Professor John Palfrey ’01 was a keynote speaker at the Open World Forum, held September 22-24, in Paris, France. The Open World Forum brings together 160 experts from around the world to discuss technological, economic and social initiatives. Palfrey spoke about Network Neutrality, a movement for limited government or corporate restrictions on consumer access to networks that connect to the Internet.
In an interview with Jérémie Zimmermann, a co-founder of La Quadrature du Net, an advocacy group that promotes the rights and freedoms of citizens on the Internet, Palfrey offered his perspective of Net Neutrality as a core network principle.
“The Network Neutrality debate is one of the fundamental building blocks on which we can have things like open source software, said Palfrey. “At any point in the system where we can reduce the restrictions, in those areas, we’re going to see innovation on top of that layer of the network. If we see this as bedrock of what we want the network to be, not just in the U.S. but in a global way, that that will lead to the greatest economic growth through innovation.”
Palfrey is the Henry N. Ess III Professor of Law, vice dean for library and information resources at HLS, and faculty co-director at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society. He is the co-author of “Born Digital: Understanding the First Generation of Digital Natives” (Basic Books, 2008) and “Access Denied: The Practice and Politics of Internet Filtering” (MIT Press, 2008). His research and teaching focuses on Internet law, intellectual property and international law.