Net Neutrality In The State Of New York

Published on August 11, 2010, 12:34 pm
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Assemblyman Richard L. Brodsky, Chairman of the Assembly Committee on Corporations, Authorities and Commissions, and the leading advocate for net neutrality in the state of New York issued the following statement on the jointly issued 7-point legislative proposal made by Google and Verizon.

“Warts and all, the Google and Verizon plan to treat most of the world’s Internet traffic equally is a step in the right direction. While unacceptable in its current form, it is evidence of the growing national and international consensus that full and free access to the Internet can not be left to the tender mercy of giant telecommunication corporations. If we are going to criticize the telecommunication industry when it heads in the wrong direction, we must be willing to acknowledge when the tide shifts and we are headed together, towards a solution. The proposal is the basis for real discussion and progress.

It presents a plan by which the majority of net neutrality would be preserved, and includes a vital non-discrimination principle prohibiting the prioritization of Internet traffic – including paid prioritization. In addition to not blocking or slowing Internet content and applications, wireline broadband providers also would not favor particular Internet traffic over other traffic.

However, it still creates a ‘separate but equal’ doctrine of Internet governance which largely exempts wireless services from the principles of net neutrality, something that is contradictory to my long-held policy position on this issue. As a result, I am somewhat sympathetic to the droves of consumer advocates who have criticized this plan because it could create the erosion of the traditional Internet over time. With that said, I hope that this detailed proposal encourages thoughtful discussions on the vital issue of net neutrality on the state and federal levels, and notably by the Federal Communications Commission, where decisive action by the federal government on the issue of net neutrality is long overdue, and hopefully this proposal can reinvigorate this debate across the country,” said Brodsky.

Richard has held hearings as Chairman of the Assembly Committee on Corporations, Authorities, and Commissions on the principles of Net Neutrality and whether Internet service providers should be allowed to censor, or block content on their networks.

Brodsky is also no stranger to authoring laws aimed directly at protecting Internet privacy rights. In 2004, he championed the “personal information protection act”, which requires disclosure of breaches of security of data systems of business entities to affected persons. In addition, Brodsky is currently the prime sponsor of the widely supported “Online Consumer Protection Act”, which establishes stringent rules and privacy policies with respect to how website publishers and advertising networks collect and disseminate online behavior of consumers. The bill also requires that consumers are given adequate notice of what how advertisers operate as well as a clear and conspicuous mechanism on websites for consumers to opt-out of such online advertising.

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