The issue of net neutrality has been a hot topic over the previous couple of years, especially in the US. With many people declaring the “death of net neutrality,” there’s still an ongoing debate whether net neutrality is a good or bad thing. While the end of network neutrality still isn’t upon us, it would undoubtedly make a significant impact on the Internet as a whole. In this week’s ZoogVPN, we’ll talk about the probability of this happening, the effect of the FCC repeal of net neutrality on the future of the Internet, and all other aspects you should know.
What is Net Neutrality?
Net neutrality is the principle that all internet traffic should be treated equally, regardless of the source or destination. This means that internet service providers (ISPs) should not be able to block or slow down access to certain websites or services, or charge extra fees for faster access. Net neutrality is important because it promotes a level playing field on the internet and ensures that everyone has equal access to information and services.
In 2015, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) passed the Open Internet Order, which enshrined net neutrality into law. In 2017, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) had officially revoked net neutrality in the US. By the end of 2017, the FCC issued an entirely new set of regulations regarding net neutrality. This change means that now ISP providers can charge companies and users for speeding up their services, choose to slow down services of certain users, or completely block internet access of certain customers.
In response to the repeal, several states have passed their own net neutrality laws, but these have faced legal challenges from the federal government. To address this issue, Representative Yvette Clarke introduced the Net Neutrality and Broadband Justice Act in 2019.
The Net Neutrality and Broadband Justice Act would restore the FCC’s ability to regulate ISPs and enforce net neutrality rules. It would also provide funding for broadband infrastructure in underserved communities and establish a broadband affordability program to ensure that low-income households can access high-speed internet.
The bill was passed by the House of Representatives in 2020, but has not yet been taken up by the Senate. If passed, the Net Neutrality and Broadband Justice Act would have significant consequences for both consumers and ISPs. Consumers would benefit from increased access to information and services, while ISPs would be subject to increased regulation and oversight.
Most significant Advantages and Drawbacks of Net Neutrality
From the perspective of an average Internet user, network neutrality is a guarantee that your connection will be equal to all other online users. From the standpoint of your ISP, the question of net neutrality has an entirely different answer. So, depending on what point of view you look at this topic, your arguments for and against net neutrality will also be different. From an objective standpoint, net neutrality has both upsides and downsides. That said, let’s take a look at the biggest pros and cons of net neutrality.
Upsides of Network Neutrality
The biggest pro of network neutrality is that it guarantees a level playing field for all online users. Regardless if you’re an individual user or a large company, your ISP should offer you the same level of service. Without net neutrality in place, individual online users would fall behind, as they couldn’t afford to pay extra money to access the “fast-lanes.”
Additionally, without network neutrality, ISPs would be completely free to block or censor a particular type of content or websites they deem to be inappropriate or unsuitable of their agenda. In the same breath, ISPs could charge users for improving specific services such as video streaming, online gaming connection support, and others.
Downsides of Network Neutrality
Network neutrality is undoubtedly an invaluable aspect of the Internet. But, like any other thing, it also comes with certain disadvantages. The biggest downside of such an open playing field is that illicit and illegal content is widely available across the web. Anyone can access offensive, dangerous, and downright illegal content. Permanently repealing it would allow ISPs to filter such content, and also make it easier for the FCC to monitor and enforce the ISP’s compliance.
The Net Neutrality Impact on Cyber Security
The impact of net neutrality on cybersecurity is one of the major concerns for cybersecurity experts. Net neutrality regulations prohibit internet service providers (ISPs) from discriminating against certain content or websites. However, without net neutrality rules, ISPs could have the power to block or limit access to certain websites, applications, or online services, which could have serious cybersecurity implications.
One of the major cybersecurity concerns related to the repeal of net neutrality is the potential for ISPs to create “fast lanes” and “slow lanes” for internet traffic. This could allow ISPs to prioritize certain traffic, which could lead to a situation where some websites or applications are faster, while others are slower. In this scenario, ISPs could prioritize their own services or those of partners and affiliates, while slowing down or even blocking access to competitors. This could lead to a serious security issue, as users may be forced to use less secure services due to speed limitations.
Another cybersecurity concern related to the repeal of net neutrality is the potential for ISPs to engage in “deep packet inspection.” This technique allows ISPs to inspect the contents of internet traffic flowing over their networks, including personal and sensitive information. ISPs could use deep packet inspection to collect information on users, their browsing habits and activities, and sell it to third parties. This could lead to serious privacy and security issues, as users’ personal information could be exposed to malicious actors, leading to identity theft, fraud, and other types of cybercrime.
How does Net Neutrality affect me?
Net neutrality is an issue that affects every internet user, whether they are aware of it or not. The repeal of net neutrality in 2017 means that internet service providers (ISPs) are allowed to discriminate against certain types of traffic, such as video streaming or gaming, by slowing down or blocking access to these services. This means that ISPs can prioritize certain content over others, potentially creating a two-tiered internet in which only those who can afford to pay for faster access have equal access to all content.
Do Net Neutrality and Cyber Security influence each other?
There is a certain level of interdependence between net neutrality and cyber security. The absence of net neutrality could open up opportunities for cybercriminals to exploit the loopholes created by ISPs that prioritize certain types of traffic over others. For instance, ISPs could slow down traffic from certain websites, making it difficult for users to access them. In the absence of net neutrality rules, ISPs could also block traffic from websites that they deem to be a security threat. This could create a situation where legitimate websites are blocked, providing a cover for cybercriminals to launch their attacks. Therefore, net neutrality rules play a crucial role in ensuring cybersecurity in the digital age.
On the other hand, cybersecurity measures could also impact net neutrality. Governments and ISPs may argue that certain types of traffic need to be slowed down or blocked to protect the network from attacks. For instance, ISPs may have to slow down traffic from a specific region if there is a high number of cyber attacks originating from that area. However, this could also lead to the discrimination of certain types of traffic, leading to a violation of net neutrality principles.
Net Neutrality South Korea
Net neutrality has been a contentious issue in South Korea in recent years. The country has been a leader in internet connectivity and advanced technology, but its policies towards net neutrality have been criticized for being too lenient. In 2018, the Korean government’s decision to allow internet service providers (ISPs) to prioritize certain types of traffic sparked widespread protests. Critics argued that this move would create a two-tiered internet, with some websites and services receiving preferential treatment over others. In 2021, the Korea Communications Commission (KCC) announced plans to introduce a new regulation that would allow ISPs to charge content providers for faster delivery of their services. This move has been met with opposition from internet freedom advocates, who argue that it would undermine the principle of net neutrality and give large corporations an unfair advantage over smaller competitors. The debate is still alive and will likely to continue as the Net Neutrality South Korea question is yet to be solved.
How a VPN can Help You
No matter on which side you stand regarding this issue, the repeal of network neutrality has already made noticeable differences. If left for permanent, it could completely change the outlook of the online world. As with everything else, the burden of safeguarding the right for free Internet is placed on the consumers. Luckily, there are a few useful tools you can use to make the playing field a bit more equal, the best ones being net neutrality VPN.
With a VPN service, you can combat the current restrictions and protect yourself from any future censorship. Of course, not all VPNs are the same. That’s why it’s crucial to pick a trustworthy and reliable VPN service. At ZoogVPN, we offer you a premium VPN service that comes with all the necessary safety and privacy features. Equally important, our premium service starts at only a few bucks per month. This makes it an excellent choice for all online users who value their online privacy. Get ZoogVPN today and ensure your right to a private and unrestricted Internet.