Federal Communications Law Journal

Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Citation

63 Federal Communications Law Journal 357 (2011)


Symposium: Rough Consensus and Running Code: Integrating Engineering Principles into Internet Policy Debates, held at the University of Pennsylvania's Center for Technology Innovation and Competition on May 6-7, 2010.

Policy debates about the evolution of the Internet show varying degrees of understanding about the underlying technology. A fundamental principle of the design of the Internet, from the early 1980s, is the so-called "end-to-end argument" articulated in a seminal technical paper. Intended to provide guidance for what kind of capability is built into a network as opposed to the devices that use the network, the end-to-end argument has been invoked in discussions about "freedom," "neutrality," and other qualities that may be associated with the supply and use of the Internet and with related public policy. This Article builds on the technical discussions of end-to-end to address the design of applications that use the Internet. It explores the role of trust as a factor in decisions about the structure of applications and their interaction with the Internet as part of a larger system.