Patt Morrison for July 10, 2012

Verizon: gatekeeper of the internet?

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A manager holds a Motorola Droid on November 5, 2009 in Orem, Utah. The smart phone, sold through Verizon, has wireless internet capabilities.

Should Verizon have the ability to decide which websites you can and cannot access on your phone? It thinks so. The Telecom giant filed in federal court last week against the Federal Communications Commission's Open Internet Order, which put net neutrality regulations in place for Internet service providers. The Open Internet Order says that, as a provider of broadband Internet, Verizon can't block or slow access to legal online content, regardless of whether they disagree with its message or are being paid by an outside party to do so.

Verizon argues that, similar to a newspaper editor, it has the constitutionally protected right to decide which content you, as a Verizon customer, access, from its court documents: “In performing these functions, broadband providers possess "editorial discretion." Just as a newspaper is entitled to decide which content to publish and where, broadband providers may feature some content over others.” Patt checks in on the case and what its implications could be.

WEIGH IN:


Do you think Verizon should decide what websites you can access on your phone? Why or why not?

Guests:

Rob Frieden, Pioneers chair and professor of Telecommunications and Law, Penn State University


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