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Open Internet Access and Online Writing: Do we need to be worried?

Updated on March 2, 2013
The threat to an open Internet is very real.
The threat to an open Internet is very real. | Source

The Fight for Internet Freedom

The fight for Internet freedom or Net neutrality continues as the threat to be controlled in what we say or do online becomes more real. Internet legislation could hinder sharing of information and innovation and could control Internet users in numerous and unwanted ways. Several Heads of States, including President Barack Obama, have been champions of Internet legislation.

Have we as writers considered how this intended legislation would affect our online writing careers as we need the open Internet to publish and share information?

Net neutrality refers to the Open Internet which uses free and widely accessible standards for anyone. When the Internet was first founded a very important principle has so far been adhered to, namely the guarantee that internet providers and telecoms operators would only be the transmitters of information. Due to intended legislation open Internet access could become something of the past. Telecoms operators might be given the power to develop and implement business models which could restrict your open access to the Internet unless you are willing to pay for more services. How will this affect you when writing online? Did you know that telecoms operators will even be able to limit your ability to publish and share information?

Global access to the Internet could become restricted.
Global access to the Internet could become restricted. | Source

Freedom of Communication undermined

By limiting access to the Internet, freedom of communication could be severely undermined. Imagine not being able to publish acceptable content due to restrictions in your country or having to pay for more online access to earn online. Net neutrality should never be compromised and users of the Internet should always have full access. From what I can understand if the legislation is accepted, regulation of the Internet will be implemented on a country-by-country basis. Innovation would also become more difficult as well as your ability to share online content with others. Why would anyone using the Internet be required to ask for permission or pay Internet service providers to access others or share content on the network? The implications for you as an online user are immense: think of restrictions to emails, blogs, live streaming and online shopping. Internet providers and telecoms operators will be given the power to decide which websites you may access based on which site will pay them the most. Another search engine, for example, could pay Internet providers to become the dominant search engine and to open faster than other search engines. Your access to iTunes could become slower than for other music sites forcing you to use a better service.

If the restriction to the Internet would solely be to prevent criminal activities or sexual transgressions, for example no access to sites promoting terrorism acts or sexual crimes, etc, I would support it, but not the way in which it is currently unfolding.


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    • Tricia1000 profile image

      Tricia1000 5 years ago from South Africa

      @JimTxMiller yes it is not new, I just wanted to create more awareness of an ongoing issue. Google also recently launched a campaign for users to sign a petition while several anti Internet legislation websites were created. At the State of the Nation Conference in January in Washington, Net Neutrality was still high on the agenda. Thanks for reading.

      @sydneyspence Much appreciated.

    • sydneyspence profile image

      Sydney Spence 5 years ago from Austin Texas

      Voted up and shared to Facebook because you have done a wonderful job of explaining this, scary to think about and only the drop in the bucket of what's going on ~ very good hub!

    • JimTxMiller profile image

      Jim Miller 5 years ago from Wichita Falls, Texas

      This is not a new issue. As long as net users remain vigilant, our access to the web is not threatened.

    • torrilynn profile image

      torrilynn 5 years ago


      Thanks for this article

      and helping me and fellow hubbers

      the potential danger that may be

      lurking online.

      Voted up.

    • Tricia1000 profile image

      Tricia1000 5 years ago from South Africa

      Thanks Teresa, yes it is worrying and many of us do not even realise how big this threat is. Thanks for sharing my hub with your followers.

    • Teresa Schultz profile image

      Teresa Schultz 5 years ago from East London, in South Africa

      Voted up, useful and interesting, and shared with my HubPages followers - and it really is interesting, thanks for this hub. It certainly is a little worrying, isn't it? Gosh, most of my freelance income comes from using the Internet - but have recently started making and selling things - perhaps I should concentrate on that a bit more, just in case...

    • rcrumple profile image

      Rich 5 years ago from Kentucky

      I hate to say this is not a surprise, but it isn't. The Internet allows freedom of thought. Big business and governments don't like that. They want to control us like herds of cattle. Plus, can you say, "Greed?" If there's a dollar to be made, big business wants a way to get their hands on it. Great hub!