11.2007 Net Neutrality as Global Principle for Internet Governance

[Abstract]

Drafters: Milton MuellerConcurring: Derrick Cogburn, John Mathiason, Jeanette Hofmann

As a contribution to the 2007 UN Internet Governance Forum (IGF), IGP has released a new paper showing how network neutrality can serve as a globally applicable principle that can guide Internet governance. The paper defines network neutrality as the right of Internet users to access content, services and applications on the Internet without interference from network operators or overbearing governments. It also encompasses the right of network operators to be reasonably free of liability for transmitting content and applications deemed illegal or undesirable by third parties. Those aspects of net neutrality are relevant in a growing number of countries and situations, as both public and private actors attempt to subject the Internet to more control. An important part of the mandate of the Internet Governance Forum is to develop globally applicable public policy principles for Internet governance. The paper contends that the principle of network neutrality combines and integrates concepts of universal access to the resources connected to the Internet, freedom of expression, economic innovation, and free trade in digital products and services.

Suggested citation: Milton Mueller, “Net Neutrality as Global Principle for Internet Governance” (Nov 5, 2007). Internet Governance Project. Paper IGP07-003. Available at http://internetgovernance.org/pdf/NetNeutralityGlobalPrinciple.pdf

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