Privacy & Neutrality: Bought and Paid For?
For a more in-depth overview of this topic, listen to Episode 68 of the Multinewmedia podcast.
Many people use the phrase "bought and paid for" incorrectly. They assume it to mean something akin to "in the clear" or "debt free." The real meaning of the phrase, however, signifies that something is controlled by corruption, typically fiscal bribery. In this series, the current state of privacy and net neutrality from an American perspective will be explored.
Special interests (another oft-misunderstood term) have reached beyond lobbying into government policymaking and established a horizontal integration like never before seen. They've allowed for the consolidation of content and digital infrastructure companies into behemoths with unfettered access to the personal data and behaviors of private citizens. The United States has taken an additional step toward the erosion of online privacy in the recent reversal of online privacy protections for individuals against ISPs, much to the disapproval of the inventor of the world wide web, Tim Berners Lee.
This multi-piece article (and accompanying podcast episode)will detail how the current attacks on user privacy are simply another round in the attack on net neutrality. However, instead of forcing the creation of an anti-competitive market for bandwidth prioritization, the objective this time is to identify and subvert the content-focused technology companies who typically serve as defenders of neutrality. The digital infrastructure companies, after not being allowed to merge into a U.S. national monopoly in the '90s and thwarted by net neutrality in the '00s, are adopting and utilizing the advertising model to undermine the very same companies they weren't allowed to acquire or charge for prioritization.