Who Makes the Rules for the Internet?

Date: 8 Jan 2012 | posted in: MuniNetworks | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

Our focus tends to be at the most local -- how do people in local communities access the Internet? But we do worry about how the Internet itself is governed.

Think it should be totally unregulated? That sounds nice until you type google.com into a browser and it takes you to search.microsoft.com. Or you type microsoft.com and you end up at apple.com.

We need rules and standards. Much like the principle of network neutrality, some are looking to change the way these rules and standards have traditionally developed. Susan Crawford has written a column examining how governments like Russia want to change who makes key decisions.

Though we are believers in the necessity of a strong government role in the provision of essential infrastructure, we share Susan Crawford's concern that changing who makes decisions about the rules of the Internet could be very damaging to this amazing network of networks.

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Christopher Mitchell

Christopher Mitchell is the Director of the Community Broadband Networks Initiative with ILSR. He is a leading national expert on community networks, Internet access, and local broadband policies. Christopher built MuniNetworks.org, the comprehensive online clearinghouse of information about local government policies to improve Internet access. Its interactive community broadband network map tracks more than 600 such networks. He also hosts audio and video shows online, including Community Broadband Bits and Connect This!