Net neutrality was created at a time when the only large firms conducting Internet business were ISPs. It was sensible for lawmakers to focus on ISPs in 2003. But today’s Internet is dominated by non-ISP edge services that routinely abuse personal information. Internet law need to leap forward to the present day.
Net neutrality was promoted by Silicon Valley to take policy makers’ eyes off the massive dossiers of personal data its major players assembled from their platforms. Now that the public is aware of this (very real) behavior, the claims of possible harms to consumers from the lack of net neutrality regulations are much less compelling.
If you’re a fan of books on tech and tech policy this is a particularly good time for you because so much new stuff is hot off the presses. Here’s a short list of the books in my reading queue at the moment, along with a couple of longish journal articles.
Creating a network that can be all things to all people was a monumental undertaking. Making it work for every user in the most reliable, safe, and economical way is even harder. I happily shared the Amicus Brief with Larry last October that was influenced so heavily by his work on Telenet; and I was glad that it pleased him.
We need clarity about our antitrust standards as they apply to the Internet, safeguards for personal data, and reverse auctions to bring better broadband to rural America. None of that is terribly sexy, but it’s all important.
EFF claims that Article 13 is an “extinction level event for the Internet.” Please, haven’t we had enough of that sort of hysteria? The Internet will remain a vibrant and vital system for communication despite – and perhaps because of – reforms such as Article 13.
The Wehe data doesn’t tell us whether the observed behavior is consistent with company disclosures or general net neutrality conventions. While we don’t expect legal opinions from network performance scholars, it’s important to know more about the triggers of network management.
An awful lot of things that are sold to us as improvements to Internet security simply deliver more information into the hands of a small group of companies. Whether that’s a good thing is for you to decide, but for my own part I like to be selective about what I share with which players.