Monday, March 21, 2005

More ISP Accountability Needed?

In his weekly Law Bytes column, University of Ottawa law professor Michael Geist makes the argument that it is time for the Canadian government to re-examine the self-regulatory, hands-off approach to Internet Service Providers.

Geist does not call for content regulation. But he wants greater competition and accountability when it comes to the ISPs' network or carrier function.

He outlines a number of reasons why:

  • the lack of broadband competition leaves most consumers vulnerable to sudden service changes;
  • the potential for "packet preferencing" (ISP oligopolies blocking or slowing data coming from competing sites);
  • the "free rider" problem with some ISPs spending millions to combat spam and viruses and others doing very little;
  • and the imminent arrival of a "lawful access" policy that will require ISPs to implement new interception capabilities and to hand over subscriber information without a court order.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 5:31 pm


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