December 14, 2017
The American Association of Law Libraries (AALL) denounces today’s decision by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), to repeal U.S. net neutrality rules.
Today’s action undermines a fundamental principle of our democracy, and that is equal access by the public to government information. This action allows Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to block users, slow access, and charge more for certain content. In short, ISPs are now able to determine what information the public can access, what it cannot, and at what cost.
Without net neutrality, law libraries, whose crucial mission relies on the ability to provide users with equitable access to up-to-date online legal information, may not be able to pay the fees for preferred access. These users are not just attorneys but researchers, self-represented litigants, students and small business owners. Without net neutrality, ISPs will have the ability to stifle innovation and suppress free expression.
Net neutrality provides all Internet users with equal access to lawful content on the web, regardless of an ISP’s opinion of the material. AALL strongly urges Congress to act to reverse today’s ill-considered decision by the FCC.
President of AALL
Chief Knowledge Services Officer, Jackson Walker