Pro Net Neutrality
Gigi B. Sohn, president and co-founder of Public Knowledge, a consumer advocacy group. Unlike top-down, command and control media like cable and broadcasting, the Internet puts you and me in control, not some gatekeeper in the middle. Gigi B. Sohn
Jonathan Zittrain Jonathan Zittrain, a professor of law at Harvard Law School and co-founder of the Berkman Center for Internet and Society, is the author of “The Future of the Internet — And How to Stop It.” A longer version of this comment can be found on his blog. It’s hard to know what to make of the Google/Verizon agreement since until earlier today both companies have denied that there is one. Perhaps the two companies will explain their intent more fully as the debate rolls on. One thing is certain -- it’s hard to argue about net neutrality because it means so many different things to different people. The core question is this: when Internet service providers turn out to have captive audiences of subscribers — either because their customers have few if any alternatives for broadband, or because switching is complicated and cumbersome, or because I.S.P. practices are obscure and thus hard for customers to adapt to — how far should they be allowed to leverage that captivity?
Q&A: Professor of Internet Law Jonathan Zittrain
The Google/Verizon framework
Brad Burnham Brad Burnham is a partner at Union Square Ventures, an early stage venture capital fund located in New York City. This was written with Fred Wilson, also a partner at the firm. We believe that Google and Verizon’s proposed policy principles to preserve an open Internet came out of a good faith effort to bring some clarity to the market for Internet applications and access.
Certain firms operate businesses that so close to the public's interests that we have the right to demand more. Consider the finance industry, whose "innovations" triggered this recession, or the energy industry, whose prices and oil spills affect everyone. When something goes wrong in this kind of public industry, it’s different than the local restaurant going under, as bad as that can be, for we all suffer far more than the industry does. Tim Wu
Edward W. Felten is a professor of computer science and public affairs, and director of the Center for Information Technology Policy at Princeton University. He blogs at Freedom to Tinker. The secret of the Internet’s success has been its openness to new services. Ed Felten
Marvin Ammori Marvin Ammori is a law professor at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and advises the advocacy group Free Press. He is currently a visiting scholar at Stanford Law School's Center for Internet & Society. The government should and can enforce network neutrality.
Jim Harper "Regulatory capture," in which a government agency falls under the control of the business sector it is supposed to regulate, has never been sought quite as brazenly as this. Verizon and Google have now announced the regulations they would like to have applied to them. Regulators typically serve narrow private interests at a high cost to consumers -- so will it be on the Internet. Their two-page proposal may not resolve much of anything. But if their plan goes forward, these leading industry players will be there when the statutes are written in Congress and the regulations are developed in the Federal Communications Commission.
Lawrence Lessig is a professor at Harvard Law School and director of the Edmond J. Safra Foundation Center for Ethics. The word from Washington is that the White House is pressuring, or more diplomatically, “signaling” the F.C.C. to go slow on Barack Obama’s promise to protect “network neutrality.” The depressingly familiar reason why this might be so is that the White House has finally awoken to the huge political costs that this vital economic principle would incur. Lawrence Lessig