Day 9 Reflections

This was another special week as we had Scott Bradner come in and speak to us about Internet Governance. Scott Bradner has been on the forefront of Internet regulation for many years now, and it was an honor to have him speak to us in such a small group. The main thesis of his talk was the fact the there actually is no Internet governance, especially in the United States. Some countries (China for example) have had some sort of Internet governance, but there is no global  governance, and definitely not any governance currently in the United States.

One thing from the presentation that I found exceptionally striking was the slide that depicted different Internet “plans” that providers might supply. Imagine if you could only buy 100 websites from a provider. What would happen to all these small websites developed by normal people like you and I. Would we not be able to visit them unless we bought the unlimited plan? I think that that is just completely wrong. What is so special about the Internet is its scope, and its endless amount of nooks and crannies that are loved by different people. TV, Phone, and Radio are all localized and more easily regulated. But what makes the Internet the Internet is that it is not regulated. A regulated Internet would ruin all the values that the Internet has. Once described as a bumble-bee that was not able to fly, the Internet has flown with flying colors, and there should be nothing that should stop it. The only regulations that should be on the Internet is that all members on the Internet should play fairly and should “do what is right.” There should be no overarching regulations that should limit what individuals should be able to access online. To be completely honest, seeing those Internet plans scared me, and scared me a lot.

Another thing I found interesting about Internet Governance was its lack of consistency across the globe. For example the European Union’s (EU) right to be forgotten, is only a law in the European Union. Let’s say I lived in France, and wanted to forget some of my history on google. Would that information also be forgotten on google in the United States. How does one deal with these laws that span only specific parts of the world, but can be seen on the Internet all over the world?

Another thing I find interesting is how governments can influence an individuals ideology by filtering what they see online. For example, if a governement is in charge of the Internet, it can block anything that is anti that government, and suppress any sort of rebellion, unrest or protest. I believe that should not happen. The Internet can be an incredible tool to help bring masses together and elicit social change. Yet, if the government is regulating everything that is going on the Internet, it will limit the power of one of humanities best tools that it can use to unite masses.

As of now there is no Internet Governance in the United States, and there hasn’t been since the Internet was invented. The main question is: Will this last? In my opinion, it will last, but not to the extent that it is at currently. As the Internet continues to advance, I believe there will be more of a need to implement laws that keep play on the Internet fair and just. I do not think that there will ever be governance like AT&T offering you Internet plans, but I do believe that more and more laws will have to be created to ensure that fair play is ensured on the Internet and that the Internet remains a safe place.


That is all for Hollenberg’s Thoughts this week. Stay tuned!!!


Brady for MVP?!?


1 Comment »

  1. profsmith

    November 13, 2016 @ 8:36 pm


    Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Internet governance has many dimensions, in my humble opinion. I strongly believe in the dimension that you and Scott mention: the information from all sources should be equally accessible. A different dimension that is thrown into the light as we digest the results of the current U.S. election is how can you have trust in the material that you read on the Internet? I’m not sure I think this question needs to have a regulatory answer, but it seems like a question that might need to be addressed somehow.

Leave a Comment

Log in