AT&T calls for an Internet Bill of Rights in the USA

In the context of the ongoing debate on net neutrality, AT&T chairman and CEO Randall Stephenson has called for an Internet Bill of Rights to be adopted by the US Congress. In a blog post published on the company’s website, Stephenson expresses concerns over the fact that ‘government rules for the Internet’ change so often, and says that the Congress should step in and adopt ‘new laws that govern the Internet and protect consumers’. While mentioning that ‘AT&T is committed to an open Internet’, Stephenson notes that ‘the commitment of one company is not enough’, and that ‘Congressional action is needed to establish an “Internet Bill of Rights” that applies to all internet companies and guarantees neutrality, transparency, openness, non-discrimination and privacy protection for all internet users’. Such legislation ‘would provide consistent rules of the road for all Internet companies across all websites, content, devices and applications’. Some commentators argue that AT&T’s call has little to do with net neutrality, but is rather targeted at Internet companies such as Facebook, Amazon, and Google, which have not been subject to as much regulatory scrutiny as ISPs have.