Document Type

Article

Publication Date

1-28-2020

Abstract

This paper examines net neutrality with respect to John Rawls’ principles of greatest liberty and equality. According to Rawls, a government can restrict liberty for the sake of liberty. The paper examines seven arguments in favor of net neutrality, including competition and innovation, data control, the end-to-end principle, preventing pseudo services, preserving standards of the Internet, the rights and freedoms in a digital world, and user prejudice against slow loading websites, arguing that Rawls would support these arguments. The essay discusses eight arguments against net neutrality, including counterweight to the non-neutrality of servers, discouraging competition, Internet traffic not allocated efficiently, Internet access not available to the poor, investment reductions, possible increases in taxes, significant growth in investment competition, and unnecessary regulations. It is projected that Rawls would be opposed to these arguments. The article concludes by stating that Rawls would change the positions argued in this paper if the reasons presented by net neutrality opponents were logical, convincing, and maximized the benefits to the least advantaged. The paper suggests that Rawls would conclude that net neutrality is a fair and reasonable mechanism to help the poor, or in some sense, where the highest good goes to the highest number.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

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