7th Internet, Law and Politics Congress (VII). Javier de la Cueva: Conclusions for day 1

Notes from the 7th Internet, Law and Politics Congress: Net Neutrality and other challenges for the future of the Internet, organized by the Open University of Catalonia, School of Law and Political Science, and held in Barcelona, Spain, on 11-12 July 2011. More notes on this event: idp2011.

Conclusions for day 1
Javier de la Cueva, Lawyer.

First of all, it is worth noting the role of Philosophy when talking about Net Neutrality. We are indeed building a new world, and this new world is not about machines, but about people. And the question is not about Net Neutrality, but about what will be the new 4th generation fundamental rights that we want for our future.

Another important issue is the definition of jurisdiction. And this jurisdiction is not only geographical, but can also be understood all along the value chain Internet provided content and services. We can speak about the different layers that make the Internet up, of about the different ends of the service, etc. But the truth is that there are many actors on the Internet and many of them belong to different legal, technical or factual jurisdictions.

A missing point during the Congress is the asymmetry of download and upload speeds. This asymmetry makes it more difficult peer-to-peer sharing, and makes it more difficult to become a real prosumer.

Again, the important thing is what do we want. In matters of Net Neutrality, do we want Net Neutrality as a right, as a principle or as a goal.

In some way, the absence of net neutrality is like adding a layer of obscurity and unfairness amongst two layers of freedom: the layer of free software, the free code that runs the Internet; and the layer of free content, the one that is freely created by the contributing users.

Of course, we have to be aware that with great power comes great responsibility: we have to acknowledge that a lot of work has still to be done in issues like privacy, reputation and honour, security, etc. Part of the solution comes, evidently, with lawyers and policy-makers learning much more on how the Internet and technology in general work.

More information

7th Internet, Law and Politics Conference (2011)

If you need to cite this article in a formal way (i.e. for bibliographical purposes) I dare suggest:

Peña-López, I. (2011) “7th Internet, Law and Politics Congress (VII). Javier de la Cueva: Conclusions for day 1” In ICTlogy, #94, July 2011. Barcelona: ICTlogy.
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