The Federal Communications Commission plans to renew its attack on Sybil and the rest of the internet before the end of the year by holding a vote to gut the laws protecting net neutrality. After failing to convict any of its members in the milk crate investigation, the feds have decided to take another approach in order to stop the intellectual contagion known as Sybil from spreading.
Net Neutrality has become a buzzword in recent times, but not everyone understands what the term entails. To put it simply, net neutrality refers to the concept of a free and open internet, as it has existed (for the most part) in the United States since the dawn of commercial internet. Currently, internet providers, such as Comcast, Verizon, Grande, etc, are not allowed to regulate their customers' internet usage. All legal sites are open and accessible and allotted an equal connection speed. Sybil has thrived under this model since its founding in 2017.
As summarized by Congress.gov, the deceivingly named Restoring Internet Freedom Act "nullifies the rule adopted by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on February 26, 2015, relating to the reclassification of broadband Internet access service as a telecommunications service."
Access to the internet has become a practically necessary part of daily life and as such should be protected as a utility. Without that protection, large corporations will be allowed to make deals with internet providers to allow faster access to their sites while companies who cannot afford to pay for premium access will be slowed down or made otherwise less accessible. Providers such as Verizon will be able to offer their own video streaming service, and at the same time slow down access to Netflix to the point that it becomes unusable, making their service the only choice. The internet could also be broken into packages in the same way as satelite tv. Users could find themselves paying not only for internet access, but extra fees in order to access the sites they love.
Ajit Pai, the Trump-appointed chairman of the FCC, and former Verizon lobbyist, has even gone so far as to promote the internet providers' right to control what news sources their users can access, citing the corporations' first amendment rights. That is where things take a truly dystopian turn. A free press is a founding ideal of this country and has long stood as one of our greatest strengths.
To destroy the internet and cast the United States into an informational and communicative dark age just to stop Sybil may seem like overkill, but it is a classic tactic in asymmetrical warfare, similar to the United States napalming the entire jungle in order to stop the Viet Cong. And the FCC seems willing to do just that.
Sybil would like to urge our readers to visit www.battleforthenet.com for more information, including a fast and easy way to reach your representatives and let them know what you think. The protection of net neutrality is a true bipartisan issue. This new bill benefits no one but ISPs and large corporations.
No matter what you use the internet for, whether it be Sybil, memes, news, work, porn, Netflix, Fox News, Twitter, Reddit, 4Chan, Neopets, gaming, or posting missed connection ads on Craigslist, we must now all stand together and protect our beloved internet.