The Internet Must Be Neutral

President Trump has made a major goal to end Net Neutrality.  Not making it up; Sean Spicer said as much.  I will attempt to write this as a pastor, not as someone who was a techie in a past life or a consumer, but as a pastor.  This is a response to something that I find abhorrent, and I have made it a promise to call out those things I find abhorrent no matter the letter behind the name.

The idea of Net Neutrality is simple: every bit of data is equal.  As long as bandwidth exists, no data has priority.  There is a conversation about entertainment and competition in that field, but that is not part of my pastoral view.

I care about information.  I believe that the internet has had the greatest effect on the availability of information of any technology in the history of humanity.  The printing press brought the written word to people; the internet brings all of the written words to everyone.

All information, today, is equal.  No one can pay to make certain information more available than other information, no one can pay to make it arrive faster, no one can pay to give it priority.  Within the constrains of the present technology, all information is neutral.

Removing Net Neutrality changes that.  It allows ISPs to provide “Fast Lanes” for those who are willing/able to pay.  Again, not going to talk about entertainment and business, only information.  If a certain news company can pay for the fast lane, and another news company cannot (or will not), then their news and their information is more available.

If this is allowed to happen, money will begin to determine “truth.”  Those who are rich will tell those who are not the information they deem important enough to spend money getting into the “Fast Lane.”  Those with power and resources will be able to effectively restrict information by making it more and more difficult to access unless they approve it by paying to make it more available.

Information must be neutral in terms of availability if the internet is to continue having the great effect on the civilization that is has now.  If information becomes prioritized by money, that effect will slowly die and the internet will not longer be the great thing it is now.

The internet must be neutral.

– Robby

P.S.: I know this does not scratch the surface of competition, monopolizing services, or the politics of regulation vs. deregulation, but, as a pastor, my only concern is that information and truth be completely available and the opportunity to judge all information be given to all people, not just the people who would determine which information gets priority.

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