Killing net neutrality poses a grave threat to the web say Google, Facebook, Amazon, Microsoft, Yahoo and Twitter

The Internet sector’s biggest names (including Google, Facebook, Amazon, Microsoft, Yahoo and Twitter) are fighting back against plans to scrap net neutrality — the practice of treating all users equally on the Internet. Recent court rulings, and commentary from new FCC chief (and former cable industry lobbyist) Tom Wheeler, suggests the Black Hats may get their wish to create a two-speed Internet.

In an open letter to the FCC, the dotcoms argue that the current arrangements have fueled innovation both in the US and around the world. “These innovations have helped create enormous value for Internet users, fueled economic growth, and made our Internet companies global leaders. The innovations we have seen to date happened in a world without discrimination. A open Internet has been a platform for free speech and opportunity for billions of users.

The letter notes that in the past the FCC has protected this approach and, by extension, entrepreneurialism and economic growth. “According to recent news reports, the Commission intends to propose rules that would enable phone companies and cable Internet service providers to discriminate both technically and financially against Internet companies and to impose new tolls on them.

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The letter’s authors describe such an approach as a grave threat to the Internet. They argue that any new rules should instead protect users and Internet companies against “… blocking, discrimination and paid prioritisation, and should make the market for Internet services more transparent.

Such an approach, they argue, is essential for ensuring America’s continued lead in technology markets around the world. They also argue it is important for free speech.

They were too polite to mention, however, that it was companies like Verizon and others in the phone and cable sector who willingly did the US government’s bidding when it came to violating the right of its citizens to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures — while it was the dotcoms who resisted to the extent the law allowed.

Just saying.

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