What a lot of people don’t realize is that the connections that bring the Internet to your computer are primarily owned by four large corporations and this week an appeals court took up a suit which will decide whether to let those corporations start packaging websites the way cable companies package TV channels.
And critics of this idea want to raise the alarm.
“The Internet, as it exists today, must go.”
That’s from an online mockumentary released this week called “The Internet Must Go,” produced by groups favoring the current system, which requires what’s known as “Net Neutrality.” It’s where every website, big or small, has the same access to the audience.
The premise of the video is that a young market researcher – who’s played by an actor – is compiling a confidential report on his efforts to sell the idea of getting rid of net neutrality. But he keeps encountering real-life Internet entrepreneurs who hate the idea – like Alexis Ohanian, the co-founder of Reddit.
In San Francisco he meets entrepreneur Robin Chase, “I started a company called Zip Car, where you rent cars by the hour or the day instead of owning your own car. People loved the idea, and it’s because of an open Internet that they could find me.”
The mockumentary finally ends with our anti-hero looking into the camera and delivering the bad news to his corporate overlords.
“Based on my findings, I’m sorry, but I think you’re going to need to look for another path forward here.”
At which point he clicks a button, and leaks his confidential report – Edward Snowden style – straight onto the open Internet.