In navigating the complex issue of “net neutrality,” the government should protect consumers’ rights amid a rapidly changing and dynamic Internet. Two experts agreed on that much Monday during a panel discussion hosted by the Center for American Progress, but they disagreed on how to do that without stifling innovation.
Bringing together two of the Internet’s founding figures, the Center welcomed Vint Cerf, Vice-President of Google; and Dave Farber, Distinguished Career Professor of Computer Science and Public Policy at Carnegie Mellon University. Carl Malamud, the Center’s Chief Technology Officer, moderated.
Cerf began by quickly surveying the history of net neutrality. From its inception, the Internet has been open to any kind of application or content provider, and those providers could be accessed by any Internet user over a neutral network. “People didn’t have to get permission” to try new ideas, said Cerf, which “helped to stimulate and sustain innovation.”