This is not a test of the emergency protest system. The day we're going to wish we had got out the torches and pitchforks was yesterday.
Our corporate owners and the US Government have been trying to get their grubby little paws on the Internet since they realized that it's the one place where anyone and everyone can express themselves without censure and without their oversight.
Yesterday, Verizon and Comcast won the right to do openly and legally what they've been doing secretly and stealthily for years.
Yesterday's ruling has made it perfectly acceptable for Verizon and Comcast to discriminate against traffic on the internet and possibly create a tiered internet in the same manner as cable television.
A U.S. appeals court on Tuesday threw out federal rules requiring broadband providers to treat all Internet traffic equally, raising the prospect that bandwidth-hungry websites like Netflix Inc. NFLX +0.34% might have to pay tolls to ensure quality service.
The ruling was a blow to the Obama administration, which has pushed the idea of "net neutrality." And it sharpened the struggle by the nation's big entertainment and telecommunications companies to shape the regulation of broadband, now a vital pipeline for tens of millions of Americans to view video and other media.
For consumers, the ruling could usher in an era of tiered Internet service, in which they get some content at full speed while other websites appear slower because their owners chose not to pay up.
The courts are wrong, of course. The internet must be open the same way the phone wires are open- and not just to the NSA.
It should never be left up to corporations or the government to decide what's important in the way of common internet traffic and what's not. By definition "most important" will always mean "highest paying" or "in their good graces" and will always mean blocking anyone who can't pony up to their extortion or comply with their idea of what should be allowed online.
Net Neutrality are two words you need to get to know and understand if you don't already. Nothing less than our right to freedom of speech and freedom of expression depend on it.
It simply means all internet access is and stays equal. The providers must stay Neutral. They cannot pick sides. They cannot arbitrarily decide who gets access and who doesn't.
Mind you they already do this and sometimes for good reason. It's important for ISP's to be able to manage traffic. But there's a big difference between managing traffic and predetermining who gets to have a voice online at all.