Meanwhile there is a sensible discussion about the internet regulation in the US and in the European Union (see “debate on the open internet and net neutrality in Europe” pdf), the South American nation of Chile has become the first country in the world to approve a law guaranteeing net neutrality. The law is already published in the official newspaper of the Chilean Republic (original version in Spanish, pdf). According to Wikipedia this happened after an intensive campaign in blogs, twitter and other social networks (The full details of the bill can be seen here).
As a summary, the Telecommunications Law to protect five obligations:
1 .- Prohibition for ISPs (Internet Service Provider) to interfere with, discriminate in any way the content, applications or services unless measures to ensure the privacy of users, virus protection and security the network;
2 .- It ISPs should provide parental control services;
3 .- ISPs will be required to provide detailed information (written or printed evidence) on the quality and maximum connection speed of their Internet service;
4 .- Forces to guarantee the privacy of users, also the virus protection and network security, and
5 .- Forces to ensure access to all legitimate content, services or applications available on the net. Also prohibits activities that restrict users’ freedom to use the content or services unless the specific request of users.
The law states [submitter’s translation]: ‘No [ISP] can block, interfere with, discriminate, hinder, nor restrict the right of any Internet user of using, send, receive or offer any content, application, or legitimate service through the Internet, as well as any activity or legitimate use conducted through the Internet.‘
This is a major advance in the legislation of the country regarding the Web, when until last year almost anything that was performed online was considered illegal.
The new neutrality law will give content provider and intent users more protection and restrict the rights of ISPs. It is fair to say that his new law not only will provide “digital rights” but also duties (see this digital citizenship’s presentation made by University of Illinois, pdf). Not all has been said about “Net Neutrality”, on the contrary, from our point of view this new law does not means the end of everything, but the beginning of a responsible and fair use of the Internet.
There are also negative opinions regarding the future of this law, here two examples of that:
- Nick Farrell says: “Note the use of the word legitimate. It does mean that it can throttle P2P use if it thinks that that the user is a pirate. This will be difficult to prove of course.”
- Tim Stevens adds: “However, the cynics among us are wondering how long until ISPs start claiming that bandwidth-hogging sites pose a risk to user’s systems”.
…to be continued.
Statistics about Chile:
Population: 16,7 million
Broadband penetration: 10.3% (2009)
Home broadband penetration: 33.6%
GDP (PPP) Per capita: $14,340 (2009)
Video about Chile and the Internet.
- Christopher S. Yoo (Fall 2005) Beyond Network Neutrality (pdf). Harvard Journal of Law & Technology Volume 19, Number 1.
- Global Media Journal (Canadian Ed) . 2010. International Perspectives on Network Neutrality.