Internet Project

Darren Espinosa

Net Neutrality, Internet Censorship, Digital Divide.

Net Neutrality:
Net Neutrality is the idea that every internet service provider has to treat all communications equally. This means that certain cites or apps can't discriminate based on content, user, patform, etc. This means that everyone should be able to have access to apps and speeds at the same rate, or in some cases, be able to access the same content/services at the same prices and speeds. It garantees that everyone has equal access to everything on the internet, making sure it doesn't discriminate.
The origin of the name "net neutrality" was first made by a Columbia University media law professor named Tim Wu, as it was an extension of a concept of a common carrier, which was used to describe telephone systems. Computer science experts, consumer advocates, human rights organizations, nad internet content providers promotes freedom of information exchange, leading to competition and promotion among internet services. On the other hand, manufactrers, economists, and technologists argue that neutrality requirements would reduce their incentive to build out the Internet, reduces competition in the marketplace, and may raise their operating costs which they would have to pass along to their users
Most recently, the Federal Communications Commission voted in December 2017 to implement Chairman Ajit Pai’s plan to end net neutrality. The fight now shifts to Congress, where pro-network neutrality members will press to use something called the Congressional Review Act to undo this hasty and misguided action. The CRA is a relatively new tool that allows Congress to reverse regulatory actions within 60 legislative days of their enactment. Congress can use this tool to reverse the FCC's action. Every American should press their members of Congress to support such a reversal via the CRA.
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Internet Censorship:
Internet censorship is when things that are published or viewed on the internet are controlled or supressed. This means that what information is put out on the internet is restricted, and internet censorship laws can be different for differnt countries. Some of the legal types of censorship are copyright, defamation, harassment, and other material claims.
China filters Internet traffic in and out of the country. In order to circumvent the firewall, it is helpful to know where the filtering occurs. In this work, we explore the topology of China’s network, and examine the firewall to find the locations of filtering devices. We find that even though most filtering occurs in border Ases, choke points also exist in many provincial networks. The result suggests that two major ISPs in China have different approaches placing filtering devices.
Support for and opposition to Internet censorship also varies. In an Internet Society survey 71% of respondents agreed that censorship should exist in some form on the Internet. In the same survey 83% agreed that access to the Internet should be considered a basic human right and 86% agreed that freedom of expression should be guaranteed on the Internet. Perception of internet censorship in the US is largely based on the First Amendment and the right for expansive free speech and access to content without regard to the consequences.According to GlobalWebIndex, over 400 million people use virtual private networks to circumvent censorship or for increased user privacy.
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Digital Divide:
The digital divide is the gap between people who benifit from the digital age and people who don't. People who don't have access to the internet or other forms of technologies are at a disadvantage in many areas. People who don't have access to technology also can't access information, they can't shop online, and also can't learn nearly as much as people who do have access. This could become a growing issue as technologies advance, making them more expensive, which could lead to dividing more people and increasing the gap.
Widening levels of education seem to increase the digital divide, as households with higher levels of education are increasingly more likely to use computers and the Internet. It has been observed that those with college degrees or higher are 10 times more likely to have internet access at work as than those with only a high school education. A study conducted by the NTIA from 1997 to 1998 determined that the gap in computer usage and Internet access widened 7.8% and 25% respectively, between those with the most and the least education.
As the use of computers and the Internet increases, so does the necessity for access. Community members must recognize the importance of such resources and take measures to ensure access for all. While increased competition among computer manufacturers and Internet Service Providers has substantially reduced the costs associated with owning a computer and maintaining a home connection, for many households the costs remain prohibitive. Like basic phone service, the government should subsidize Internet access for low-income households. At the same time, the private sector must commit to providing equal service and networks to rural and underserved communities so that all individuals can participate.
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