I am sending this one around again.  As of this posting, it needs only 8,300 signatures by Feb 4.  And this is one of those petitions that actually can make an immediate and dramatic difference in the situation, so truly: DO SIGN IT.

Once again, to explain what’s going on here, net neutrality is the concept that the carriers and companies that own the networks, hardware, software and systems that run the internet are not allowed to play favorites with the flow of data across those networks.

For example, Verizon, the USA’s biggest internet service provider, has a deal with Redbox, a company that serves video over the internet.  Without net neutrality, Verizon would be completely within its rights to throttle Netflix traffic (Redbox’s competitor) for its customers, making the service perform poorly for anybody with a Verizon account in order to browbeat their customers into using Redbox.

If you think that this is a doomsday scenario, it is already happening and in fact has been happening for a few years now, in the absence of government law or policy that explicitly make it illegal.  You have only to google ‘bandwidth throttling’ for examples.  (For an even more nefarious version, check out the term ‘traffic shaping.’  That has the potential for Big Brother-worthy spookiness, and is used with great effectiveness in some countries to control access to information at a very granular, subtle level.)

But as of a recent ruling, that is precisely the scenario that is in play here in the US.

All that is needed to change it is for the FCC to step up and make a change in how it classifies internet service providers.  Currently ISPs are listed under a category that gives the FCC lower priority and less control over them than, say, carriers that control traditional phone, television and radio communications.  This is an obsolete categorization that everyone readily admits needs to be updated (considering the internet now hosts phone, television and radio communications), and this petition demands that the FCC do so.

If they do, then the ruling can be revisited, and policymakers have already indicated that they desire to do so if only the FCC will make the change so that they can do it without fucking around with loopholes and exceptions that’ll inevitably cause more trouble later.

So again: I request that you SIGN THIS and SHARE THIS.

Petition: Restore Net Neutrality By Directing the FCC to Classify Internet Providers as “Common Carriers”. | We the People: Your Voice in Our Government

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