Internet Bill of Rights debuts, with net neutrality promises | Media Investment | Business
By continuing to use this site you consent to the use of cookies on your device as described in our privacy policy unless you have disabled them. You can change your cookie settings at any time but parts of our site will not function correctly without them. [Close]
A voluntary "Internet Bill of Rights" for ISPs has been released by Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif), who developed the document with input from Amazon, Apple, Google, Twitter, Facebook and other major web companies.

net neutrality 7 oct 2018It debuts as his state’s net neutrality law goes into effect, setting up a showdown with the federal government over regulation in this area.

The principles laid out in the Bill of Rights include net neutrality restoration language that’s important to OTT providers. For one, it offers consumers the right to “access and use the internet without internet service providers blocking, throttling, engaging in paid prioritisation, or otherwise unfairly favouring content, applications, services or devices.

Interestingly, it also promises access to “multiple viable, affordable internet platforms, services and providers with clear and transparent pricing.”

The Bill of Rights would be a voluntary promise to customers on the part of ISPs. But its debut comes amidst controversy over California’s recently passed regulation around net neutrality.

On that front, the Department of Justice has filed a lawsuit after SB 822 was passed, enforcing net neutrality laws, last Sunday.

State Bill 822 , passed into law last Sunday, was first introduced in March by state Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco), and mandates rules that are similar to those approved by the Federal Communications Commission during the Obama era, known as the Open Internet Order, which were passed in 2015 and repealed last December. The California bill in essence prevents internet providers from blocking, throttling or discriminating against any Internet content.

It also goes further than the Open Internet Order did however, prohibiting “zero rating,” which would enable carriers to control which types of content would count towards a customers’ data usage – including their own streaming services or content.

But as soon as the California measure went into effect, the federal Department of Justice filed a lawsuit alleging that the law is not valid.

“The internet is inherently an interstate information service,” FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said. “As such, only the federal government can set policy in this area. And the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit recently reaffirmed that state regulation of information services is preempted by federal law.”

The 2015 net neutrality regulations have been opposed by large ISPs like Comcast, AT&T and Verizon (which all also have streaming content subsidiaries), and the FCC, which all say that any approach to net neutrality should be market-based – an idea that Khanna’s Bill of Rights fulfills.

Aside from the net neutrality aspects, the Bill of Rights also includes a promise that personal data be secured and that consumers would be notified in a timely manner about data breaches; and, that personal data would be made completely portable.

And, it includes wide-ranging privacy prescriptions that echo the recently implemented GDPR in Europe. These include a promise to give individuals “access to and knowledge of all collection and uses of personal data by companies,” along with opt-in consent to the collection and sharing of personal data by any party. And, where “context-appropriate and with a fair process” individuals would be able to “obtain, correct or delete personal data controlled by any company.”

Also, ISPs would only collect the data that is unnecessary for providing service, and the data collector must have “reasonable business practices and accountability to protect your privacy."