The Trans Atlantic Consumer Dialogue (TACD), earlier this week approved, and presented to representatives of the U.S. government, a resolution in favor of policies that will promote a non-discriminatory Internet. The TACD is a group of 60 consumer and public-interest organizations from the European Union and the U.S. More background on the organization is found at www.tacd.org.
The resolution, adopted at a TACD meeting in Washington, D.C., found that Internet Service Providers (ISPs) “have the technical ability to act as gatekeepers, blocking or degrading consumers' access to certain content and applications, or limiting the types of equipment that can be attached to the network. Such behavior can severely limit the usefulness of the Internet and frustrate consumers' aims.”
Consumers have certain rights on a neutral Internet, and ISPs have certain obligations, the resolution concluded. Consumers have the rights to:
- attach devices of their choice;
- access or provide content, services, and applications of their choice;
- have the right for their access to be free from discrimination according to source,
- destination, content, or type of application.
At the same time, the resolution found that ISPs and network operators should not:
- unfairly block content, applications or devices;
- deliberately degrade access for content, applications, or devices;
- prioritize data according to its source or destination;
- discriminate against particular providers of content, applications, services, or devices.
The text of the resolution is here:
“The adoption by an influential organization such as TACD of Net Neutrality principles is a strong indication that consumers around the world are concerned about the dangers of having large communications companies controlling the Internet,” said Gigi B. Sohn, president and co-founder of Public Knowledge, adding: “We commend TACD on taking this bold stand in favor of protecting the Internet.” PK participated in the TACD deliberations on the resolution.
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