The Net Neutrality Action: Stop the Throttler!

In Canada, Bell and Rogers are changing how the Internet works, limiting Web users access content. This policy is known as ‘throttling’, and it fundamentally changes how the Internet works. Instead of users deciding how they use the Internet, ISPs are now trying to “shape” traffic. The companies argue they are trying to limit activities that use up a lot of bandwidth in order to maintain speed for all users. But there is a dangerous reality hidden beneath the companies’ apparent concern for subscribers. Using the same “traffic shaping” principle, the companies can steer subscribers to their own content, or content produced by affiliated companies, and away from that offered by competitors – including the public broadcaster. Scary, but possible!

“For more than a decade, the Internet was a neutral resource for people around the world to share information with each other. Do we really want Bell and Rogers to be able to tell us what we can and cannot view and do on the Internet?” These are the appeals of this movement for democratic media that organized in May a rally to save the open internet in Canada.

This episode brought to discussion the important subject of net neutrality and seemed to be the beginning of a world wide debate. In fact, in Brazil the bill of the deputy Eduardo Azeredo against cybercrime was approved on the 9th of July (the second version already) in the Federal Senate and now moves to the Deputy Chamber. The problem with this project is that in the name of crime prevention (namely pedophilia and electronic fraud) fundamental rights as privacy; digital inclusion; communication and Internet innovation and development are restrained. To fight this new censorship, the civic movement Intervozes manages an online petition and other forms of collective action.

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