On June 16, 2006, Professor Lawrence Lessig gave a talk at the Center for American Progress entitled "The Withering of the Net: How DC Pathologies are Undermining the Growth and Wealth of the Net." This talk was the second in a series of three. The first talk was Professor Yochai Benkler, the third featured Dave Farber and Vint Cerf.
In just under 40 minutes, Lessig delivered a stunning performance, documenting his assertion that the Internet was created by Republicans and discussing the Read Only (RO) and Read Write (RW) Internet(s).
In other network neutrality rules, Tim Wu (Columbia) is arguing that wireless carriers need to be more regulated. This is an environment where you can really see what a non-neutral digital network looks like.
1. Network Attachments. Carriers exercise excessive control over what devices may be used on the public’s wireless spectrum. The carriers place strong controls over “foreign attachments,” like the AT&T of the 1950s. These controls continue to affect the innovation and development of new devices for wireless networks.
2. Product Design and Feature Crippling. By controlling entry, carriers are in a position to exercise strong control over the design of mobile equipment. They have used that power to force equipment developers to omit or cripple many consumer-friendly features, and also forced manufacturers to include technologies, like “walled garden” internet access, that neither equipment developers nor consumers want. Finally, through under-disclosed “phone-locking,” the U.S. carriers disable the ability of phones to work on more than one network. A list of features that carriers have blocked, crippled, modified or made difficult to use, at one time or another include:
* Call timers on telephones
* WiFi technology
* Bluetooth technology
* GPS Services
* Advanced SMS services
* Internet Browsers
* Easy Photo file transfer capabilities
* Easy Sound file transfer capabilities
* Email clients
* SIM Card Mobility