Illustrated by Gabriela Alford.
The Internet, as we know it, is nigh. Yes, that's right — news of Tuesday's federal court decision to stomp out the FCC's "Open Internet" rules marks the beginning of the end for casual web surfing.
Essentially, the ruling means that Internet service providers (ISPs) now have free reign to do whatever they please when it comes to connectivity and the pages we scroll through. Though the court didn't rule against Net Neutrality outright, it removed whatever authority the FCC had once assumed over ISPs. (Prior to this, the organization claimed it had the right to stop various providers from restricting a user's surfing habits, with Verizon being its latest attempted conquest.)
Verizon's win means that ISPs have the legal power to black out the Internet at will, drop or yield the sending and receiving of e-mails, and prevent websites from running. What's worse is that there's really nothing users can do about it. No amount of money or customer service ranting will help. ISPs are expected to roll out exclusive deals, but signing on means giving over your privacy. Furthermore, the new ruling gives ISPs free reign to monitor your Internet activity and sell your information to companies. Sure, when Facebook or Instagram pull a stunt like this, people stand up. But, Facebook or Instagram don't have control of your Internet connection.