In short, net neutrality stands for freedom of speech and equality of all users on the internet. For example: if you have a website and a brilliant idea, you could be the worldwide next big thing. It's not like TV where you have to have a huge budget to launch something that could catch everyone's attention all over the world.
Big corporations are trying very hard to change this completely and we are doing all that we can to stop them. We have also succeeded in proving that we can win battles for net neutrality online: through our immensely popular YouTube series 'ATHENE', we informed the YouTube community at the end of 2007 that YouTube's unfair methods of censorship were devastating to the once free and open nature of the site. As a result of this, thousands of ATHENE fans mailed YouTube and succesfully forced them to change their policies.
You are in control of the internet.
This means that you decide what you download, read and put online. This means freedom of speech on a massive scale. You are the one deciding the content regardless of who owns the network. This freedom is what we call Network Neutrality.
Big corporations are shutting it down. Without this freedom, the internet would be more like cable TV; a one-away medium. Which is exactly what the big internet providers like AT&T, Time Warner, Verizon and Comcast want to turn it into. And they can, because all the internet traffic goes through their cables.
They want control over your internet so they can decide what content you have access to, and how much you should pay for putting content online. In other words, the decisions that are now being made by millions of people, will then be made by the big chiefs in corporate boardrooms. What we are talking about here is massive discrimination and censorship, not only economically, but also socially, culturally and even politically.
Right now there’s a huge movement of people urging U.S. Congress to implement net neutrality laws. Meanwhile the big internet providers are quickly misleading consumers on the issue with twisted anti-net neutrality propaganda while they are lobbying intensively to prevent net neutrality laws from passing.
It's also a European issue. All over Europe there are ISP's that block or limit specific ranges of internet traffic such as VoIP and BitTorrent traffic. And technologies such as BitTorrent allow small low-budget start-ups to do great things online such as the distribution of a full feature-length movie (in high definition if they want to) with almost zero costs. These technologies are only still in their infancy right now, but what guarantee do we have that the internet will actually evolve further into a fantastic high-tech freedom-for-all medium if ISP's are already surpressing it without strong legal opposition? And if Net Neutrality dies in the U.S., how will Europe deal with this?
What can you do for Net Neutrality? Spread the word.
Post about it on forums, send mails to people, talk about it with friends, blog about it, make original videoclips about it... Check out http://www.savetheinternet.com for more information on Net Neutrality activism.