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Net neutrality: Fighting for an Internet that has never been neutral

Photo: flickr/BrokenCities

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All the recent publicity framing net neutrality as the central contestation of our time has obscured the fundamental reality that the Internet hasn't been 'neutral' for years.

For the average person, supporting net neutrality -- the idyllic principle that all traffic on the Internet should be treated equally -- probably seems like common sense. After all, I think when most of us think of cyberspace, we tend to imagine an archetypal Web of open and fluid information freed from the borders and conventions that constrain the non-virtual world.

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Canadians aren't apathetic, we're just sick of the political status quo

Photo: http://www.vancouverobserver.com/

"Canadians don't care about politics."

Every time some smug, entitled pundit spews out that hollow retort, I cringe.

In my experience, most Canadians do care about politics. They care about social justice, equality, freedom, tolerance -- these are all political goods that are important to every Canadian with whom I've ever had a serious conversation. What we've grown weary of is not so much the politics surrounding justice, self-determination, and good governance, but that same old partisan rhetoric.

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NSA North: Why Canadians should be demanding answers about online spying

Photo: OpenMedia.ca

"We are living in an age of surveillance," concludes Professor Neil Richards, privacy law and civil liberties expert at Washington University. "There's much more watching and much more monitoring, and I think we have a series of important choices to make as a society -- about how much watching we want."

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