neutrality – or ‘net’ for short, is the concept that internet service providers
(ISPs) should not charge users to
access platforms on the web differently based on user, content, website,
platform, application, type of equipment, or method of communication.
in the USA there are plans for ISPs to begin charging users to use different
networks and online platforms, such as Netflix and WhatsApp, to increase the
efficiency and line speeds at which they are using them.
and companies will have to pay ISPs premiums to allow them to grant access to
potential site visitors, giving an edge to bigger companies with more power and
of this method could affect hundreds of thousands of businesses without the
funds to pay ISPs. It will act as a form of censorship, dictated by companies
already in good financial standing or with strong partnerships with other mega
offering similar services, such as online video streamers – Netflix and Amazon
Prime Video, many also have influence over several other popular sites
depending on existing alliances and deals.
future landscape of the world wide web could soon look like this;
you pay for because your service is slow:
you’ve paid for a subscription plan that doesn’t cover the website you’re on:
for net neutrality were repealed towards the end of 2017 by the Federal Communications
Commission (FCC) and was officially ruled out on June 11 2018.
that came into question were; who would regulate the broadband companies and
ensure they weren’t abusing their powers as gatekeepers of the internet, and
not favour their own content over a competitor’s?
Republican-led FCC was stripped of its authority after Chairman, Ajit Pai
abolished these old rules safeguarding net neutrality.
there is a wait for the appeal courts decision as to whether this move was
legal and the fate of net neutrality.
What does it mean for me?
this issue is contained mainly to the USA, with little effect on external
nations like the UK. For the States, it means higher prices for have ease of
access to everyday sites like Facebook and even WhatsApp. It also means the
content being distributed to different factions in society will be censored and
the elite can easily dictate, what those less able to pay for freedom on the
web, are exposed to.
neutrality laws eventually fall through and the new monetisation of the
internet catches on, it is highly likely the concept with spread globally too.
No matter where you travel to these days, you’re destined to
never be left without a means of contact, with the help of public wi-fi
hotspots. Free access internet is now available at nearly every shopping
centre, train station, airport, major tourist attraction and even on populated
streets. The temptation, to save your monthly data allowance in exchange for
simply handing over your email address and full name, seems harmless, right?
Unbeknownst to too many people, by connecting to these open
networks you are letting hackers know you’re open for business. By accessing
emails and online banking, you have inadvertently marked yourself as a target
and made all your sensitive information, vulnerable.
‘Man in the Middle’ attacks
This is when someone within range of the hotspot reach is
essentially eavesdropping on your online activity. They are able to intercept
the flow of information you’re sending between your device and the internet
The information that flows from device to wireless router should
be in the form of a secret code, meaning sensitive information cannot be read. Most
routers are unencrypted until set up by IT professionals who know how to
encrypt it, so anyone who uses this router is protected by this private
network. Public and unencrypted networks deliberately set up by hackers don’t
enable this safety feature so that they can survey your activity from afar.
Cyber criminals will set up fake hotspots named similarly to
reputable businesses. They will be branded and made to look legitimate, the
same way in which, BT for example has their access pages displayed. These rogue
hotspots then act as a direct portal for criminals to peer into your sensitive
information and give them to platform to use it anyway they see fit. When doing
so they can see which web pages you visited, any log in information you
submitted and hack any accounts.
Tips for staying safe:
Turn wifi off when you’re not using it
Log out of accounts when done
Disable Bluetooth and file sharing
Only use web search
Access apps with sensitive information such as online banking/health records