Right now is the first time in human history that we are one people, connected, communicating, sharing ideas. Some of you are lucky enough to have been born in the internet era. I was about 20 when it started taking off. Before the net, things were very different.
Some of you older folks will remember those times. If you wanted to speak to someone in another country, it was a long-distance phonecall, or posting a letter. We were very much restricted, divided. These days we chat with people all over the planet, buy and sell things, lead interesting sex lives in private. The internet provides so many wonderful advantages to life, it would be difficult to list them all.
“The price of freedom is eternal vigilance…”
I have always been astounded that the Powers That Be ever allowed us to have this much freedom. Freedom to talk, freedom to find things out for ourselves. Freedom of journalism. There would be no Wikileaks without the internet – no national newspaper in their right mind would put out that kind of information. The internet is our eyes, and our voices. With the internet, we get to see what greedy corporations are up to, sneaky politicians, the lot. Connected this way, we can hold people accountable for the things they do. Disconnected, we are vulnerable and powerless.
I would sincerely hope that most of you would be aware of the latest attempt to control and police the internet – the repeal of Net Neutrality. Up until now, your ISP was like your water company. They just provide the pipes – what you flush down them is your business. And so it should be. Our myriad subscriptions to internet services, have allowed these ISPs to grow massively. Now we’ve made them rich, they want to police the pipes, and control what you are allowed to see. That does not bode well for sites such as ours, and the services we provide.
If you don’t know about, or understand Net Neutrality, I would urge you to Google it. To take away the freedom of the internet would be a massive hit to our personal liberties. Burger King made an amusing-but-true viral about Net Neutrality that you might find useful:
It is not the first time our glorious Leaders have attempted to control our internet Freedoms. You may recall the SOPA act, which was roundly kicked out of the courts. This new bid is worse than that, and if we are not extremely careful, it will pass, and our freedoms will be gone. It won’t be easy to get them back again, if it would even be possible.
So Gang. You are all here, reading this. This affects you, and all of us. I would ask you to whip over to Change.org and sign the petition to Save Net Neutrality. Every signature counts. If we don’t take a stand when our freedom is threatened, we really don’t deserve that freedom. Please gang, it will take you a moment, and may be the difference between our wonderful freedom-based internet – or an internet so restricted that it’s barely worth using at all. Let’s hope we can crush this bullshit, and make freedom a priority for all. Thanks for reading, and thanks for your vote.Published in