The EU should stop internet service providers from limiting their customer’s access to websites and applications for commercial reasons
Last week the European Parliament ruled against allowing Internet Service Providers and National governments to restrict individual people's access to the internet including for commercial reasons such as developing services that are unique to internet service providers. Should internet freedom and internet neutrality be regarded as near sacrosanct or should there be controlled highways increasing the opportunities for business in cyberspace
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Increased risk of censorship by corporations due to government pressure
Recently the New York state attorney general Andrew Cuomo successfully pressured a number of major American Internet Service Providers such as Time Warner USA and Verizon into blocking a large amount of internet discussion forums on perfectly legitimate subjects such as "agnosticism and gothics" on the site USENET "in the interests of cutting child pornography" when only a minority of forums were reported to carry it. [[McCullagah Declan "N.Y attorney general forces ISPs to curb Usenet access, CNET News http://news.cnet.com/8301-13578_3-9964895-38.html Accessed 13.05.2009]] This leads to the question that if a elected official from a democratic country like the US can put pressure on a company to cut off major web groups then where does it ultimately lead?
Network neutrality is what makes the internet literally the world wide web
Tim Berners Lee one of the creators of the Internet defines internet (or network) neutrality as : "if I pay for an Internet access with a certain [Quality of Service], and you pay for an Internet access with the same or higher [Quality of Service], me and you can connect".[[ Blackout Europe http://blackouteurope.eu/Accessed 13.05.2009]] This is the foundation of the internet as it guarantees that people can view content without their access being controlled by the internet service providers they use to access the internet. If access to different parts of the net are blocked by Internet Service Providers then it undermines the very purpose of the internet.
Not all respected computer developers agree with Mr Berners Lee on this Issue. Robert Kahn argues that net neutrality is merely a slogan.[[Berend, Bettina " Robert Kahn on Network Neutrality http://vasarely.wiwi.hu-berlin.de/kahn_net_neutrality_transcript.html Accessed 13.05.2009]] believes that Internet Service providers should provide services that are unique to them which can be adapted by other companies. In his eyes far from being foundation internet neutrality is a constraint to innovation.
Less net neutrality= more action against illegal file sharing and downloading
Increased control by corporations would make it easier to counter online piracy in the form of file sharing uploading and downloading something that hits artists in their pockets and it's not just singers that are suffering . Some "niche" media forms like anime are a dying breed when they shouldn't be partly due to fan subbing as there is less money in the industry. Cutting these sites out would increase revenues for creative industries that badly need the money coming in. [[ Martin, Alex "Future of "anime" industry in doubt"]] The Japan Times Accessed 13.05.2008
Piracy and file sharing also hit internet users too. At the moment priority is given to a minority who disrupt other people’s browsing habits. This is unfair,and unequal – the majority get a degraded service for not being prolific file sharers." [[jerichokb http://www.debatewise.com/debates/448-the-internet-should-not-be-traffic-neutral#point_1816_headline Accessed 13.05.2009]].
Internet piracy is already a recognised offence in most countries with penalities in place to deal with it. In Sweden the four people who ran the Pirate Bay organisation were fined a total equivalent to $3.6 million each and sentenced to a year each in prison. [[http://www.cnn.com/2009/TECH/04/17/sweden.piracy.jail/index.html?eref=time_tech]]. Furthermore it could be argued as it has done by Magnus Erikkson that control over internet copyright has been lost as a result of technological evolution rather than piracy itself and instead of standing against evolution by using draconian tactics companies of all forms should evolve and adapt to the new reality rather than continue to be stuck in an crumbling model.[[ CNN.com "Four found guilty in Landmark Pirate Bay case http://www.cnn.com/2009/TECH/04/17/sweden.piracy.jail/index.html?eref=time_tech ]]
The internet isn't infinite!
"The internet is not a system which will handle the nearly unlimited video traffic that is just getting started. Look at the big plans media companies like the BBC have for sending movies and televising live events over the internet. It’s not like TV, where everyone gets the same signal. You can’t multiply all of that times the number of persons using the internet. Paying for the data would add more common sense to the subject." [[jerichokb http://www.debatewise.com/debates/448-the-internet-should-not-be-traffic-neutral#point_1816_headline Accessed 13.05.2009]].
"Employing traffic shaping is simply a get-out clause for internet service providers (ISPs), when they should be reacting to demand for faster and higher-capacity networks. Rather than invest in the framework their customers are obviously calling out for, and which is needed in the era of YouTube, iPlayer et al, they are preventing the masses from truly embracing the web as it should be enjoyed."[[http://www.debatewise.com/debates/448-the-internet-should-not-be-traffic-neutral#point_1816_headline Accessed 13.05.2009]]. Furthermore maybe ISPs and ICANN (the body that controls the internet should be looking at ways to expand the capacity of the internet.
What do you think?