by Mike Masnick
Fri, Jun 24th 2011 3:06pm
Back in May, Bas correctly predicted that an attempt by some mobile ISPs to filter their internet access, in order to offer different levels of services to consumers has, in fact, resulted in a pro-net neutrality law, one of the first of its kind, in the Netherlands. And, there are suggestions that there will be more like it too. Now as I've discussed in the past, I'm in favor of keeping the end-to-end principles of "network neutrality" in place, because they're incredibly important to innovation. But I am worried about actually legislating net neutrality into law, for two key reasons. First, there are potential unintended consequences. Just defining what counts as net neutrality is difficult enough, let alone having the law based on it. Second, at least in the US (not so sure about the situation in the Netherlands), the giant telcos, with their armies of lobbyists, would dilute such plans so much as to make it the opposite of what is intended. We're already seeing that, with AT&T effectively hijacking such discussions in the US. Still, this does show something: when ISPs start to get too intrusive, public backlash can be fierce, and lead to regulations (good or bad) The US ISPs agreeing to filter the internet to protect Hollywood may want to keep that in mind.
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