A few years ago, Internet users, democracy activists, and entrepreneurs got wind of a proposed law, SOPA, that would have changed the Web’s basic architecture to the benefit of a few media giants. So they organized protests for several months to oppose the law. Faced with this opposition, some senators…
There is very scary stuff brewing in Washington right now about Net Neutrality. Here’s a good article that articulates it pretty awesomely, please read, even if the subject makes you glass over, you will wake up as you read it, even if it’s not a GIF of Benedict Cumberbatch, haha. The repercussions of changes like these will affect you personally if you enjoy the internet as it is now.
Sadly, the general response I get from posting this online is apathy and/or hopelessness, that we can’t do anything as individuals to influence the policies of government or big businesses, that takeover is inevitable, and why bother fighting? Ugh, how depressing to hear.
Well, I guess on a basic level we aren’t motivated to act until policy makes things uncomfortable for us, and I get that. But if we anticipate the problems, act in whatever way we can to prevent things that will alter out life for the worse BEFORE it happens, we won’t have to wait until doors are closed to us, and paywalls are erected between us and things we take for granted so that big business can profit more off of us as individuals, subsidized by the government. We can STOP IT BEFORE IT HAPPENS!
I know it’s hard to get outraged at theoretical scenarios, but I promise, more and more, we will watch how theory becomes reality in this area, especially if we don’t stand for what we believe in. Our online world and our personal data is literally the currency of the future. We have to dig our heels in and not give it away easily so a few big companies can raise their already huge profits farther into the stratosphere, with the purchased support of the government by lobbyists.
Strangely today, I also read an article on Kent State (the anniversary is tomorrow) and how after that incident, 4 MILLION STUDENTS went on a student strike against the government. In looking at photos of protests, and in general the era of advocacy in the 60’s, I was kind of blown away, because I hadn’t thought about what happened back then in a while. The change those movements back then created impacts literally EVERYTHING in our lives today from civil rights to military policy, to women’s rights etc etc. Things we take completely for granted were truly created by individuals coming together back then and forcing change. Because they BELIEVED in something, and DID something about it, the government was forced to listen and change.
It makes me sad that, even with that not-so-long-ago historical precedent, people feel completely disempowered to advocate for what they believe because they feel it’s “hopeless”. I get the feeling, but what’s the point of living in a democracy then, if you don’t draw the line somewhere? The more you stand for what you believe in, the more ready you are to stand together when it counts, with people who think as you do when the problems reach critical mass. So, even though signing a petition feels like a drop in the bucket, every action counts a bit!
Anyway, the two petitions I link below have a ton of support, but can use more. Lend your voice below if you wanna help in small ways: