Background on Internet Neutrality

America is about free speech for all, right? Especially when you can go online and seek or post anything you want. However, that freedom is in danger.

Internet neutrality refers to the freedom for users to use the Internet without restriction. The Federal Communications Commission, which regulates technology like television, radio, and the Internet, declared in 2005 that users have rights to the Internet, including:

  • Access to content of their choice
  • The ability to run the applications that they want
  • Connection to devices of their choice
  • The ability to choose an Internet provider of their choice

Proponents of net neutrality want to ensure that telecommunications companies cannot manipulate data or make it harder to access the websites of their competitors. Those fighting to repeal the FCC rules argue that promoting net neutrality inhibits businesses from growing.

While Americans still enjoy a mostly neutral Internet, other countries do not have neutrality. The Chinese government not only blocks certain website content, but also monitors the Internet access of individuals. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has stressed the importance of net neutrality, stating, "an open Internet will lead to stronger, more prosperous countries."

Sources:

American Civil Liberties Union

New America Foundation

Save The Internet