Net Neutrality In Porn

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It’s Friday night and you have no plans again. Your parents have a better social life than you, as they at least have each other to enjoy a nice dinner and a movie with. Don’t worry, they’ll tell you all about it when they get home, you won’t even have to ask.

Bored out of your mind, you look for something, actually anything to do. Once again you’re in front of your computer; the only other places you’ve visited were the kitchen and the bathroom. As you begin to scroll through the same Facebook feed for the third time today, hoping this time you might catch at least a few new posts, you decide: why not? You have the house to yourself.

You acquire the necessary materials to get to work, deciding you’re going to take your sweet time as your parents won’t be home for at least three hours.

Something to clean up with? Check.

Lotion? Check.

Candles? Why the hell not?

Marvin Gaye or Barry Manilow? The world is your oyster, you opt for both.

That’s right folks, we’re gonna get a little saucy this time around. You start typing the address to your favorite site, the kind of site that having an ad blocker is pretty much mandatory for. Well, at least it’s free. As you hit enter, the site slowly comes to life in front of you. You spend the next 15 or so minutes searching for “the one,” but really you’re just making new tabs of the videos that catch your interests. Finally, after about 11 tabs open, you start to load the videos one by one.

And then, tragedy strikes. Because you see, now that you’ve prepared, you’re committed, and it’s too late to turn back now. Unfortunately, your internet has different plans, it’s decided to throw a wrench in your monkey business. Almost to the brink of angry crying, you finally admit defeat. You begin to seek alternatives, you think to yourself: well, Game of Thrones has a few good scenes here and there. You turn on your TV to begin your HBO streaming.

Lady luck, however, is not on your side. See you have Verizon Fios/TV, and AT&T just bought Time Warner, which means they now own TNT, Sports Illustrated, and of course, HBO. Hate to say it, you probably should’ve held onto that rabbit’s foot a little tighter, because streaming Game of Thrones for those hot and heavy, fire breathing dragon scenes just isn’t a possibility as you chose the wrong Internet and TV service provider.

Then again, they’re the only option in your area.

But the thing is, it’s not just porn. It’s everything. Imagine cable companies shutting down Netflix, or Netflix shutting down Hulu, before either could get off the ground. Imagine Pandora paying premium dollar to get on the fast lanes, and Spotify not being able to in its infancy, essentially killing it. Imagine YouTube shutting down any other video sharing site, stifling competition and having a monopoly on the market. We might not have to imagine soon enough.

On Monday, June 11, the changes that FCC chairman Ajit Pai has fought to revert, against basically everyone’s wishes bar cable companies, have officially taken effect. Net neutrality, as we know it, is officially dead.

Many people think that this isn’t that important, many others don’t really understand what it is still. Those that don’t think net neutrality is really that important, often say that we didn’t have these laws in place before 2015, and that the internet was safe beforehand.

This information is false.

We’ve had net neutrality laws in place since 2005, when the FCC created policies based on law professor and author Tim Wu, who coined the term “net neutrality” back in 2002. This was 10 years before the changes that former President Barack Obama made, which essentially just made the laws stronger.

Wu believed that no one should be allowed to decided what is, and isn’t, allowed to be viewed on the internet. This meant that companies like Comcast can’t throttle pages you want to visit like they did for about two-three years until 2008.

When the FCC tried to enforce the 2005 net neutrality rules, first with Comcast, then with Verizon, they lost both times in court, which lead to the Obama era rules to be drawn up. These rules would give the FCC actual power to uphold the net neutrality rules.

You see, Congress had rejected five bills that would have given the FCC any actual power to police net neutrality violations in 2006, even though they were backed by groups such as Google, Amazon and Free Press. Because of this, Comcast was allowed to throttle their user’s bandwidth, even if they were paying a premium price for higher speeds. This was especially true with Verizon, as they did not identify as “common carriers”.

In an effort to please these companies, the FCC turned to the dark side. Given their limitations, they agreed to draw up laws that would allow these companies the ability to create fast and slow lanes in an effort to have some policing ability. This of course, angered pretty much everyone. In fact, in 2014, a few websites including Netflix, Reddit, and Twitter slowed down their speeds to show users what they should expect if these laws had gone into effect. This is where Obama stepped in with the new proposed laws to reclassify Internet service providers (ISP) as telecommunications services, which forced them to follow the laws set by Title II of the Communications Act of 1934.

What Ajit Pai did on June 11 was not only get rid of the 2015 laws that Barack Obama passed, with the input of what we the people wanted, he also got rid of the laws that were already in place since 2005. His main argument was that the internet wasn’t some barren wasteland before 2015, and it wasn’t, but he failed to include that there were laws before 2015 to make sure this wasn’t the case. Laws that until 2015, weren’t even able to be properly enforced as previously mentioned. Pai believes that these rules aren’t necessary, as ISPs would instead choose to voluntarily commit to these rules of neutrality.

You know, like they have done so in the past…

The fight isn’t over yet, many of us are still fighting although to be realistic, things are looking a little bleak. Remember, however, we the people have a say in our government, we have actual power, we just have to use it.

Join us in our fight for the net by calling your representative. We’ve already won in the Senate, help us win Congress. And if you’re in California, help keep net neutrality alive by calling your representatives here, as they will be having a vote on one of the strongest and most comprehensive state level bill in the country, SB-822, on June 20, which may very well set the gold standard for net neutrality across the nation.

Do your part, and help us save porn as we know it.