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
A few weeks ago, the New York Times reported on increasing dissatisfaction that the big movie studios are having with the MPAA, their big trade association. And it’s no wonder. While the six major studios pour 20 million dollars each into the MPAA every year—so that the MPAA can focus on the future of the movie business—recent reports reveal that the MPAA is instead focused on convoluted, Rube Goldberg-like political strategies far removed from filmmaking. Read more » about SOPA Sequels: The Method to the MPAA's Mississippi Madness
Tom Wheeler, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, recently announced support for strong net neutrality rules grounded in the FCC’s strongest legal authority, known as “Title II.” Following Wheeler’s announcement, average Americans, entrepreneurs, and civil libertarians cheered the use of Title II. But those supporting the cable industry’s assault on rules are now crying foul. Read more » about The White House Gave the FCC Advice on Net Neutrality. That’s How It’s Supposed to Work.
""It certainly wasn't 'Marvin, cheerlead for us,'" said Ammori. "It was, 'Give us advice,' and I definitely signaled to them that you can't bring a merger nowadays without bringing strong net neutrality conditions."" Read more » about Why a top net neutrality activist took a gig with an Internet provider
"“She is both the most practical and most visionary at the same time,” said Marvin Ammori, a lawyer who has represented corporations and nonprofits before the FCC during Rosenworcel's stints as a staffer and a commissioner. “Jessica thinks about what networks enable and how they empower people and businesses and new ideas.”" Read more » about How Jessica Rosenworcel Is Shaping Our Digital Future
"“The simple way to think about the problem with the Comcast merger is that once they get that big, they’re pretty much too big to regulate,” said Marvin Ammori, a lawyer who helped lead the campaign for net neutrality." Read more » about Once Comcast’s Deal Shifted to a Focus on Broadband, Its Ambitions Were Sunk
"“This is the first administration that tried to get tech right, and he is still widely loved by the tech community,” said Marvin Ammori, an attorney who represents tech companies, including Google and DropBox, and has long fought for net neutrality rules. “But it’s a mixed bag. Tech CEOs are still really frustrated with surveillance, and it took a long time to finally get to where we are on net neutrality.”" Read more » about Why Silicon Valley is the new revolving door for Obama staffers
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)