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Why We Need ‘Net Neutrality — Why Now?
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Why We Need ‘Net Neutrality

The BBC covers something that most people aren’t aware of: Unsung heroes save net from chaos

Crack teams of volunteers keep the net online and functioning, according to leading internet lawyer Jonathan Zittrain of Harvard University.

The way data is divided up and sent around the internet in many jumps makes it “delicate and vulnerable” to attacks or mistakes, he said.

However, he added, the “random acts of kindness” of these unsung heroes quietly keep the net in working order.

Professor Zittrain’s comments came at the TED Global conference in Oxford.

Incidents such as when the Pakistan government took YouTube offline in 2008 exposed the web’s underlying fragility, he explained.

But a team of volunteers – unpaid, unauthorised and largely unknown to most people – rolled into action and restored the service within hours.

The corporations that want Congress to cut them special deals are not that important to the Internet. You can route around them. They didn’t create it, and they don’t maintain it. They aren’t even especially good at cleaning up their portions.