Date of Award
Master of Science
Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication
Jeffrey L. Blevins
Scholarship on the network neutrality debate has focused primarily on economic and technological arguments for or against regulation to protect the Internet's open and democratic qualities. Concerned that congressional discussion is similarly two-dimensional, this thesis examines the First Amendment concerns in the debate. Following Moran Yemini's 2007 paper, a matrix of possible First Amendment claims on the Internet is created. Legal case analysis identifies which of these claims are supported by Supreme Court precedent. The only potential First Amendment challenge to neutrality regulation would be broadband service providers' (BSPs') claim that the regulation infringed on their editorial rights. If regulations were brought before the Court, it would likely apply its intermediate scrutiny test from the Turner v. Federal Communications Commission cases in 1994 and 1997. Network neutrality regulation would almost certainly satisfy the Turner test, thus the Court would accept this minor infringement of BSPs' editorial rights.
Digital Repository @ Iowa State University, http://lib.dr.iastate.edu/
Sarah Carpenter Barrow
Barrow, Sarah Carpenter, "The right of access, the right to hear, and the right to speak: applying First Amendment theories to the network neutrality debate" (2008). Retrospective Theses and Dissertations. 15327.