At Namecheap, we firmly believe in privacy, security, freedom and equal treatment for all web users. We believe that all netizens deserve to access the content that they want, when they want it, without government or unsanctioned corporate interference.
With a laptop and a domain name, ideas and dreams become business realities with the Internet’s openness. Equal treatment is impossible without true net neutrality.
In the past, we asked our customers to help us fight the passage of both SOPA and PIPA, U.S. legislation that would have compromised Internet users’ privacy. We also advocated strongly for Net Neutrality and fund-raised for various organizations.
Today we are particularly concerned about the recent discussion around Net Neutrality rules, and we plan to explore means by which we can further protect your rights.
What is Net Neutrality?
Net neutrality is the concept that all data on the Internet should be treated equally and be provided at the same speeds and level of access. This concept extends to all forms of data, including text, voice, video, and images. It also addresses the source of the data (Wikipedia, Skype, YouTube, etc.). Net neutrality policies prevent your ISP from adding advertisements, slowing down streaming content, or blocking certain websites altogether.
To put it plainly, without net neutrality, your Internet service provider has no barriers to interfering with your access to online content.
If you’re not sure what it means to you, check out this recent video from John Oliver for a light-hearted explanation of net neutrality, or check out one of our previous blog posts.
Why is Net Neutrality an Issue Today?
The first blow to Internet privacy came on April 3, 2017, when President Trump signed SJ Res. 34. This joint resolution overturns Obama-era FCC rules that required Internet providers to get customers’ permission before sharing their browsing history with other companies. This joint resolution also prevents the FCC from devising new rules in the future to protect consumer rights in this area.
Because of SJ Res. 34, your Internet service provider and wireless carriers could potentially legally sell your browsing data to advertisers or other third-parties. This data may include things such as health information, banking and financial information, your browsing habits, your location, personal messages, and any other data you share online, even privately.
While it’s possible that some providers may choose to respect your privacy, there are now fewer protections in place to prevent them from using data about you in the name of profit.
And they’re not done yet. The new FCC Chairman, Ajit Pai, discussed to go even further and erase all net neutrality protections and government oversight concerning the actions of Internet providers. He proposed a plan to reverse the regulatory framework for net neutrality. Pai’s plan would reverse a key policy approved two years ago that ensured that broadband companies would treat all online content equally.
Let’s use the Internet to Save the Internet!
Despite these setbacks, Namecheap remains firmly in support of your privacy and the concept of net neutrality.
When you register domains, create websites, post videos, or send emails, you have the right to expect your content won’t be tampered with by your hosting provider or ISP, and that it will reach its intended audience in a timely manner.
Namecheap will keep you updated as more information around this issue becomes available, and we will continue to support net neutrality, privacy, and Internet freedom for all.
In the meantime, consider commenting on the FCC’s plans to gut all net neutrality provisions. You may do so (along with nearly 500,000 other concerned citizens as of when I’m writing) on the FCC’s website.
Please help spread the word about this critical issue for all of us online.