Sen. Al Franken wants the US to impose net neutrality rules on Google, Facebook, Amazon, Twitter, and other Web companies.
Net neutrality rules today apply only to Internet service providers, such as cable companies and mobile carriers. ISPs are not allowed to block, throttle, or demand payments to prioritize delivery of lawful Internet traffic. The rules are meant to give all websites —both the established players and startups— a fair shot at reaching Internet users.
But Franken argues that similar non-discrimination rules should apply to the most dominant websites.
“As tech giants become a new kind of Internet gatekeeper, I believe the same basic principles of net neutrality should apply here: no one company should have the power to pick and choose which content reaches consumers and which doesn’t,” Franken wrote yesterday in an op-ed for The Guardian. “Facebook, Google, and Amazon —like ISPs— should be ‘neutral’ in their treatment of the flow of lawful information and commerce on their platforms.”
The double-barreled critique of major tech firms as non-neutral entities cuts against Silicon Valley’s longtime message to the country and reflects the growing skepticism in Washington toward the industry.