General Question

ESV's avatar

Is "Internet Neutrality" guaranteed to us as freedom of speech under the US Constitution?

Asked by ESV (468points) October 1st, 2009 from iPhone

I never heard it was, is it? shouldn’t it be protected under the constitution? What ya all think?!

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6 Answers

dpworkin's avatar

I don’t know if it is a Constitutional issue, but I do thank that a comfortable argument can be made that the Internet policy should be analogous to other “common carrier” situations, like electrical and telephone wires, where all business have equal access at equal rates, even if they are “smaller” players.

laureth's avatar

The first amendment states, “Congress shall make no law… abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

As such, Congress cannot make a law telling you that you can’t say something (with some notable exceptions, such as libel). The first amendment doesn’t refer to private individuals or businesses (such as Internet providers, or your employer) telling you you can’t say something, or censoring what you read (or giving preferential treatment to high bidders, which is one of the more important issues when debating net neutrality).

If Congress is your Internet provider, though, you might have a case.

dannyc's avatar

No, google is only 10 years old.

cwilbur's avatar

No. It’s a policy that says that network service providers can’t discriminate on the basis of content. If I pay for a certain level of service, I should be able to get that level of service no matter what I’m doing.

In other words, Comcast can’t throttle my Netflix streaming video because they’d rather I was watching On Demand, and they can’t throttle my BitTorrent data streams because they’re tired of copyright violations. If I pay for a certain quality of service, I should get that quality of service.

Sampson's avatar

28th amendment?

BBQsomeCows's avatar

PEOPLE have rights

groups do not have rights
animals do not have rights

“the ‘fairness’ doctrine” however is wholly unconstitutional

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