One danger of mass internet communication being channeled through private companies – like Facebook – is the possibility that our communications can be severely curtailed, especially when we try to organize. Consider public protests: How easily could they be labeled as acts of terrorism by those with the ability to cut us off from communicating with each other? Especially in an era where police have become increasingly militarized and people have become accustomed to using corporate-owned online environments with the expectation of having free speech or privacy protection rights when we do, this possibility becomes disturbingly real.
Verizon’s stunning challenge to the FCC rule that dictates that the internet should be open, is that its (Verizon’s) “free speech” rights will be violated if it is not allowed to,
“…suppress someone else’s ability to transmit or receive information.
…Here’s the twist: Verizon clearly knows better. Its joint statement with Google about the prospect of open-Internet rules in early 2010 stated: “The minute that anyone, whether from the government or the private sector, starts to control how people access and use the Internet would be the beginning of the end of the ‘net as we know it.”