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Google and Verizon Propose Two-Tiered Internet System
In technology news, Google and Verizon have issued a proposal that could radically restructure the internet by essentially creating a two-tiered internet system. At first glance, the Google and Verizon proposal appears to promote the idea of net neutrality, that users should have equal access to all types of information online. But the Google and Verizon proposal includes a massive loophole that would exempt from net neutrality protections all internet access over cellphone and wireless networks and any future new subscription services that broadband providers could offer. Jason Rosenbaum is with the Progressive Change Campaign Committee.
Jason Rosenbaum: “The Google and Verizon deal announced today is the first step towards corporate control over the internet. They propose creating two tiers of internet service: a public version of the internet that everybody will be able to use without fear of discrimination and then a private version that the big corporations will control absolutely. And that’s the version that they are likely going to put all of their investment in. So when it comes down to it, people in America will have a choice: they’ll be able to use the corporate-controlled internet, where they’ll get their information from corporate sources very quickly, or they’ll be able to use the, quote-unquote, ‘public internet,’ and that’s going to be relegated to the slow lane.”
Craig Aaron of the group Free Press says the Google plan could permanently shift who controls the internet.
Craig Aaron: “The beauty of the internet is that you’re able to get online, go wherever you want, do whatever you want, download whatever you want. And if you’re a content creator, then you have the opportunity to have the reach of a television station or a radio station or a cable channel. All you have to have is that good idea or something interesting to say. But if you change the way the internet works, if you reserve that fast lane just for a few select companies, that opportunity goes away.”
Jason Rosenbaum of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee says he also has concerns about the impact of the Google-Verizon proposal on free speech online.
Jason Rosenbaum: “We’ve already seen how corporate control over networks can lead to political discrimination. So, there was a text message sent out by NARAL Pro-Choice that was blocked by wireless carriers, because the wireless carriers disagreed with the message. When you have internet activities or various online activities running on a corporate-controlled network, you’re opening the door to these kinds of censorship. It’s very much a free speech issue, very much a civil rights issue.”
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