'Father Of Internet' Backs Keeping Net Neutrality - Opposing Views

'Father Of Internet' Backs Keeping Net Neutrality

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A number of leading internet pioneers submitted a letter to the Federal Communications Commission on Dec. 11 urging it to back the preservation of net neutrality.

More than 20 internet leaders signed the letter, including the "father of the internet," Vint Cerf, and Tim Berners-Lee, creator of the world wide web, according to The Guardian.

"The FCC’s rushed and technically incorrect proposed order to repeal net neutrality protections without any replacement is an imminent threat to the internet we worked so hard to create," the internet pioneers wrote. "It should be stopped."

The group, including Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, argued that the FCC should not adopt the Restoring Internet Freedom Order, which would remove net neutrality protections.

"It is important to understand that the FCC's proposed order is based on a flawed and factually inaccurate understanding of Internet technology," the experts noted.

Despite a 43-page report submitted by 200 technology experts to the FCC in July which addressed with these issues, the FCC did not "correct its misunderstandings," the Dec. 11 letter pointed out.

Net neutrality regulations, which have been in place since 2015, ensure that internet service providers cannot favor or disfavor websites by slowing them down or blocking them. The FCC has followed a net neutrality approach for 15 years.

Ajit  Pai, who President Donald Trump appointed to head the FCC, plans to break this tradition.

Technology experts are not the only ones protesting the repeal of net neutrality. A number of websites, such as Etsy, Kickstarter and Reddit, campaigned on Dec. 12 for the retention of net neutrality. Kickstarter cleared its homepage and replaced it with a simple message, "defend net neutrality," according to The New York Times.

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Consumers and start-ups are reportedly preparing for a longer campaign. Lawsuits challenging the change are likely, and they plan to push Congress to adopt a law guaranteeing an open internet.

More than 98 percent of the unique comments submitted to the FCC favored keeping net neutrality, The Guardian reports.

Large tech companies like Google and Facebook were less vocal on Dec. 12.

"First, the major tech companies are very aware that Washington has turned hostile," Harold Feld of the pro-net neutrality group Public Knowledge told the Times. "In this environment, the big tech companies try to keep a low profile and play defense rather than take positions that draw attention."

The FCC is expected to vote on Dec. 14 on Pai's proposal. The three Republican members of the FCC have committed to overturning net neutrality and would provide enough votes for the five-member body to undo the Barack Obama-era legislation.

Sources: The Guardian, The New York Times / Featured Image: Federal Communications Commission/Flickr / Embedded Images: Maurizio Pesce/FlickrLance Cheung/USDA/Flickr

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