Like many of you, as well as the majority of Americans, we here at Private WiFi were outraged by the FCC’s recent decision to end net neutrality.
For those of you who aren’t exactly sure what net neutrality is, let me quickly summarize: net neutrality is the principle that Internet Service Providers must treat all Internet data the same and not discriminate or charge differently for access to specific websites and online content.
These Obama-era regulations were meant to ensure that ISPs treat all Internet data and traffic equally. They could not dictate what web content they provided and how fast this content could be accessed.
Who benefits from these changes?
The cancellation of net neutrality is a pre-Christmas bonanza to your ISP (who have donated over $100 million to push for ending net neutrality), who are very often the wonderful folks who provide your cable TV service.
With the recent action by the FCC, these ISPs will now be able to extract bribes (which they will call “fees”) from the wealthiest content providers (like Netflix and others) for faster service, thereby penalizing startups and less affluent information sources.
And just like your cable company can decide which channels to carry, your ISP will now be able to decide that some website should not be accessible. Under the new rules, ISPs are not required to promise they won’t block or throttle Internet traffic.
Gutting net neutrality adds a lot of grease to the slippery slope of censorship.
The FCC’s actions also significantly decreases any government oversight of ISPs, which could allow ISPs to peek into our browsing history, and even sell your data to the highest bidder.
How to protect yourself
Fortunately, there is a solution. It turns out that VPNs are a great tool to counter the FCC’s move to end net neutrality.
A VPN like Private WiFi blocks your ISP from seeing your data (and possibly selling it), and also blocks them from seeing the websites you visit. All your ISP would be able to see is the VPN server your traffic is routed through.
While it is possible that ISPs may block or throttle VPN traffic, it appears that it’s unlikely this will happen, as many businesses use VPNs for secure connections for remote employees to access company information. Blocking or throttling VPNs would spark a huge backlash from corporate America.
If there is any silver lining to this, it’s that the repealing of net neutrality has led to a huge backlash from the Democratic party, activists, and consumers like you. It’s possible that they may be overturned by additional legislation or stopped by a new administration.
Until then, consider using a VPN.