Net neutrality is a topic that makes many headlines but is often not fully understood. How does net neutrality affect our lives and do we really need to be that concerned? “LEAKED: The Internet Must Go” is the answer to those questions in an easily digestible and entertaining package.
In the form of a tongue-in-cheek mockumentary, this short film tells the story of a fictional market researcher, John Wooley, who is hired by the big Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to help sell their vision of a cleaner, faster Internet. They would do this by creating an “Internet fast lane” which would allow companies that could afford it to pay extra to make their websites speedier than those that didn’t. This uneven playing field goes against the tenets of a neutral Internet.
Throughout the film, we follow John Wooley as he begins his mandate to highlight the positives of the ISP’s plans which would effectively be eliminating net neutrality. He starts off his assignment as a naive researcher assuming that the the proposed changes are for the best interest of the people. He begins by Googling the different sides of the net neutrality and is quickly confused by the debate. Naive and uninformed, during his research he meets many brilliant people, including entrepreneurs, internet advocates, and even regular users, and hears an entirely different perspective on the subject. Slowly, by the end of his research, he learns that net neutrality is the one thing that can keep the Internet safe from corporate greed and prevents the ISPs from dictating how we interact with the Internet. He finally realizes that he was working for the wrong people.
This documentary was backed by a coalition of various organizations that advocate net neutrality such as the Free Press, Public Knowledge, ColorOfChange, Center for Media Justice, and the Future of Music Coalition. The film is a great starting point for anyone that wants to get their feet wet regarding the current state of the Internet and how net neutrality, or the lack of it, affects us all.