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San Marino High School

Net neutrality is dead, but will democracy stay alive?

The word on the tips of everyone’s tongue today? Net neutrality.

There’s a foreboding feeling that comes with the word, like when you tell a secret you know you shouldn’t have. Because that’s exactly what net neutrality is: the secret to knowledge, to democracy, to freedom.

What happens then when the Obama-era policy becomes shut down?

According to FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, as reported by USA Today repealing net neutrality is “not going to stifle free expression online,” and he’s right; a constitution that has defined this country for more than 200 years ensures it. If he said otherwise, if he had the slightest thought that the people of America would accept neglecting of their voice, he might as well become a stand-up comedian, infamous for his ignorance.

What’s truly shocking about the chairman’s statement is how presumptuous he is in his declarations. Suddenly, Pai can see into the future, as if he’s some sort of psychic, and has the audacity to claim that the death of net neutrality will not “end the internet as we know it.”

But how can he be so sure?

To take action, make statements, based on the assumption that an always-evolving, exploitative world will not change in accordance with new laws is criminal, to say the least.

The consequences of net neutrality’s death taints almost every article: how internet providers will now have the opportunity to pick and choose websites you can access, and how loading rates can be slowed if affiliated with a competitor. At least USA Today provides readers with consolation: “The big internet and cable providers, who lobbied hard for repeal, say they won’t stop or slow any legal content.”

I don’t ever hear anyone singing praises about the transparency and fulfilled promises of dominating corporations though. Do you?

Not to mention that there is no purpose in terminating the Open Internet policy if services were planning to abide by the law in the future. Why change the rules if they were working for you, not against you?

Of course, we can’t dwell on the cynical aspects of decisions we can’t change. We have to look forward. As of now, America is looking into a black hole, devoid of knowledge of what can happen on the other side. So we need to move forward with tenacity, an unbreakable will, and achieve the future that we deserve.