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If you believe in an uncensored internet, you should support net neutrality

12 July 2017

"To be clear though, Title II and net neutrality are not even remotely the same thing. Defend net neutrality. Take action", with a link to the website of Internet Association, a trade group of more than 40 Silicon Valley companies. But advocacy groups and internet companies set to lose under the net neutrality rollback were not pleased though.

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Brooklyn tech companies Etsy and Kickstarter joined dozens of other high profile websites today in protesting potential changes to "net neutrality" regulations. In the second round of commenting the public is expected to reply to comments filed during the first round.

"Consumers hate buffering and slow-loading and will abandon videos and services if they're not getting a good viewing experience", Michael Chea, general counsel for Vimeo, a video-sharing site favored by independent artists, told NBC News.

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We're in the midst of the public comment period, so companies participating in today's Battle for Net Neutrality are hoping to drum up support for keeping the rules in place.

What do Google, Twitter, Reddit, Twitch, Spotify, Netflix have in common? Visitors to these web pages can choose to either immediately close the pop up by clicking on the x in the upper right or fill in the four boxes to send a message to the FCC in support of its current Open Internet Rules and the efforts to dissuade FCC Chairman Ajit Varadaraj Pai from his plan to roll back these rules. This means providers can not prefer one website or service over the other by granting unequal loading speeds or by blocking or slowing content.

The critical issue is whether the internet be an all-you-can-eat buffet of information, videos, and LOLCAT memes; or an à la carte menu.

ISPs have come out in favor of the FCC, agreeing with Pai that the open Internet rules were "all about politics".

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On one hand, having companies like Comcast and Verizon-the very companies that sued the FCC over its previous attempts to preserve net neutrality-say they support bans on blocking, throttling, or tolling websites is a sign of progress.

Even with the repeal seemingly inevitable, the hawkish stance the online community is taking will likely motivate ISPs to uphold the voluntary decision to remain neutral and that might be considered a win for those in favor of net neutrality.

Those rallying around net neutrality, however, argue that allowing ISPs to potentially block content or throttle download speeds to certain sites goes against the basic principles of the internet. "We reiterate that our rules do not alter the copyright laws and are not meant to prohibit or discourage voluntary practices undertaken to address or mitigate the occurrence of copyright infringement", the FCC explains.

The FCC reasons that copyright infringement hurts the USA economy, so Internet providers are free to take appropriate measures against this type of traffic. Back in 2012, websites successfully protested the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) with censor bars over their logos or by blacking out their sites entirely.

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If you believe in an uncensored internet, you should support net neutrality