The Future of Net Neutrality, with Jonathan Zittrain

Internet service providers have filed suit against the FCC over its recent decision to regulate broadband internet as a public utility.

Internet service providers have filed suit against the FCC over its recent decision to regulate broadband internet as a public utility, alleging the decision hamstrings the ability of private industry to offer customers new and innovative products. 


The FCC's new regulations stipulate that internet providers cannot (1) block service, (2) slow it down, or (3) prioritize some users over others by creating "fast lanes" that offer faster speeds (in exchange for higher fees). Two broadband service providers, USTelecom and Alamo Broadband, will now challenge that third clause in court.

Praised by some and reviled by others, the FCC's decision mostly preserved the status quo, says Harvard Law professor Jonathan Zittrain. In a Big Think interview, Zittrain discusses the unusually strong protection the government has given to the internet, which protects users as well as keeps companies from offering a suite of products to its customers.

"The long-term question is going to be to what extent internet service providers feel they need to earn money through something other than cash-and-carry delivery of what we think of as generic broadband. You know, 'We're just going to give you good bandwidth; you're going to pay for it; have fun out there,' is the internet service provider of the traditional vain."

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Former president of the ACLU Nadine Strossen discusses whether our society should always defend free speech rights, even for groups who would oppose such rights.

Sponsored by Charles Koch Foundation
  • Former ACLU president Nadine Strossen understands that protecting free speech rights isn't always a straightforward proposition.
  • In this video, Strossen describes the reasoning behind why the ACLU defended the free speech rights of neo-Nazis in Skokie, Illinois, 1977.
  • The opinions expressed in this video do not necessarily reflect the views of the Charles Koch Foundation, which encourages the expression of diverse viewpoints within a culture of civil discourse and mutual respect.
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Strangely, the sun showed no sunspots at the time the photo was taken.

Image source: Rainee Colacurcio
Surprising Science
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Jokesters and serious Area 51 raiders would be met with military force.

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