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[PASSED] Convention on Internet Neutrality

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Auralia
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[PASSED] Convention on Internet Neutrality

Postby Auralia » Mon Apr 03, 2017 6:48 am

I'm getting rather concerned by the large number of ill-drafted proposals on Internet neutrality being considered by this Assembly. While I'm not certain this subject is strictly appropriate for international regulation, I do think limited, carefully crafted regulation accompanied by a blocker would be preferable to the approaches I've seen thus far.

A previous debate on a similar proposal can be found here.

Convention on Internet Neutrality
Category: Free Trade | Strength: Mild

Recognizing the critical importance of the internet to international business, trade, education, and communications,

Aware that the internet often has no centralized governance, and that access to the internet is largely provided by private sector entities in many World Assembly member nations,

Believing that limited international regulation of the internet is necessary to prevent anti-competitive behaviour by internet service providers,

Seeking, however, to prohibit the World Assembly from engaging in more intrusive regulation in future,

The General Assembly,

  1. Defines "the internet", for the purposes of this resolution, as any system of interconnected telecommunications networks using a packet-switched, end-to-end protocol to communicate between endpoints that is:
    1. generally accessible to the public, and
    2. intended to be used by the public to publish, distribute, and use content, applications, and services;
  2. Further defines "internet service provider" as any entity that provides access to the internet as a service to the general public, for free or in exchange for compensation, but only if the service can reasonably be used in a residence or workplace;
  3. Declares that member nations must require internet service providers to:
    1. allow authorized users of their network to access and use the legal internet content, applications, and services of their choice within the bandwidth limits and quality of service of their service plan,
    2. allow authorized users of their network to connect to the internet using a legal device of their choice,
    3. clearly inform authorized users of their network of any discrimination between legal internet content, applications, and services on their network, and
    4. refrain from unjust discrimination between legal internet content, applications, and services on their network, including but not limited to discrimination that has a substantial anti-competitive effect;
  4. Recommends that member states extend the mandate of their respective telecommunications or antitrust regulatory agencies or other appropriate bodies with the enforcement of internet neutrality, especially the timely investigation of consumer complaints regarding potential violations of applicable internet neutrality regulations;
  5. Further declares that member states have the right to determine for themselves whether to adopt more restrictive internet neutrality regulations, within the confines of this and previous World Assembly resolutions;
  6. Clarifies that nothing in this resolution:
    1. creates an affirmative obligation for internet service providers to provide access to their networks or to refrain from charging for access to their networks,
    2. requires internet service providers to, through action or inaction, endanger national security, law enforcement activities, or the security or stability of their network, or
    3. prohibits member nations from regulating internet-enabled devices or internet content, applications, and services.
Last edited by Wrapper on Sat Sep 16, 2017 6:12 am, edited 21 times in total.
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Bakhton
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Postby Bakhton » Mon Apr 03, 2017 6:56 am

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Postby Auralia » Mon Apr 03, 2017 7:10 am

Bakhton wrote:"I'm not quite understanding what you're trying to do. Usually nations write up repeals before replacements."

((OOC: I'm writing one right now -- it's just that I had the replacement draft first.))
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Postby Bears Armed » Mon Apr 03, 2017 7:49 am

1. Defines "the Internet" as the publicly accessible worldwide system of interconnected telecommunications networks using the Internet protocol suite to communicate with one another;

OOC: I suggest changing the first part of that definition to something more along the lines of
1.Defines the term "internet" as meaning any publicly accessible international system of interconnected telecommunications networks
and, as mentioned in the thread about another potential proposal on this theme, would consider "the Internet protocol suite" -- because this refers specifically to one particular system that has been invented in RL, which isn't necessarily one of however many such systems have been invented for use in equivalent roles within the NS worlds -- as an illegal 'RL Reference'.
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Postby Wallenburg » Mon Apr 03, 2017 10:35 am

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Postby Giant Bats » Mon Apr 03, 2017 12:20 pm

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Postby States of Glory WA Office » Mon Apr 03, 2017 5:10 pm

Fairburn: If we pass this, will we all promise to put an end to proposals about net neutrality?
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Postby Kalata » Mon Apr 03, 2017 5:22 pm

States of Glory WA Office wrote:Fairburn: If we pass this, will we all promise to put an end to proposals about net neutrality?

for cours not, ther iz differnt enterpretationz abowt how far teh world asemble oute go, an therefore ther wil be differnt argumentz abowt teh level for restrictionz emposd by differnt resolutionz.
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Postby The United Royal Islands of Euramathania » Thu Apr 06, 2017 3:09 am

A Meridian: We agree with the Auralian Delegation that the current approaches to transnational internet neutrality lack a balanced approach to the diversity of internet systems and the needs of states in regulating the internet from untoward ends. We appreciate their draft and thank them for taking the time in drafting a more balanced resolution. We do feel that the some further attention could be paid to what constitutes anti-competitive restrictions. Such as how does the author interpret mobile data providers allowing unlimited data from preferred sources while providing a data cap from non preferred sources under the framework of this resolution? What of the behavior of ISP engaging in bandwidth speed reductions for non preferred sources? Can and ISP restrict commercial advertising packets across their network? Can an isp require high trafficked sites to pay higher amounts per tier than their lower trafficked counterparts, or vice versa? Can an ISP engage in packet preference across their network?

We feel that such uncertainly can be clarified by an additional clause between 3-4 stating:
Encourages member states to implement and publish clear rules regarding ISP bandwidth throttling, internet advertising, packet preference, data caps, and preferred content treatment and pricing by ISPs, for the benefit and education of internet consumers and content providers, as to what shall constitute discrimination under this resolution.

Such a framework would leave it to nations to regulate these areas of net neutrality while providing guidance as to what areas of public network management constitute a neutral network management.
Last edited by The United Royal Islands of Euramathania on Thu Apr 06, 2017 3:13 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby Draconae » Fri Apr 07, 2017 4:22 pm

Auralia wrote:
  1. Defines "the Internet" as the publicly accessible worldwide system of interconnected telecommunications networks using the Internet protocol suite to communicate with one another;

"I have two major problems with this definition. The first is that it uses 'worldwide', which due to the fact that there seem to be multiple 'worlds' and some nations stretch beyond a single world, should not be used. Secondly, 'the Internet protocol suite' that you use could be different than the one we use. There are multiple different ways for computers and digital devices to communicate with each other."
Bears Armed wrote:
1. Defines "the Internet" as the publicly accessible worldwide system of interconnected telecommunications networks using the Internet protocol suite to communicate with one another;

OOC: I suggest changing the first part of that definition to something more along the lines of
1.Defines the term "internet" as meaning any publicly accessible international system of interconnected telecommunications networks
and, as mentioned in the thread about another potential proposal on this theme, would consider "the Internet protocol suite" -- because this refers specifically to one particular system that has been invented in RL, which isn't necessarily one of however many such systems have been invented for use in equivalent roles within the NS worlds -- as an illegal 'RL Reference'.

I completely agree with Bears because of my IC reasoning above.

Auralia wrote:
  • Further defines "Internet service provider" as a business or public entity that provides access to the Internet to consumers in exchange for compensation,

  • "This definition has a number of consequences. First, it excludes nonprofits or governments that do not take compensation for the purpose of providing Internet access. Secondly, it may include common restaurants in Draconae, which offer Internet service as an additional benefit for their customers, who they charge for food. An argument could be made that they are included because they exchange Internet access and 'something else' for compensation, they are exchanging Internet access for compensation. I am not making that argument if it excludes governments, but someone will probably make it later."
    Auralia wrote:a. allow authorized users of their network to access and use the legal Internet content, applications and services of their choice within the bandwidth limits and quality of service of their service plan, ...
    c. clearly inform authorized users of their network of any discrimination between legal Internet content, applications and services on their network, and

    "I believe that this prohibits ISPs from blocking content, but other restrictions are acceptable. Is this correct? Furthermore, what 'bandwidth limits' and 'quality of service' are you referring to here? As you asked me, are you referring to the last mile link speed or something else?"
    Auralia wrote:d. refrain from unjust discrimination between legal Internet content, and applications and services on their network, including but not limited to discrimination that has a substantial anti-competitive effect;

    "Who determines what is unjust? The ISP? And if the ISP decides that increasing its profits is just, what then? The WA nation? And if the WA nation declines to regulate, what then?"
    Auralia wrote:
  • Clarifies that nothing in this resolution:
    1. creates an affirmative obligation for Internet service providers to provide access to their networks or to refrain from charging for access to their networks,
    2. requires Internet service providers to, through action or inaction, endanger national security, law enforcement activities or the security or stability of the network, or
    3. prohibits member nations from regulating Internet-enabled devices or Internet content, application and services.

  • "I'm not sure why this is necessary. Nothing in this resolution or my resolution did so anyway."

    "Overall, there are some holes in this resolution. However, if those changes are made, I could possibly support this resolution if mine was repealed."
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    Bakhton
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    Postby Bakhton » Fri Apr 07, 2017 10:04 pm

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    Auralia
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    Postby Auralia » Wed Aug 09, 2017 8:16 pm

    Bears Armed wrote:
    1. Defines "the Internet" as the publicly accessible worldwide system of interconnected telecommunications networks using the Internet protocol suite to communicate with one another;

    OOC: I suggest changing the first part of that definition to something more along the lines of
    1.Defines the term "internet" as meaning any publicly accessible international system of interconnected telecommunications networks
    and, as mentioned in the thread about another potential proposal on this theme, would consider "the Internet protocol suite" -- because this refers specifically to one particular system that has been invented in RL, which isn't necessarily one of however many such systems have been invented for use in equivalent roles within the NS worlds -- as an illegal 'RL Reference'.

    ((OOC: Network neutrality as a concept only works in the context of the real-life Internet. It simply doesn't make sense in the context of other global telecommunications networks, such as plain old telephone service.

    Given the Internet's ubiquity, I don't think it represents a real-life reference any more than referencing television or radio would be.))

    States of Glory WA Office wrote:Fairburn: If we pass this, will we all promise to put an end to proposals about net neutrality?

    I certainly hope so.

    The United Royal Islands of Euramathania wrote:Such as how does the author interpret mobile data providers allowing unlimited data from preferred sources while providing a data cap from non preferred sources under the framework of this resolution? What of the behavior of ISP engaging in bandwidth speed reductions for non preferred sources? Can and ISP restrict commercial advertising packets across their network? Can an isp require high trafficked sites to pay higher amounts per tier than their lower trafficked counterparts, or vice versa? Can an ISP engage in packet preference across their network?

    We feel that such uncertainly can be clarified by an additional clause between 3-4 stating:
    Encourages member states to implement and publish clear rules regarding ISP bandwidth throttling, internet advertising, packet preference, data caps, and preferred content treatment and pricing by ISPs, for the benefit and education of internet consumers and content providers, as to what shall constitute discrimination under this resolution.

    Such a framework would leave it to nations to regulate these areas of net neutrality while providing guidance as to what areas of public network management constitute a neutral network management.

    For the record, Auralian regulators generally permit some of these practices so long as "preferred" status is made available by the provider in a reasonable and non-discriminatory manner. The Auralian Internet market is quite competitive, though, so these practices are rarely an issue anyways.

    I agree that it is prudent for member states to be encouraged to clarify the precise rules that apply to ISPs in their nation, so I will add a similar clause to the one you suggested.

    Draconae wrote:
    Auralia wrote:
    1. Defines "the Internet" as the publicly accessible worldwide system of interconnected telecommunications networks using the Internet protocol suite to communicate with one another;
    "I have two major problems with this definition. The first is that it uses 'worldwide', which due to the fact that there seem to be multiple 'worlds' and some nations stretch beyond a single world, should not be used.

    ((OOC: My resolutions assume a strict-MT World Assembly, because the whole point of this part of the game is to simulate an institution similar to the real-life European Parliament/United Nations, not some futuristic galactic legislative assembly. You're free to interpret the word "world" in its most generic sense, if you wish.

    Draconae wrote:Secondly, 'the Internet protocol suite' that you use could be different than the one we use. There are multiple different ways for computers and digital devices to communicate with each other."

    Then network neutrality may not make sense as a concept to whatever you use. You cannot easily separate the concept of the modern-day Internet from the underlying network and transport layer protocols that largely define it.

    Draconae wrote:
    Auralia wrote:
  • Further defines "Internet service provider" as a business or public entity that provides access to the Internet to consumers in exchange for compensation,

  • "This definition has a number of consequences. First, it excludes nonprofits or governments that do not take compensation for the purpose of providing Internet access.

    Yes. This was intentional. For example, I see no reason why a library providing free Internet access should not be able to block pornography on its public computers.

    Draconae wrote:Secondly, it may include common restaurants in Draconae, which offer Internet service as an additional benefit for their customers, who they charge for food. An argument could be made that they are included because they exchange Internet access and 'something else' for compensation, they are exchanging Internet access for compensation. I am not making that argument if it excludes governments, but someone will probably make it later."

    I think this is a specious argument -- the customers are not there for Internet access, they are there for food -- but I've clarified the definition in such a way that I think excludes this interpretation.

    Draconae wrote:
    Auralia wrote:a. allow authorized users of their network to access and use the legal Internet content, applications and services of their choice within the bandwidth limits and quality of service of their service plan, ...
    c. clearly inform authorized users of their network of any discrimination between legal Internet content, applications and services on their network, and

    "I believe that this prohibits ISPs from blocking content, but other restrictions are acceptable. Is this correct? Furthermore, what 'bandwidth limits' and 'quality of service' are you referring to here? As you asked me, are you referring to the last mile link speed or something else?"

    (a)-(c) prohibit blocking, throttling to the point where the ability to "access" or "use" the service is threatened, and limiting certain devices from accessing the network. The clauses also require ISPs to be transparent about any throttling or other network management practices on their network.

    The bandwidth limit and quality of service are a property of their service plan, as the proposal states. The speed or capacity of the underlying links is irrelevant.

    Draconae wrote:
    Auralia wrote:d. refrain from unjust discrimination between legal Internet content, and applications and services on their network, including but not limited to discrimination that has a substantial anti-competitive effect;

    "Who determines what is unjust? The ISP? And if the ISP decides that increasing its profits is just, what then? The WA nation? And if the WA nation declines to regulate, what then?"

    The World Assembly member state decides what is unjust, with the understanding that "discrimination that has a substantial anti-competitive effect" should be considered unjust. Therefore, the member state must, at a minimum, intervene in cases where there is discrimination that has a substantial anti-competitive effect.

    Draconae wrote:
    Auralia wrote:
  • Clarifies that nothing in this resolution:
    1. creates an affirmative obligation for Internet service providers to provide access to their networks or to refrain from charging for access to their networks,
    2. requires Internet service providers to, through action or inaction, endanger national security, law enforcement activities or the security or stability of the network, or
    3. prohibits member nations from regulating Internet-enabled devices or Internet content, application and services.

  • "I'm not sure why this is necessary. Nothing in this resolution or my resolution did so anyway."

    I think this resolution could imply some of the above; I want to make sure that this does not occur.

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    Postby Christian Democrats » Tue Aug 15, 2017 9:35 pm

    At the moment, we support this proposal. Our only real concern, though not by any means determinative, is this proposal's lack of an enforcement mechanism. In our opinion, it should explicitly grant jurisdiction either to the World Assembly Trade Commission or to national communications commissions, specially established or specially assigned to adjudicate disputes between ISPs and consumers, individual or corporate, arising under the mandates of this proposal.

    (OOC: Consider, e.g., the FCC in the United States or the CRTC in Canada.)
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    Postby Wolfhawk » Tue Aug 15, 2017 9:43 pm

    4.Further declares that member nations have the right to determine for themselves whether to adopt more restrictive network neutrality regulations, within the confines of this and previous World Assembly resolutions;


    is this legal? even if it is it sets off warning signs in me
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    Postby Wallenburg » Tue Aug 15, 2017 10:02 pm

    Wolfhawk wrote:
    4.Further declares that member nations have the right to determine for themselves whether to adopt more restrictive network neutrality regulations, within the confines of this and previous World Assembly resolutions;


    is this legal? even if it is it sets off warning signs in me

    Why would this be illegal?
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    Postby Wallenburg » Tue Aug 15, 2017 10:43 pm

    I feel like "Internet" used to be capitalized in this proposal. Why is it not?
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    Postby Araraukar » Tue Aug 15, 2017 11:50 pm

    Wallenburg wrote:I feel like "Internet" used to be capitalized in this proposal. Why is it not?

    OOC: RL reference avoidance? Though there's a definition, so no idea why it's not capitalized.
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    Postby Nessuna-Arma » Wed Aug 16, 2017 5:07 am

    Excuse me. I know I'm new here, but I have a question. In #2 you define "internet service provider" as an entity that provides access "for compensation". What if a nation provides free internet to all its citizens and there is no compensation? Does the entire law not affect that nation?
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    Auralia
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    Postby Auralia » Wed Aug 16, 2017 6:02 pm

    Christian Democrats wrote:At the moment, we support this proposal. Our only real concern, though not by any means determinative, is this proposal's lack of an enforcement mechanism. In our opinion, it should explicitly grant jurisdiction either to the World Assembly Trade Commission or to national communications commissions, specially established or specially assigned to adjudicate disputes between ISPs and consumers, individual or corporate, arising under the mandates of this proposal.

    (OOC: Consider, e.g., the FCC in the United States or the CRTC in Canada.)

    We'll consider adding a provision granting jurisdiction to national communications commissions, though we do not feel such a provision is strictly necessary. We would prefer to allow member states the freedom to independently select the enforcement mechanism.

    Wallenburg wrote:I feel like "Internet" used to be capitalized in this proposal. Why is it not?

    It's not capitalized because of this. For what it's worth, I agree it should be capitalized.

    Nessuna-Arma wrote:Excuse me. I know I'm new here, but I have a question. In #2 you define "internet service provider" as an entity that provides access "for compensation". What if a nation provides free internet to all its citizens and there is no compensation? Does the entire law not affect that nation?

    This proposal intentionally does not apply to Internet service providers who provide access to the Internet for free. In general, people should have limited expectations for what they can expect from a free service. For example, a library providing free Internet access should be free to block pornography and other inappropriate content on its public computers.

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    Postby Wallenburg » Wed Aug 16, 2017 6:25 pm

    Auralia wrote:
    Wallenburg wrote:I feel like "Internet" used to be capitalized in this proposal. Why is it not?

    It's not capitalized because of this. For what it's worth, I agree it should be capitalized.

    That is unfortunate. I certainly can't fault you for being forced to include grammatical errors because GenSec changed its mind. As it is, the substantive parts of this proposal are sound. You have my support.
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    Postby Auralia » Wed Aug 16, 2017 6:37 pm

    Wallenburg wrote:
    Auralia wrote:It's not capitalized because of this. For what it's worth, I agree it should be capitalized.

    That is unfortunate. I certainly can't fault you for being forced to include grammatical errors because GenSec changed its mind. As it is, the substantive parts of this proposal are sound. You have my support.

    ((OOC: It's possible that only Bears feels this way, but I really didn't want to take the risk. Besides, apparently you can spell Internet with a lowercase i.))
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    Postby Wallenburg » Wed Aug 16, 2017 6:42 pm

    Auralia wrote:
    Wallenburg wrote:That is unfortunate. I certainly can't fault you for being forced to include grammatical errors because GenSec changed its mind. As it is, the substantive parts of this proposal are sound. You have my support.

    ((OOC: It's possible that only Bears feels this way, but I really didn't want to take the risk. Besides, apparently you can spell Internet with a lowercase i.))

    You use "the internet", which ought to be capitalized. Other Internets are lowercase. That could, however, fix the situation. You could modify the proposal to refer to generic internets, rather than the Internet specifically.
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    Nessuna-Arma
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    Founded: Aug 07, 2017
    Ex-Nation

    Postby Nessuna-Arma » Thu Aug 17, 2017 2:51 am

    Auralia wrote:This proposal intentionally does not apply to Internet service providers who provide access to the Internet for free. In general, people should have limited expectations for what they can expect from a free service. For example, a library providing free Internet access should be free to block pornography and other inappropriate content on its public computers.

    The Nessunan nods, and ponders for a moment. "It's interesting that you mention a library. What if a library has pay-by-the-hour computers? Now, don't scoff at that notion, if you think about it, we used to have coin-operated televisions in our airports, I'm sure there's some library somewhere in the world that does the same to prevent overuse of their network connections. If a library charges, for example, a couple euros for a ten- or fifteen-minute interval, it sounds like you are implying that they cannot block objectionable material from children. Would that be correct?"
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    United Confederate Republic of Citizens
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    Founded: Jul 09, 2017
    Ex-Nation

    Postby United Confederate Republic of Citizens » Thu Aug 17, 2017 9:31 am

    Please define "telemedicine" as it appears in the resolution.

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    Tzorsland
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    Postby Tzorsland » Thu Aug 17, 2017 1:51 pm

    Somehow I hit a control character and lost my post, I'll try to maintain my Vulcan composure and try to rewrite the post but ...

    Bears Armed wrote:
    1. Defines "the Internet" as the publicly accessible worldwide system of interconnected telecommunications networks using the Internet protocol suite to communicate with one another;

    OOC: I suggest changing the first part of that definition to something more along the lines of
    1.Defines the term "internet" as meaning any publicly accessible international system of interconnected telecommunications networks
    and, as mentioned in the thread about another potential proposal on this theme, would consider "the Internet protocol suite" -- because this refers specifically to one particular system that has been invented in RL, which isn't necessarily one of however many such systems have been invented for use in equivalent roles within the NS worlds -- as an illegal 'RL Reference'.

    So you are flagging this because of a RW violation on the second usage of the term "the internet" ... (must regain Vulcan composure ... no emotions)

    You should make the argument on the principle of redundancy. Let me rewrite the box by removing the RW reference completely.

    1. Defines "X" as the publicly accessible worldwide system of interconnected telecommunications networks using X protocol suite to communicate with one another;


    Hint, there is no RW reference here, but the fact that you are defining X as something that uses X's protocol suite is ... obvious.

    I would still modify it somewhat ...

    1.Defines the term "internet" as meaning any publicly accessible international system of simultaneously interconnected packet based telecommunications networks


    This eliminates the redundancy while at the same time eliminating other telecommunication systems such as the original phone system model.
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