Network Neutrality and the State of the Union

Posted in Tech news  by Carol
May 18th, 2016

With the new election cycle heating up and becoming ready to come to a close it is more important than ever that we have politicians aligned with policies and ideas that will ensure the free flow and strength of both the internet and the cyber security we should expect living in the United States. The problem is what we expect as rights of any citizen is not always the case and in fact has been pretty bleak since the internet first appeared. With such a major issue getting little attention in the Current election cycle it is important that you are aware of the stance the remaining 3 presidential candidates have in this regard, and how to best plan for the coming election cycle.

The FCC proposed some rules last year regarding what would classify broadband as a public neutrality and thus give the government more power to ensure a neutral web. However, the proposed rules have not been totally implemented and are still facing hard opposition from large ISPs.

 

Hillary Clinton:

First among the remaining presidential candidates is Hillary Clinton. Hillary supported the new rules and has gone on record as saying that she wants to ensure that the FCC has the legal power to punish large companies that violate them. She also wrote in a recent Quartz op-ed “Closing these loopholes and protecting other standards of free and fair competition like enforcing strong net neutrality rules and preempting state laws that unfairly protect incumbent business will keep more money in consumers wallets enable startups to challenge the status quo and allow small business to thrive.” What is one thing that is scary about Hillary may also be a useful thing in this regard. What I mean by that is that she is constantly changing her stance for what is more politically favorable at the time, so in this regard if the majority of people made it seem untenable for certain aspects of this to go through and that we wanted a more open internet she may at the very least support it in interviews. Whether or not that translates to real life remains to be seen.

Bernie Sanders:

Bernie has been one the harshest critics of what he refers to as the anti-competitive practices of Comcast and Verizon, and has called for strong criticism of Internet “fast lanes.” The senator has also called for the Title II classification of broadband well before the FCC announced its new rules. In fact, Sanders introduced such a bill way back in 2006, 2007 and then 2015. That would prevent said “fast lanes.”

Donald J Trump:

What will probably not come as a surprise is that Donald Trump hasn’t made any public statements suggesting that he correctly understand the concept of net neutrality. Which is fairly funny considering he has made a lot of statements with
those words in them. Republicans tend to be against increased regulation of any kind, but Trump’s stated reasons for opposing the new net rules is that he fears they would lead to the censorship of conservative media which is frankly absurd.

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