Send me an email if you are interested in writing a guest blog entry. I don't need to agree with your opinion to post your thoughts. In this case, I do agree with Nathan that Net Neutrality is a critical issue that is being mostly ignored. Guess which party supports Net Neutrality and which party has likened it to a totalitarian government takeover? Nathan would appreciate feedback on his post. You don't need to register to comment but keep it classy.
Here's Nathan's guest blog entry:
Net Neutrality may be one of the most important issues of our century. Decisions made on this issue now will have far reaching repercussions for everyone that uses the internet, from people checking news, writing blogs, or even watching a funny video of cats playing patty cake .
In a nutshell, net neutrality is the idea that all internet traffic should be treated the same by Internet Service Providers (ISPs). This seems obvious, and why shouldn't it? We have been taking this for granted because this is the way the internet has worked for many years now. The consequences of eliminating net neutrality are far reaching and potentially endless.
When you type in "google.com" or "yahoo.com" your internet provider can't block one or the other. This sounds preposterous - why would they even want to block a webpage? That is a good question, and currently, there is no incentive do so. But let's say that we don't have Net Neutrality, and the internet service providers (ISPs) are able to what they will with the traffic that comes through their service. AT&T can make a deal with Yahoo that Yahoo should be the only search provider available to their subscribers, for a nice hefty sum of money - and just like that, AT&T users are forced to use Yahoo.com for all their internet search needs.
If the above scenario weren't scary enough, this is an ACTUAL PLAN presented to mobile carriers - monitor everything that you do online and charge you extra for using certain services. Spend a lot of time on FaceBook? You could be charged an additional $0.02/MB. Do you use Skype? How does an additional $3.00 service charge sound? What about Netflix? YouTube? The possibilities are endless. You can read more about this particular piece of tomfoolery on Wired.com complete with a link to download the powerpoint presentation that was given to mobile carriers on how to make us pay more for the services we use. You can use your imagination to envision the endless ways corporations and ISPs could get together in order to restrict access and charge us more for our internet usage.
This is not just an issue of whether or not you have the means to pay more for internet service, or which search engine you prefer. Effective democracy is based on having a public that has access to information about what is going on. CNN, Fox news and the rest certainly aren't doing a great job of getting us the facts we need to make clear decisions for our country - good information from a multitude of sources is available on the internet, for free. We should strive to keep it that way.
Additional reading - Steve Wozniak has a piece up on theatlantic.com