Yale ISP to Examine Net Neutrality at November 18 Panel

A panel focused on the pros and cons of net neutrality and the implications of new rules proposed by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will take place at Yale Law School on November 18. The event, titled “Net Neutrality or Net Diversity?” will feature Federal Trade Commissioner Joshua Wright, scholar Marvin Ammori, Law Professor Christopher Yoo, and Economics Professor Christiaan Hogendorn. This is one of two events presented by the Yale Information Society Project (ISP) at Yale Law School on the topic of net neutrality.

Net neutrality is the concept that all content on the web should be treated equally by governments and internet service providers. The FCC recently released a notice of proposed rule-making (NPRM) on internet regulation. The NPRM suggests rules that would require internet service providers to share performance reports, prohibit companies from blocking lawful content, and ban unfair business practices. The NPRM also opens the possibility that websites could pay for faster service, an option that has raised controversy.

The panel will be moderated by Camilla Hrdy, the University of Pennsylvania Law School’s Center for Technology, Innovation & Competition (CTIC) Fellow and Information Society Project (ISP) Visiting Fellow, and ISP Student Fellow Rebecca Lee ’16. The event, which is co-sponosored by Yale ISP and CTIC, is part of the Thomson Reuters Initiative on Law and Technology.

“This year the FCC has received more than 3 million comments on net neutrality on its website—by far the largest number it has ever received on any issue,” said Executive Director of the Information Society Project Valerie Belaire-Gagnon. “Given the significance of the issue, the Information Society Project has decided to host two events: one in New York aimed at alumni via the Abrams Institute and one in New Haven aimed at students via the Thomson Reuters initiative in law and technology.”

Another event, titled “Net Neutrality: From debate to policy decisions,” took place on November 3 in New York City, featuring speakers Floyd Abrams, Law Professor Susan Crawford, media scholar Victor Pickard, FTC attorney Jan Rybnicek, and FCC Deputy Bureau Chief Matthew Del Nero. The panel looked in particular at the statement in the FCC’s NPRM that “behavior harmful to consumers or competition by limiting the openness to the Internet will not be permitted.”

The Information Society Project at Yale Law School is an intellectual center addressing the implications of the Internet and new information technologies for law and society, guided by the values of democracy, development, and civil liberties. Areas of focus include copyright, media law and policy, and privacy.

The Thomson Reuters Initiative on Law and Technology at the Yale ISP fosters research and intellectual community in the burgeoning area of information law. It supports the work of two fellows studying cutting-edge issues in law and technology. The initiative also hosts major conferences at the forefront of these issues, in addition to workshops, ISP “ideas” lunches, and the Thomson Reuters ISP Speaker Series on Information Law and Information Policy. The Speaker Series hosts leading experts in the field of information law, speaking about their latest paper or projects.