Net neutrality: Should UK citizens be anxious about U.S. changes?

Net neutrality: Should UK citizens be anxious about U.S. changes?

"Whether you're here for news, AMAs, or some good old-fashioned cats in business attire, the internet's at its best when you - not internet service providers - decide what you see online".

Internet heavyweights Facebook, Google, Amazon, and Netflix are joining at least 80,000 other websites to protest the Federal Communication Commission's (FCC) proposed rollback of network neutrality (net neutrality) today, urging users to send comments to the regulatory agency demanding net neutrality's preservation.

This is known as Net Neutrality, and it's now under threat by the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC). So many comments were submitted to the FCC after the comedian John Oliver attacked Pai's opinions that its comment system collapsed and the regulator has been flooded with fake comments from "people" in support of the weakened rules.

This is an extremely important cause that several organizations are showing their support for, so when you see those spinning wheels or frustrating messages, you might want to take a moment to let the FCC know how you feel about the matter. However, newly appointed FCC chairman, Ajit Pai, threatens the existence of Net Neutrality, the principle that free internet content should be treated equally.

Tech companies and websites disagree, saying without the regulations, online users rights to fair treatment and against things like censorship would be threatened.

Under the present net neutrality rules, there's a clear standard that prevents ISPs from blocking, throttling, and paid prioritization of "lawful" traffic.

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'Internet service providers could create special fast lanes for content providers willing to pay more, ' Corey Price, vice president of PornHub, told BBC News.

While it may seem peculiar that the FCC wants to repeal regulations it introduced just ten years ago, The Independent says the transition from the Obama to Trump administration this year has lead to a rule rethink. She claims Pai's argument is specious and that his proposal to repeal net neutrality, the 218-page "Restoring Internet Freedom", would tip the scales in favor of the country's largest telecom companies.

But that could change if existing net neutrality rules are reversed, she argued.

According to Battle for the Net there are thousands of websites involved in the protest, including heavyweights such as Google, AirBnB, Twitter and Snapchat.

"You might have noticed something unusual when you visited the EFF website today: our site was "blocked" unless you shelled out for "premium" internet access", the homepage states. A 90-day comment period also began, with members of the public asked for their views. But critics call the regulations burdensome, and the FCC is now in the process of removing these regulations, which could make the internet a very different place.

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