How Does Net Neutrality Affect You?
Net neutrality is one of the buzz words of the moment and is also referred to as network neutrality. It relates to any limitations that may be applied to broadband connections by Internet service providers (ISPs). A net neutral broadband connection will not face any limitations. The limitations placed on the broadband connection could be websites or content that can or can not be viewed or what levels of hardware that can be added. Restrictions could also be related to the communications that can take place over the networks.
Concerns are made over ISPs that don’t operate neutral networks. This is because the whole basis of the Internet was to do with breaking down walls and opening up access to information for everyone. There is an extremely famous case of Internet censorship which lies with China. The Chinese government have famously applied a firewall to the entire country’s Internet access. They filter out sites that they believe to be unsuitable for their citizens. It is extreme cases like this that people point to when discussions of censorship of the Internet are made.
There are many suggestions about what the broadband ISPs filter out for their customers. It has been raised that ISPs could be blocking content advertising their competitors and it is also a worry as to what other websites may be restricted due to the ISPs filtering. Net neutrality has huge support from some Internet cornerstones including the founder of the Internet, Tim Berners Lee who is extremely concerned about the process. Although it appears to be unpopular to many people, net neutrality is also popular with many. Mainly large corporations and obviously, ISPs, but it does have its supporters.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) have taken the concerns of networks that are not neutral and have released a tool that they have named “Switzerland”. The job of Switzerland is to offer users the ability to discover whether their network is neutral or not.
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