What the Internet Neutrality by the United States Means to the World

Experts say that the decision By the Federal Communications Commission on Thursday could risk the role of the United States as the global leaders in technology and an open and free internet market. However, the decision could be challenged by Congress or in a court of law by any citizen who files a petition. One of Yale Resident fellows at Law school, Nick Frisch, said that this was another instance where the United States was abandoning its lead role on the world stage. Frisch noted that the US would be setting a bad example to other nations taking into consideration that the internet was born in America. For instance, a free internet market in the People’s Republic of China has been halted by the strict censorship perpetrated by the government.

Some of the issues that the rules of internet neutrality in the United States were set to prevent include fast lanes for specific types of traffic, website blocking and slowing down the speed of the internet traffic. All these issues have been experienced in the Chinese market for years now despite the censorship of the free internet. An associate professor, Lockman Tsui, from the Chinese University of Hong Kong said that the measures put in place by the Chinese government are the complete opposite of internet neutrality. Tsui has previously headed the free expression at the Tech Multinational, Google, in the Asian continent.

The vote taken by the Federal Communications Commission will have very little or no effect at all to the Chinese internet Users. However, Tsui noted that the vote would encourage the Chinese government to continue with its censorship for free internet. He also added that the United States decision does not have any credibility regardless of the moral ground on which they based their suppression for an open internet. Another senior scientist in Research from MIT, Andrew Lippman, said that most nations in the globe especially the developed countries are taking the commitment to have net neutrality for granted. Lippman told the CNN that he was worried that people from emerging economies may have limited options for internet access and that their governments could favor the wealthy and big corporations.

Lippman also noted that among the most vulnerable are citizens from countries where data packages are too expensive for them to afford. Developing countries have become a field of battle for the zero-rating services which have sparked a lot of controversy. However, specific applications, especially in social media such as Messenger apps, WhatsApp and Facebook, are not subject to the censorship


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Dil Bole Oberoi