By Duke Staff
Last Tuesday, Congress voted to overturn several protections and regulations the Federal Communications Commission created during the Obama administration. Amongst them is a requirement that internet service providers get permission from users before collecting and selling their data.
The move has sparked outrage on both sides of the political aisle, and rightfully so. This violation of internet privacy represents Congress choosing businesses that want to find an easier way to make a profit over the well-being of the American people.
As college students in 2017, the internet is an ever-present feature of our lives. Phones, laptops, entertainment devices and even our watches are now connected to the internet. With how pervasive it has become, a violation of our internet privacy such as this might as well be the equivalent of letting someone legally enter your home and watch what you are doing.
What is worse, this law could set a precedent for further attacks on our internet access. Last year, the FCC came out in support of net neutrality, a concept where internet service providers cannot charge websites more for faster speeds. Congress, if it follows along this path, could easily overturn this protection as well.
To put this into context, Verizon were to charge websites more for faster connections, and Netflix decided not to pay that charge, then all Verizon’s users would experience slow load times when using Netflix. Anti-consumerism at its finest.
These draconian rules are just the latest in a long string of anti-internet bills Congress has tried to pass. The Stop Online Piracy Act, the Online Protection and Enforcement of Digital Trade Act and many more have all shown Congress’s clear bias against its voters when it comes to the web.
The Duke urges all students to do anything they can to oppose this measure. The bill has not yet passed, and there is still time. Congress may have already betrayed the American people, but President Trump still has a chance to use his veto.
For a more subversive form of protest, a crowdfunding campaign has been launched on gofundme.com to purchase the search history of all representatives who support the measure, as well as President Donald Trump’s if he does not veto. While the needed goal of $500 million dollars may seem impossible, our voices need to be heard by any means possible. Any step, even a small one, will help.