The Berkman Center invited me to write an essay for its Publius project (“Essays and conversations about constitutional moments on the Net collected by the Berkman Center“), responding to a very interesting piece by the great Lewis Hyde, who called his contribution “Freedom of Listening: An 18th-century root for net neutrality“. My piece, “The Right To Communicate“, is available on the Publius website. Comments and responses very welcome.
Lewis Hyde’s thoughtful essay on network neutrality and the trials of 18th-century preachers-without-pulpits is a timely reminder that the issue of net neutrality is not one that should be the sole business of a small group of Internet activists and lobbyists. It’s about time to acknowledge that, while increasingly vehement disagreements between economists on how to stimulate the development of broadband in the US are undoubtedly fun to watch, a broader conversation on the cultural and political impact of new technologies is slowly emerging from the confusion that is net neutrality.