Tuesday, March 29, 2011

ISP Controlling Access to Websites? NO WAY!

What exactly is net neutrality? Net neutrality gives us the freedom to use whatever websites we want without restrictions by our internet service providers. Are you asking yourself, "Wait, my internet service provider can restrict what websites I go to?" Yes. What it is should be considered a scam. It allows your internet service provider to decide what websites you go to based on what websites they make money off of. Like the video we had to watch for this week, it showed that your internet service provider has the option to block you from going to a particular site, such as a search like Google or Yahoo. An internet service provider has the power to block a certain website in order for their users to go to a different website that they could possibly be making money off of. What is my opinion on not enforcing net neutrality rules? NO WAY. How is this even legal in our country? Why do we let companies and businesses decide our freedom? As Americans, we have the right to our privacy and freedom. We should have the right to go to whatever website we want to go to and it shouldn't be decided by our internet service provider. I never realized that this was even possible until this weeks readings. I honestly wasn't aware that my internet service provider had the power to block me from a particular website.
In John Borthwick's article, "Neutrality or Bust" he talks about the importance of the FCC and the importance of allowing internet users to be able to "drive" and decide what websites that they want to go to. Borthwick says that, "There is a natural evolutionary path through which a large company becomes less likely to let edge-based innovations flourish and more likely to preserve the status quo." Large companies that are internet service providers want their companies to flourish over edge-based innovations. They want their users to go to websites and use search engines that will benefit their company. I understand that companies want to make money, but isn't this taking it a little far? Don't you think people should have the choice to go to whatever website they want? Don't you think people should be able to use a certain search engine that is more easy and convenient for them? I know I certainly do.

After watching the video "Understand Net Neutrality" by Public Knowledge, it got me thinking on specific instances when I couldn't access a particular website. I sat here thinking and thinking and finally it popped into my head. I COULDN'T BELIEVE IT!!! I have the internet on my phone and my provider is Verizon Wireless. Whenever I go to my internet browser to search something, it always goes to bing.com. Bing is a search engine, like Google or Yahoo, where you can search different topics by just typing in the keywords. However, I am not a fan of Bing because of the setup and organization of the website. Whenever I type something in, it always tries to take me to a website that is either an advertisement or has nothing to do with my topic. Then, if I ever try to use Google as a search engine on my phone it comes up as, "There was a problem. Please try your search again later." Like seriously? I am not allowed to use Google because my phone provider has a business agreement with Bing? Net Neutrality rules should not be set into place to make sure that our internet service providers aren't blocking our access to websites. If we are personally paying for internet service, then we should be able to use whatever search engine we want.

David Coursey from PCWorld talks about the different counter-arguments that go with net neutrality. He talks about how the FCC needs to enforce stricter net neutrality laws but at the same time, he talks about "a law intended to protect one set of freedoms at the expense of another." Like I said before, as an American, I would like to know that I have the freedom to go to whatever website I want. I don't believe that my internet provider's firewall should be blocking access to a website just because I am not using the kind of site that they want me to use. Check out the link that gives good, detailed points of enforcing net neutrality laws and arguments against it. http://www.pcworld.com/businesscenter/article/174283/net_neutrality_foes_what_if_the_bad_guys_are_right.html

What do you guys think? Do you agree with me? Or do you believe that our internet service providers have the right to restrict certain websites? Should ISPs have more flexible in the way they manage their networks?

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