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Internet as Battleground: Struggles for Net Neutrality and Globalization from Below

Sun, August 12, 8:30 to 10:10am, Pennsylvania Convention Center, Floor: Level 100, 113B


Since the 1990s, the Internet has become a battleground. Corporations, governments, and grassroots communities wage battles over the Internet, because it constitutes one of the vital informational productive forces in informational capitalism. In this paper, I explore power struggles over net neutrality, as global communities organized to promote community access and control over the Internet in the face of corporate and government efforts to assert proprietary interests. I focus on the U.S., and the case of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) vote to overturn net neutrality in December of 2017. I place this case in the context of struggles over net neutrality in the U.S. and France since the 1990s. These struggles involved efforts to protect digital civil liberties, and particularly the right to privacy and freedom from corporate and government surveillance.