Networks are so much more complex than they sound. Individual computers at the college are part of a network. The computers I use at the bank are part of a network. And that big network’s success is dictated by how functional the computer hardware and the regulations applied to the system. If a government or other entity indiscriminately blocks public/private access to the network, global and local communication will be affected. Another way of saying this is: have you ever put earplugs into your ears and then tried to talk afterwards? The conversations were very difficult and you probably asked a lot of people to repeat their words. If the person didn’t have a lot of patience for you, he/she might have given up and left the conversation.
Certain countries inflict barriers to communication. Why? Whomever controls communication and information controls everything. Think about how much easier it is to solve a problem when there are less variables and all the variables are less complex. A perfect example is in math. Most are happy to solve simple algebra questions, but what if the question is best solved with matrices? (I, for one, abhorred matrices in high school and college math, so I would opt for algebra).
Back to communication as a problem: if people/constituents are the variables, and variables make things hard, then it would be best if there were less variables. In the coldest of regimes, variables (like reporters and activists) disappear like magic. And, if this were “The Prestige” the trick wouldn’t be over until the variable reappeared.
As it is, “The Prestige” is a movie, and magic isn’t real. Oppression is.
The Internet is not meant to be controlled. Unfortunately, phone companies missed that memo. These companies believe: We lay down the cables and hardware which allow internet access. We do the work, which means we get to set the price.
To an extent, this is true. Their employees (or contractors) dig holes to lay down the cables into the ground, and construction jobs are not easy.
Some companies want to eliminate/reduce net neutrality laws so that certain companies could get more visibility by paying more. This is roughly how TV works now, so why not the Internet? Why is this bad?
A person’s constitutional right to free speech extends everywhere, including the internet. Some people would not be able to afford the “premium” access packages and therefore would be at a disadvantage. Imagine if you had to pay more to access a certain selection of websites, and that selection of websites just happened to include job listing websites and/or companies in your area who were actively hiring. Your internet access would directly inhibit your ability to find a job. If this were to happen now, in this economy, can you imagine how many more unemployed we would have in this country?
Plus, once one company started a new system like that where they’d end up making more profit, many of the other companies would adopt the same sort of policies. I mentioned in class that this while situation reminded me of airlines and the baggage fees. Once it was clear one airline could get away with this, all the rest followed suit.
People deserve equal access to the internet. We cannot allow the big cable companies to dictate how we access information.