Russ Harvey Consulting - Computer and Internet Services

The Internet is at Risk

Net Neutrality | Two-Tiered Internet | Censorship | DRM | How This Affects You

Stop Online Censorship. Tell the CRTC that we don't want Bell's censorship plan.

The Internet at Risk

Remember when big media controlled everything you read and watched? They'd like that control back.

Undemocratic forces are working to destroy the Internet we know and love — a magical place of dank memes and video streams, the essential backbone we use to communicate with our loved ones, our families, and our government.

If they get their way, many of our favorite websites and services will be slowed to a crawl, and we'll end up with an “Internet” that looks more like cable TV — a boring, money-making machine for telecom giants. — OpenMedia

To understand the dangers of a Net Neutrality-free Internet, one has only to look to our south.

The ISPs in the US are taking full advantage of the repeal of Net Neutrality. Comcast has slowed down video streaming and created a paid Internet fast lane. AT&T is zero-rating television access through its cell service and shutting out non-AT&T customers. A new research study proved that video streaming has been throttled across the board since the repeal.

How can you help? Chip in to fund OpenMedia's fight to retain net neutrality in Canada.

We should be extremely careful before rushing to embrace an Internet that is moderated by a few private companies by default, one where the platforms that control so much public discourse routinely remove posts and deactivate accounts because of objections to the content. — Washington Post

Save Net Neutrality in Canada

Following the U.S. example, Canada's media companies want to change the status of net neutrality in Canada.

The Chair of the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), Ian Scott, recently said that because “technology continues to evolve,” we need to prepare to use “flexibility” in addressing our Net Neutrality framework that we've relied on for more than a decade.

The federal government has repeatedly stated its commitment to Net Neutrality, but Canada's Telecommunications Act is currently under review. And we know lobbyists — and now the CRTC — are pushing for looser regulations, following the U.S.' Net Neutrality repeal as an example.

The federal government must reject any effort by the CRTC to weaken Canada's Net Neutrality framework.

Tell Minister Bains: Stand up for Net Neutrality and reject any attempts to undermine these protections that are essential to an open Internet. — OpenMedia

Canadians already pay some of the highest rates in the world for Internet access both at home and via their cellular phones. The big three telecoms have the ear of the CRTC which should be there to protect Canadians, not enrich these companies that have been protected from foreign competition by this same CRTC.

You Need to Take Action

Take action at OpenMedia (the sources for their quoted facts are available there).

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Net Neutrality

What is Net Neutrality?

The Internet was designed as a neutral platform for open, unrestricted access to the data we wanted to obtain. It allowed us allowed us to choose what we watched and when we watched it.

Net neutrality means that all data is treated equally — all sites and services on the Internet have an equal footing.

We need the Internet to be fast, cheap, neutral, and accessible everywhere. — Larry Lessig

No site is artificially slowed or sped up. There is no fast lane for privileged services such as free access to a particular music or movie service ONLY if you're using that ISP's services.

Net neutrality

Facebook and Netflix emerged in this non-restrictive environment but the current plans to restrict net neutrality would never allow any realistic future competition.

A Simple Illustration

We need electronic data to be served neutrally, just as electricity is.

Imagine if you were to plug in your LG TV and were told, “Sorry. Only Sony TVs are authorized!”

The plug in the wall doesn't ask what you're using it for. It simply serves electricity.

Net Neutrality is the Internet equivalent — it delivers the site(s) you request without any extra fees or censorship.

Net neutrality is a simple concept that ends up being very politically complicated. It's the idea that your internet service provider (ISP) — whether that's Comcast, Verizon, or someone else — shouldn't have the ability to pick and choose which service or content you can see, or make sites pay to have their content load quickly. — Mozilla Blog

A 2017 Mozilla poll found that the vast majority of Americans overwhelmingly support net neutrality, yet they don't trust government to ensure it.

Neutrality deals with whether companies will be allowed to build more toll booths on the road. Net Neutrality is the best way to insure that no one is in control of the flow of information. — David Mengert
Net neutrality is the principle that internet service providers providing consumer connection to the Internet should treat all data on the internet the same, not giving specific advantages or penalties in access by user, content, website, platform, or application. — Mozilla

Government seems to have the ear of the huge mega-corporations, not the people they are supposed to represent. Tim Berners-Lee, known as the inventor of the Internet, describes the problem:

Over the past 12 months, I've become increasingly worried about three new trends, which I believe we must tackle in order for the web to fulfill its true potential as a tool which serves all of humanity.

He cited compromised personal data; fake news that he says has "spread like wildfire"; and the lack of regulation in political advertising, which he says threatens democracy. — OpenMedia

You Need to Take Action

The US voted to kill off net neutrality on December 14th 2017 in spite of overwhelming support FOR net neutrality by U.S. citizens. Bots used for this forum on both sides caused the FCC to reject all but the lengthy legal briefs.

But was that FCC decision legitimate or governed by other motives?

After removing all duplicate and fake comments filed with the Federal Communications Commission last year, a Stanford researcher has found that 99.7 percent of public comments — about 800,000 in all — were pro-net neutrality. — Motherboard

According to Motherboard's article, large legal briefs funded by corporate interests are the only ones that truly have a chance to be heard because of how the system is structured.

That decision will affect Canadians and others around the world. It may even encourage even more price-gouging by the already expensive Canadian ISPs and wireless carriers.

You should care because net neutrality is about way more than packets of data — it affects competition, innovation, speech online, and user choice. Losing net neutrality would ultimately mean you have fewer choices for content, applications, and services online, in ways we can't possibly imagine today. — Mozilla Blog

Get Active

Since governments are listening only to big media, you need to step up and take an active part if you want to see net neutrality remain.

Change Your Browser

The browser you choose and the page that you make your "home" page make a great deal of difference. Consider switching to Firefox as your primary browser. Firefox is faster, safer and is the only browser that is working for more privacy and security, especially when you move away from using Google for searches.

The Firefox Browser has built in tracking protection. That makes it harder for politicians, advertisers, and disinformation disseminators to find you. And with the free Facebook container extension, you can isolate your Facebook session from everything else you do online. More privacy means more democracy. — IRL: Democracy and the Internet

Most people running Chrome are doing so because it was surreptitiously installed or because it was advertised as faster. There are more serious issues than familiarity when choosing a browser.

79% of Web searches are done through Google. Chrome, now claims 62% of browser market share. — 2017 Mozilla Blog

This Google monopoly now threatens the future of the open Web.

Fund Those Working for an Open Internet

Consider funding the organizations working to support a free and open Internet.

  • OpenMedia works directly to educate people about these issues and to influence those that can make changes.
  • Mozilla stands up for a healthy internet for all. Mozilla Firefox is the only major independent browser that protects and respects your private information.

NAFTA Renegotiation Resurrects TPP

The TransPacific Partnership was an agreement brokered in secret that placed the interests of big corporations above the needs and rights of citizens. When this was revealed, a grass-roots fight to have it fail began. It effectively died with the election of Trump.

However, the US release of its NAFTA negotiating objectives show that the attack on net neutrality and privacy have merely moved to a different forum.

Enshrining IP and similar rules in trade agreements is flawed and will hinder the use and development of new technologies. For example, the main reason given for renegotiating NAFTA is that it doesn't deal with the digital economy (or even mention the Internet). Using another trade deal to make that correction is short-sighted.

Much of the US negotiating objectives appear to be simply methods to ensure there is no competition for US-based mega corporations including ensuring that countries cannot place legislation regulating cross-border data flows or requiring local computing facilities (essentially, enforcing US regulations internationally) even though the Trump administration's new America First policies do exactly this to foreign exporters.

U.S. ISPs Given Right to Sell Users' Surfing Habits

Arguing that Facebook and Google were able to cull user surfing habits and sell them to advertisers, the major U.S. ISPs were able to convince government to allow them to do the same.

[L]awmakers voted to allow internet service providers to violate your privacy for their own profit. Not only have they voted to repeal a rule that protects your privacy, they are also trying to make it illegal for the Federal Communications Commission to enact other rules to protect your privacy online.

That this is not provoking greater outcry illustrates how much we've ceded any willingness to shape our technological future to for-profit companies and are allowing them to do it for us. — Bruce Schneier

First of all, the argument that ISPs are like Facebook or Google are deeply flawed.

  • You pay your ISP for Internet access. Can you imagine how many users would remain with Facebook or Google if they started charging $35 per month or more?
  • You can choose NOT to visit Facebook or use another search engine other than Google. Few Americans have access to even two ISPs in their city.
  • Your ISP can see everything you do on the Internet, not just when you visit their site and these ISPs can do (and have already done) some very sneaky things.

Perhaps those ISPs would like to provide their services for FREE, depending upon the revenue from the sale of your profile data alone, just like Facebook and Google do?

The fact that the American government has voted to remove any possibility of future privacy is very disturbing. Imagine the outcry from politicians if a private bill made any election spending illegal with similar rules preventing future repeal?

Government Wants to Watch What You Watch

Large scale spying on ordinary citizens and opposition to encryption are two of the ways government has turned a basically free and open Internet into a data-collection nightmare where both government and corporations cry foul when you try to block these attempts.

[The British Investigatory Powers Bill] adds new surveillance powers including rules that force internet providers to keep complete records of every website that all of their customers visit. Those will be available to a wide range of agencies, which includes the Department for Work and Pensions as well as the Food Standards Agency.. — Independent

Of course, the politicians are exempt.

Big Media Wants to Control What You See and Watch

Now big media wants to make it a two-tiered system with emphasis on their products. Third-party sites big media doesn't control will be slower. It's already happening:

If people were getting what they want on cable TV, Netflix wouldn't be a threat.

Instead, big media would rather tax your choice of Netflix, slow down your connection to Netflix or simply not provide access at all.

The fight over net neutrality is starting to heat up — and the big difference between this time and 2015 is that big ISPs seem incredibly emboldened to say whatever they want without any regard for the truth. — The Verge

Retain a Free & Open Internet

2017 is shaping up to be the most treacherous year yet for Canada's Internet freedom. Police are already piling on the pressure for new laws to force you to reveal all of your digital passwords. Telecom giants are jacking up the price of Internet at 5 times the rate of inflation, and Big Media wants to use the upcoming copyright review to turn our Internet into Cable TV 2.0. — OpenMedia

Retain the current open Internet we currently experience and have taken for granted since we began to use it.

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Big Media Wants a Two-Tiered Internet

The Internet cable-ized -- click for larger image.

The smaller ISPs are now mostly gone, gobbled up or forced out of business by the big guys. This move was supported by governments with the argument that they needed to be bigger to compete internationally. Now that competition is gone, prices are going up and service is declining.

Big media wants to create a two-tiered Internet, ending Net neutrality. They want to monetize the Internet — bring the cable TV pricing concept to Internet access.

Imagine having to pay more to get “premium” access (i.e. usable speeds) for YouTube, Netflix, Skype, gaming or social media sites. The image to the right shows one possible scenario.

U.S. Already Seeing a Two-Tiered Internet

Have a look at what's already happened in the U.S.:

Big Media Has a Conflict of Interest

Besides providing Internet access, ISP companies like Shaw, Telus, Bell, Rogers and ComCast produce content that has to compete with other services on the Web.

Netflix competes directly with their TV subscription services. ISPs began forcing subscribers to pay more via bandwidth caps or experience a slowdown due to throttling of their Internet services.

This self-serving reaction indicates why ISPs that provide competing content have a conflict of interest. A monopoly is does not protect the best interests of its customers.

Technical Reasons Cited

The big media companies often cite technical reasons for throttling competing services:

Netflix…often makes up as much as a third of all [I]nternet data usage. Where other video sites like YouTube try to optimise their content, Netflix will generally use as much of the pipe as it can: if there's lots of bandwidth going, it'll send UltraHD. Only if the pipe's slow will it compress and optimise. — The Guardian, May 14, 2014

Instead of throttling services, these companies need to invest in a bigger pipeline and probably provide more of what people want than trying to force people to consume what they're currently offering.

This is a Lame Excuse

Since 80% of the cost of an ISP is in the initial investment (not the upgrades) this is a lame excuse (and the reason that the government provided for access to smaller ISPs which the big companies have since bought out to avoid any competition).

Interestingly, these same companies can download a boatload of cable channels into your neighbourhood on a regular basis without difficulty. Perhaps it is the competition they wish to do away with rather than anything technical.


Even with time-shifting technologies like PVR, scheduled broadcasts cannot compete with being able to choose what you want when you want it that streaming provides.

Traditional companies like Shaw and Telus now provide some time-shifting and the ability to watch when away from home on mobile devices. If they are allowed to include these services without impact on bandwidth while slowing down their competitors offerings, there is a clear conflict of interest.

The Real Reasons For Throttling

There is too much political power in the hands of a few corporations and even fewer wealthy and politically-connected individuals.

Just eight individuals, all men, own as much wealth as the poorest half of the world's population. — Oxfam
[T]hree people — Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates, and Warren Buffett — owned as much wealth as the bottom half of Americans combined. — Vice

Money Buys Political Power

The cost of getting elected today is immense and far beyond the ability of anyone but major corporations, unions and similar entities. This leads to control of the Internet by corporations that seek much more than a reasonable profit.

Remove the Potential for Corruption

So how do you fix this? Perhaps by limiting total annual political contributions by ANY entity to an amount affordable by most individuals (such as $500). With such a small ceiling, no corporation or union or trade group could buy significant political leverage with their donations.

Of course, this would force our political system to radically change to a more grass-roots level that would allow individuals more say and bring back those that have given up on the system. Now, wouldn't that be an improvement?

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Bandwidth & Data Caps

Data caps have appeared in Canada over the last few years. These are seldom found outside of Canada except on cellular networks.

Telus is now charging for “excess” bandwidth, something they said they'd never do when Shaw began the practice several years ago. They cite increased cost in providing Internet services. More likely it is a result of Telus moving into the TV services business.

More Bandwidth Possible and Affordable

Just like the new fees for receiving a paper bill and fees for plastic shopping bags, data caps have nothing to do with real costs (they have traditionally been included in the cost of providing the goods and services). They have everything to do with increasing profitability.

A CRTC look at cost and accessibility noted that Internet fees in Canada have increased at five times the rate of inflation. While paying some of the highest rates in the world, Canadians also suffer from some of the poorest service. Upload speeds vary greatly across the country at a time when uploading information became almost as important as downloading it.

TV Viewers Face No Bandwidth Caps

I find it interesting that the same companies that charge higher access fees for high-bandwidth Internet users have never taken similar steps to meter TV services (probably because traditional methods dump ALL the regular TV channels into the neighbourhood regardless of whether anyone is watching or not).

Telus and other Internet providers that also sell TV services have begun to add Internet overage charges.

You can watch TV all day without surcharges, but not Internet content even though both are using the same pipeline. The only difference is that the Internet provides choice — something that isn't profitable to existing entertainment structures.

CRTC: Internet a Basic Service

The CRTC has reclassified Internet as a basic service. This will change the subsidies offered from supporting copper-based telephone services (POTS) to supporting Internet access, including Internet-based phone service (VOIP) like Shaw and Skype provide.

Many Canadians no longer have a home phone, depending upon cellular phones and Skype-like services though companies like Shaw and Fido.

Netflix Threatens Profitability

Netflix threatens their TV subscriber base because their service lacks viewable content unless you're a news or sports junkie. Fixed timetables cannot compete with choice in your viewing time combined with program selection nor allow bing-watching of a series.

Despite the absence of regulatory requirements, Netflix has emerged as one of the leading backers of Canadian content, reporting that it commissioned hundreds of millions of dollars in original programming in Canada…. In fact, Netflix says that Canada now ranks as one of its top three locations worldwide for original productions. Given that the company spends billions each year on content, the activity in Canada is likely larger than all but a handful of regulated sources. — Michael Geist

The CRTC (Canada's FCC) has required an affordable TV subscription option costing no more than $25 per month. Some companies have used hidden fees and other tricks to increase the actual billing rate for basic services.

Canadian Internet Tax Proposed

The Liberal government is again strongly considering adding an Internet tax to help offset the declining revenues faced by Shaw, Rogers and Telus as their viewership rates decline and to “support Canadian content” despite the actual facts.

We cannot afford to prop up a dying industry (and it isn't the only one). People need to speak out if we are to avoid being steamrolled by an industry that is bankrolled by our high cable and Internet fees.

Canadians strongly oppose such a tax. It will also add to the one-in-five Canadians that cannot afford Internet or TV services.

If high quality content was being produced it wouldn't need a subsidy. An example is the worldwide distribution of BBC productions.

However, Canadian content creators are hampered by a very small domestic consumer base combined with the presence of two official languages (with French being subsidized in areas where it can't naturally compete). Now we're seeing multiculturism legislation generating content for minorities in the basic band of television offerings rather than as a specialized subscription basis where its economics would be tested.

Much of this sort of content has no resale value. It only gets air time because of the Canadian content and multiculturism laws.

TV Sports Subsidies and Content Rules

Of course, legislating Canadian content and regional requirements has upped the cost of TV services and providers have to find profitability somewhere.

Most TV viewers don't have any say in available content other than in picking bundles. All TV subscribers heavily subsidize the cost of sports programing. Costs are hidden within the basic cable rates. Canadian TV service providers must offer channels either individually or in packages of up to 10 channels and the affordable TV package mandated by the CRTC.

Older Canadians will remember that TSN started off as a premium channel at $29.95 per month. Rather than let it fail, the CRTC rolled it into the standard TV packages resulting in a monthly fee increases of $1 for everyone — whether they wanted TSN or not. The inflated cost today is much more.

Community Broadband

More Bandwidth Possible and Affordable

Increased bandwidth is not only possible, but affordable. What's missing is the incentive for those controlling access.

With the help of local governments there are movements in Canada to bring faster, cheaper Internet to your community.

There are already Canadian success stories in cities including Coquitlam, BC where residents on the network are able to access unlimited 10 Mbps Internet for an incredibly low fee of $20 per month.

Banned in Rural U.S.

Several U.S. rural communities decided to take matters into their own hands and built community broadband in areas the big ISPs refused to service. The response? The ISPs lobbied to ban community broadband in 19 U.S. states, calling it “unfair competition.”

Remember, this was to provide broadband service in areas the commercial operators said was unprofitable. The goal is to protect huge profits by limiting bandwidth and competition.

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Censorship — Who's Protecting Whom?

What you place on your website may not be acceptable everywhere. You may have to deal with a different points of view or perhaps justify your site's content if it is deemed to violate legislation — even outside your own country.

The U.S. Communications Decency Act had the stated purpose of “protecting children” but there was a danger that it (and similar legislation) will be misused. Given the information released by Snowden, this concern is justified.

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) was supposed to simply prevent the illegal copying of music and movies but has been used to stop people from repairing their own equipment and to prevent researchers from verifying company claims. The Volkswagen cover up was only possible because of the DMCA.

Misuse of Censorship

It is not unusual to want to restrict the use of information that you deem inappropriate. Allowing alternative viewpoints provides for healthy discussion provided the topic is acceptable and appropriate for the audience. seeks to encourage social media companies to operate with greater transparency and accountability toward their users as they make decisions that regulate speech. We're collecting reports from users in an effort to shine a light on what content is taken down, why companies make certain decisions about content, and how content takedowns are affecting communities of users around the world. —

Who's Watching the Watchers?

The problem comes when you try to decide who's view is going to be available and who make the decision about what is acceptable. In some cases this is purely a matter of law. In others, the definitions are either so vague as to be meaningless or the interpretations have allowed leeway that may never have been intended.

One measurement is what is "acceptable in the community." This is (or can be) subjective and may not be an accurate tool. Some groups are more vocal than others and some have more influence than their actual numbers may justify.

Consider the case of a Canadian feminist organization that managed to have a man banned from Twitter because they felt “threatened” by his tweets, even though they posted similarly inflammatory content. Their call for censorship is clearly one-sided.

Sarkeesian and Quinn are perhaps the finest living examples of what I call quantum superstate feminism, whose figureheads are at once aggressor and victim; trolling, provoking and ridiculing their ideological opponents while at the same time crying foul when their provocative language is returned in kind. In other words: someone said “you suck” to Anita Sarkeesian and now we have to censor the internet. Who could have predicted such a thing? — Breitbart News

Stop Bell's FairPlay Censorship Proposal

Bell has been pushing for new controls, first through the renewed TPP, then by weaponizing copyright and pushing the CRTC for powers to block alleged pirate sites. The only court oversight [would come] after a site has been blocked.

Fair Play Canada aims to mislead Canadians by talking about how piracy is killing the media industry, while also posting record profits. While under the pure intentions of stopping piracy, the temptation of silencing anybody may prove too much to resist. — Ian Spence

Other jurisdictions that have enabled this sort of site-blocking have experienced massive blocking of legitimate (innocent) sites — and that was with court oversight. FairPlay proposes that we do away with pesky court orders.

We can only theorize on the motives behind the FairPlay proposal, including whether this is an attempt to avoid the costs associated with using legal mechanisms already in place. However, I want to emphasize that the FairPlay proposal is a bad idea where average Canadians will bear the consequences. — CIRA

Innovation Ends Piracy, Censorship Regimes Don't

Canadians pay some of the highest Internet fees in the world and they are increasing at over 5 times the rate of inflation. Protected from foreign competition, these bullies would rather censor the Internet than provide their services at a reasonable fee.

Stop Online Censorship. Tell the CRTC that we don't want Bell's censorship plan.

Canadians are coming together to stop Bell's reckless censorship plan. Get the facts then take action TODAY.

The ITC Threat

There are many countries that already restrict Internet access to their citizens and want to have even more control.

Some governments attempted to do this at a series of closed-door meetings of the ITC (an obscure United Nations agency that develops voluntary standards for international phone networks and communications satellites) held in December 2012 in Dubai.

The Internet Society, a non-profit organization, was one of the few representatives at the World Conference on International Telecommunications not tied to a national government.


The SOPA and PIPA bills threatened due process and freedom on the Internet.

We already see ridiculous take-down orders generated by computer algorithms that don't even get checked by human eyes before they are issued.

Do we really want to censor like China so that Hollywood can get even richer?

…[T]he DoJ would be allowed to demand that search engines, social networking sites and domain name services block access to the targeted site. It would also make unauthorized web streaming of copyrighted content a felony with a possible penalty up to five years in prison. — SOPA
…[T]he DoJ would be allowed to demand that search engines, social networking sites and domain name services block access to the targeted site. In some cases, action could be taken to block sites without first allowing the alleged infringer to defend themselves in court. — PIPA

I wonder how this would go over if the board members of these companies faced similar penalties if their companies erred.

The Internet goes on Strike has links to additional information and CBS News has screen shots of various sites that participated.

Bell Canada's FairPlay Canada

Bell Canada forged an alliance of the biggest TV and Internet operators in Canada with a dangerous website blocking proposal they called “FairPlay.” Fortunately, it was rejected by CRTC. Not only did the proposal do away with court oversight, but gave control to the big corporations to block websites that may compete with their own content.

Tools to Protect Children

There are tools that you can use to protect your children.

SafeSurf is a rating system that makes the Internet safe for your children without censorship. My site was originally rated by SafeSurf but I have since removed the coding although the content is still meets the standards for those ratings.

Probably an even more effective way would be to limit “adult entertainment” sites to something like a .XXX domain which would be relatively easy to block at your router. However, like spam and fraud, international enforcement would probably be an issue.

  • Bruce Schneier's 2013 essay, Power and the Internet, speaks to this changing balance of power on the Internet.

Learn More

More about Internet censorship and related issues:

  • The Ultimate Guide to Internet Censorship has a great overview of the practices and costs of censorship.
  • works to keep people informed about social media take-downs and account closures, providing a medium to appeal such censorship.
  • OpenMedia works to keep the Internet open, affordable, and surveillance-free by bringing dangerous proposals to the attention of the public and providing a medium for them to protest to their elected representatives.
  • The Mozilla Foundation is a nonprofit with a worldwide mission to promote a healthy, open Internet.

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Digital Rights Management

Digital rights management has become much more important as music, movies, etc. have moved from physical media like CDs and DVDs (which had their own battles with DRM) to MP3s and Netflix. As a result companies with these sorts of products have become much more aggressive in pursuing protective technologies.

Unfortunately, this trend is often one-sided.

DRM has been used to keep secret the failures of companies by using it to prosecute those that would reveal shortcomings, vulnerabilities or outright fraud (such as the Volkswagen emissions scam).

We cannot afford to continue to allow companies to threaten our security in order to save face when they fail. One example is the W3C DRM policy which needs review. Our browsers have become integrated into areas like medical devices and lives could depend upon revealing vulnerabilities and exploits, yet DRM has been used to keep these secret.

DRM Enhances Profitability at Your Expense

Unfortunately, this trend is often one-sided. Your privacy is ignored and your ability to control your own information is sacrificed in the pursuit of this goal.

Unlike a physical book or music CD you are often restricted in your use of digital media including your ability to lend or sell it.

New Technology Requires Re-Purchase

You are paying for the content, yet DRM ensures that the consumer pays over and over for the same product simply because technology changes. You may own the DVD but can't legally copy it to view on your iPad. You may own the LP but need to re-purchase the CD. If you scratch the DVD, you can't get a replacement or exchange, even at a discount.

The digital downloads that accompany recent movies as an inducement to purchase the movie expire yet there is usually no clear notice of expiry on the cover to warn the purchaser.

Corporate Rights Trump Individual Rights

Legislation enhances the protection for media giants, often overshadowing the rights of both creators (such as writers, musicians, artists, etc.) and end users.

Digital Restrictions Management is the practice of imposing technological restrictions that control what users can do with digital media. This concentrates control over production and distribution of media, giving DRM peddlers the power to carry out massive digital book burnings and conduct large scale surveillance over people's media viewing habits. — Defective by Design

Learn More

More about DRM and related issues:

  • Defective by Design is a grass roots organization working together to eliminate DRM as a threat to innovation in media, the privacy of readers, and freedom for computer users.
  • DRM Repeat offenders include Microsoft, Netflix, Sony and Amazon's Kindle.
  • The Free Software Foundation is a nonprofit with a worldwide mission to promote computer user freedom and to defend the rights of all free software users.

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How This Affects You

A Guide to the Open Internet shows how you could soon be paying more for access to high-bandwidth services like gaming sites, Netflix and YouTube if these companies succeed in removing net neutrality. This is happening in the U.S.

ISPs want to monetize the Internet (image from “A Guide to the Open Internet”).

An Open Internet Promotes Innovation

Most of today's big Internet companies wouldn't exist today without a free and open Internet. Startups are in no position to compete with established Fortune 500 companies for limited bandwidth.

These YouTube videos examine how you'll be affected:

Why Should You Care About Net Neutrality in the U.S.?

Not only does much of our Internet content come from the U.S., but net neutrality is now threatened in Canada.

Killing Net Neutrality will quash free expression and innovation online by giving Big Telecom full rein over what we can and can't see online.

“Pay to play” in the U.S. will severely hinder innovation for new and smaller entrants (think the next Netflix or YouTube). Much of our favourite content, and online services, come from the U.S.

If the FCC requires everyone to be able to pay to compete on a level playing field, not only will this make our favourite shows and services more expensive, but only business and voices with deep pockets will survive.

About 70% of the world's Internet traffic gets routed through the U.S. [W]e could see an impact on the quality and speed of our Internet just by virtue of it routing through the United States.

Rolling back Net Neutrality in the U.S. could set a dangerous precedent for other countries, and will embolden ISPs around the world to attempt their own power grabs.

The Internet should not be a place of fast and slow lanes, where what you can access depends on how much you can pay--instead, it should be a level playing field where everyone can equally connect, create, communicate, participate in the global community, and thrive. — OpenMedia

Learn More

More about Net Neutrality:

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Related Resources

Related resources on this site:

or check the resources index.

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Updated: October 29, 2019