Net Neutrality Essay

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Final Paper – Net Neutrality Week 7 Sean Riley IT-319-5147 Instructor – Howard L. Peterson October 14th, 2010 RESUBMITTED November 4th, 2010 Net Neutrality – it’s a term that many Americans have never heard, and still fewer understand its full implications. In a nutshell, it is the concept of a free and open internet, an environment of freedom of expression and a level playing field for free speech and public discourse unparalleled in human history. It is the status quo we all know and love. In this series of article summaries culminating in the final research paper for this course, I will attempt to wade through the pros and cons in the debate over this issue and its greater implications. Firstly, though, why should this concern us as IT professionals? Because the internet, the great cloud through and by means of which we do much of our work, is being threatened with the specter of privatization; threatened with being essentially run and self-regulated by huge corporations – referred to in the media as “Google-Verizon” and a few other big telecoms and digital giants. Well, so what? Ask yourself this: What kind of legal, ethical, and personal privacy issues could arise for us in our professional lives if corporate watchdogs start carving up the net into varying streams of favored and non-favored dissemination of information? What if we had to suddenly police ourselves (or worse, be subject to restrictions) on what we can and cannot do with our internet access? My first article is a list of “cons”, compiled for an article on the website by Scott Cleland, who (not surprisingly) is an analyst for Corporate America, a mouthpiece for the vaunted Fortune 500. Corporate interests are rabidly against Net Neutrality since they all want a piece of the pie should Capitol Hill open the auction up

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