With Net Neutrality Repealed ISPs Now Have the Censoring Power of an Authoritarian Government

I grew up in Iraq, under the dictatorship of Saddam Hussein. One of the many reasons I left that place was to find freedom: freedom of speech, freedom of religion and freedom of information. The free, open access of information is one of the building blocks of a true democracy. In many countries, even today, that free and open access doesn’t exist. China notoriously blocks everything from Facebook and YouTube to news articles portraying the government in a negative light. In the UAE, you’re forced to agree to use their certificate to access certain sites. In North Korea, even accessing the internet is difficult because of government censorship.

Authoritarian countries censor what you can see while you’re online and have full access to all of your data and history. They can see everything you post, track every site you’ve visited and know every password or bank code you’ve ever accessed. They can control what information you can access. There’s no such thing as online privacy or free exchange of ideas when that much power is in the hands of the government.

But what if that power is in the hands of corporations?

If corporations have the power to throttle, which is arguably just a more reassuring word for "censor," is that really a free society? If they have the power to sell "free speech" to the highest bidder, is that really a free society? If they have the power to access any and all of your private data, is that really a free society?

Of course it isn’t.

Read the rest of his thoughts in Entrepreneur Magazine

Nineveh Madsen