The Internet may never be the same again.
On Tuesday, a federal appeals court struck down parts of the Federal Communications Commission net neutrality rules, meaning that Internet service providers (ISPs) now have the legal right to play favorites when it comes to Web traffic.
Basically, ISPs can now make some Web traffic go faster on certain websites, and can even block selected services all together. (They will, however, have to disclose when they are doing so.)
Still confused as to what this means? Let's start with the basics.
(Read more: What happened to net neutrality yesterday?)
Net neutrality is the idea that an ISP should not control what websites people can access, or favor certain websites over others, said David Sohn, general counsel and director of the Center for Democracy and Technology's Project on Copyright and Technology.
"Carriers should be neutral and should provide users an end-to-end service so they can access any websites they want using that connection. The idea is that as long as the provider is neutral, all consumers can decide which services they like best," he said.
In 2010, the FCC set into place regulations that were designed to reinforce this policy. However, Verizon Communications challenged the FCC in 2011, saying that the agency did not have the authority to mandate such regulations.
And on Tuesday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled that some rules challenged in the case—Verizon vs. FCC—did in fact not fall under the FCC's domain.