We Need Some New Internet Rules!

Internet, Internet rules, new Internet Rules, FCC, AdBlock, YouTube, overheating computer

This is a busy news week, y’all, but I wanted to rant about the Internet for a bit.

This is a two-part complaint concerning the new rollbacks the Republicans passed and Trump signed and the internet problems I’m experiencing.


Rollback of Internet Rules

As you may know, Congress just sold Americans’ privacy away a couple of weeks ago. They moved to repeal the internet rules established by the Obama administration and Trump signed off on it.

As part of the 2015 Open Internet Act, the Internet was treated like a utility. And effective this year, Internet service providers (ISP’s) would have to take extra measures to protect the privacy of their customers. The rules would have required ISP’s to take “reasonable extra security measures” in case of data breaches.

Additionally, ISP’s would be limited in their ability to sell user information. However, that last rule was blocked by the Federal Communications Commission the day before it went into effect. That means ISP’s could sell customer information like browser history,

The law the Republicans passed allows companies like Verizon and AT&T to compete with Google and Facebook for advertising dollars. People like FCC chairman Ajit Pai and Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) argue that ISP’s should be subject to Federal Trade Commission Rules as opposed to Federal Communications Commission rules.

To that, I call BS.

I feel this way because companies like AT&T, Comcast, and Verizon are utilities. Facebook and Google are not!

Now, I have a problem with the fact that those last two can sell user information, but that is the trade-off for using those services for free and those companies have less of our information than ISP’s do. Also, it is easier for people to move away from those websites than it is to find another cable and internet provider.


My Internet Problems

Well, what I’m experiencing right now is twofold: I have to deal with a slower internet depending on the site I’m on and my computer has been overheating a lot lately.

One problem is leading to the other.

Part of the problem is some sites require me to disable my AdBlock in order for the site to be functional. I do that, but then I’m am often bombarded by ads that eat up a significant amount of broadband and ads that pretty much destroy the intended layout of websites. In the end, those ads slow up the loading time considerably.

Another part of the problem is the amount of crap websites put within their own code. YouTube is notorious for adding unneeded bells and whistles and it makes its videos’ default engine one that requires a high amount of machine acceleration. Both make my computer overheat within an hour of use, no matter how many applications I am running at the time.

Google Chrome is murder on my computer when I go to certain websites. Firefox is a nightmare of its own with its constant updates. (I can’t go a half hour without experiencing problems with that browser and it may also overheat my system, but not as fast as Chrome does.)

When my system overheats, it automatically shuts down. I can be working on a blow post or in any other program and I have to stop until my computer cools down. It’s frustrating.


My Solution

If I had my way, I would overhaul our communications laws, at least where the Internet is concerned.

How would I do it? Well, as part of any new law, I would make sure to include these stipulations:

  1. The Internet, like phone and cable service, should be recognized as a utility. Therefore, any company that provides phone, internet, and cable services should be designated “common carriers” and be subject to FCC rules. Basically, I would restore this Obama-era rule.
  1. As a company is designated a common carrier, it would be barred from selling off user information UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCE. There would be no exceptions. Any company in violation of that rule would pay a steep fine.
  1. Common carriers would have to be more transparent with customers about the type of information they share and the companies have to justify why they are sharing that information. Furthermore, they would be barred from sharing certain information, like Social Security Numbers, identities, and browser histories, unless the customer is part of a governmental investigation and in accordance with due process.
  1. Common carriers would have to provide thorough and complete privacy policies, along with a Cliff’s Notes version.
  1. For the heck of it, I would limit the number of ads a website could feature on any given page and limit the amount of broadband each ad can take up. (This would have to be an international law in order to be more effective, but American companies with websites would have to comply with a domestic law.)
  1. I would also require websites to forgo graphics and machine acceleration if 40% of computers still in use are not equipped for their flash engines.

There’s probably more that should be done, but that’s what I can think of right now.


In the Meantime …

I would like the stipulation the Republicans put in to bar similar Internet rules to the ones passed during Obama’s administration to be set again. That clashes with the best interests of consumers and should be litigated.

I would also like to look into finding a way to pay for services like Google and Facebook or to bar them from selling certain information to advertisers without express user consent. If I couldn’t do that, I think users should get a cut.


Sources

Dunn, Jeff. “Republicans are moving to kill rules that’d make internet providers get your consent before selling your Web browsing data.” Business Insider. 9 Mar 2017. Web. <http://www.businessinsider.com/r-congress-may-overturn-obama-internet-privacy-rules-2017-3>.

Fiegerman, Seth. “Congress just killed your Internet privacy protections.” CNN. 28 Mar 2017. Web. <http://money.cnn.com/2017/03/28/technology/house-internet-privacy-repeal/index.html>.

Hoffman, Chris. “Why YouTube in Chrome (and Firefox) is Draining Your Laptop’s Battery and How to Fix It.” How-To Geek. 9 Sept 2015. Web. <https://www.howtogeek.com/227940/why-youtube-in-chrome-and-firefox-is-draining-your-laptop%E2%80%99s-battery-and-how-to-fix-it/>.

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10 thoughts on “We Need Some New Internet Rules!

  1. I like your new internet rules, and agree with your FireFox sentiments. I used the browser for over ten years before finally switching to Chrome, not because Chrome was “better”, but because Chrome didn’t take 10 minutes to load only to crash 5 minutes after opening. When FF worked, it was great. When it didn’t work, it was horrid.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, when I first knew of Firefox, it was still on version 3. That was the best version I had used.

      I upgraded to 4 when I got a new computer. It wasn’t as good as version 3 but it was still the best browser around.

      Now, we’re at version 52. That’s 48+ versions in over 6 six years! That’s ridiculous and each new update has its own set of problems.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Yeah, that’s a big problem. I visit WordPress every day and some of my posts need extra attention. It really bugs when I’m using FF and the screen suddenly goes black or freezes.

          Chrome requires more power overall but it is more functional than FF. To be honest, I would rather use FF because of all the apps it has but it has too many problems now.

          Liked by 1 person

    1. Unfortunately, that is not a viable option for me. I am use to the Windows OS and I need to use the Adobe Creative Suite, if possible. Also, I prefer to have more documents on my hard drive; Chromebooks are mostly cloud-based.

      Like

  2. I really like your take on the internet regulations. Considering the recent political moves in Washington regarding internet privacy, I’ve been eyeing the idea of a VPN with less skepticism than I did in the past. I always associated VPNs with the “bad guys” of the internet. And let’s not forget the argument of “why be so secretive if you have nothing to hide” that would invariably pop up. It isn’t a matter of secrecy. It’s a matter of privacy. The two aren’t interchangeable, but people like to spin the argument that way.

    For all its problems, I’m still a Chrome user on Windows. When I boot into Linux, Firefox is really the only option. That isn’t so bad since it runs so much better on Linux. Not a comparison of OS’s, just how Firefox performs (or doesn’t) on each. Occasionally, I still use an old iBook G4, and the Firefox-based browser TenFourFox is the only option for viewing the web securely on a machine that old with no more OS support. It performs well, if not a bit slow, but that’s to be expected.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m there with you. I will probably look into getting a VPN, too.

      Like you said, it’s not about hiding things, but privacy. I really hate that argument, “If you have nothing to hide …” In fact, I plan on addressing that type of argument in a future post. It’s part of a larger topic.

      When it comes to FF: I use Windows, so I’m pretty much stuck with two viable browsers.

      I also need to get a new computer. In the meantime, I have to make do with the one I have and try to use as little power as possible.

      Liked by 1 person

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