Yesterday, the Federal Communications Commission finally made a ruling in favor of net neutrality and new regulations for internet carriers.
Though the news was considered a win by grassroots advocates and Silicon Valley tech giants alike, Google’s radio silence following the announcement drew attention.
Fortune asserts that while initially a vocal proponent of net neutrality, Google’s massive growth in the last decade has changed the company’s priorities.
“The logic of networks suggests that the bigger Google gets, the less it has to gain from net neutrality,” says Columbia Law School professor Tim Wu, who first coined the term in 2003.
This possible shift in Google’s stance on net neutrality may also be the reason for the onslaught of skepticism regarding Google’s impact on the FCC’s new regulations.
Politico reported that Google was allowed to make last-minute revisions to language in the rules that “could unintentionally allow Internet service providers to charge websites for sending content to consumers.”
The level of influence Google has over the new regulations, especially in light of how the company’s views on net neutrality may have changed in recent years, have made advocates on both sides of the fence wary of just what specifically is outlined in these mysterious regulations.
“Google is too big a goliath to escape FCC scrutiny of how it connects to the Internet,” said John M. Simpson, Consumer Watchdog’s Privacy Project director in a release. “Google is two-faced. They’ve actively cultivated the public image of supporting net neutrality, but when the new rules would directly affect them, Google works behind the scenes to kill them.”
With the full text of the regulations not be available for another few weeks, it remains to be seen just how favorable they will be to Google.
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