Explaining This Whole Net Neutrality Mess

Today an appeals court struck down the FCC's Open Internet Order, a major blow to net neutrality and something that frankly should scare the hell out of everyone. One thing I've seen a lot of people asking though, what exactly does it mean?

Right now the internet is wide open. You open your web browser of choice, type in a URL and off you go. Desktop, laptop, mobile - the entire web is available and just a click away. 

Today's decision gives ISPs the ability to put a stop to that. Imagine a world where YouTube, Facebook and Buzzfeed are the HBO, Showtime and Cinemax of the internet. To get to those sites you'll have to pay your internet provider an extra $10 a month. Throw in another $5 for Netflix and $10 for Hulu. That's what this ruling can do. It also gives them the ability to slow down your connection to any site it wants to. Maybe they decide your movie streaming is taking up too much bandwidth despite your "unlimited" data package. They can cut your speed down to dial up levels. It also gives them carte blanche to block porn, political propaganda and anything else it doesn't agree with.

This could literally destroy the entire internet as we know it.

I urge anyone who reads this to write to FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler and let your feelings be known.