Arguments are backed up with the real-world story of what happened during the period being discussed. Comparisons are made between ideas such as common carrier policy, which is used for cell-phone providers, and net neutrality in a way that attempts to solidify the debate in either direction as the reader discerns their own conclusion. Overall, Stiegler has collected a selection of essays that appropriately provides detailed information about net neutrality. Accessibility is present in a way that allows those with little knowledge to jump right in to the core concepts.
However, there is enough depth to also appeal to those that have prior knowledge and simply want to expand their thoughts on the net neutrality debate. Go to Amazon. Discover the best of shopping and entertainment with Amazon Prime. Prime members enjoy FREE Delivery on millions of eligible domestic and international items, in addition to exclusive access to movies, TV shows, and more. Back to top. Get to Know Us. English Choose a language for shopping. Audible Download Audio Books. Alexa Actionable Analytics for the Web. Shopbop Designer Fashion Brands. Org and more content is permitted, with officially only technical grounds for refusal, but it is still only governed by a contract with Facebook, which Facebook can change unilaterally.
Politicians and telecoms executives who now claim to be in favour of net neutrality are in fact conceding that blocking and throttling users is no longer acceptable to politicians and therefore regulators. The book thus far has relied to a large extent on the experiences of developed nations, especially the United States, EU and United Kingdom.
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The methodology used both literature review and empirical interviews in the course of Law This would be relied upon by those opposed to zero rating. The original law required IAPs to self-report on any violations, resulting in infringement only for failure to report. The Chilean situation is complicated by Wikipedia Zero announcing on 22 September that it had negotiated an exemption from the rules, on the basis that it is neither a social network nor a commercial offer.
In fact, Claro a subsidiary of Mexican operator America Movil, also active in Brazil, Columbia and other Latin American nations was permitted by the Chilean regulator to continue zero rating as long as it formed part of a wider data plan that customers could choose. Zero rating would have to stop when users exhausted their data plan each month, in order that they were not left with only zero-rated content, which would be very explicit discrimination.
Brazil has had zero rating since prior to , when it was a common practice by several mobile ISPs.
Regulating the Web: Network Neutrality and the Fate of the Open Internet 1st Edition
Like Chile, Brazil has a bicameral constitution with a powerful directly elected executive president. The question for regulators implementing zero rating is whether it is proportional, transparent and non-discriminatory. Unsurprisingly for such a rushed final law, the consequent implementation has proved controversial, not least because it is not clear which of two consultative bodies and the Ministry of Justice should be in charge of the drafting and enforcement of the subsequent rules.
In both the regulator and the Ministry issued consultations, the latter organised together with the CGI in the period 28 January April. It is unclear whether zero rating or Specialised Services will be effectively regulated at the time of writing, despite the 11 May Regulation. At the Summit of the Americas in Panama on 10 April, President Rousseff met Mark Zuckerberg and was photographed with him, 29 he in a suit, she in a Facebook hoodie.
Org, were a public scandal in view of the open consultations then ongoing. In practice, in Anatel chose not to regulate zero rating. TIM the Brazilian subsidiary of Telecom Italia Mobile , in partnership with WhatsApp, released a zero-rating plan that allowed subscribers to use the app in zero rating. This is the free market. In Claro abandoned a previous offer that provided zero rating only, and adopted the Chilean approach with free WhatsApp, Facebook and Twitter offered only to users who also subscribed to data plans pre- or post-pay.
We realized that it has no purpose only to offer zero-rating access to one site. In Brazil, such a digital divide has a potent political force, given that the policy of progressive governments, since Cardoso was elected in , has been to narrow the inequalities that grew in the military dictatorship and before. Brazil was becoming a less unequal society until its recession, which began in But as Ramos explains:. Ultimately, it could lead to a replica of the social apartheid currently perceived in many developing countries, where slums have limited access.
That said, the ISPs in Brazil plead not to be made tools of social engineering, arguing that inequality is a matter for governments not companies, however integral their service to the socio-economic landscape.
Brazil has consulted on net neutrality in two phases, the first running in spring in which the zero-rating issue emerged as the most significant and commented-upon controversy, the second from 27 January The second phase resulted in the Ministry of Justice Regulations via Presidential Decree in , 36 and the eventual fate of zero rating remains uncertain. It remains legal in the absence of Anatel action. On 8 February India banned zero rating. The regulator is the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India TRAI , which had consulted on net neutrality in when the issue first arose, with little public debate.
In India, three zero-rated options were offered in , by both Internet. Org prohibited.
Org more transparent in May , effectively opening access in principle to any app developer who could meet its terms. Org without also being a Facebook user, while Facebook accesses all your tracking behaviour while logged in to any partner sites and can share that with mobile IAPs. The prize for Free Basics was to grow the number of subscribers in the Indian market more effectively. Zuckerberg stated:. The threat of regulatory action was expressed in July by the Joint Secretary of the Department of Telecommunications, V.
TRAI would examine each such tariff filing carefully to see if it conforms to the principles of net neutrality and that it is not anti-competitive by distorting consumer markets. Guha and Aulakh explain that:. Free Basics was sought to be conflated with digital equality, with Facebook pitching the product as a solution to connect the unconnected billions.
On January 1, Trai asked the company to alert its users to send revised responses to the questions on the consultation paper as a vote for Free Basics did not hold up as a valid response. Licensing is permitted and controlled by the Indian Telegraphy Act Canada had a chequered record on net neutrality until , with rules proclaimed by the regulator in but not enforced until Facilitating the ability for the public to get involved in technological de- sign is therefore imperative. The legislative authority of technology increases constantly as it becomes more and more pervasive.
By those standards the design process as it now exists is clearly illegitimate. For Feenberg, the Internet is a con- crete technological artifact; when examined historically and in light of relations of power, the Internet is seen for what it is: a product of technical and social decisions about design and use. I begin by outlining some of the arguments against network neutrality that will have to been considered in any future determinations. The Case against Network Neutrality Opponents argue that a policy of network neutrality will limit the ability of tele- communications companies to generate enough capital for investment in costly infrastructure because money that might be made from content providers will be lost.
Another claim, made by such groups as the Internet Freedom Coalition and Citizens Against Government Waste, is the much more ideologically charged argument that prohibiting a tiered Internet undermines the free market norms that form the basis of our capitalist economy. This line of reasoning has thus discursively positioned network neutrality in opposition to the basic tenets of freedom and democracy itself. It must be noted that much of this rhetoric, repeated publically by right- or applicable copyright law. This is the Obama administration advocating censorship of the Internet.
They want to silence the voices that are opposing them. Despite the fact that they continue to have much of the mainstream media still provid- ing cover for all of these dramatic efforts that the Obama administration is tak- ing. Feenberg maintains that such conflicts around issues of censorship, freedom and democracy can have one of two out- comes: the development of the Internet directed by corporate interests, or under public control with some government protection.
Moreover, Feenberg makes clear that the seemingly high costs of public participation in technological development is a burden that must be borne—— particularly if we are to ensure that the Internet does not suffer the fate of other communication technologies by operating in corporate interests rather than those of the public. In the following sections, I further develop this argument by artic- ulating what a critical theory of technology approach contributes to the network neutrality debate on the sociological, technical, and policy levels.
I present the parts of this sophisticated model most illuminating to the issues of network neutrality, distinguishing be- tween the sociological, technical, and policy levels. It should be noted, however, that this is a purely analytical distinction and that these three levels are in fact co-extensive. Sociological Dimensions On the sociological level, primary and secondary instrumentalization can be used to unpack some of the ideas and values that lay at the core of the Internet.
Formal bias refers to the often prejudicial social arrangements that form around technologies and which favor the interests of one group over another. From this, Feenberg makes an analytic distinction between primary and secondary instrumentalizations which, to a certain degree, corresponds with constitutive and implementation bias. Primary instrumentalization refers the process of opening artifacts such that their functionality is open to manipulation, while secondary instrumentalization refers to the social choices and contexts that determine how a technology is used.
Feenberg explains that the problem with studying technologies abstractly i. As such, the discriminatory principles that define our modern capitalist system, as well the unequal socio-political and economic structures can coalesce in technologies——even if that technology contains a technically neutral infra- structure that is somewhat resistant to this kind of transformation.
According to a March 28, report in The Raw Story, in addition to violating the principles of network neutrality in this or applicable copyright law. As author Stephen C.
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Further, this action skirts between embedding a bias on the constitutive or primary level, since it begins to tinker with the very codes of the Internet itself, as well as on the level of context or implementation secondary instrumentalization. In what way is this neutral? The introduction of this formalized bias using QoS technologies, on both a constitutive and contextual level, threatens the open nature of the Internet sys- tem.
In opposition to these trends, it is only through concerted democratic ra- tionalization that this kind of institutionalized social rationality can be stopped. The saving grace for the Internet, therefore, is that it remains an open technolo- gy that can further develop along a number of different paths with corresponding interests and relations of power. Overall, the Internet currently favors the values of fairness, neutrality, openness and non-discrimination discussed previously. The interests of the pub- lic have thus been intentionally incorporated into the very infrastructure of the Internet, thereby allowing anyone to access and create content in a manner that is relatively fair and equitable.
These values, and by extension the way in which Internet has evolved thus far, appear natural to us. However, Feenberg argues or applicable copyright law. It is thus imperative that the specifics of the technical code that makes up the Internet be considered. They make two significant claims with respect to the relationship between design and values as it relates to the Web.
Flanagin, Flanagin, and Flanagin also make the case that that it is the inten- tional choices of interested parties that will either support or undermine these features in the future.
Thoughts on Network Neutrality, the FCC, and the Future of Internet Governance
The fact that the Internet has the capacity to facilitate democratic participation, collaboration, and fair treatment of information does not mean such qualities are inherent. A notable example is how peer-to-peer file sharing has, through provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act DMCA , resulted in the strengthening of digital copyright law. In line with the social construction of technology perspective SCOT , this view also draws upon the concept of interpretive flexibility——the fact that users often utilize technologies in ways not initially anticipated.
A useful way of parsing out and unpacking the unique technical characteris- or applicable copyright law. On a vertical level as opposed to a horizontal level which might focus more intently on sociotechnical arrangements , these layers helps to parse out and deal with complex technologies that often combine a large number of functionalities, ideas, norms and regulations in one artifact.
The ability to offer choice, encourage the free flow of ideas and content, provide access to and develop new kinds of content and services are all thought to be logical outcomes of an Internet system that retains a neutral or impartial architectural base. It is at this design level that telecommunications firms are exerting pressure on governments to enact rules and regulations that would dismantle network neutrality. It is also important to keep in mind that even at the technical level of design, social priorities, discourses, ideologies, values, and norms are thorough- ly embedded in technologies.
Finally, on the constitutive design level, a further level of layering of the Internet has been described by Galloway and Thacker who discuss the complex interconnections that exist between and betwixt four levels: the application layer e. Intervention proposed by firms such as Comcast and Verizon include the link or media-access layer, whereby ISPs will be able to filter content.
Due to their interrelation, such filtering will necessarily affect the other three layers. What it comes down to, Lessig asserts, is that Just as we are beginning to see the power that free resources produce, changes in the architecture of the Internet——both legal and technical——are sapping the Internet of this power.
Fueled by bias in favor of control, pushed by those whose financial interests favor control, our social and political institutions are ratifying changes in the Internet that will reestablish control, in turn, reduce in- novation on the Internet and in society generally. Thus far, the Web has been a self-regulated and neutral technology wherein the transfer of data is negotiated by network protocols.
Because these protocols are encased in a distributed network, there is no hierarchization of information, nor a point through which such a hierarchy can be introduced. Network neutrality is thus coded into the very protocols that make up the Web. This is in contrast to centralized networks, which direct all information through one central hub, or a decentralized network, which spreads power over several hubs or gateways.