On July 12, 2017, we fight for the internet. Again.
I know. Didn’t we just do this? Well we did, and we have to do it again.
What Is Net Neutrality?
Net neutrality is the principle that Internet providers don’t get to control what we see and do online. Think of it like if your phone company got to decide what numbers you could call and when. Back in 2015, we managed to get fairly strong net neutrality laws from the FCC (the US Federal Communication Commission) which stopped Internet providers from blocking, throttling, and paid prioritization—”fast lanes” for sites that pay, and slow lanes for everyone else.
Isn’t that like TV?
Yes it is! On your TV, you can only watch the stations you pay for. Now imagine the Internet that way. The problem though is that we don’t just use the Internet to watch movies. We use it to work, to develop code like WordPress, and to communicate world wide with like minded people to do all of that.
What’s the battle for?
Comcast and Verizon want to end net neutrality so they can control what we see and do online. It’s that simple. They want it to look like TV so they can say that we can’t work with our fellow developers in Serbia or Iran. They want to monitor all our communication with those people as well (which in the case of WordPress isn’t really a hinderance but still…).
What can we do?
Change your websites so people see the damage being done. Inconvenience the hell out of them. Make everyone notice and get them aware. Even if they watch Fox News.
How do we fight back?
Add the Battle For The Net Widget to your website.
If you’re running WordPress, I made a Fight for the Future Alerts Plugin, which lets you decide which alerts you want to show. It currently only supports the upcoming Battle for the Net and the Blackout Congress, but I plan to add other on-going events as they occur.