The freedom of Net Neutrality suffered a traumatic blow last week. Net Neutrality, as defined by Wikipedia, is a principle proposed for users’ access to networks participating in the Internet. The principle advocates no restrictions by Internet service providers and governments on content, sites, platforms, the kinds of equipment that may be attached, and the modes of communication.
Fearful of mass antigovernment demonstrations, the Egyptian government blocked their internet from the rest of the world and shut down cell phone service. These appalling actions did not keep the peoples voice from being heard. A quarter of a million people showed up Tuesday on Liberation Square in Cairo to protest. Savvy Egyptians found other ways to access the internet by using radios and dial-up connections in other countries. The Al Jazeera network kept the rest of the world updated on the happenings in Egypt.
The government has since restored the internet. Unfortunately, the peaceful protests have turned violent. The internet fiasco is not the cause of Egypt’s unrest. It does, however, set the world on alert.
What will keep other governments from following suit when a public uprising is a imminent? The events in Egypt brought this possibility of losing our internet freedoms to a reality. The people of the United States need to stand behind an open internet. Stay educated. Stay aware. Protect the Internet.
To learn more about Net Neutrality, click here.