In its usual yet increasing frequency of dominating the headlines, Net Neutrality is back - and with force. This time, there are strategicpeoplein high places of government who are undeniably buddy-buddy with the major cable companies. These relationships come as no earth-moving surprise to most people, as messed up as it is in reality, but our conspiracy generation is getting quite used to weird stuff in high places.
John Oliver on Net Neutrality
What should, however, come as a surprise is that large corporations such as Facebook and Google - corporations infamous for doing unknown things with private data - are"siding with the people". As comedian John Oliver said in a skit, "That's like Lex Luthor approaching Superman and saying 'let's put our differences aside for a minute because this neighbour of ours is really noisy and needs to leave." Google, Facebook and Amazon are fighting for the people? Ones eyebrows should really be raised now.
It does indeed seem that individuals and companies get pretty excited against the idea of government controlling their flow of information, yet rare - almost never - do individuals or companies think about how their own personal data flows across the same internet. And so in the midst of people fighting alongside of information violators like Google and Facebook against their"evil government"they are forced again to subdue the importance of an even more dangerous enemy that's sitting right in their purse and pocket - their smartphone.
The current smartphone environment is one where a few large corporations own its users. As soon as the mobile device boots up, users typically create an account for that corporation, sign away many rights, and start moving incredible amounts of private information around the internet without even a thought. In many cases, all of their information is sitting on a corporations server,and when the ID is entered, that personal data is"magically"dropped onto their device. The users couldn't imagine changing - they are,in fact,afraid of changing in many or most cases.
As the world starts to figure out how the web works,it needs a solution.
The world needs a safe operating system that protects its users'data and at least gives people the option of *not* having their data spewed into unknown places in order to perform some of the basic tasks of living they have grown used to. They need the abilitytouse a search engine, use mapping software, share photos, send emails, sync to clouds and message each other without these questionable entities creepily fondling their privacy.
Most people, at this point, become despondent. They say things like 'What can I do?" or, "But I communicate with my son this way" or, "I don't want to lose my data." Like Grandma's trip to the auto mechanic, when she turns on her mobile device she has to blindly trust that these people who "keep her phone running" are not going to take advantage of her lack of knowledge. But they have taken advantage of Grandma, and they will continue to do so because they have little to lose and much to gain.
John Oliver with a Net Neutrality Update
Here's a flash tutorial for Grandma: the hardware (the stuff you can touch), has drivers (bits of code) to make them work. The operating system is a bunch of code that communicates with the hardware and makes the whole thing run and do stuff. The information on the device moves from one device to another through a network (usually) which then connects to other networks which is the 'internet' - networks of networks. It is therefore of little value to have a secure operating system if the drivers of the hardware are compromised. It is also worthless to have a secure piece of hardware, if the operating system is compromised. Further, it's of little value if both the hardware and the operating system are safe, but the network on which the information it travels upon is compromised. As you can see, it's an integrated system. Here is an anology. There is no point driving in a big safe car, if it doesn't have seatbelts. And there is no point wearing your seatbelt in a car made of styrofoam. Further, there is no point driving a big safe car with seatbelts if the road you are traveling on is ends in a 100 meter drop into a rocky canyon. Get it? It all matters.
Currently, the technology exists to be 'pretty safe' but the lion's share of the problems are related to the operating system and the software people are using.
UBports is a community-based project built by countless hours of volunteers who care about thisprivacy and net neutrality. They have been working for years to develop a safe operating system for mobile devicesthatwill not only help with all of the above problems, but also break down walls of creativity that have otherwise been blocked by the current mobile device operating systems.
For more information about the UBports project, go to