The internet is becoming the town square of the village of tomorrow
When Bill Gates uttered those words, perhaps even he couldn’t have imagined just how true they’d be. In just a few short years the internet has revolutionised the way we communicate, educate, socialise, and do business; it has brought more democracy to each nation connected to it and redefined borders, but most of all it has brought us closer together.
The free exchange of ideas and seamless communication of the web have, like the written word, printing press, and telegraph before it, made the world a smaller, more connected place; however, this great tool is now at risk. Pressure from private interest groups is putting the freedom of the web in jeopardy, and that’s why happyporch.com has teamed up with netzfreiheit.org and concerned citizens from NGOs around Europe that care about digital liberties to make it easier for the people to push back. Together we are building SaveTheInternet.eu.
We are proud to be on the frontlines of the fight for a free internet, and hope you will join the fight to save the web, even if you just want to watch funny cat videos on Youtube or browse Facebook when you should be working.
First, what is net neutrality?
In short, net neutrality is the idea that your internet connection should treat all websites and services equally. This means that no website can simply pay more for fast lanes for better service, and service providers cannot charge you more depending on what you use your connection for.
What is at stake
The internet is a web of interconnected nodes where people communicate, work, find entertainment and connect with friends and family on social media . The real importance of this tool, however, is the power it has to revolutionise research, education, business, democracy, health care, and other socially poignant issues. The free flow of information gives us the ability to exchange ideas and innovate. If this flow is controlled by a corporate entity, freedom is at risk.
Imagine a world where everyone has equal access to these things rather than one where they are concentrated in nodes of power and wealth. That world is in jeopardy of being a far away dream.
The Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications(BEREC) is currently drafting regulations under heavy pressure from private interest groups that could put net neutrality at risk. If the net is no longer neutral:
- Service providers could charge you more depending on how you use your internet
- Service providers could charge you to access your favourite sites or applications
- Large companies could squash competition by paying for better internet
- Corporations will be able to control what you can and can’t see
- Free and open exchange of ideas will be jeopardized
- Increased censorship will become a reality
- Entrepreneurship will be severely hindered
It is up to the citizens of the EU to voice their opinions and influence the government to do what is best for society at large.
How we are helping
The inevitability is that the legislation will be handed down in extremely dense language that will look more like Ancient Greek to the average citizen. Large corporations will have their team of lawyers make sure their voices are heard, so happyporch.com wants to make sure the voices of the people are heard too. We have implemented a questionnaire created by the experts at SaveTheInternet that is simple to complete. After you’ve answered the questions, a template email is generated that you can address to your representative. This is a simple and seamless way to allow millions of voices to be heard!
As you know about us, happyporch.com is dedicated to helping only the most important social projects, and we are very careful to select only the most worthy projects to do our pro bono work for, but when we saw that Savetheinternet.eu was fighting for a cause so close to our hearts, we had to help. As an internet startup that relies on an open and fair internet, we understand the importance of net neutrality as much as anyone.
The internet has the power to create a society where all people have equal access to the tools necessary to communicate, learn, participate in democracy, and innovate. This tool has brought the world closer together and created a global village where we can work together and exchange ideas. With the web as our town square, there is no limit to what our village can achieve. But it needs to be fair and neutral.
We hope that you will join the fight to save the web and send an email to your representative to push back against corporate pressure on the internet.