Net Neutrality And Search Neutrality Philosophy Essay

1441 words (6 pages) Essay

1st Jan 1970 Philosophy Reference this

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According to Google, “Network neutrality is the principle that Internet users should be in control of what content they view and what applications they use on the Internet. The Internet has operated according to this neutrality principle since its earliest days. Indeed, it is this neutrality that has allowed many companies, including Google, to launch, grow, and innovate. Fundamentally, net neutrality is about equal access to the Internet. In our view, the broadband carriers should not be permitted to use their market power to discriminate against competing applications or content. Just as telephone companies are not permitted to tell consumers who they can call or what they can say, broadband carriers should not be allowed to use their market power to control activity online.” The issue of network neutrality, or more commonly called net neutrality, is often regarded as the primer issue in today’s telecom and communications world. “Net Neutrality in Canada is the principle that consumers should be in control of what content, services and applications they use on the public Internet”. While search neutrality can be defined as “The principle that search engines should be open and transparent about their editorial policies, or, better still, should have no editorial policies other than that their results be comprehensive, impartial, and based solely on relevance.” It can be very much seen by realizing the past years revenue for Google as how it is controlling of what we can see and what we cannot. An estimate shows that 90% % share of the UK search market and 72% in the US, Google’s overwhelming dominance of both natural search and paid search advertising gives it unprecedented control. The following table illustrates the importance of Search Neutrality and its parallels with the more established principles of Net Neutrality taken from searchneutrality.org:

Net Neutrality (in Google’s words)

Search Neutrality (in Our words)

Network neutrality is the principle that Internet users should be in control of what content they view and what applications they use on the Internet.

Search neutrality is the principle that Internet users should be in control of what content they view and what applications they use on the Internet.

Fundamentally, net neutrality is about equal access to the Internet. In our view, the broadband carriers should not be permitted to use their market power to discriminate against competing applications or content. Just as telephone companies are not permitted to tell consumers who they can call or what they can say, broadband carriers should not be allowed to use their market power to control activity online.

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Fundamentally, search neutrality is about equal access to the Internet. In our view, search engines should not be permitted to use their market power to discriminate against competing applications or content. Just as telephone companies are not permitted to tell consumers who they can call or what they can say, search engines should not be allowed to use their market power to control activity online.

Today, the neutrality of the Internet is at stake as the broadband carriers want Congress’s permission to determine what content gets to you first and fastest. Put simply, this would fundamentally alter the openness of the Internet.

Today, the neutrality of the Internet is at stake as Google, the overwhelmingly dominant search engine, asserts full and undisclosed editorial control of what content you see and what you don’t. Put simply, this is fundamentally altering the openness of the Internet.

Allowing broadband carriers to control what people see and do online would fundamentally undermine the principles that have made the Internet such a success…A number of justifications have been created to support carrier control over consumer choices online; none stand up to scrutiny.

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Allowing a search engine to control what people see and do online is fundamentally undermining the principles that have made the Internet such a success…A number of justifications have been created to support search engine control over consumer choices online; none stand up to scrutiny.

By following the categorical imperative a deontologist would agree to have the net neutralized from the influence of the Internet Service Providers and have an equal opportunity for everyone. While a utilitarian would move beyond egoism and would also support the principle of net neutralization in order to maximize the greatest good for the greatest number of people. In my opinion deontologist’s idea of practical reasoning and logical consistency should be the medium when deciding what action is ethically and morally right.

According to Utilitarianism, net neutrality is very critical to the future of the internet, the media and for the society as a whole. In an attempt to maximize the greatest good for the greatest number of people a utilitarian would take consequentialism approach. He would agree with the fact that the internet is a large network of networks and no single entity owns. Since no one is the owner of the internet or network then it would be morally wrong in the part of broadband carriers to become the controller of what information go through and how fast. Internet provides benefits for great number of people. The internet provides a powerful resource for learning, as well as an efficient means of communication. The utilitarian would argue that net neutrality helps many people make use of many services/information provided on the net. In this case, if broadband providers use their market power to merely benefit themselves over billions of people then this action would be against the Utilitarianism, the theory of benefiting the most people; and his position would be favour of the Net Neutrality.

Whereas the theory of Deontologist is net neutrality means no discrimination. If someone is in the favour of having the principle of net neutrality then there maxim would be “no discrimination”. But if someone is against the principle of having net neutrality then there maxim would be “to discriminate”. Using the ‘Categorical Imperative’ approach the deontology would argue that if one person(s) can consistently “will” everyone to discriminate then that action is ethically right; if not then that action is ethically and morally wrong. In this case deontologist position would be to save and preserve the internet neutrality. Net neutrality is about equal access to the Internet. Broadband carriers should not be permitted to use their market power to discriminate against competing applications or content. Since discrimination is unethical and an unlawful action deontologist would support the idea of having an equal chance for everyone to use any equipment, content, application or service without any interference from the network providers. By following the categorical imperative, deontologist would act out of a moral duty to follow practical reason. Deontologist would embrace the equality for all and hence would support the principle of Net Neutrality.

Both theories seem fair enough in regards to the issue of net neutrality but I fall more towards deontological theory of ethics. The reason I support the deontologist’s position is because before coming to a conclusion it takes into account the logical consistency of a rule (maxim). In this case “to discriminate” or “not to discriminate” (Net Neutrality). As mentioned above Net neutrality is a principle that treats all the information equally without any discrimination. But unfortunately some Internet Service providers wants to get rid of this principle in order to increase their revenues. In this situation deontologist would exercise practical reasoning in order to make an ethical decision, which is the will “not to discriminate”. According the Immanuel Kant’s deontological theory of ethics it is crucial to have a rule to which “all wills (or practical reason) adhere out of logical consistency”. The principle of net neutrality is a rule for which peoples’ wills would agree out of logical consistency. From a deontologists point of view it seem that having a logical and more practical approach to a situation is the key to making an ethically right and responsible decision. I am in the favour of Net neutrality because it is an issue that will shape the future of the internet.

According to Google, “Network neutrality is the principle that Internet users should be in control of what content they view and what applications they use on the Internet. The Internet has operated according to this neutrality principle since its earliest days. Indeed, it is this neutrality that has allowed many companies, including Google, to launch, grow, and innovate. Fundamentally, net neutrality is about equal access to the Internet. In our view, the broadband carriers should not be permitted to use their market power to discriminate against competing applications or content. Just as telephone companies are not permitted to tell consumers who they can call or what they can say, broadband carriers should not be allowed to use their market power to control activity online.” The issue of network neutrality, or more commonly called net neutrality, is often regarded as the primer issue in today’s telecom and communications world. “Net Neutrality in Canada is the principle that consumers should be in control of what content, services and applications they use on the public Internet”. While search neutrality can be defined as “The principle that search engines should be open and transparent about their editorial policies, or, better still, should have no editorial policies other than that their results be comprehensive, impartial, and based solely on relevance.” It can be very much seen by realizing the past years revenue for Google as how it is controlling of what we can see and what we cannot. An estimate shows that 90% % share of the UK search market and 72% in the US, Google’s overwhelming dominance of both natural search and paid search advertising gives it unprecedented control. The following table illustrates the importance of Search Neutrality and its parallels with the more established principles of Net Neutrality taken from searchneutrality.org:

Net Neutrality (in Google’s words)

Search Neutrality (in Our words)

Network neutrality is the principle that Internet users should be in control of what content they view and what applications they use on the Internet.

Search neutrality is the principle that Internet users should be in control of what content they view and what applications they use on the Internet.

Fundamentally, net neutrality is about equal access to the Internet. In our view, the broadband carriers should not be permitted to use their market power to discriminate against competing applications or content. Just as telephone companies are not permitted to tell consumers who they can call or what they can say, broadband carriers should not be allowed to use their market power to control activity online.

Fundamentally, search neutrality is about equal access to the Internet. In our view, search engines should not be permitted to use their market power to discriminate against competing applications or content. Just as telephone companies are not permitted to tell consumers who they can call or what they can say, search engines should not be allowed to use their market power to control activity online.

Today, the neutrality of the Internet is at stake as the broadband carriers want Congress’s permission to determine what content gets to you first and fastest. Put simply, this would fundamentally alter the openness of the Internet.

Today, the neutrality of the Internet is at stake as Google, the overwhelmingly dominant search engine, asserts full and undisclosed editorial control of what content you see and what you don’t. Put simply, this is fundamentally altering the openness of the Internet.

Allowing broadband carriers to control what people see and do online would fundamentally undermine the principles that have made the Internet such a success…A number of justifications have been created to support carrier control over consumer choices online; none stand up to scrutiny.

Allowing a search engine to control what people see and do online is fundamentally undermining the principles that have made the Internet such a success…A number of justifications have been created to support search engine control over consumer choices online; none stand up to scrutiny.

By following the categorical imperative a deontologist would agree to have the net neutralized from the influence of the Internet Service Providers and have an equal opportunity for everyone. While a utilitarian would move beyond egoism and would also support the principle of net neutralization in order to maximize the greatest good for the greatest number of people. In my opinion deontologist’s idea of practical reasoning and logical consistency should be the medium when deciding what action is ethically and morally right.

According to Utilitarianism, net neutrality is very critical to the future of the internet, the media and for the society as a whole. In an attempt to maximize the greatest good for the greatest number of people a utilitarian would take consequentialism approach. He would agree with the fact that the internet is a large network of networks and no single entity owns. Since no one is the owner of the internet or network then it would be morally wrong in the part of broadband carriers to become the controller of what information go through and how fast. Internet provides benefits for great number of people. The internet provides a powerful resource for learning, as well as an efficient means of communication. The utilitarian would argue that net neutrality helps many people make use of many services/information provided on the net. In this case, if broadband providers use their market power to merely benefit themselves over billions of people then this action would be against the Utilitarianism, the theory of benefiting the most people; and his position would be favour of the Net Neutrality.

Whereas the theory of Deontologist is net neutrality means no discrimination. If someone is in the favour of having the principle of net neutrality then there maxim would be “no discrimination”. But if someone is against the principle of having net neutrality then there maxim would be “to discriminate”. Using the ‘Categorical Imperative’ approach the deontology would argue that if one person(s) can consistently “will” everyone to discriminate then that action is ethically right; if not then that action is ethically and morally wrong. In this case deontologist position would be to save and preserve the internet neutrality. Net neutrality is about equal access to the Internet. Broadband carriers should not be permitted to use their market power to discriminate against competing applications or content. Since discrimination is unethical and an unlawful action deontologist would support the idea of having an equal chance for everyone to use any equipment, content, application or service without any interference from the network providers. By following the categorical imperative, deontologist would act out of a moral duty to follow practical reason. Deontologist would embrace the equality for all and hence would support the principle of Net Neutrality.

Both theories seem fair enough in regards to the issue of net neutrality but I fall more towards deontological theory of ethics. The reason I support the deontologist’s position is because before coming to a conclusion it takes into account the logical consistency of a rule (maxim). In this case “to discriminate” or “not to discriminate” (Net Neutrality). As mentioned above Net neutrality is a principle that treats all the information equally without any discrimination. But unfortunately some Internet Service providers wants to get rid of this principle in order to increase their revenues. In this situation deontologist would exercise practical reasoning in order to make an ethical decision, which is the will “not to discriminate”. According the Immanuel Kant’s deontological theory of ethics it is crucial to have a rule to which “all wills (or practical reason) adhere out of logical consistency”. The principle of net neutrality is a rule for which peoples’ wills would agree out of logical consistency. From a deontologists point of view it seem that having a logical and more practical approach to a situation is the key to making an ethically right and responsible decision. I am in the favour of Net neutrality because it is an issue that will shape the future of the internet.

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