Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Review on "Big Brother Is Blocking" (The St. Louis Dispatch, 1/23/08)

The idea of "Big Brother" always watching you is one that creeps me out. It's almost as if anything you say, do, speak or read via modern technology will come with 'someone' watching over your shoulder. 

Verizon's incident with blocking the pro-abortion group NARAL's subscription service text message is all too telling of this "Big Brother" phenomenon. While it's good that phone companies block spam texts, this service was one that people definitely had to go the extra step to sign up for.  
"Verizon cited its policy against services that 'promote an agenda or distribute content that, in its discretion, may be seen as controversial or unsavory to any of our users.' This is the phone company acting as your mother."
 While abortion is always a hot topic for politics and elections, if phone companies like Verizon have a say in it, where does it end?

Similarly, but less politically motivated, Comcast was found to block access for file-sharing software like BitTorrent. Internet service providers companies like Comcast suggest that softwares like BitTorrent will slow bandwidth, or Internet service for customers. While using software like this isn't like exercising the right to freedom of speech, it's not illegal, and ISP's shouldn't be blocking them.

The article ends as such: "The commission [FCC] should make it clear that the information superhighway is not a tollway."


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