OSCE representative warns that U.S. proposed rules on net neutrality can hurt online media freedom
VIENNA, 16 June 2014 – OSCE Media Freedom Representative Dunja Mijatović today expressed dissatisfaction with rules on net neutrality proposed by the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
“The proposed rules will allow telecommunications providers to discriminate against content which may conflict with their political, economic or other interests,” Mijatović said in a letter to FCC Chair Tom Wheeler. “This would contradict international standards, OSCE commitments on free expression and freedom of the media and longstanding U.S. First Amendment principles.”
Net neutrality is the concept that Internet service providers should treat all data equally in transmission and not discriminate based on content or price paid.
Mijatović also submitted a legal analysis of the net neutrality rules prepared for her Office by Dawn Carla Nunziato, a law professor at The George Washington University Law School.
“The Internet was conceived as an open medium with the free flow of information as one of its fundamental characteristics,” Mijatović said. “This should be guaranteed without discrimination and regardless of the content, destination, author, device used or origin.”
Mijatović expressed her hope that her recommendations will be taken into consideration by the FCC. The legal analysis of the net neutrality rules is available at http://www.osce.org/fom/119819.
The OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media observes media developments in all 57 OSCE participating States. She provides early warning on violations of freedom of expression and media freedom and promotes full compliance with OSCE media freedom commitments. Learn more at www.osce.org/fom, Twitter: @OSCE_RFoM and on facebook.com/osce.rfom.