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The Singaporean Government's Ideologically Conservative View on The Internet

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Since its invention, it becomes one of the most important tools that we use in our everyday lives, currently, over 47% of the world’s population, 3.2 billion people are now using the internet (Money). The purpose of net neutrality laws is to ensure that no internet service providers (ISPs) have the ability to tamper a person’s connection to a website in any way (Business Insider). This has recently started to recur in social media and once again has become a widely debated topic. Net neutrality laws were first addressed during Obama’s presidency in 2015 when stricter laws were put into place to regulate ISP’s (The Guardian). Recently on December 14th, 2017, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) successfully repealed these laws. In this essay, I will be discussing the views of 3 different stakeholders Ajit Pai, Mignon Clyburn and the Singaporean government. I will be focusing more on the ethical and ideological perspective on these stakeholders. One of the most significant stakeholders in this issue is Ajit Pai, the current FCC Chairman, takes the ideologically conservative stance on supporting the repealment of Title II Net Neutrality laws. Ajit Pai was first appointed to work in the FCC in 2012 during Obama’s presidency in a Republican party position, but recently elected as FCC chairman following Trump’s election (Wikipedia).

A conservative ideology is one that which wants less government involvement in everyday lives and business, as well as being in favor of more traditional views this includes private firms. ISPs are actually private firms as well because they aren’t controlled by the government. By repealing the strict Title II net neutrality laws they would be giving more power back to the ISPs and loosen government control, further supporting the conservative ideology. But this isn’t the only perspective we can analyze Ajit Pai through. He is advocating the repeal of net neutrality, which is also showing utilitarian ethics. His main reason to repeal net neutrality is that he believes in the greater good of the people and that it would benefit more people. In an interview, he stated that the current striker net neutrality laws could “disincentives(e) companies from wanting to build out Internet access to a lot of parts of the country, in low-income, urban and rural areas, for example.” (PBS). Utilitarian ethics is the belief that every person is equally valuable, and that every action strives for maximum overall happiness.

Ajit Pai believes that by doing this he can achieve a more free and open internet(PBS), ultimately benefiting the whole country and showing these utilitarian ethics. If Ajit is successful in repealing net neutrality, this would revert the Title II net neutrality laws back to Title I laws. This does not restrict ISPs from tampering with internet connections and data, possible. For example, an ISP could purposely slow down your internet to sell you a deal to pay more for faster internet. This act of repealing net neutrality has also lead to the general public to have extremely negative views on this issue and oppose the repealment. The second stakeholder that I will be analyzing is FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn, a Democrat who holds an ideologically socialist view on repealing net neutrality and is strongly against the repeal of the neutrality laws. Ideological socialist views generally support the idea of increased government control and support. This includes social services such as healthcare, free education etc. The Title II net neutrality laws were first implemented in 2015. They were put in place because during that time the FCC didn’t have enough power to control the ISPs who were taking advantage of the less strict rules. The FCC had actually been sued by Verizon in 2014 stating that the FCC didn’t have enough legal power (The Verge), which then prompted them to change to the Title II laws of today.

The Title II laws gave the FCC power to ensure that no ISPs were interfering with internet traffic (savetheinternet). Mignon Clyburn has clearly stated her opinion publicly that she is against repealing net neutrality. Her public push on against Ajit Pai’s act of repealing net neutrality has helped bring this topic to the public’s attention and also pointed out some of its glaring issues. This issue is definitely. When Ajit Pai had first proposed the idea of repealing net neutrality over 22 million public comments were submitted, and about 98.5% of them opposed the repeal (The Guardian). The Singaporean government currently holds a more ideologically conservative view on the issue of net neutrality. The current laws put in place regarding net neutrality are quite similar to the ‘revised’ US net neutrality laws and have been implemented since 2011 (Straits Times). Singapore is showing an economic ideologically conservative view because they believe that by doing this they will not hinder ISPs and telecom services, but rather make it easier for them to compete with each other.

Singapore is a capitalist country, this meaning that they promote private ownership and want for companies to have strong competition. “Today, there is already no prohibition in Singapore against throttling or paid prioritization, where these do not harm competition or end users’ interests,” said Ms. Tang (Straits Times). In Singapore, slowing down peoples wifi is only allowed under certain conditions, like if they are hogging too much bandwidth which thus causes other customers from experience slowdowns. I think that Singapore’s choice also represents ethical relativism. Ethical relativism is the belief that morality is based on one’s own culture and that there isn’t a universal moral code. The Singaporean government is showing this because even though the US is changing their policies they themselves believe that their current solution is enough and that it doesn’t need to be changed. The implications that this has on Singaporeans is that although ISPs in Singapore won’t be treating everybody’s data equally, they can’t actually significantly impact someone’s internet experience. But also still can achieve greater economic growth through means such as plans with larger broadband. This means that the internet in Singapore will continue to be sold to customers as it is today. In Singapore’s current society the idea of net neutrality hasn’t been promoted as strongly in the US, but there haven’t been any big public news of outcry against the laws that were put in place. In my own opinion, I believe that what we should not repeal net neutrality.

Throughout the research I have done for this task, it has further supported my views on this issue and I am able to see more clearly what has influenced my perspective. The main reason why I am against this is that I believe that the current solution is already enough, and was actually already achieving what it had set out to do. Although Ajit Pai might view the current solution as inadequate and actually hindering ISPs, I think that its benefits outweigh the negatives. Everyone should get equal treatment when it comes to the internet, and personally, I wouldn’t want my internet or data to be slowed down because I’m using a specific ISP. When I had done the ideological test in gpers class, It turned out I was more of a liberal socialist. I think that because I am a liberal socialist I agree more with letting the government take control on this issue, and I also believe that by doing this it is helping the greater good of the population.

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The Singaporean government’s ideologically conservative view on the Internet. (2018, July 22). GradesFixer. Retrieved May 23, 2022, from https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/the-singaporean-governments-ideologically-conservative-view-on-the-internet/
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The Singaporean government’s ideologically conservative view on the Internet. [online]. Available at: <https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/the-singaporean-governments-ideologically-conservative-view-on-the-internet/> [Accessed 23 May 2022].
The Singaporean government’s ideologically conservative view on the Internet [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2018 Jul 22 [cited 2022 May 23]. Available from: https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/the-singaporean-governments-ideologically-conservative-view-on-the-internet/
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