Privilege as a Function of Profit: Network Neutrality and the Digital Public Sphere
MetadataShow full item record
This paper seeks to evaluate the role that Network Neutrality policies play in terms of access to knowledge in the public sphere, as well as the role that approaches to distributive justice might play in offering justification for pro-Network Neutrality viewpoints. I argue that information technologies provide a means for knowledge – which often acts as a commodity – to be selectively manipulated in ways previously unheard of, and that the widespread adoption of Internet-based technologies for social, educational, and political purposes creates a dangerous juxtaposition of commercial interests against those of the public. I posit that an approach to Network Neutrality whereby the Internet Service Provider acts as a neutral fiduciary in the transport of information provides an effective means to balance commercial against public interests. I analyze public interests in terms of the Capabilities Approach to distributive justice, as it best encompasses the wide variety of purposes for which the Internet is often used in both public and private life.
Wardlaw, Brandon (2011). Privilege as a Function of Profit: Network Neutrality and the Digital Public Sphere. Texas A&M University. Available electronically from