Net Neutrality (also called “Internet neutrality” or “network neutrality”) refers to the principle that Internet service providers and governments should treat all data on the Internet as equal. This means they shouldn’t discriminate or change differentially by user, content, site, platform, application, type of attached equipment or mode of communication.
The term was coined in 2003 by Tim Wu, a Columbia University media law professor. Supporters of net neutrality see it as an important component of an open Internet that goes hand-in-hand with policies like equal treatment of data and open web standards. The converse, a “closed Internet,” would allow established corporations or governments to favor certain uses of the Internet, restrict access to necessary web standards, artificially degrade some services, and explicitly censor content.