The "open" nature of the Internet is a core issue for CDT - just check out the tag line right next to our logo. It should be a cornerstone of the next president's Internet-related policy as well.
First things first: What does the term "open" even mean in this context? Above all, it means that the Internet has minimal entry barriers and no "gatekeepers" controlling what is allowed or how services or technologies must be designed. Users can communicate with whomever they choose, in whatever manner they choose. And because the technical protocols are standardized and public, anyone with a good idea can create a new service or application and offer it to a worldwide audience, without needing permission from network operators or governments.
This "open" architecture is what has enabled the Internet to foster such tremendous innovation. It empowers and harnesses the creativity of millions of decentralized users, from major corporations to dynamic startup companies to individual inventors and students. They all have a chance to give their ideas a shot - because nobody dictates which new services or technologies will be allowed or how those technologies must be designed.
So what does this mean for the next president? How can the president ensure that this powerful engine of innovation keeps humming?
The good news is, there's no need to reinvent the wheel. The open and innovation-fostering Internet isn't some abstract ideal or ambitious new design. It's essentially the way things work today.
The bad news is, there are multiple pressures to scale back or significantly modify the Internet's open model, in favor of more centralized control.
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