News Worms
News Worms

Amazon, Netflix and PornHub link arms in net neutrality battle

Amazon, Netflix and PornHub link arms in net neutrality battle

You may notice some changes to your favorite websites and online services Wednesday.

The "day of action" - which supporters claim will be the largest online protest in history - comes as the new head of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the USA telecoms and media watchdog, prepares to defang tough rules protecting internet access in the U.S. following pressure from cable companies and other internet service providers (ISPs).

"Net neutrality is something we all strongly support, and ISPs are committed to modern rules that protect the universally-embraced principles of no blocking, no throttling and no slow lanes", said Spalter, the last a reference to the no paid prioritization rule.

Net neutrality advocates on Wednesday are holding a "Day of Action", perhaps their final push to keep the Internet "open, fast and awesome". A day of action is taking place to make more people aware of the FCC proposals and the implications.

Tech companies and websites disagree, saying without the regulations, online users rights to fair treatment and against things like censorship would be threatened.

Fight for the Future, which is organizing the Day of Action, puts it this way: "Without net neutrality, the Internet will become more like Cable TV, where the content you see is what your provider puts in front of you".

"If ISPs (internet service providers) had charged for preferred treatment when Drew and Arash founded Dropbox in 2007, we might never have gotten off the ground", added Dropbox's general counsel Bart Volkmer, referring to its founders Drew Houston and Arash Ferdowsi.

The view of President Donald J. Trump's appointed FCC chair Ajit Pai is in line with that of the ISPs.

While the three web giants are on record in support of the current FCC rules, their sizes likely means they will be able to negotiate with Internet providers to ensure any changes to net neutrality policy does not affect them.

But internet companies have been vocal in their opposition to Pai's plans.

Alongside those joining protests from Amazon, Twitter and Snapchat is the dating site OkCupid, holiday service Trip Advisor, and adult video site PornHub - which also happens to be one of the most popular sites in the world, outranking MSN, Bing and Tumblr. Net neutrality rules prohibit such top companies from expanding business models to adapt to the market.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation, a leading digital civil liberties organisation, claims that more than 40 ISPs across the USA have written to the FCC to explain that Title II has not hurt their ability to develop and expand their networks.

But opponents to net neutrality say it limits innovation and discourages investment in the telecoms industry. A final vote on any new proposal is expected later this year. "AT&T supports net neutrality in much the way a serial drunk driver supports tougher DUI laws, or a bank robber supports tougher locks".


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