Net Neutrality and Control of the Internet | The MIT Press: "Net neutrality is the private censorship of our communications by our IAPs—for instance Verizon or AT&T, Comcast or T-Mobile. It is regulated by the FCC through merger conditions placed on those giant companies since 2005, and to a far lesser extent by Open Internet Orders which are continually appealed through the federal courts. In Europe, similar rules have been put in place by some countries (Netherlands, Slovenia, Finland, Norway) though not for mergers, but it took until October 2015 for the European Union to pass a Regulation enforcing common rules in the 30 European Economic Area nations—partly because big nations such as Germany and the United Kingdom refused to enforce weaker 2009 rules. These nations are home to Vodafone (part-owner of Verizon Wireless until 2014) and Deutsche Telekom, owner of T-Mobile. US regulation is intimately tied into that in Europe through such corporate cross-holdings.
Net neutrality also involves privacy intrusion—an IAP can only block your access to for instance Instant Messaging services Skype or WhatsApp if it examines your Internet traffic. Such pervasive ‘traffic management’ is highly controversial both because the IAP is trying to block your choice of rival cheaper services, and because it means the IAP is viewing your traffic, looking over your shoulder as you browse, even if you are a journalist or lawyer or elected politican. Though IAPs claim that such traffic monitoring is automatic and does not amount to direct censorship, the increased intelligence of such monitoring led us to title the net neutrality chapter ‘Smart Pipes’—whereas the Internet was once seen to be a ‘dumb pipe.’" 'via Blog this'