Protection of Net Neutrality

Protection of Net Neutrality

As technology advances Internet rights become increasingly more important for people globally, not just in Britain, therefore the protection of our rights online need to be codified into a constitution.

Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the worldwide web, is one of many computer scientists to come out against attacks on net neutrality.

“Let us protect the neutrality of the net."
-Tim Berners-Lee

What is net neutrality for those who do not know?

“Simply put, net neutrality is a network design paradigm that argues for broadband network providers to be completely detached from what information is sent over their networks. In essence, it argues that no bit of information should be prioritized over another.  This principle implies that an information network such as the internet is most efficient and useful to the public when it is less focused on a particular audience and instead attentive to multiple users.”

Source of definition

Net neutrality ensures our right to express ourselves freely and access information freely. This is a free speech and freedom of information concern and in this ‘Age of Information’ we need net neutrality to be protected by a written British constitution.

 “without a neutral stance in what is carried over their pipes, network providers can choose to discriminate and decide how fast data will be transmitted and at what quality.  So in our example, say Verizon (which is also a network provider) chooses to prioritize their data over that of UC Berkeley.”




Andrew Bulovsky Apr 13, 2015

With only one week remaining in the refining stage, the facilitators will draft some language for this idea. We'll do everything we can to redraft the original submission in line with your comments and suggestions. If the original poster would like to take over the idea they are more than welcome to at any point. Please do comment to offer suggestions on specific wording and to guide us on which suggestions should take priority (by voting them up/down).

"Information shall be considered a public good that is to be treated objectively to allow for the public to sift and winnow through the marketplace of ideas. As such, net neutrality shall be the guiding principle of internet and information technologies."

I'm looking forward to hearing people's thoughts on this!

Imogen Galilee Apr 13, 2015

The obligation is being imposed in the first instance - I am assuming - on the government. So it would be: 'Legislation shall be enacted to ensure non-discriminatory treatment of information on the internet'. No more, no less.

We should seriously steer clear of language like ... "sift and winnow". Let's just stick to substance, and plain English.

Tom Peach-Geraghty Apr 14, 2015

"Governments and ISPs must treat all data on the Internet equally, not discriminating or charging differentially by user, content, site, platform, application, type of attached equipment, or mode of communication."

Imogen Galilee Apr 14, 2015

Sounds perfect - I dont know enough about this to give it an intelligent description!

Scott Wilson Apr 14, 2015

Not being able to discriminate by user implies you can't have different ISP plans based on data usage, or indeed mobile vs broadband modes, it looks like a potential minefield in restricting what should be commercial decisions of ISPs in a competitive market.  It would, for example, also stop an ISP leasing out dedicated lines to businesses to connect their various branch offices at a discount.

I understand the objective, but it needs further refinement perhaps in simply referring to priority of data on a shared network?


Tom Peach-Geraghty Apr 14, 2015

Actually, that's essentially the official definition of net neutrality. Look it up. It doesn't affect anything that you suggest above - a business can still pay for a higher speed connection than a residential connection, and ISPs can still throttle connections to mobiles, but crucially they cannot throttle particular types of traffic, content, application or protocol.

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