Leftists displaying banners and portraits of the late Chinese leader Mao Zedong demonstrate outside the office of the liberal Southern Weekly newspaper in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou January 9, 2013. REUTERS

China’s Internet censorship: A WTO challenge is long overdue

For the first time this year, the United States Trade Representative’s (USTR’s) “National Trade Estimate Report” took note of China’s Great Firewall. Granted, it was with this tame statement: “China’s filtering of cross-border Internet traffic has posed a significant burden to foreign suppliers.” The report did not indicate what steps, if any, the US plans to take against the People’s Republic of China’s heavy-handed and economically damaging censorship regime. But it is high time for the US, possibly in conjunction with other major trading partners, to test the legality of China’s sweeping Internet censorship system.
Twenty20

This summer, Congress must make sure the Internet stays free

By Sept. 30 of this year, the Obama administration plans to transition its stewardship over core Internet functions to the international community. The transition plan presented to the US Department of Commerce was finalized by the International Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), which sets broad policy for the Internet's naming system, and coordinates many of its most essential functions. The Department of Commerce has said that it expects to finish its review of the plan by mid-June, giving Congress plenty of time to review it before the September deadline.
A pro-net neutrality activist attends a rally in the neighborhood where U.S. President Barack Obama attended a fundraiser in Los Angeles, California July 23, 2014. REUTERS

The damaging effects of a flawed Internet creation myth

In his 2003 article on network neutrality, Tim Wu made a fundamental error: He conflated product differentiation with price discrimination. This error has resulted in the promulgation of a flawed Internet creation myth — namely, that price and product differentiation on behalf of ISPs must be banned in order to preserve the Internet as its originators intended it to be.
Twenty20

Five ways to cripple tech (and the US economy)

The tech sector does great things for the US economy. For example, IT made up 75 percent of US productivity growth from 1995 to 2002, and 44 percent from 2000 to 2006. In 2011, IT workers earned 75 percent more annually than non-tech workers. And, finally, tech made up 5.7 percent of the US workforce in 2014. Given these great contributions to citizens’ wellbeing, one would think tech companies and governments would be careful not to kill the proverbial goose that lays the golden egg. But that could be just what is going on. Here are five ways governments and industry are trying to cripple tech.