America likes to pretend it is run by "free markets," but of course, free markets do not and will not ever exist. Either there are laws in place to regulate people so they are less likely to control the market, keeping it "free" or moneyed interests buy the laws they need to stay in power--enslaving the markets for their own gain. This reality is the reason net neutrality is to critical to the future of technology, the future economy and even the world.
The Internet originally started as a government program created to link computers together for data sharing. Yes, that's right -- the same Internet that lets people buy cheap goods on Amazon, sell junk (sometimes even nice things) on public garage sale sites like e-bay and Craigslist is a Socialist concoction, by the modern American definition anyway.
Today, over one-third of the human population uses the Internet. Some to let you know that a Nigerian prince has a cool million in cash he needs to wire you, others to let their grandmother in another country see them and read them a bedtime story on programs like Skype. It may very well be the greatest human invention for communication and information sharing.
So what then is net neutrality, and why should we care about it?
"Network neutrality is best defined as a network design principle. The idea is that a maximally useful public information network aspires to treat all content, sites, and platforms equally" -- Tim Wu
Net neutrality is so simple -- it's about treating all data on the internet equally -- no special privileges for the wealthy. No degradation of services for the poor. One citizen's blog would have the same standing on the web as the New York Times. YouTube, Hulu and Netflix, for example, should all be able to stream data at the same speed for the same price. Why does this matter? Because many of the companies that provide the internet are also cable service -- something that sites like YouTube, Hulu and Netflix are replacing.
Bills to end net neutrality in Congress, SOPA and PIPA, failed to reach a vote because of all the negative attention the public gave them. New trade agreements that would end net neutrality, the Trans-pacific Partnership (TPP), the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) and the Trade in Services Agreement (TISA) are getting negative press all over the world, outside America, for their attempts to end net neutrality. There are a few special interests groups talking about them in the US, but these agreements are kept out of the mainstream media that owns and runs America's information decimation process.
Net neutrality sounds like freedom and equality, right? Kind of odd that "free" trade agreements would want to enslave the Internet. Kind of odd that a "free" country like the United States would want to enslave the Internet.