Net neutrality ended this week not with a bang, but a whimper.
Late last year, the Federal Communications Commission voted to overturn Obama-era rules put in place to maintain a free and open Internet. Because of that, those rules officially expired June 11.
Of all the reversals the Trump Administration has pulled in the last year-and-a-half, this one could have long lasting effects – there’s no way of knowing what they might be. But Burg Simpson founding shareholder Michael S. Burg has some ideas.
While Burg is worried about what effect the end of net neutrality will have on consumers, especially when it comes to providers possibly establishing slow and fast lanes on the Internet, the political aspect of this issue is particularly troublesome.
Burg points to the recent controversy surrounding the Sinclair Broadcast Group as proof. The conglomerate forced newscasters at affiliates across the country to read a statement critical of other mainstream media outlets on air.
“This opens the door for that on the internet,” Burg explained in an interview with the San Francisco Chronicle. “People are always saying ‘No, that’s not going to happen.’ But we never believed we’d have Russian interference in our elections through Facebook. Once you allow money to affect the information or the flow of information or the speed of information, this is a very slippery slope that we, as consumers, must be very concerned about.”
In another interview, with Denver’s KOA NewsRadio morning news show, Burg wondered about the real motive behind the repeal of net neutrality.
“The administration is looking at this as a way to control the media through the giant corporations who will have the money to pay to play,” Burg explained. “Most younger people don’t get their news anymore from the newspaper or from the television. They’re getting their news from the Internet. So, yeah, I’m very concerned about it.”