NSA Leaks Bring the Whole Idea of “Net Neutrality” Into Question

Cross-posted from Slate.

Last week, in the midst of ongoing NSA secret spying revelations ranging from billion-dollar efforts to make the private accessible to government by breaking Internet communications security to “near real time” collection of data from fiber optic networks, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit heard oral argument in the case Verizon v. Federal Communications Commission. This case involves Verizon’s challenge to the FCC’s 2010 “Open Internet” rules, which are designed to codify what is known as “network neutrality.” Columbia law professor Tim Wu, who was a senior adviser for the FTC and is also a Future Tense fellow at the New America Foundation, describes network neutrality as the “idea” that “a maximally useful public information network aspires to treat all content, sites, and platforms equally.” (Future Tense is a partnership of Slate, New America, and Arizona State University.)

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