Many cheered when President Donald Trump’s Federal Communications Commission (FCC) chair Ajit Varadaraj Pai declared the internet a place free of so-called net neutrality rules. To a great number of loud voices, however, things turned dark. And not too long after, pressure on Congress appeared to gain momentum as many online companies and internet users pushed petition after petition asking lawmakers to fight the FCC.
To them, the rules imposed by the Obama administration meant fairness. Net neutrality, they say, treats all data on the internet the same. But under these same rules, companies cannot charge more or less depending on the service and product provided and this creates a problem for the consumer who is willing to pay more for better service.
Still, net neutrality supporters dress up the rules as a means to make the internet an “open” place. They claim that only government can protect us from fraud. As a result, advocates who became tired of going to the federal government for help went straight to their local governments. Now, states are using the concept of nullification to actually get the local government more and not less involved in their daily lives.
Interestingly enough, net neutrality supporters appear oblivious of the government’s own failures when it comes to protecting internet users on their own websites. And what’s worse, many of them continue to stand for net neutrality even after learning that their computer may have been impacted by an online virus after visiting a government website.
Hiding in the pro-net neutrality website TechDirt is a piece of news that reveals that over 4,000 U.S. and UK government websites have been compromised with cryptocurrency mining malware. The same government entities that have, so expertly, claimed the right to control everybody’s lives.
And while the piece of news doesn’t necessarily identify state government websites as hosts of harmful viruses, it’s puzzling to think that those who claim that keeping the internet fair and open is what matters would be willing to put something so precious in government’s hands — any government.
It seems that what we’re dealing with here is a heightened and acute case of Stockholm Syndrome. Unfortunately, the kidnapper in this case is the all benevolent government. As such, companies could benefit from tougher rules on the expense of competitors who could actually bring the cost down if the internet truly were “free.”