Net neutrality is the principle that internet service providers should provide the same service to everyone. It is a democratic principle very much akin to the open access movement, allowing everyone equal access to online resources.
High-energy physics research is highly collaborative and open science involves sharing scientific results, software and necessary data publicly, so that knowledge can easily be transferred and new ideas can flourish, both within the wider scientific community and in society at large. The accessibility and openness of the internet are crucial in this respect.
For the effectiveness of its fundamental scientific research and to fulfil its mission, CERN has always taken net neutrality very seriously to ensure equal worldwide access to scientific data for every member of its worldwide user community of scientists without discrimination.
CERN asserts that access to scientific data for all its users and for its entire scientific community should be determined solely by the scientific process and not by external actors. Third parties should not:
- alter the data that is being transferred;
- monitor the data type or content of transfers, except for technical aspects of the transfer itself;
- throttle transfers based on knowledge of data type, the origin or the destination.