John Oliver continues to be one of the biggest voices for net neutrality. Given the fact that he is a comedian rather than a politician, this is slightly less than a… funny fact. In the latest episode of Last Week Tonight, John urged his viewers to go to the FCC’s website to make comments regarding the commission’s proposal to have the Internet no longer classified as a public utility. Read on to discover why net neutrality is important.
John Olivers’ net neutrality stance breaks FCC website
Before we get too far into this, John Oliver has previously worked to get people to stand up for net neutrality. This happened back in 2014 and, as you can guess, he brought down the FCC’s website back then as well:
We’ve been experiencing technical difficulties with our comment system due to heavy traffic. We’re working to resolve these issues quickly.
— The FCC (@FCC) June 2, 2014
That defense of net neutrality was successful. However, the current president of the United States seems to think that net neutrality is no longer important to people. He is wrong. John sums it up excellently in his recent video:
Presidents will come and go, but the people’s will for net neutrality to remain will always be present. John’s plea to his audience to go to the FCC’s website, causing it to crash on two occasions, is clear evidence of this.
Take a look through #GoFCCYourself, the hashtag John started, for evidence:
#NetNeutrality still has to go thru Congress. There is still hope!
Also #GoFCCYourself @AjitPaiFCC
— Tazandra (@Tazandra_Jo) December 14, 2017
The FCC’s response
The FCC has responded that its website was not brought down due to the comments. Instead, the commission is saying that it was brought down by a deliberate denial of service attack so that people could not comment. It’s a case of six of one or half a dozen of the other. Think of this:
- Either enough people cared and commented to bring down the website.
- Or someone cared enough to do a denial of service attack.
- Or a combination of both has brought down the website.
Any way you look at it, John Oliver wanted people to go to the FCC website to make FCC officials notice that what they are proposing to do is causing problems, and the FCC has noticed.
Why net neutrality matters
The current measure proposed by the FCC is called “Restoring Internet Freedom.” With a name like that, and considering the current administration, you know for certain that the absolute opposite is what the proposal is going to do.
The FCC wants to declassify the Internet as a public utility. This means that protections that are in place for consumers will be thrown out the window and preferences will be given to major companies and those with money—with Comcast being one of the worst:
Open Twitter and the first thing I see is an add from Comcast telling me how they don't need title 2 regs to ensure net neutrality pic.twitter.com/1N5LcfkS70
— Wobberjockey (@Wobberjockey) May 8, 2017
Those who think that companies would have the people’s best interests in mind would be wise to remember that before the current laws were put into place, companies were already abusing net neutrality left, right, and center.
Defending your net neutrality
If you feel that your net neutrality is being violated, it is time for you to get a VPN. This online tool will encrypt all your communications so that it is not possible for you to have your net neutrality violated. If your ISP does not know what you’re doing, then you cannot be stopped from doing your thing.
The other thing you need to do is remain engaged with companies such as the EFF:
— Mashable (@mashable) May 9, 2017
In the meantime, being able to protect your net neutrality with a VPN at all times is important. Standing alongside organizations (such as the EFF or the Free Press) is going to be the long-term solutions. Stay tuned to our blog for more on net neutrality, online privacy, and online security needs.
You can visit https://t.co/IO1tIHnfBU and urge the FCC to keep strong net neutrality rules backed by Title II.
— John Oliver (@iamjohnoliver) May 8, 2017