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Net Neutrality Means You Can Have The Internet Your Way
The international order is changing as a result of populism, and I would argue that the populism is a response to the disintegration all around the world in developed countries of the middle class, as the predatory class, the over class, the top 1% keeps taking more and more and more.
And one of the ways that the top 1% are going to cement their control, and certainly have in countries like China and Iran and Saudi Arabia, is by locking down the internet.
If you lock down the internet, you shut down the lines of communication. You can make it harder for people to use social media, you can limit the reach of social media, you make it harder for people to get their message out. You can even read everybody's email, you can track everything everybody's doing, you know all about them by what they're searching on.
There's so much you can learn about individuals that you can use against them or that you can keep them from knowing if you can control the Internet.
And that's why when President Obama was president, Tom Wheeler, his FCC Commissioner, said we are going to establish that the Internet is a public utility and we are going to regulate it under the same provision that we regulate telephone companies.
So, if I call Louise, my phone company does not have the legal right to listen in on my conversation, they don't have the legal right to say, "hey, they're talking about business, we're going to raise the cost of that call, we're going to start charging them 3 cents a minute." They don't have the legal right to say to me, if I'm going to call my wife versus somebody else who I know, that call is going to cost more than this call, or that call is going to go faster, this call is going to go slower, that kind of thing.
They don't have that legal right because they're regulated under title 2 of the Telecommunications Act, phone companies are, and what Tom Wheeler said was internet companies will be regulated under that too. Internet service providers, the equivalent of the phone company, the company that brings the Internet into your home, they cannot mess with your internet. They cannot monitor your internet. All they can do is charge you for how much of it you use, just like the phone company can charge you for how much you use. Arguably most of them have gone to unlimited minutes, but they can charge you for how often or how long you talk. That's it.
And of course Ajit Pai, the former Verizon lawyer who is now the chairman of the FCC, blew that up and said no - Comcast and AT&T and every other company, they can do whatever they want, they can throttle you, they can jack up your price, they can slow down your service unless you pay extra.