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Net Neutrality

What is net neutrality? Who does it impact?

Net Neutrality and Open Internet

Network neutrality describes a principle of neutral treatment from Internet Service Providers (ISPs) toward the network traffic it serves. This means it can neither give preferential treatment for, nor discriminate against, certain content. The term "net neutrality" is often used closely with the principle of "open Internet" on the basis that non-discrimination is the best path to keep an Internet that allows all providers and creators on an equal playing field.

In November 2017, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced plans to eliminate net neutrality protections.  Vassar College Libraries, along with the American Library Association, holds that net neutrality is essential to the pursuit of intellectual freedom. "Intellectual freedom is critical to our democracy because we rely on people’s ability to inform themselves. The Internet connects people of diverse geographical, political, or ideological origins, greatly enhancing everyone’s ability to share and to inform both themselves and others." In adherence to our mission, the Libraries are invested in the open dissemination of all information and have created this guide because we are concerned about the ways in which the repeal of net neutrality can impact how information is delivered to you.

Net Neutrality Around the World

(Source: University of Arkansas Libraries)

  • Web We Want
    "Web We Want is a global initiative of the World Wide Web Foundation. We help everyone to shape and claim the future of the Web."
  • Gabriella Coleman
    @BiellaColeman holds the Wolfe Chair in Scientific and Technological Literacy at McGill University. She has recently been named to the Tor Project board of directors.
  • Nnenna Nwakanma
    Nnenna works to develop cutting-edge collaborations in Africa. Her work has a particular focus on the Alliance for Affordable Internet project and the Web We Want campaign for human rights on and through the Web.
  • Alliance for Affordable Internet
    ...is a coalition of private sector, public sector, and civil society organizations who have come together to advance the shared aim of affordable access to both mobile and fixed-line Internet in developing countries.
  • Derechos Digitales (Spanish Language)
    Derechos Digitales is a nongovernmental organization that fights for a more open, safe and respectful Internet.
  • Stanford CDDRL Program on Liberation Technology
    The Program on Liberation Technology (@LiberationTech) seeks to understand how information technology can be used to improve governance, empower the poor, defend human rights, promote economic development, and pursue a variety of other social goods.