Presentation Title

Private profits in the public space of the Internet

Presenter Information

Adam Dean, Susquehanna University

Type of Presentation

Individual presentation

Brief Description of Presentation

This paper explores public service obligations of private companies operating on a publicly-funded Internet. It analyzes the use of this public infrastructure for commerce and subsequent user agreements created by key web consumer data merchants Facebook, Alphabet, Twitter and Snapchat that seek to supersede constitutional rights such as the First Amendment.

Abstract of Proposal

The underlying infrastructure of the World Wide Web has always depended on public funding. Public investments are substantial, and companies profiting from these investments must be charged with public service obligations consistent with precedence that governs mass information disseminators in the broadcast, cable and telecommunications industries. This paper explores public service obligations of private companies operating on a publicly-funded Internet. It begins with an overview of the significant investment the public has made in the infrastructure, beginning with the national phone and cable wiring grids as well as Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) research and development projects at XeroxPARC, the Augmentation Research Center (ARC) and the High Performance Computing Act of 1991. It then analyzes the use of this public infrastructure for commerce and subsequent user agreements created by key web consumer data merchants Facebook, Alphabet, Twitter and Snapchat that seek to supersede constitutional rights such as the First Amendment. The paper concludes that private companies operating in publicly-funded spaces operate outside federal law when user agreements violate the U.S. Constitution and the civil rights of end users.

Location

Session 5D (Habersham, Hilton Garden Inn)

Start Date

2-23-2019 10:15 AM

End Date

2-23-2019 11:45 AM

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Feb 23rd, 10:15 AM Feb 23rd, 11:45 AM

Private profits in the public space of the Internet

Session 5D (Habersham, Hilton Garden Inn)

The underlying infrastructure of the World Wide Web has always depended on public funding. Public investments are substantial, and companies profiting from these investments must be charged with public service obligations consistent with precedence that governs mass information disseminators in the broadcast, cable and telecommunications industries. This paper explores public service obligations of private companies operating on a publicly-funded Internet. It begins with an overview of the significant investment the public has made in the infrastructure, beginning with the national phone and cable wiring grids as well as Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) research and development projects at XeroxPARC, the Augmentation Research Center (ARC) and the High Performance Computing Act of 1991. It then analyzes the use of this public infrastructure for commerce and subsequent user agreements created by key web consumer data merchants Facebook, Alphabet, Twitter and Snapchat that seek to supersede constitutional rights such as the First Amendment. The paper concludes that private companies operating in publicly-funded spaces operate outside federal law when user agreements violate the U.S. Constitution and the civil rights of end users.