So...this really sucks. From Esquire - Beautiful Women, Men's Fashion, Best Music, Drink Recipes Today, A Federal Appeals Court Killed Free Speech on the Internet The Internet will now be controlled by a handful of companies. Today, a federal appeals court handed over control of free speech on the Internet to a handful of companies. This is why it matters. Say youâ€™re an NRA Republican. Youâ€™re from Tennessee. The websites you go to on a daily basis are Yahoo for your email and news, ESPN for your sports, and TNGunOwners.com, a message board to talk about your day at the range. What if one day your access to your email is fine, your Tim Tebow coverage from ESPN is as loud as ever, and TNGunOwners.com inexplicably took 4-to-6 times longer to load? What if you called your Internet service provider and their answer was, â€œThatâ€™s just the way it is nowâ€? Say youâ€™re a Whole Foods-pillaginâ€™ Democrat. Youâ€™re from Portland. You go to GMail for your email, MSNBC for your news, Reddit for your cat videos, and an indie music blog like Said The Gramophone to find your music. One day, your access to Gmail is fine, your Rachel Maddow clips are coming in clear as day, and that YouTube video of a cat taking a bath on Reddit is rolling along smoothly. But it takes so long to load one song from that indie music blog you just turn on the radio. Say youâ€™re entirely apolitical. It doesnâ€™t matter where you live. Youâ€™re struggling with depression because itâ€™s hard to cope with your motherâ€™s recently diagnosed cancer. You go to cancerforums.net. You go to takethislife.com for help, when you canâ€™t read the cancer forum anymore. One day, those sites take ten times longer to load than they did before. What if you called your Internet service provider and their answer was, â€œVerizon now throttles bandwidth to websites from the non-Premium Tier. Would you like to upgrade?â€ There is nothing good that an individual can derive from this decision. Nothing. Before someone tells you otherwise, Internet service providersâ€™ backs were not against the wall in any way. â€œBandwidth congestionâ€ is not real. It costs just as much money, if not more money, to cap the data flowing through your broadband connection as it does to serve it to you. Data caps are solely a money-making construct. Average connection speeds in South Korea are twice as fast as those in the United States. That gap will grow even wider now. This ruling is anti-competitive for American business on a global level. Tech giants Google, Facebook, Amazon, Netflix and Yahoo have come out against rulings like this in the past. Instead, the decision favors companies with access to pipelines, like Comcast. It will help them use the Internet as a marketing tool for its other ventures, like NBC Universal. The very best scenario a consumer can hope for is this: Companies will start offering â€œunlimitedâ€ Internet plans to access the Internet you currently see today. The Web will be partitioned off into sections, like cable tiers, and those ISPs will offer speedier connections to certain kinds of websites if you buy into each tier. The very worst a consumer can expect is that some information will be deemed too unsavory for public consumption, while select corporate messages can be blasted to your home at lightning speed. This is not a political story. This is corporate greed at its most blatant and obvious. Call a Congressman. Get a law passed. Override the better lawyers, the lobbyists, the bought Congressmen. Do the impossible. Itâ€™s the only way.