For such an important part of American daily life, the internet sure is a fragile thing. Remember how SOPA and PIPA were both averted thanks to online activism? This time, net neutrality has been wiped out, and there's nothing you can do about it. Jeff John Roberts at GigaOm explains:
An appeals court in Washington [D.C.] on Tuesday ruled that the FCC’s “net neutrality” rules, which prevent companies like Verizon from favoring some types of internet traffic over others, are invalid. The 81-page ruling, which was decided by a 2-1 vote with one judge dissenting in part, has big implications for content providers, consumers and the future of the internet...The court’s ruling is a game-changer because it upsets the FCC’s current practice of requiring broadband internet providers to act akin to “common carriers.” In plain English, this means that they have had to behave in a similar way to phone companies and not give special preference to one type of call (or traffic) over another.
This case will of course be appealed, but if this ruling holds, it could potentially make the internet more like television by stamping out small voices and only providing a voice for big-money interests. Big corporations will be able to pay for preferential treatment from telecom providers, meaning sites and online services from those corporations will be, in Roberts's words, "faster and more reliable" than sites that do not pay for the preferential treatment. It's been nice knowing you guys!