Archive for the 'politics' Category

Net neutrality – glad I’m not in the US

What is it I might hear you say? A very important endangered species that governs internet suppliers and how they supply bandwidth, is the answer. Why is this a particular problem in the US? Well, internet providers over there are essentially running monopolies already, and if net neutrality is destroyed, then this will get a whole lot worse.

It basically boils down to something like this, normal users pay a normal fee and receive the standard download/upload speeds (up to), whereas companies relying on the internet for delivery of e-commerce (such as Apple), or basically anyone who can afford to pay a premium to their provider, will receive faster guaranteed speeds.

Where is the problem you say? Ok, imagine you’re a startup video streaming company going against the likes of YouTube et. al., but of course YouTube have paid a premium for their service that you as a startup just can’t afford. What happens to you? Well, obviously a company like YouTube that pays the premium for faster downloads kills your business plan. You cannot compete. People will go elsewhere, probably regardless of the experience you can provide them with when they get there. It is essentially something that could put companies on a hierarchy, and end-users will definitely be worse off. Since when did a kingdom spoil its people?

Firstly, do you trust any company that controls your communication pipes if you have little to no choice (remembering it is usually only one or two companies that own the “pipes”)? I mean, they say they won’t slow down the standard user’s speeds or hike their prices, but do you really believe that? Secondly; why should these greedy bastards be able to create another tier just to fill their greedy pockets? Internet speed should be the same speed for everyone for price category, and there should be no unaffordable “premiums”. You can imagine, your “up to” speed would be just that “up to” and no more if this started happening. Finally; managing to create a heir achy on the internet is just plain wrong. If anything, that is the beauty of the internet, everyone is equal, and everyone is free. This would be a virtual backwards step in in human rights, as money would define the freedom.

So things are way weird over in the US, and it looks like they are about to get weirder. I can only hope and pray that this type of malarkey doesn’t come our way (oh yes, I am a poet – albeit a bad one). Anyway, check this short video out from John Oliver, he explains it very well.

Australia the New China!

Here we go again.

The Australian government is having another crack at protecting us from ourselves again. The Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, Senator Stephen Conroy has announced a trial of internet filtering at an initial 6 ISPs.

Welcome to the new China. It amazes me how when China filters the internet, the world is up in arms about freedom of speech although when Australia does it, we are protecting people.

I wonder when we are going to change the Australian flag to a nice shade of red?

Here is a link to the ministers web site and the announcement: doom & gloom

Get together in a grassroots movement and fight back for a free uncensored Internet.

Read this report from Reporters Without Borders.

Online Free Expression Day launched here.