Marvin Ammori is a leading First Amendment lawyer and Internet policy expert. He was instrumental to the adoption of network neutrality rules in the US and abroad–having been perhaps the nation’s leading legal advocate advancing network neutrality–and also instrumental to the defeat of the SOPA and PIPA copyright/censorship bills.
He is a Legal Fellow with the New America Foundation Open Technology Initiative and an Affiliate Scholar at Stanford Law School’s Center for Internet & Society. He also heads a law firm and consulting practice, the Ammori Group, whose clients include leading Internet companies and nonprofit organizations. The Ammori Group’s site includes a longer bio and some kind words about his work.
Before starting the Ammori Group, he was a law professor at Nebraska, where he led a program working with U.S. CyberCommand to educate the military’s first generation of “cyberwar” lawyers. His main academic contributions have been in First Amendment theory and doctrine. He left academia to return to Washington, DC, to be a participant again, rather than a spectator, in shaping public policy to advance innovation and free speech.
Before being a law professor, he was a leading advocate for civil liberties and consumer rights as the head lawyer of Free Press. In that capacity, and as the lead lawyer on the seminal Comcast/BitTorrent case, he was perhaps the nation’s leading lawyer on network neutrality, the nation’s most debated Internet policy issue and amongst the nation’s most important recent policy debates. During 2007 and 2008, he was a technology policy advisor to the Obama campaign and to the Presidential Transition.
He is also a Term Member of the Council on Foreign Relations and a member of the Council’s Term Member Advisory Committee. He is an Affiliate Fellow of the Yale Information Society Project, an advisor to the University of Michigan’s Michigan in Washington Program, and collaborates with Stanford’s Center for International Security and Cooperation.
People working on net neutrality wish for a “third way”–a clever compromise giving us both network neutrality and no blowback from AT&T, Verizon, Comcast and others. That dream is delusional because the carriers will oppose network neutrality in any real form; they want paid fast lanes. They have expressed particular opposition to “Title II” of the Communications Act—something telecom lawyers mention the same way normal people might reference the First or Second Amendments. Title II is the one essential law to ban paid fast lanes. Read more » about Net Neutrality’s Legal Binary: An Either/Or With No “Third Way”
Outrageous and possibly illegal. That's what Google's executive chairman called the latest chapter in the NSA saga – news that the NSA not only requests data from big tech and telecom companies, but also secretly hacks into their private lines. Yet, last week, seven privacy groups unmasked the real privacy villains in this story and filed a complaint against them with a federal agency. Read more » about Blame the NSA, not Facebook and Google: Column
Net neutrality is a dead man walking. The execution date isn’t set, but it could be days, or months (at best). And since net neutrality is the principle forbidding huge telecommunications companies from treating users, websites, or apps differently — say, by letting some work better than others over their pipes — the dead man walking isn’t some abstract or far-removed principle just for wonks: It affects the internet as we all know it. Read more » about We’re About to Lose Net Neutrality — And the Internet as We Know It
In recent months, some copyright holders, pharmaceutical companies, and state attorneys general have made allegations against Internet companies that help users find and share information. In short, they claim that because some users engage in copyright infringement, sell counterfeit products, or otherwise encourage potentially criminal activity on the Internet, the users’ Internet platforms should be held responsible for these misdeeds. That is, Google should be punished for any user’s copyright infringement on YouTube, Facebook for any user’s harassing post, and Twitter for any user’s slanderous tweet. According to the critics, that is, these companies should screen all users’ speech and take on the role of editors or publishers, rather than being open platforms for the speech of millions. Read more » about Recurring Myths About the Legal Obligations of Online Platforms
Every so often in human history, something new comes along that warrants a celebration, and that deserves its own holiday. That’s why I propose we celebrate “Internet Freedom Day” later this month. Read more » about The Internet Deserves Its Own Holiday
Comcast Corp. v. FCC is a 2010 United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia case holding that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) does not have ancillary jurisdiction over Comcast’s Internet service under the language of the Communications Act of 1934. In so holding, the Court vacated a 2008 order issued by the FCC that asserted jurisdiction over Comcast’s network management polices and censured Comcast from interfering with its subscribers' use of peer-to-peer software. Read more » about Comcast Corporation v. Federal Communications Commission
In 2005, on the same day the FCC re-classified DSL service and effectively reduced the regulatory obligations of DSL providers, the FCC announced its unanimous view that consumers are entitled to certain rights and expectations with respect to their broadband service, including the right to: Read more » about Federal Communications Commission Preserving the Open Internet Proceeding
The nation's network neutrality drama isn’t over: the FCC’s landmark rules are in court again—after courts threw out two previous FCC net neutrality orders. Read more » about Here’s How Charter Will Commit to an Open Internet
Today, the FCC is voting on its third major net neutrality opinion since 2008.
The last two failed in court. So you might wonder: why would this one survive? Because, if reports are right, the FCC finally learned its lesson. And that lesson is so simple–the FCC will win in court if it relies on its strongest basis for authority given to it by Congress, called Title II. Read more » about Don't Worry, This Net Neutrality Order Will Survive in Court
Tomorrow, the FCC is voting on its long-awaited net neutrality rule. Everyone is hoping for a huge, enormous victory for the open Internet we all know and love. The FCC appears ready to forbid phone and cable giants (like Comcast and Verizon) from blocking websites, throttling them, or selling various slow lanes. The FCC will also build this rule on rock not sand—it will rely on its strongest legal authority known as Title II and therefore stand up in court. The devil will be in the details, but the general direction is very positive. Read more » about Ten Reasons The Net Neutrality Victory Is Bigger Than The SOPA Win
"In his last ruling, Judge Tatel suggested the FCC could find better legal footing through Title II. “In the previous case, he provided a legal road map for the FCC to follow,” Marvin Ammori, a lawyer and net neutrality activist, told WSJ." Read more » about Net Neutrality Goes Back on Trial
"“Judge Tatel’s inclusion on the panel is probably good for net neutrality advocates,” said Marvin Ammori, a lawyer and net neutrality activist. “In the previous case, he provided a legal road map for the FCC to follow. The FCC carefully followed Judge Tatel’s road map. And nobody would understand that better than Mr. Tatel himself.”" Read more » about Focus Turns to Judge in Latest Appeal of Net Neutrality Rules
"But net neutrality advocates are skeptical about T-Mobile’s openness. “We can’t be really sure unless we know exactly what these technical requirements are,” says Barbara van Schewick, a law professor at Stanford University. “What has been so awesome about the Internet is that if we come with any app, we don’t have to negotiate with anyone, including ISPs, to get it to the users equally.” Read more » about T-Mobile’s New ‘Binge On’ Plan Teeters on the Edge of Net Neutrality Rules
""The FCC has a no-blocking rule," said Marvin Ammori, a First Amendment lawyer and an affiliate scholar at the Stanford Law School Center for Internet & Society, in an email. "You can't block lawful content, and ads are lawful, and an ISP cannot require a fee merely to deliver traffic. The user, not the ISP (or payment from big advertisers), should determine what content he or she receives."" Read more » about What Digicel's Next-Level Ad-Blocking Means for Adland
"What Digicel is doing — turning ad-blocking on by default, and charging advertisers a fee to get through the filter — might fly in the Caribbean countries where it operates. But it's less clear that it would work in the United States, said Marvin Ammori, a net neutrality lawyer and activist.
"While not everyone loves ads, having carriers act as toll-booths for ads doesn't further user-choice, and would clearly violate our rules," said Ammori." Read more » about How our love affair with ad-blocking risks giving Internet providers even more power
For more information visit the University of Scranton's website.
The Social Justice in the Information Society speaker series will virtually host speaker Marvin Ammori as he discusses Net Neutrality. Read more » about The Net Neutrality Debate: What It Means for the Future of the U.S. Economy Lobbying and the DC Political World
The Federalist Society's 2013 National Lawyers Convention is scheduled for Thursday, November 14 through Saturday, November 16 at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, D.C. The topic of this year's convention is: Textualism and the Role of Judges. Read more » about The Federalist Society's 2013 National Lawyers Convention
For almost a decade, network neutrality has been among the most contentious and high-profile subjects of debate in Internet policy. This debate has taken place in government agencies, legislatures, courts, and the public square, in countries around the world. In the U.S., both sides assume the mantle of free expression. Read more » about Network Neutrality and the First Amendment, According to Verizon
CIS Affiliate Scholar Marvin Ammori will be participating in a panel discussion with others at the panel "Networked Nation: How Technology & Social Media are Transforming the Economy." Read more » about Networked Nation: How Technology & Social Media are Transforming the Economy
Luminaries from the decade-long fight for Net Neutrality share stories and memories of the movement.
Listen to the Net Neutrality Memories National Call at Soundcloud. Read more » about Net Neutrality Memories National Call
On Thursday, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is expected to approve new net neutrality regulations. If the new rules are adopted, internet service will be regulated like a public utility, a move that will prevent companies from manipulating internet traffic.
It will be a major victory both for President Obama and for a swarm of internet companies that vocally supported net neutrality—everything from Netflix to Twitter, to Mozilla, Tumblr, and Etsy. Read more » about A Historic Day for The Internet: FCC Set to Approve Net Neutrality Rules
The phrase “net neutrality” couldn’t sound more boring.
But almost 4 million people wrote to a US federal agency this year, demanding it. That agency has never received even a third as many comments. And samples show that a full 99 percent supported net neutrality.
What exactly can be so popular?
The short answer is: the Internet. The Internet is awesome and it’s awesome because of net neutrality.
Lawyer and Activist Marvin Ammori discusses President Obama’s stance on net neutrality. Ammori speaks on “In The Loop.” (Source: Bloomberg)