Net Neutrality = Gender Neutrality

Net Neutrality = Gender Neutrality

You don’t pay for electricity based on which brand of appliances you use, so why should you pay for internet access based on which brand ­ that is, whose website or app ­ you access? That’s what Baijayant `Jay’ Panda wrote in Times of India and is a very compelling argument for me to think deeper into the impact of Net Neutrality in my fight against Gender Biased Laws. Now, before I dwell deeper into the whole gamut of Net Neutrality, I must admit that I have been fighting my battle against Gender Biased Laws prevalent in Indian Law system.

So what is Net Neutrality and how does it impact my fight against Gender Biased Laws?

Law Professor Tim Wu first used the phrase “net neutrality” in a law review article in 2003. Net neutrality is the principle that all Internet traffic should be treated equally and allows everyone to communicate freely. It means a service provider should allow access to all content and applications regardless of the source and no websites or pages should be blocked, as long as they aren’t illegal.

How it may impact is though unclear but one thing is clear that ISPs would have the power to “legally” control the traffic which passes through its network. This would mean that ISP could discriminate between the websites either due to money power or sanctions of the ruling government. Today, when I get ready to go work, I have no seats in state owned buses as most of them are reserved for ladies, old people or handicapped. When I enter the Metro rail, it’s the same situation. When I go to deposit a bill or buy a ticket, there is a separate ladies line. Worse, when you get involved in a suit against a lady in a court in India. First, there is Mahila Thana where guys go only to get insulted and then Mahila courts, where your worst nightmares come true.

If there was one place where I strolled freely and with no fear of being discriminated against because of my gender was Internet. Now that Internet is under attack. Tomorrow a PM can stand on the Podium made with sweat and blood of thousands of Men and tell ISPs to provide all Feminist sites free access, while sites hosted by men be charged. Or if every site owner has to pay to ISP to get his site “not blocked”, Feminist sites would have a ball of time as they get money from the Govt. to sustain, whereas sites www.Sahodar.in would not be accessible as they didn’t pay “hafta” to the ISP. The budget allocation for Women and Child Development was INR 18,588 for 2014-15 only. Every year, the Govt. is pumping money into the ministry where it was found that 90% of NGO seeking funds were fake.

So my friends, to have a place where you can read my articles, share your views and host your websites without any discrimination is under attack. Please Log onto http://www.savetheinternet.in and send your suggestions to TRAI.

 

Image Courtesy: http://studentsforliberty.org

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