Cybersecurity Crisis Training: Stakeholder Press Conference Exercise (Neutrality)

Net Neutrality

Cybersecurity Crisis Training: Stakeholder Press Conference Exercise (Neutrality)

Purpose: This exercise is designed to give you practical experience in handling real-life events for their organization. Through this exercise, you will better understand how the types of regulations described in class are applied, take a shot at forming policy solutions, and sharpen communication.

Deliverables: Prepare a sample press packet. This press packet should include the following items:

Press Release (1 page)

Short technical background sheet (1-2 pages)

• This section should describe in more detail the technical issues of the problem at hand.

• It may also include pictures and diagrams.

Frequently Asked Questions (1 page)

• This section should anticipate questions other stakeholders or the media would ask in response to the problem and should provide your organization’s answers.

Preparation: Read the material found via the links below. Additional research on stakeholder positions is strongly suggested as well. You may use any resource you deem necessary to prepare your statement, press kit, and for Q&A.

Potential roles:

There are two important stakeholder roles in this cybersecurity crisis situation. You may choose to take on one of the different roles:

• Federal Communications Commission

• Content Providers

• Internet Service Providers

• Consumers

The Communications Act of 1934, specifically Title II of that act, which defines the concept of “common carriers.”. According to the act, a common carrier is “any person engaged as a common carrier for hire, in interstate or foreign communication by wire or radio or in interstate or foreign radio transmission of energy…”. Essentially, Title II classification would mean that ISPs aren’t transmitting a proprietary product—internet traffic is a common, public service that companies deliver. UPS delivers packages that don’t belong to them in the same way that internet packets don’t belong to ISPs—they’re a product they deliver. If Title II is enough justification to regulate ISPs then section 202 is what stops them from being able to throttle or prioritize traffic:

The other commonly argued basis for net neutrality comes from the Telecommunications Act of 1996, and section 706 The Open Internet Order of 2010 is a set of rules proposed by the United States Federal Communications Commission with the purpose of maintaining an open and neutral internet that supports free speech and generally treats all traffic as equal.

The rules of the order include:

• No unreasonable discrimination. Providers may not unreasonably discriminate against users for lawful traffic.

• No blocking. The principles of fair selection and use should be allowed so long as these choices do not break the law or negatively affect the performance of the network.

• Transparency. Service providers must clearly disclose network management practices, speeds and terms of use to consumers.

The Federal Communications Commission’s repeal of net neutrality rules, which had required internet service providers to offer equal access to all web content, took effect on June 1, 2018.

Your assignment is to explore this incident further, using your research to present it from the perspective of your stakeholder. Your goal is to publish a press release which explains the controversy and your organization’s future plans or suggested policy changes in response to it.

Note: For the timing of the exercise, we will assume it’s after the repeal on June 1, 2018.

Sources and Additional Reading:

1. F.C.C. Sets Net Neutrality Rules

2. Net Neutrality Facts

3. F.C.C. Repeals Net Neutrality Rules

4. What Is the “Save the Internet Act”? The New Plan to Restore Net Neutrality

5. Net Neutrality 2019 Legislation

Be sure to conduct your own additional research to supplement the readings above.

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