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Question:

Discuss about the Our Commitment To Net Neutrality.
 
 

Answer:

Introduction

The name of this news article is “Our commitment to net neutrality”.  This article says about the rule of EU regarding net neutrality that was applied on the month of April in the year 2016. It has followed the EU Regulation.  According to this article this regulation is considered to be a great achievement for a market called Digital Single Market (Open Internet, 2017). This concept of net neutrality allows the users of internet to get access to the type of web content that. They can even distribute the content of the web as per their choices. The rules of EU regarding the neutrality of net make sure that, same provisions are applied across the entire Europe. Net neutrality principle is regarding no throttling or blocking of the web content, services as well as applications (Bourreau, Kourandi & Valletti, 2015). This article gives a clear idea about what net neutrality is. This net neutrality gives the European the permission to access open internet.  The Internet Service Providers are not allowed to discriminate internet traffic. This rule will treat all the internet traffic in an equal manner.  NRAs will make sure that internet access quality will reflect the technological advancements. NRA will take necessary measures so that end users get to enjoy the access to open internet and get good service quality. This article discusses and assesses net neutrality in terms of the four main classical theories of ethics. The net neutrality is assessed in terms of Utilitarianism, Deontology, Virtue ethics and Contract theory.

Utilitarianism Theory

The Utilitarianism Theory of ethics says that an act or social policy is morally permissible only if it provides happiness to maximum of the people. It focuses on the consequences of an activity or policy. If it generates happiness among the maximum number of people then it is considered to be ethically correct (Broad, 2014).  Net neutrality will allow the users to access the open internet freely. They will not be prevented from accessing any website.  This will help the society to grow and develop. They will be able to generate more ideas. The society will improve its creativity and technological development perspectives.  Internet is the connection of networks. It is not owned by any particular individual or group. According to this theory, the Internet Service Providers do not have the right to discriminate any content or deny the access to a particular group of users. The act of net neutrality is supported by the Utilitarianism Theory because it will give happiness to a large society (Ross, 2013). When people will be able to access the internet without any problem then they will be updated about the recent trends and technologies. It will make communication very simple and easy for them. As a result the net neutrality act will spread happiness in Europe. Therefore it can be said that according to the Utilitarianism Theory, this act of net neutrality is morally and ethically correct as it will generate happiness among a large number of people and an entire society. The Utilitarianism theory is in favour of this act of net neutrality.

 

Deontology Theory

The Deontology Theory of ethics says that if people follow their duties and responsibilities in a proper manner then it is an ethical act (Vaughn, 2015). This theory does not deal with the consequences of an act or social policy. It does not depend on the happiness of maximum number of people. The net neutrality act means that there will not be any type of discrimination (Baynes, 2013). The act of discrimination is not ethical. The service providers should not have the power to prevent access to several competitor applications. If net neutrality is not provided then ethical duty will not be carried out properly because discrimination is not morally correct. This net neutrality gives the European the permission to access open internet (Krämer, Wiewiorra & Weinhardt, 2013).  The Internet Service Providers are not allowed to discriminate internet traffic. This rule will treat all the internet traffic in an equal manner.  NRAs will make sure that internet access quality will reflect the technological advancements. NRA will take necessary measures so that end users get to enjoy the access to open internet and get good service quality. Deontology theory of ethics will support the net neutrality concept because it is against discrimination and it promotes equality. Everyone will get equal access to the open internet. Therefore the Deontology Theory of ethics says that the act of net neutrality is morally permissible and ethically correct act. 

Virtue Theory

The Virtue Ethics theory focuses o the individual character of a person. Virtue ethics does not give importance to consequences or duties (Van Hooft, 2014). Its main focus is the intrinsic motivational force that makes a person good. This theory says that in order to obtain a good outcome there must be internal motivation.  The internal motivation gives a sense of happiness from within (Athanassoulis, 2013). The people try to perform some act because it is enjoyable for them. This theory is not based on rules and it gets adapted depending on various situations. This article tells what net neutrality is. The Internet Service Providers are not allowed to discriminate internet traffic. This rule will treat all the internet traffic in an equal manner. This net neutrality gives the European the permission to access open internet.  This article also says that NRAs will make sure that internet access quality will reflect the technological advancements. NRA will take necessary measures so that end users get to enjoy the access to open internet and get good service quality. This act will promote equality and it will help the individuals to get motivated and become ethical in nature. People will get access to information and develop themselves and become better human beings.

Contract Theory

The Contract theory says that people will tend to act in an ethical manner and carry out all the activities in a moral way (Fried, 2015). When there is a contract then the person will feel obligated to form an ethical society. It is extremely ethical to think about the benefit and advantages of the society. The modern version of this theory takes justice to be the basis of an ethical act (K?szegi, 2014). The principle of justice says that every person has got equal rights to get the needed information. This theory does not pay attention to what is fair to every party.  This theory believes that if a society needs to sacrifice for its future benefits then that type of sacrifices will be totally acceptable. The internet users pay a certain amount of money to access the internet and the Internet Service Providers on the other hand take the money to provide the users with a certain bandwidth limit. This contract is followed.  According to this Contract Theory, the act of net neutrality is ethically correct as it gives access to all web contents to the users of the internet.

Conclusion

This essay concludes that the act of net neutrality is ethically correct according to all the theories of ethics. This essay assessed net neutrality in terms of Utilitarianism, Deontology, Virtue ethics and Contract theory. This essay describes the concept of all the four classical theories of ethics. Net neutrality provides equal access to the internet to everyone. Therefore it promotes equality and does not appreciate the concept of discrimination.

 

References

Athanassoulis, N. (2013). Virtue ethics. A&C Black.

Baynes, K. (2013). Critical theory. Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

Bourreau, M., Kourandi, F., & Valletti, T. (2015). Net neutrality with competing internet platforms. The Journal of Industrial Economics, 63(1), 30-73.

Broad, C. D. (2014). Five types of ethical theory (Vol. 2). Routledge.

Fried, C. (2015). Contract as promise: A theory of contractual obligation. Oxford University Press, USA.

K?szegi, B. (2014). Behavioral contract theory. Journal of Economic Literature, 52(4), 1075-1118.

Krämer, J., Wiewiorra, L., & Weinhardt, C. (2013). Net neutrality: A progress report. Telecommunications Policy, 37(9), 794-813.

Open Internet. (2017). Digital Single Market. Retrieved 12 September 2017, from https://ec.europa.eu/digital-single-market/en/eu-actions-net-neutrality

Ross, D. (2013). Foundations of ethics. Read Books Ltd.

Van Hooft, S. (2014). Understanding virtue ethics. Routledge.

Vaughn, L. (2015). Doing ethics: Moral reasoning and contemporary issues. WW Norton & Company.

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