In response to excessive file sharing, trolling and misspellings on the Internet, the Federal Communications Commission announced today that it will require U.S. citizens to get a license to use the Internet. The issue has been met with hot debate, but with the government being in the business of handing out driverâ€™s licenses, a precedent has already been set.
Some cyber citizens have been calling for such a measure for a long time, and in our opinion, itâ€™s long overdue. Here are the requirements, application and enforcement steps laid out by the FCC.
To really improve the Internet experience, the FCC will start keeping tabs on the billions of Internet users. This process will begin with you submitting a little information to regain access to the tubes.
Before actually applying for a license, itâ€™s expected that youâ€™ll already have a familiarity with the Internet â€“â€“ that is youâ€™ll need to have logged more than 50 hours of supervised browsing.
Then youâ€™ll need to submit an application to be considered for your license, as not everyone will be allowed back on the Interwebs. The application will go over basic information like your OS affiliation: Mac, Windows, Linux or the ever growing â€œMy parents bought me this laptop for graduationâ€ party.
Theyâ€™ll also ask for a link to your MySpace page; we suggest taking down any pictures taken using your bathroom mirror because they could end up as your ID photo for life.
Most of the other necessary information will come from MySpace surveys. Theyâ€™ll also want to have a peek at your Internet history, as this is a good indicator of what type of browser you will be. Too much time spent on moronail and 4chan leads to heavy speculation of a troll.
Just like when you get your driverâ€™s license, you will need to complete a practical test with an assessor to make sure you know how to navigate around the tubes where the Internet is stored. To save space in these rough economic times, you will be required to go take this test on a computer at your local DMV office, which you should expect will be equipped with the latest in dial-up technology.
The first obstacle you have to clear no doubt will be navigating past those nefarious Internet â€œtrollsâ€ without losing your dignity. Youâ€™ll be asked to navigate to the nearest Failblog video, read the comments and determine if youâ€™d like to respond.
When you see a comment saying, â€œDude, that guy died,â€ and your initial response is to mindlessly type, â€œOMG whaz wrong with U you can clearly see him get up at the end get a life loser,â€ you will receive no points. You just got beaten with that trollâ€™s club hardcore.
You will also lose points for spelling in this case. The only points you gain, however, will be for refraining from posting your home address. If you do do this, you will receive zero points. And if a furry kidnaps you the next day, contact the DMV so they can change it to a negative score. If you laughed when we just said, â€œdo do,â€ take off another 10 points.
The FCC has yet to release what other types of Internet encounters the tested may expect, but experts agree that there will definitely be no reason to get tested on, or receive instruction, on how to upload videos straight to YouTube with your phone. Doing so may result in a revocation of your license at a later date.
To make this new system work, there will have to be rules. People argue that this goes against the fundamentals of the Internet today, but if Chinaâ€™s doing it, shouldnâ€™t we? Hereâ€™s a preview of the habits youâ€™ll need to kick in the near future. We canâ€™t list them all here because there are currently more than 9,000 rules.
Writing â€œFirstâ€ as a comment will be banned, as will vague Facebook statusâ€™s involving only â€œheâ€ or â€œshe.â€
Reposting a meme more than two years old that you just viewed will be banned.
Confusing your browser for your operating system will result in immediate revocation of your license for at least one year.
Making any claims that the Internet is closed on holidays or that they charge for long distance browsing results in a permanent loss of your license.
For every violation of any of the rules, you will receive a ticket in the mail with a screenshot of your browser at the time. Yes, if Uncle Sam can watch you from cameras on the road, they can watch you browsing the tubes as well. You will be able to pay the ticket by mail or PayPal, which of course you will have to know how to use as a licensed Web surfer.
If youâ€™re in California, you had better hope the legislature makes an amendment to the â€œthree strikes, youâ€™re outâ€ law â€“â€“ out meaning in jail. You wouldnâ€™t want to risk facing jail time just for double-posting three times, you n00b.
We hope you all start studying up on these new requirements so you will be prepared to receive your license when they are required next month. Until then, happy trolling.
Columnists Ryan Gibbons and Glen Pfeiffer hereby sentence you to 20 years of hard labor coding new MySpace glitter graphics. Appeals can be sent via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.