I've been to several websites who have had popups stating that they've "throttled back" today. I use Twitter and Dropbox regularly. They're protesting. I've not been on Netflix, but understand they are throttled back on speed in protest as well. It has to do with net neutrality. If you haven't heard about this, the ultimate effect is massive limitation of free speech and free markets.
Here's what would happen: Without net neutrality, Internet Service Provider (ISPs) giants like Verizon and Comcast place a fee, or "tax", for company websites to have faster speeds--essentially creating fast lanes and slow lanes on the internet. Obviously, this creates an advantage for big companies with larger cashflows, even though the smaller company might have a better site or better innovation. What it does, it allows the internet to be bought by the highest bidder, leaving your content in the dark.
Until now the internet has been seen as a utility. If that classification changes, we will have giant ISP censorships, higher fees, and a dramatic decrease in the exchange of private citizen information.
Why this is serious to me is for two reasons: 1) My church has a website. We live stream our services and now have hundreds and thousands watching our rebroadcast on either YouTube or our Website. We have people watching our live broadcasts from a growing number of countries around the world. And it's not just my church--how many other churches live stream and use their website for ministry? Without net neutrality, we are effectively censored or at the very least, slowed down to a less effective speed where folks who might otherwise watch, lose interest. What if people live an area or have a certain service provider that limits YouTube? The ministry is reduced!
2) I have my own website. It's small and simple. But it's my place to share my thoughts, ideas, and ministry from. It probably wouldn't be affected much at first--though the videos posted through YouTube might. But it is an open door for greater regulations and censorship in the future.
I'm standing opposed to these proposed changes. I stand in favor of NET NEUTRALITY. I encourage everyone to look into this and write to your legislators ASAP, letting them know how you feel.
Pastor Ben is a pastor, marriage counselor, and international lecturer on Bible prophecy for more than 18 years. His lectures and preaching appointments have taken him to Europe, Australia, and Central America. He currently serves as the Lead Pastor for the South Tacoma Adventist Fellowship in Tacoma, WA.