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When in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for people to dissolve the digital cables which have bound them to their selfish internet service provider; a provider that makes no effort to provide its customers with the service they are paying for, it becomes necessary to assume the powers of democracy and overthrow the likes of Comcast, Time Warner Cable, and Verizon, so that the true potential of the internet can be realized.
equal, that they are endowed with certain unalienable rights, that among these are the right to send data to the user, to send it quickly, and to send it without fear of discrimination based on content.
To ensure these rights, Internet service providers (ISPs) are instituted among us, powering their internet with the money of their customers. Whenever any ISP becomes destructive of these rights, it is the right of the people to dissolve these corrupt organizations who work to seize every last dollar from our tired hands through devious and subversive methods, and the duty of the people to institute a new internet, laying its fiber optic cable on such principles that shall seem most likely to ensure their speed and coverage.
Prudence, indeed, will dictate that ISPs long established should not be abolished for petty causes. Undoubtedly history has shown, that the population is more disposed to suffer, than to get up out of the comfort of their armchairs and abolish the unfair system to which they have been subjected to. In fact, they have been numbed senseless, for the speed of Comcast’s internet falls slowly, imperceptibly, until the unwitting Tumblrian finds herself browsing cat videos on a network slower than the very bureaucracy of a government that tolerates this unjustifiable system.
But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object, confine the people under absolute despotism, it is their right to eradicate such economic tyranny. It is their duty to provide new rules to defend the freedom of the future internet. Such has been the sufferance of the peoples of the internet –Tumblrians, redditors, the anonymous, and more– never greater than today is the necessity which impels them to alter their former systems of WiFi. The history of the present ISPs are a history of unrelenting crimes against the very domain over which they preside, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute tyranny over the internet. To prove this, let the enraging truth be displayed for a candid world to see, that it might realize its collective power and face the Tyrants of the World Wide Web.
Comcast has throttled netflix.com by purposefully slowing its datastream, blackmailing it into paying “protection fees” so that its video streaming speed may stay fast and strong, In an underhanded attempt to bring in more money than the billions they already net each year, ISPs have quietly but repeatedly billed their customers for services and products they did not purchase, such as hundreds of dollars worth of equipment, extra cable channels, and service calls.
They have assaulted our right to privacy by collecting and selling their customers’ personal information to the highest bidding advertising agencies.
They have managed to charge two times the price of European ISPs for internet half the speed. They divide up the market and put themselves in a position where they are subject to no competition.
They have played puppet master with local governments and lawmakers, sponsoring corrupt politicians, protecting themselves from fair competition and building a legal wall to surround their regional monopolies.
Within these monopolies, they have exterminated any hint of dissent among their “loyal” customers, refusing to cancel subscriptions should these defectors realize how awful these ISPs’ service really is, and even going so far as to have a man fired from his job at an accounting firm after he complained about their service.
They have conspired to merge together and eliminate what little competition there is, allowing them to hold more people captive and charge even higher prices than before.
They have spent 2 billion dollars lobbying the federal government to allow this merger and have laws made to protect the systematic abuse of their customers.
They have, despite the unholy prices their customers are paying, the worst customer service since customer service began.
They have destroyed nearly every protection there is from them, throttling VPN and TOR users, forcing them to come out in the open and have their data judged and categorized into a fast lane and a slow lane.
In this manner they have assaulted our freedom to exchange knowledge and information. They have assaulted our right to privacy, and they have assaulted the very rules on which this internet was founded.
In every stage of these oppressions we have petitioned our government against the ISPS with hopeful hearts. Our many petitions, two of which have attracted so many participants that the Federal Communication Commission’s website crashed, have been answered only by the worrying silence of the FCC. We have begged our government to regulate and control these corporations. We have reminded it of the circumstances of the creation of the internet. We have appealed to its very purpose of regulating such corporations. It has been silent, and the terrifying future looms over us closer than ever. Comcast, for the foreseeable future, will continue to throttle and manipulate the internet for its own selfish purposes, viciously defend its “territory”, and oppress those who speak out against it. A corporation whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a mafia, is unfit to be the ruler of a free internet.
We, therefore, Le reddit Army, in general forum, assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the internet for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the name, and by authority of the people of the internet, solemnly publish and declare, that this internet, ought to be free and independent of the clutches of the American ISPs. That it be freed from their purposefully slow internet, and that all digital connection between them and the great internet is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as a free and open internet, we have full freedom to exchange knowledge, stream Netflix, and browse reddit for hours at a time and do all other acts and things which a free and open internet may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of encrypted VPNs, we mutually pledge to each other our cats, our blogs, and our forever streaming music.
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