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Repeal of ‘Net Neutrality’ under Trump leaves pornographers scrambling

Fr. Mark Hodges Fr. Mark Hodges

WASHINGTON, D.C., December 15, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – Pornographers are decrying the Trump administration’s rescinding of “net neutrality” rules this week, saying that the move will likely harm their businesses. 

“This is scary for a number of reasons—among them, the devastating fact that the existence of online pornography is about to get a lot more contentious,” wrote Luke Winkie of Men’s Health. 

“Basically, we're about to live in a world where your internet provider might limit or up-charge your access to pornography,” he added. 

On Thursday, the Trump Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted 3-2 along party lines to repeal the Obama administration’s “net neutrality” that essentially handed control of the internet over to the government.

Trump appointed FCC chairman Ajit Pai said the repeal was about getting the government to "stop micromanaging the internet."

“We are helping consumers and promoting competition,” said Pai prior to the vote. “Broadband providers will have more incentive to build networks, especially to underserved areas.”

“It is time for the Internet, once again, to be driven by engineers and entrepreneurs and consumers rather than lawyers, accountants and bureaucrats,” Pai said.

In 2015, the Obama FCC took over internet regulations on broadband, reclassifying it from a “luxury” to a “utility.” The move was to help regulate the internet in a similar way to a telephone service provider or electric company. The government rules prohibited internet service providers (like Verizon, or AT&T) from controlling content access, download speeds, and paywalls. Net neutrality required internet service providers (ISPs) to treat all data the same. 

In 2014, Trump described net neutrality as “Obama’s attack on the internet,” calling it a “top down power grab.”

The repeal of net neutrality has pornographers worried. Online pornography businesses such as PornHub and YouPorn have vehemently opposed the Trump move because, as a pro-porn Yahoo News article warns, “the loss of net neutrality will likely reshape the entire (pornography) industry.” 

"Without [net neutrality], the cable and wireless companies that control internet access will have unfair power to pick winners and losers in the market," Corey Price, vice president of Pornhub, told Motherboard.

Alex Hawkins, a spokesperson for xHamster, said the repeal would favor the promotion online of a “heteronormative version of sexuality.”

"Net neutrality is the first step in making the US market align with more conservative regimes across the world, not just in terms of porn, but in ideas about sexuality," Hawkins said.

“The same governments that severely restrict adult content are also the ones that limit sexual expression, LGBTQ rights, women's rights and access to different ideas.”

Fornication, adultery, and other sexual immorality on camera is currently the number one online industry in the world. Last year, PornHub alone used 3,110 petabytes of bandwidth. Viewers watched 4,599,000,000 hours --5,246,000 years-- of explicit and intentionally lust-generating video.  

Some states have declared online porn a “public health crisis.” Critics say the cost to society is incalculable.

In 2014, when the Obama administration first pursued “net neutrality” regulations, Sen. Cruz refuted the issue in a popular video titled, “The Negative Consequences of Net Neutrality Explained in 2 Minutes.”

Conservatives claim “net neutrality” is a misnomer. They say government regulation is unnecessary and inhibits capitalist investment in the industry. Deregulation, they say, will spur investors to improve the internet, increasing speed and bringing down costs for consumers.

“Innovation is happening without having to go to government and say ‘Mother, may I?’” Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) said.  “What happens when the government starts regulating a service as a public utility is it calcifies everything and freezes it in place.”

“Despite its unassuming name, the Obama administration’s ‘net neutrality’ regulation threatens the free and open internet that has done so much to advance modern society,” House Speaker Paul Ryan said. “The Trump administration’s action to roll back this egregious government overreach … will benefit all users of the internet.”

The American Civil Liberties Union also opposed Thursday’s vote, and wrote both the FCC and Congress against deregulation. California, New York, and other states said they would legislatively and/or legally challenge the FCC’s move.

 

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