It might sound weird to hear from a Chinese guy shouting out for American issues at first, but if you understand the current circumstances of Chinese Internet condition, or if you have ever lived here, you’ll realize right away what I am trying to say. IT WILL BE A STEP BACK, I PROMISE YOU.
I seriously believe this is a hot tech topic in the U.S. now, but as you could even imagine, there’s nearly no coverage for this piece of news here, partially thanks to the already-gone net neutrality here. ISPs should never be granted the rights to differentiate their customers, and I’ll use examples here to tell you what is going to happen.
To start with, what you are worried about is going to happen: charging more fees for heavier users, bundling up some websites to segment the market and so on. In China there’re as many types of packages as you could imagine for company network, especially if it is a foreign company that needs more open Internet, it would be charged with more fees with customized service. And this is totally unnecessary if net neutrality is still in the play. Internet is innovated as a motivation to connect across the globe, although ISPs could arrange the resource more effectively by shutting down net neutrality, it violated the basic ethics for Americans: every one is born equal.
Secondly, if the government has the power to abolish any policies without consulting the majority of the tech society, what could happen in the future? In the future, ISPs might not only be able to bundle the service they like to bundle, but also be able to censor your data as they like. Moreover, the government might also step in and say: hey now we are in charge, so your data will be sent to U.S. government before it leaves the U.S. territory. As so basically it has the potential of granting the government too much authority on this topic, which might make a lot of us feel violated.
It reminds me of the death of Aaron Swartz, who challenged the copyright world with his programming skills and sincere motivations. It also reminds me of people in Wikileaks, Pirate Bay, Anonymous… The values and the goals they are promoting to the world is shockingly similar: Internet/Knowledge should not be only for the rich, for celebrities, or for people who have authorities.
One final question to all of you: how could Donald Trump ever become the POTUS if the poll only serves for those who are “louder”? Please don’t lose this core value behind even if you are planning to turn you back on net neutrality.