Daphne Keller is the Director of Intermediary Liability at Stanford's Center for Internet and Society. Her work focuses on platform regulation and Internet users' rights.
CIS explores how changes in the architecture of computer networks affect the economic environment for innovation and competition on the Internet, and how the law should react to those changes. This work has lead us to analyze the issue of network neutrality, perhaps the Internet's most debated policy issue, which concerns Internet user's ability to access the content and software of their choice without interference from network providers.
Thomas Lohninger is a digital rights advocate in Europe mainly focused on net neutrality and surveillance. Together with the SaveTheInternet.eu campaign he coordinated the civil society efforts to push pro net neutrality safeguards within the european telecom single market regulation. He is an expert in the field of net neutrality and worked as Policy Analyst for European Digital Rights.
Andrew McLaughlin is a technology law and policy nerd. He is Executive Director of Civic Commons, a new non-profit that help cities and other governments share and implement low-cost technologies to improve public services, management, accountability, transparency, and citizen engagement. He is also a director of Code for America.
It’s difficult to recall an internal memo gone viral that has sparked as much commentary as James Damore’s statement on gender and engineering at Google. This post is not about that memo, although the volume of commentary on it did prompt the thoughts that follow. Nor is this post about workplace diversity, at least not directly. Instead, like many other “Tool Without a Handle” posts, it is about metaphor.
In particular, I wanted to test whether, in preferring the metaphor of “a tool you use” as distinct from “a place you go,” I’d unduly limited my thinking to an “androcentric” view of networked information technologies. In other words, is “tool” a masculine metaphor, implying a gendered orientation towards my preferred approach to thinking about technology?
I conclude the answer is “no,” in part because metaphor differs from gender, and in part because metaphor is a feature of language, while gender is a feature of persons. Moreover, I identify a general objection to dichotomizing and to gender metaphors.
Most people I talk to think that Facebook, Twitter, and other social media companies should take down ugly-but-legal user speech. Platforms are generally applauded for taking down racist posts from the White Nationalist demonstrators in Charlottesville, for example. I see plenty of disagreement about exactly what user-generated content should come down -- breastfeeding images? Passages from Lolita? Passages from Mein Kampf? But few really oppose the basic predicate of these removals: that private companies can and should be arbiters of permissible speech on their platforms.*
This week, the House will vote on H.R. 1644, introduced by Rep. Mike Doyle, which would reinstate the net neutrality protections of the FCC’s 2015 Open Internet Order as of January 19, 2017. H.R. 1096, a competing measure introduced by Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, purports to restore the Open Internet Order’s rules against blocking, throttling, and paid prioritization, as well as the transparency rule.
Both bills have been touted as means to restore comprehensive net neutrality protections for all Americans.
In the leadup to the FCC's historic vote in December 2017 to repeal all net neutrality protections, 22 million comments were filed to the agency.
But unfortunately, millions of those comments were fake. Some of the fake comment were part of sophisticated campaigns that filed fake comments using the names of real people - including journalists, Senators and dead people.
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.
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:
"Enforcement of SB 822 has been on hold as court cases were resolved. If there are no appeals to the most recent ruling, then California will likely begin enforcement. Other states are also free to forge ahead. More legal battles await, says Ryan Singel, a research fellow at Stanford University Law School’s Center for Internet Society. The Department of Justice had given every indication it will go after these laws, he says, but now its case “is much, much harder than it was before.”"
"Ryan Singel, a fellow at the Center for Internet and Society at Stanford, said he is not sure when these arguments and the mountain of litigation ahead for states will be resolved, but he believes “We will get net neutrality rules somehow, someday.”
“It’s just a question of when, and how.”"
""The pathway has been cleared," said Ryan Singel, a fellow at the Center for Internet and Society at Stanford Law School. "They can still be challenged, but that challenge just became easier for them to win."
"Barbara van Schewick, director of Stanford Law School’s Center for Internet and Society, said in a statement Tuesday that “today’s decision that the FCC can’t stop states from protecting their citizens online is a historic win for California and all Internet users.”"
U.S. technology companies are increasingly standing as competing power centers, challenging the primacy of governments. This power brings with it the capacity to bolster or undermine governmental authority, and also increasing public demands for the companies to protect users from governments. The companies’ power raises serious questions about how to understand their role, including suggestions that they are public utilities, information fiduciaries, surveillance intermediaries, or speech governors.
Interested in working in public interest technology law and policy? Want to find out what you can do now to build a career in this growing area? Join the Stanford Center for Internet and Society and the Levin Center to discuss the broad range of available options and how to identify and evaluate prospective employers, plus how to make the most of your time at SLS to position yourself for the future.
Listen to the full interview at Marketplace.
"Netflix accounts for about a third of peak-period broadband traffic. So what does that mean for the net neutrality debate? "I don't think it matters," says Barbara van Schewick, faculty director of the Center for Internet and Society at the Stanford Law School, "because under a good network neutrality regime, people pay for the bandwidth they use and it doesn't really matter where it comes from.""
CIS Affiliate Scholar David Levine interviews Larry Downes, author of Big Bang Disruption, on disruptive technology and business strategies.
On Wednesday, May 7th at 6:30 p.m. EST, Rep. Anna G. Eshoo (D-Calif.) hosted a panel discussion on recently proposed net neutrality rules from the Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission. The panel, moderated by Cecilia Kang of the Washington Post, included:
CIS Affiliate Scholar David Levine interviews Profs. Laura Roselle of Elon University and Ben O’Loughlin of Royal Holloway, University of London, co-authors of Strategic Narratives: Communication Power and the New World Order.