12: Net Neutrality Conundrum

12: Net Neutrality Conundrum

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As concerns continue to be raised over the potential threat to Net Neutrality posed by Facebook's aggressive roll-out of its Internet.org platform, South African telecoms operator, Telkom is proving that the public's growing distrust of big tech firms is not unfounded.

Large service providers appear to be only too happy to test limits of what is ethically acceptable in terms of violating personal privacy while capitalising on the lack of consensus around what constitutes internet neutrality.

Little fuss has so far been made over Telkom's recent employment of tactics that would generally be associated with illicit hacking syndicates, following the telecoms giant being caught using a "man-in-the-middle attack" to alter web pages of its ISP clients in order to display a data usage monitor widget.

In this week's debate, Tefo Mohapi and Andile Masuku discuss this unsettling development. Given how it seems we cannot trust big tech interests to behave ethically by defending our right to privacy and security, is internet regulation the answer?

Could Telkom's recent behaviour be used to validate the need for the adoption of a regulatory framework like that proposed by South Africa's Film and Publication Board some months back -- the potential unconstitutionality of which was debated in Episode 8: Is This The Worst Censorship Law Ever?

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