London, April 19 : A leading digital rights lawyer insists that US regulators need to take stern actions to protect the founding principles that have made the internet so successful.
While speaking at a public meeting at Stanford University, Professor Lawrence Lessig expressed his views about the tactics some net firms use to manage data traffic at busy times, and called for necessary actions from the Federal Communications Committee (FCC) to keep all net traffic flowing equally.
He insisted that one of the principles that guided the foundation of the Internet was 'the principle of net neutrality', as per which all traffic should flow equally across it.
He said that net neutrality was being eroded by net firms that manage traffic and place restrictions on what their domestic broadband customers can do, which became evident when news implicating US net firm Comcast in such acts surfaced recently.
The FCC has launched a probe into whether Comcast merits a fine for its actions.
Professor Lessig suggested that clear rules and financial incentives be launched to induce net firms to respect net neutrality.
Two Democrats on the five-strong FCC board said that they required new powers to ensure compliance with the principle of neutrality, while two Republican commissioners on the board warned against over-burdening net firms with more rules.
While summing up the debate, FCC chairman Kevin Martin insisted that the existing rules were powerful enough.
He said that proper enforcement of the current rules is what is the need of the hour.
He also said that nothing was wrong with net firms managing traffic so long as customers were fully informed about the same.
"There must be adequate disclosures of the particular traffic management tools. Consumers must be fully informed of the exact nature of the service they are purchasing," the BBC quoted him as saying.