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Keep the Internet free from oppression

Michael Escañuelas, Editorial Cartoonist

Michael Escañuelas, Editorial Cartoonist

The topic of Internet is boring, but it is interesting to see just how many people have practically zero knowledge about it.

It seems that most people only know how open a browser and enter in a Web site. In my family, if I asked my father to do something as small as, say, check my online bank account while I’m away, I’m pretty sure his head will explode. So with this knowledge that most people know just as much about the Internet as they know about open heart surgery, it’s easy to understand that not many people really understand Internet Neutrality.

This topic has recently gotten a lot of press due to John McCain’s recent push against it, but in reality, this issue has long plagued the tech world and will probably continue after these bills fade. To begin with, Internet Neutrality is generally the idea that all Web sites are able to be viewed or downloaded at the same rates. No company like Comcast, Verizon, or Time Warner can limit the sites you view. This gives you, the Internet viewer, full freedom to view all things equally on the Internet.

Sounds like a good deal, right?

Well apparently, John McCain and a bunch of other out of touch lobbyist think these methods of Internet laws are quite “ unfair.” This brings us to McCain’s new bill, the Internet Freedom Act of 2009. With this act, companies will be allowed to set regulated rules on your Internet service rather than have the FCC control things. For example, if you have Verizon Internet service, this provider will have full rights within the law to slow down competing news sites, like CNN or MSNBC, in a attempt to force readers to watch or read news only on their company owned sites. It’s seems common sense that this would be bad a bad idea, but handful of democrat and republican senators are behind the bill.

The reason for that is that they believe the government has no place in controlling the Internet like how the FCC does now. Apparently to them, it is the place of big name companies to choose what we can read and watch on the Internet.

Another argument is that by having the government control the Internet we become some kind of Socialist or Marxist country. The fact is government does not necessarily control our Internet usage. There are caps on the amounts we are able to download in some areas, but that is only something a computer nerd would complain about.

To our knowledge there is no real censorship going on within this system. Of course, I could be wrong and there might be some kind of large conspiracy going on that is hiding some shocking outrageous truth, but let’s stay in real world here Mr. Beck, can we? This isn’t a Tom Clancy novel. This is merely an issue of big companies trying to gain rights to control our media for their own financial gain.

As I stated before, this issue has been in and out of headlines for a while. Although the government does have its hand in the business of the Internet, it is only to keep equality throughout the numerous companies that try to provide it for everyone. The Internet is a big market and easily the future of how our economy will strive. It is something that gives everyone a voice; it would be a shame if that voice was silenced, or slowed down by the all mighty dollar.

Michael Escañuelas, a senior English major, is editorial cartoonist for the Campus Times. He can be reached by e-mail at michael.escanuelas@laverne.edu.

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