Legislative Limits: Government’s Influence On Technology

6506 words - 26 pages

In the past thirty years, the rate of technological innovation and technological adoption have had a drastic influence on how society functions. At first, these technological advancements were easy for governments to effectively influence by applying legal bounds to them. However, as their adoption increased internationally, these advancements expanded beyond the original parameters and have left governments divided with burdensome issues to solve. In recent events, countries around the globe have had to face issues with net neutrality, Internet piracy, intellectual property, and Internet content restriction. Authoritative organizations in different countries have proposed solutions to handle issues viral technologies such as these with different legal approaches ranging from a strong influence to no influence at all. Each decision enforced on these topics has had and will have drastic effects on Internet service providers, large and small businesses, and consumers. As technology continues to develop and issues impend over countries, nations will have to decide how much influence they will have on technology.

Net Neutrality
The most prominent of these developing technologies has been the Internet. Originating as a means to share files, this government-funded project has evolved into an essential facet of life. The most important aspect of this necessity is the healthy competition that exists among businesses. This competition is fairly complex and requires a considerable amount of government regulation; this is known as network neutrality or more commonly known as net neutrality. Net Neutrality is the belief that all content on the Internet should be treated equally. The concept arose as a way of preventing those who provide Internet capabilities from placing restrictions on the content consumers have access to. If net neutrality were eradicated, Internet Service Providers, such as Verizon and Time Warner Cable, would be able to dictate a premium rate for popular websites and slow or block connections to less-popular competitor sites (Singer). This cartel characteristic would allow ISPs to force their customers into premium rates for access to effective and popular services, and it this facet of net neutrality that directly violates antitrust laws.
Antitrust laws are defined as “a collection of federal and state government laws, which regulates the conduct and organization of business corporations, generally to promote fair competition for the benefit of consumers” (The United States Department of Justice). If ISPs could charge higher prices for premium content, ISPs would limit the ability of smaller sites and online services to grow. Thus violating antitrust laws. Without net neutrality, the general public may have never experienced the revolutionary social connection of Facebook or the online shopping craze on eBay. The longevity of this idea is crucial to the growth of new intellectual property on the Internet, and without...

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