Stop the Secrecy

Washington Post: Will changes in the U.S. ruin your Internet?

Mon, 12/15/2014 - 16:40 -- Eva Prkachin

If the U.S. allows Big Telecom to build an Internet slow lane, how will the rest of the world be affected?

Article by Nancy Scola for The Washington Post

Two human rights professors at the George Washington University Law School have come up with that rarest of unicorns in the debate over net neutrality: a novel argument.

The Federal Communications Commission, is in the last stages of coming up with rules aimed at ensuring that all online content is treated equally by internet providers. But the GW professors are warning Wednesday that the United States is at real risk of getting itself into international hot water by violating both human rights laws and trade agreements that the United States backs.

That argument comes in the form of a new filing today to the FCC from Arturo J. Carrillo, director of GW's International Human Rights Clinic, and professor Dawn C. Nunziato. Anything less that an outright ban on all forms of paid prioritization -- which are fees that allow the providers of some online content, such as Netflix, to have their digital content treated better by internet providers -- exposes the United States to complaints at the United Nations and the World Trade Organization, they say. The absence of such bans on paid prioritization, says Carrillo, "sets the stage for conflict."

- Read more at The Washington Post