eBay Globalizes the Net Neutrality Debate

Following on its public meeting on net neutrality the U.S. Federal Trade Commission has posted the comments of many participants and (almost exclusively American) commentators. The comments follow the usual ideological divides; many are quite informative and detailed with regard to economic, legal and technical aspects. One comment in particular caught my notice, however. E-commerce provider eBay conceives of net neutrality as a global norm and a potential global governance issue, similar to the way the Internet Governance Project has. This is not a particularly well-argued or strongly substantiated comment, but it's got the basics right:

“The issue is not closed in by borders – innovation without permission should be allowed to thrive everywhere. … But more and more countries may find it in their interests to fragment the global Internet. Erosion of neutrality will make it easier for that to happen. Why would they want to do this? It could be for censorship reasons; we have seen this happen in China. Or there could be cultural motivations – to promote local content by discriminating against foreign sources…. The policy decisions we make here in the U.S. will have repercussions worldwide.”

IGP will be taking this issue into the Internet Governance Forum in Rio.

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