Web censorship is on the rise, according to research by Freedom on the Net, two-thirds of all internet users live in countries where criticism of the government, military, or ruling family is subject to censorship. The World Economic Forum reported that global internet freedom declined in 2016 for the sixth consecutive year, 2017 is likely to be even worse.
Internet freedom in the US was dealt a huge blow yesterday when the Federal Communications Commission voted to rescind regulations governing companies that provide broadband services to consumers. This essentially gives broadband providers in the US the power to control what they serve to their customers, and more importantly what they block.
These net neutrality regulations were originally introduced by the Democrats under the previous administration. Trump’s administration evidently does not approve of a free and unfettered internet so has decided to unravel the regulations that gave net neutrality lawfulness. The rules prevented internet service providers from blocking content, throttling access speeds and enforcing paid prioritization upon their customers. Once through US broad band companies would have a “green light to discriminate and manipulate your internet traffic” according to one Democrat on the FCC panel. Top ISPs such as Comcast, Verizon, AT&T, Charter and CenturyLink will have more freedom to control what they allow their users to see on the internet. According to Wikipedia these top five US providers have almost 80 million subscribers combined.
As America moves to join many of the Middle Eastern and Asian nations that regularly and actively censor the internet we need to look towards the blockchain for a solution. It just so happens that a recent ICO provides a token that does just that.
Substratum provides a method of serving decentralized web content via a range of operating systems and browsers without the need for technical knowledge of crypto currencies and blockchains. Their websites states:
“Information wants to be free, not locked down by censorship or net neutrality laws. Substratum provides tools anyone can use to help keep the internet accessible through decentralization. We support an equal, fair, and open internet.”
By installing a Substratum node participants will get rewarded with the crypto currency for serving content to others living in countries that filter the web. Traders reacted to the news quickly and SUB price jumped from $0.36 to a record top of $0.50 within a couple of hours. A small correction brought prices back down to $0.40 but they soon began to ratchet back up. At the time of writing Substratum had a market capacity of just shy of $100 thousand and was trading at $0.44, it is likely to head upwards in the next few hours.