The Internet Is Broken, and ISPs Are to Blame

The System Reboot logo.
Illustration: Jim Cooke/Gizmodo

Welcome to the big day: The launch of System Reboot, Gizmodo’s new podcast on how to repair a broken world.

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There’s no better place to start our mission to fix the world than the internet. We rely on the tubes and wires more than ever due to the pandemic that has us working from home, watching Netflix instead of going to the movies, and binging on way too much takeout (the covid-15 could be the covid-25 by December at this rate). Yet a small sliver of companies owns the majority of those tubes and wires, and their interests rarely align with ours.

Owning the infrastructure to deliver the internet means they have power over everything from how fast the internet is to what you can watch and download. In a world where we’re increasingly online, that’s a recipe for disaster and unfair control over our choices—all while companies reap massive profits and pay out huge bonuses to CEOs for making our lives suck more.

That’s why we spent our first episode of System Reboot talking with Cory Doctorow, a person who may also be a series of super-smart clones (we’re still not sure after talking with him). Cory works as a special adviser to the Electronic Frontier Foundation and is a science fiction writer and journalist who recently penned a book published on Medium (!) about how to destroy surveillance capitalism. He also runs a website, plurastic.net, where he writes about the internet, books, this day in history, and more. If there’s someone better positioned to tell us how to take down the internet service providers and give the power back to the people, we have no idea who they are.

Take a listen on your favorite podcast app (we’ve got some handy links for you below). And please like and subscribe to our show so others can find it, and we can keep making it. Long live the internet!

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Do you have a subject you’d like to see us cover or a person you’d love for us to interview? Let us know!

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Senior Consumer Tech Editor. Trained her dog to do fist bumps. Once wrote for Lifetime. Tips encouraged via Secure Drop, Proton Mail, or DM for Signal.

Managing editor at Earther, writing about climate change, environmental justice, and, occasionally, my cat.

DISCUSSION

I feel it’s important to note that it isn’t *JUST* ISPs to blame for the current situation, though there’s plenty of blame to go around. It’s also a bevy of spineless and/or corrupt politicians and regulators who bend over backwards for their ‘after-service’ kickback jobs from said ISPs as payment for LETTING them fuck over the public, steal public property, and embezzle tax dollars.