time upstart websites that are aspiring to overtake their larger cousins will have an extra obstacle to surmount: driving sales and ad revenue with the shitty internet connection that is left while their competitors can afford better internet. This will maintain a distinct pecking order and help keep a ‘status quo’ on the internet. I will allow money to dictate where the people go, rather than the current model which makes the money follow the people. FUCK THIS SHIT!
This is a problem that I have been voicing my opinion about and writing imporant people about. While the internet was still wondering who the fuck Zoe Quinn was, I was calling congress telling them that the proposed slow lanes were a bad fucking idea. This is an idea that GamerGaters should really consider carefully, because if it is allowed to go through, it will murder the movement overnight. Literally, overnight. The worst part is, that it was voted on in May. I received this e-mail from Pennsylvania state representative Mike Fitzpatrick about the issue:
October 6, 2014
The Crotchety Old Gamer
Where he lives
Greater Philadelphia, PA
Thank you for contacting me regarding your thoughts on the Federal Communication Commission’s (FCC) proposed “Net Neutrality” rule. Your input is a valuable part of the legislative process and I appreciate the opportunity to address your concerns.
A free and open internet is the best way to enhance commerce and encourage the free flow of ideas. In fact, as we’ve seen in counties across the world, it can even facilitate revolutions.
On May 15, the FCC voted 3-2 to move forward with a new set of regulations with the stated goal of guaranteeing a more open internet. The FCC explains that these proposed rules are designed to prevent Internet providers from taking advantage of an unregulated system by knowingly slowing data. At the same time, they would allow content providers to pay for a guaranteed “fast lane” of service.
Opponents of this plan are concerned that such a policy would discriminate against the content of those who cannot afford the “fast lane” service. Several lawmakers have expressed that these changes could create tremendous legal and marketplace uncertainty.
FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler intends to finalize the open internet rule making process before the end of this year. As Chairman Tom Wheeler stated immediately following the vote, “What we’re dealing with today is a proposal, not a final rule. We are asking for specific comment on different approached to accomplish the same goal, an open Internet.” This month’s vote began a process that will start with a 120 day comment period.
The FCC openly encourages the public to share their views, as your remarks will help the Commission decide upon the final rules. You can submit your comments for the rule making to the FCC’s designated email on the matter: firstname.lastname@example.org. Please visitwww.fcc.gov to read more about the proposed plan.
I will continue to monitor this situation; keeping your comments and concerns in mind as it develops. If you have any questions or concerns pertaining to this or any other legislative matter, please do not hesitate to contact my office at (202) 225-4276. For additional information, please visit my website www.fitzpatrick.house.gov. From this site you can sign up for my e-newsletter, access statements about current events or pending legislation and receive detailed information about the many services that I am privileged to provide for the 8th District of Pennsylvania. You can also connect with me on Facebook atwww.facebook.com/RepFitzpatrick, or follow me on Twitter atwww.twitter.com/RepFitzpatrick.
Member of Congress
Mike, you might as well have signed this letter “an out of touch old legislator who really has no idea what is going on.” Think about it this way. You are in your room, reading an article on your favorite low-level gaming news site and generally enjoying yourself. Your 17-year-old little brother decides to hop onto his Xbox One and play some of the latest Call of Doody while playing his favorite teenage rage songs over Grooveshark. Your mom is streaming the latest video posted on YouTube by Ellen Degeneres and your dad is watching the latest Rocco Siffredi porno in his office. You go to click on a new article and you now have to wait for 20 minutes while it loads like you are in the goddamn 90’s on a 56.6k modem.
Now, yes, the family dividing up the bandwidth on their connection might be a slim example compared to the internet as a whole, but follow. If major companies are able to buy up all the “fast lanes,” which are now voted into regulation, this means that smaller sites will really be usable since they will have a lower slice of the bandwidth and thus will be slower. Now, I would say just log on at night, but putting in a permanent regulation that makes others move faster is outright PRIORITIZING THE GODDAMN INTERNET! This is a load of horseshit because it means that larger companies will be able to dictate which sites you will go to just by paying for the better connections. It almost sounds fair, but look at it like this. In a system like this, you will be told where to go for content and forced to migrate toward major outlets simply because the connection is better. They are using a technique of social engineer whereby they dictate the flow indirectly.
Example: there are three public water fountains in town from which the townsfolk get much-needed water for daily tasks. We’re talking like a Roman fountain where you hold a bucket to collect water and not the standard “bubbler” as they call it in Wisconsin. Now, the town regulates flow to these different fountains throughout the day, typically to provide water to each during necessary times of day. One day they decide they will start sending most of the water to the fountain in the middle of town while the other two are left at a trickle. They say, you can still go to those ones, but you will be waiting for an hour to fill one bucket, and that is without the lines that will likely form. It makes sense, then, to go to the fountain in the middle of town to get water. You later realize that this was part of a plan to eliminate the other two fountains in favor of one where they could watch everyone easier and limit the diversity of outlets of water, fully controlling the waterflow. Now they can accurately tax the water.
Sure, that last bit about water taxation is my own little add-in, but if they are able to limit the internet, eliminate competitors for data-flow and get more people going to specific locations, it would open the internet to information regulation and social engineering. They would be able to dictate where you go simply because of the excuse of “well what, they couldn’t afford the better connection!” Quite simply, the internet needs to remain open to all so that the diversity of flow can continue, otherwise smaller ideas, which could explode into larger, more potent movements, would be allowed to founder and die. Don’t let them use money to regulate the flow of information and, thereby, the internet. Speak out against the slowlanes. Call your congressmen! Mail your senators! Shit, these fuckers CANNOT be allowed to tamper with our connections. They have been trying to do it with every acronym under the sun, don’t let some concept of data-darwinism be what renders the internet inviable as the pure source of free-flowing information that has toppled dictators, countered social strictures and enhanced the world. Sure, there are horrible things on the internet, too, but are the few examples of horrible people and inhumanity an acceptable reason to allow internet regulation? I hope you just said no.
I will be hashtagging this with #GamerGate and #NotYourShield because this is something that we should all be considering. Afterall, our movement depends entirely on the even playing field that the internet provides. Get rid of that and what are we? Fight #datadarwinism.
Need a better explanation or more information? Here is list of articles about the slow-lanes.
Time – FCC Votes to Move Forward on Internet ‘Fast Lane’
The Daily Tech – FCC’s New Fast Lanes, Slow Lanes Net “Neutrality” Plan Angers Everyone
Forbes – The Real ‘Slow Lane’ Threat to the Internet
Huffington Post – Fast Lane, Slow Lane — “No Lane” — End Game in Telecommunications
And add you voice to the support:
Open Media International – Say No To Internet Slow Lanes