The Shifting World of Net Neutrality

Daniel A. Reed

Communications of the ACM, April 2018, Vol. 61 No. 4, Pages 10-11
BLOG@CACM “Keeping the Net Neutral”
By Daniel A. Reed

“The struggle is further convolved with a combination of social and political perspectives – pro-regulation or anti-regulation. Then there is the woefully obsolete nature of the governing law – the Communications Act of 1934. Yes, you read that right – 1934! There have been updates, most recently the Telecommunications Act of 1996, but twenty years is a geologic eon at Internet speed.”



“Regardless of one’s business, legal, or social opinions, it is clear the network neutrality debate is yet another example of technical and business change rapidly outstripping outmoded laws, while powerful social and economic forces are at play. The nexus of digital privacy, transnational data flows, and the scope of extraterritorial legal reach is yet another. We badly need updated legal frameworks that reflect current realities and that are sufficiently flexible to accommodate rapidly evolving technologies. I wish I were more sanguine about that near-term probability. It is crucial that computer scientists become more involved as non-partisan experts.”

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