September 19, 2022
MILWAUKEE — James B. Speta, Elizabeth Froehling Horner Professor of Law at Northwestern University’s Pritzker School of Law, will deliver Marquette University Law School’s annual Boden Lecture on “Can Common Carrier Principles Make for a Better Internet?” . on Thursday, September 22 at 4:30 p.m. at the Lubar Center in Eckstein Hall.
Suggestions for “reforming” the Internet abound. Some of these directly address concerns that Google, Facebook, Twitter and other platforms practice bias and discrimination in their choice of sources, users, news feeds and results. There is no consensus on how to define this bias, and many of the proposed reforms would almost certainly violate the First Amendment. Is it possible to look to the past of the law to find a way forward? America’s original regulatory paradigm – developed for railroads, telephone companies and other “general carriers” – successfully outlawed carrier discrimination among users.
Speta’s presentation will describe how policymakers could adapt and adopt parts of this most traditional form of regulation to address the most modern political problems: how to make the internet platform ecosystem more robust and diverse and ensure (just one example) that alternative platforms like z as a parler would not be defeated. It will also examine whether existing legislation and policy are up to the prudence that this approach would require.
Speta has been with Northwestern University Law School since 1998 and has held several administrative positions, including serving as interim dean in 2020–21. His research interests include telecommunications and internet policy, antitrust law, administrative law and market organization and his publications include the textbook Internet and Telecommunications Regulation. His teaching has spanned programs at the Northwestern Kellogg School of Management and the McCormick School of Engineering. A graduate of the University of Michigan Law School, where he served as Editor-in-Chief of the Law Review, he worked for Judge Harry T. Edwards of the United States Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit and is an experienced practitioner in appellate, telecommunications, and antitrust law.
The annual Boden Lecture commemorates the late Robert F. Boden, Dean of Marquette Law School from 1965 to 1984.
Tickets are no longer available for this lecture. Media interested in attending should contact Chris Stolarski, Associate Director of University Communication, at [email protected]
About Christopher Stolarski
Chris is Associate Director of University Communications in the Office of Marketing and Communications. Contact Chris at (414) 288-1988 or [email protected]