This week on the occasionally-weekly tech podcast from The Final Straw, Error451, Bursts and guest William Budington, a tech security expert, talk about Net Neutrality. The context is that it’s back in the news as FCC Chairman Ajit Pai appears to be pushing for the revocation of the 2015 FCC decision to declare the Internet a Title II public utility in U.S. law. The upside of this is that access to un-inhindered Internet is then supposedly enshrined in the law as a public good. The current make up of the court includes 3 Republicans (including Pai) and 2 Democrats, so if a vote happens in mid-December along party lines, the Title II status may be revoked, possibly allowing for tiered access, which would possibly allow internet service providers and comms giants who are the gatekeepers to the web to throttle access to lower-paying services or outright deny access to certain sites and services.
We chat about how Tiered Access looks in countries like Portugal, the very curious padding of at least 1.1 million online submissions to the FCC’s Open Comment period misrepresenting U.S. voters perspectives on Net Neutrality and the FCC’s apparent disinterest in investigating the stunt.
William suggests that one action listeners can take immediately, which sadly is far from a direct action is to lobby congresspeople to block the move by Chairman Pai and protect the Internet as it is. He suggests visiting BattleForTheNet.Com and petitioning the powers that be via their suggestions. As far as a wider lense of what we might do to increase autonomy and integrity in our information technologies, William suggests listeners check out and start playing with Mesh Networking technologies. Mentioned in the episode are People’s Open in Oakland, CA, USA & Friefunk in Germany