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Another Inventor of the Internet Wants To Gag It

CowboyNeal posted more than 6 years ago | from the not-so-fast dept.

250

MojoKid writes "Lawrence Roberts is just another guy with the title: 'Inventor of the Internet' in news articles. According to Wikipedia, he's the father of networking through data packets. And he's turned his attention to everyone's favorite data packet topic: Peer-to-Peer file sharing. He's established a company called Anagran, and says their devices can sort out which file transfers on the tubes are P2P, and — you guessed it — can throttle them in favor of other, more 'high-priority' traffic."

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Al Gore would be ashamed (5, Funny)

The_mad_linguist (1019680) | more than 6 years ago | (#23982047)

An upstart? Trying to destroy Gore's legacy?

I suppose the internet is unprotected while Gore's off riding moon worms...

so what (0, Troll)

PhrostyMcByte (589271) | more than 6 years ago | (#23982077)

Giving DNS, HTTP, etc. a higher priority than torrents is fine with me - I do that with my router.

Re:so what (5, Insightful)

blankinthefill (665181) | more than 6 years ago | (#23982121)

Yes, but who decides what's "high priority" going from the consumer to the cloud? I pay for a 6mbit line every month, and I expect to be able to use it the way I see fit. What makes your 6mbit line so special that your traffic gets precedence over mine? We're paying the same amount, shouldn't we get the same service, no matter WHAT we're transferring?

Re:so what (2, Interesting)

Covener (32114) | more than 6 years ago | (#23982375)

Yes, but who decides what's "high priority" going from the consumer to the cloud?

The people you pay $50/month to deliver it, do you have a better idea?

I pay for a 6mbit line every month, and I expect to be able to use it the way I see fit. What makes your 6mbit line so special that your traffic gets precedence over mine?

Your expectations aren't really a factor here. Regarding precedence, It's a function of the traffic and not the user it originates from.

We're paying the same amount, shouldn't we get the same service, no matter WHAT we're transferring?

You are getting the same service. That service routes data over the network at speeds up to 6mbit, and it's silly to expect the cable company not to do the same prioritization every savvy home user does on their own connection.

Re:so what (5, Informative)

nomadic (141991) | more than 6 years ago | (#23982389)

Yes, but who decides what's "high priority" going from the consumer to the cloud?

Whoever owns the router/switch/frame/NAP/whatever I'd guess.

What makes your 6mbit line so special that your traffic gets precedence over mine? We're paying the same amount, shouldn't we get the same service, no matter WHAT we're transferring?

Not if your contract with your ISP allows them to prioritize traffic. What does it say about the issue?

Re:so what (4, Insightful)

Kohath (38547) | more than 6 years ago | (#23982403)

I pay for a 6mbit line every month, and I expect to be able to use it the way I see fit. ... We're paying the same amount, shouldn't we get the same service, no matter WHAT we're transferring?

That sounds like something a spammer might say.

Re:so what (5, Insightful)

rhyno46 (654622) | more than 6 years ago | (#23982947)

That sounds like something a scaremonger might say.

Re:so what (-1, Troll)

friesandgravy (1086677) | more than 6 years ago | (#23982679)

where are my damned mod points...

Re:so what (3, Insightful)

Maxo-Texas (864189) | more than 6 years ago | (#23982713)

We all pay the same amount of freeways too.

Yet speed limits enforce order... those guys who own sports cars that can break 100 are screwed.

America internet is a joke however and the speed limit is effectively 30mph because we are still on dirt roads.

Re:so what (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23983087)

Yeah, but on freeways, you actually get told what the limit is. If the government told you that you can go as fast as you want, and then if you go over 75, a cop will show up and give you a ticket, anyway, wouldn't you complain, too?

All's fair if you predeclare, as they say - but predeclare you must.

Re:so what (2, Informative)

Ren.Tamek (898017) | more than 6 years ago | (#23983185)

If they're going to provide dirt roads, they shouldn't advertise the Autobahn [wikipedia.org] .

Re:so what (4, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 6 years ago | (#23982143)

When YOU do that to YOUR traffic, this is fine.

When SOMEONE is doing that to SOMEONE ELSE'S traffic, it is not.

Re:so what (2, Interesting)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 6 years ago | (#23982181)

It's a basic system design principle to give interactive or real-time processes priority over non-interactive processes. Anything else is nonsense from any sort of usability perspective.

Re:so what (2, Interesting)

AllIGotWasThisNick (1309495) | more than 6 years ago | (#23982379)

AppleTV appears to use P2P: what's an interactive process on the network?

Re:so what (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 6 years ago | (#23983217)

It's a basic system design principle to give interactive or real-time processes priority over non-interactive processes

In what way is a download of a 600 MB ISO image over HTTP any more of a "interactive or real-time process[]" than a download of the same ISO image over BitTorrent?

Re:so what (1)

RonnyJ (651856) | more than 6 years ago | (#23982823)

When SOMEONE is doing that to SOMEONE ELSE'S traffic, it is not.

This isn't just 'someone' though, it's an ISP, whose terms and conditions that you agreed to likely include provisions for ensuring a better quality of service for the typical customer. HTTP prioritising almost certainly benefits the typical user.

I'm not excusing it, as most ISPs need to be more open about how they shape their traffic, but if you want a higher / guaranteed level of service, you'll likely have to pay for a business-level service.

Re:so what (2, Insightful)

multisync (218450) | more than 6 years ago | (#23983021)

This isn't just 'someone' though, it's an ISP, whose terms and conditions that you agreed to likely include provisions for ensuring a better quality of service for the typical customer.

Yeah, well, all ISPs have terms and conditions like that that you have to agree to. Pretty well all commercial software has EULAs you have to agree to granting them powers far beyond what is allowed for under the law. Take part in any charity fund raising event and you have to sign a waiver that says they are not responsible for anything that happens to you even if they are directly responsible for injuries you sustain. Same with tickets to any sporting event, concert or whatever. On the back of it something to the effect that by using this ticket you agree that they are not responsible for anything.

You and others who use the "you agreed to the terms when you signed up for the service" seem to be arguing that if a corporation deems it we must agree to it. What network neutrality legislation would do is prevent ISPs from colluding with each other to ensure no one can gain access to the Internet without first agreeing to have their traffic throttled at the whim of their ISP.

Re:so what (1)

RonnyJ (651856) | more than 6 years ago | (#23983205)

You're talking about terms and conditions that the law wouldn't permit and thus could never be enforced - but a traffic shaping T&C has nothing to do with "granting .. powers far beyond what is allowed for under the law" here, does it?

Unless you're saying that traffic shaping is actually illegal (with or without those terms and conditions), that has no relevance really. If you think it is illegal, perhaps somebody could take legal action.

Re:so what (3, Interesting)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 6 years ago | (#23983119)

An ISP is just as much someone as anyone else. My ISP happens to be the organisation that is the connection between me and the internet. How does that put him in a position to regulate in what way I may use the service?

Could you imagine your power provider telling you that you can't use that washing machine or AC because it gobbles up too much juice? Or demand that you should cook with gas instead of electricity because it reduces the strain on their power network? How about your phone company telling you to limit your long distance calls to the nights and other non-office hours to free up their lines for office use?

Re:so what (1)

Fastolfe (1470) | more than 6 years ago | (#23983069)

When you choose to prioritize things on your own local network, that doesn't extend to the public Internet. If I want VoIP calls to have precedence over bulk bittorrent downloads, I can tell my router to do that. But when the upstream link gets congested, it's going to drop packets equally regardless of service. So when my neighbors start up bittorrent, and briefly saturate that upstream link, my VoIP call gets dropped. I curse and blame my ISP.

The most reasonable thing to do here is to come up with a common set of traffic classifications. VoIP calls are latency-sensitive, Bittorrent transfers are not. Come up with a list, vet it with the public, and implement QoS using that list. This isn't about "throttling" the Internet, it's about applying common sense when congestion occurs.

Re:so what (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 6 years ago | (#23983239)

In theory a good idea. In practice, you should know where that ends. You can even watch it in your own home.

Let's say you notice that BT and VoIP clash, so you start shaping your own traffic. That works fine for a while. Let's now assume you get a few roomies (the equivalent of your ISP signing up more customers, which they definitly want to do and do, if they have any chance). They all use VoIP, surf the web, play online games, and they all complain about a crummy connection once your BT starts sucking on the pipe. So you keep prioritizing BT down further and further.

Finally your pipe is clogged, even without BT. Sure, your apaprtment most likely too since there's now 30ish people sitting on top of each other, but hey, they all pay your rent, so what the heck? But they all complain that their link is crappy, and BT doesn't even get anything downloaded since the pipe is filled with "other" traffic. So the next thing is online games, since only one of your roomies actually plays WoW and they all want to surf...

Traffic shaping solves your problems, since you have a limited set of applications contesting for your bandwidth. Traffic shaping won't solve the traffic problems of an ISP for long. The only way to solve this problem, at least if they want to continue signing up customers, is to increase bandwidth.

And it is not hard to allow you do the trottle (3, Interesting)

kandresen (712861) | more than 6 years ago | (#23983199)

Neutrality from the ISP side has been up too frequent regardless of if it is e-mail spam filtering, Throttling of bandwidth, content restriction or other limitation as to what you can use the Internet for.

See e-mail as an example - It was thought that the ISP's should filter our mail to prevent junk mail, but we all know that does not work well. The reason is easy; your needs are unique for you. Imagine the pharmacists needing e-mail confirmation of pills and drugs he must order/want to be informed of, the doctors needing to communicate the symptoms of a decease with his pears and drugs to help it, the anti-virus developer needing samples of fresh viruses, the system administrator needing... The list goes on and on... The ISP simply cannot make general rules as to what constitute spam.

The same holds obviously true for what you will use the internet for. Should your ISP prioritize Vonage above Skype or Gizmo? Xbox games over PS3 sites and games? What about online video rentals from Netflix vs. Blockbuster, or what about online football/sport live programs above online live concerts etc, or even worse - the Xbox game above your online video rental/live online concert, or visa verse? The list goes in reality on forever - the ISP cannot possibly prioritize according our needs any more than they can generally filter spam.

As with spam there is an easy solution: Let US do the filtering! Simply give us an interface on the ISP side to prioritize what we deem important to us. Complicated? Not really at really. whereas some of us do want more complicated throttling such as prioritizing packets such as ACK, it should be easy for end users to simply visit a page such as my_preferences..com and add such as the domain of my mail provider on top of a list of priorities, the game sites I use above everything, increase the priority of all communication with my video rental provider, decrease the priority of torrents and block access to sites deemed inappropriate for my children.

Someone here on /. commented some smaller mom and dad size ISP's already do offer these kind of services to their clients! I hope this to be true, and will be looking out for this now!

Note that the Internet must stay neutral - else expect to see service problems due to live football broad casts prioritized to your neighbor above your simultaneous online concert / video rental / online game. Note 2: Your neighbors can prioritize without harming you simply by letting each and every one of us prioritize the what is sent from the ISP, while keeping network neutrality. There is a win-win for everyone except the big name ISP's that really want to prioritize their own / their partners video rental / games sites / other content above that of everyone else.

Re:so what (4, Insightful)

lastchance_000 (847415) | more than 6 years ago | (#23982151)

throttling for QoS is one thing. How about when Comcast blocks them in favor of its own video streaming service?

Re:so what (1)

rs79 (71822) | more than 6 years ago | (#23983043)

Market forces correct that. What happens when your mom can't get to hotmail cause every kid in the neighborhood is downloading the movie that's gonna come out tomorrow in theatres?

Larry Roberts very very seldom has bad ideas.

Re:so what (3, Insightful)

Adambomb (118938) | more than 6 years ago | (#23982199)

See, that I would be fine with. What worries me is the precedent it sets, and the day when specific site access is based on a cable "channel set" model.

"Browse these common subnets/domains at blazing fast gigabit speeds!*"

* Maximum throughput may vary based on peak hours. All other destinations limited to 5KiB u/d.

Course, just creating the technology to be able to do so isn't bad in my book. I'll start bitching and moaning (for serial) when someone wants to USE such techs in this manner. If they DID stick to legitimate control traffic being the only traffic shaped this way I'd be fine with it.

If someone was a jerk though they'd start the layout of such a plan exactly that way, then add "small transfers versus larger" requests next.

The rest could easily follow though.

Mod Article Down (5, Insightful)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 6 years ago | (#23982137)

This has to be the most ridiculous article in the history of slashdot.

"Lawrence Roberts is just another guy with the title: 'Inventor of the Internet' in news articles."

That's right, just another guy. Who just happened to be the Program Manager and principle architect for the initial design and construction of ARPAnet.

Re:Mod Article Down (5, Interesting)

Glug (153153) | more than 6 years ago | (#23982703)

Also mod it down because the article is completely misleading - Lawrence Roberts doesn't want to gag P2P at all. He wants to help it survive in a practical manner.

The problem he wants to solve is how to make someone who's trying to bring up a quick mapquest page be able to do so without sitting there waiting and waiting, and eventually wondering whether there're five people on his subnet downloading the latest 18G celebrity midget porn video. If he solves that problem, then Comcast won't care about using more stupid methods of throttling our celebrity midget porn.

Re:Mod Article Down (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23982839)

Waiting and waiting? What are we on, dialup?

This is the issue: realtime services are losing priority and thus unsuable:

aka VOIP, gaming, servers, interactive stuff such as google maps with the interactive map.

Nobody's going to wait 20 minutes, but I'd like it if my games were as reliable as mapquest since I pay to use the connection as I choose.

Re:Mod Article Down (0, Offtopic)

Hal_Porter (817932) | more than 6 years ago | (#23982919)

The problem he wants to solve is how to make someone who's trying to bring up a quick mapquest page be able to do so without sitting there waiting and waiting, and eventually wondering whether there're five people on his subnet downloading the latest 18G celebrity midget porn video. If he solves that problem, then Comcast won't care about using more stupid methods of throttling our celebrity midget porn.

Your honour! Celebrity midget porn exhibit A
http://defamer.com/5019704/mini+me-sex-tape-conclusive-proof-that-our-civilization-is-doomed [defamer.com]

Re:Mod Article Down (1)

woot account (886113) | more than 6 years ago | (#23982791)

They weren't trying to downplay him, they were actually doing quite the opposite. Compare:

Alice: Hey, Bob, did you hear who's in town!?
Bob: Hmm? No, who?
Alice: Well, just the President of the United States!

P2P has legit uses. (4, Insightful)

trolltalk.com (1108067) | more than 6 years ago | (#23982145)

Look at the over 4,000 channels of content (much of it in hi-def) legitimately distributed via miro.

Re:P2P has legit uses. (3, Insightful)

RonnyJ (651856) | more than 6 years ago | (#23982321)

ISPs probably don't really care whether it's legitimate or not though, it's the impact that large amounts of data has on their network that's the issue for them.

I don't see that prioritising HTTP traffic etc is harmful though - it can provide a better quality of service to most users, I prioritise HTTP traffic myself. The real issue is whether ISPs are open to the consumer about how their traffic is shaped.

Re:P2P has legit uses. (5, Insightful)

AllIGotWasThisNick (1309495) | more than 6 years ago | (#23982453)

I think the bulk of network "management" from ISPs today is not about "prioritizing" anything. It's about preventing the Internet from competing with the ISP's other services (cable, telephone) by targeting specific applications with throttling or eg. Comcast's packet fraud. If HTTP actually received priority, then connections with other protocols would be slower, but neither stopped or violated.

Re:P2P has legit uses. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23982877)

Personally, I would support traffic shaping P2P in favour of more time-critical protocols, like VoIP (I mean, your latest porno is a lot less important than someone's call). Of course, the ISP should state that they do so.

Re:P2P has legit uses. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23982961)

Cache it then

Re:P2P has legit uses. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23982357)

While I'm all for legit use, and only use it for legit use myself... I seriously don't give a flying fuck if my neighbor's use is legit or not. That's someone else's business, not the provider's.

Never mind that I signed up for bandwidth, and pay for it. Delivering as promised is not a value added service.

Re:P2P has legit uses. (1)

Lehk228 (705449) | more than 6 years ago | (#23983271)

and if it takes you an extra few minutes to download a movie there isn't much of a hassle, if it takes an extra 10 seconds to download a web page, it's annoying and seriously degrades user experience

Thanks for nothin', Lawrence Roberts (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23982147)

sellout

Best of luck to this company (2, Insightful)

Chankama (1312023) | more than 6 years ago | (#23982149)

I am all of it. Like it or not, data costs money. I don't want to continuously support people who download more stuff than me. The people that download the most (in terms of bytes) are the people that steal movies and music. I buy my movies, and I buy music; and use the internet for sharing of information and gaming. The problem will only get worse when HD movies get on P2P networks. So, good luck to these guys.

Re:Best of luck to this company (1)

irc.goatse.cx troll (593289) | more than 6 years ago | (#23982205)

I don't want to continuously support people who download more stuff than me.

So are you going to cancel your isp service if they don't drop prices, or do you honestly consider $50/mo fair for how little you might be using it?

Posting this while the cable guy is in my back yard upgrading my connection.

Re:Best of luck to this company (1)

Chankama (1312023) | more than 6 years ago | (#23982299)

I'll let the market dictate the price. As time goes on and more competition comes into being, the price will drop. But, if the fundamental costs for the companies remain high due to huge downloads (in bytes), the market price will inherently be higher - b/c the companies simply cannot absorb that cost. For example, as cheap as DVD players are these days from pretty much every company, if the cost of some fundamental part goes up in price, the whole market price of DVD players will increase.

Re:Best of luck to this company (3, Insightful)

tsm_sf (545316) | more than 6 years ago | (#23983249)

I'll let the market dictate the price. As time goes on and more competition comes into being, the price will drop.

What the hell are you talking about? There is no "market". That's the problem.

Gaming's Next (1)

Morosoph (693565) | more than 6 years ago | (#23982293)

I'm afraid that you'll find that "high priority" means "corporate".

The selection criterion won't be copyright infringement, but based upon supplier. Peer-to-peer includes gaming; the agenda here is to force out small-time and co-operative endeavors that challenge 'push' delivery of media.

Ordering packets according to criteria as regularity verses simple bandwidth is another matter, but sensible QoS is no-one's agenda; it is rather used as a point of leverage for the transparent interest of particular parties.

Re:Best of luck to this company (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23982597)

aren't you supposed to be at the gym in 26 minutes?

Re:Best of luck to this company (4, Insightful)

dbcad7 (771464) | more than 6 years ago | (#23982871)

Tell me all about your internet usage... Do you have Broadband ?.. what would warrant you to have broadband as opposed to dialup ? .. is your internet connection slow because of all these large file downloaders ? .. I think it's nice that you pay for all and your movies and music... but I don't game, why should I pay for the bandwidth of gamers ?... You see there are probably millions of people who use much less bandwidth than you.

You know, we did the whole per hour and limit of bytes thing back in the 90's.. and it sucked... ask the people who got $400 AOL bills for a months usage.. Stop worrying about who uses what number of bytes for what.. That's not the issue.. the issue is upgrading the network to deliver the bandwidth that you pay for at a flat rate.

Re:Best of luck to this company (1)

urcreepyneighbor (1171755) | more than 6 years ago | (#23983177)

Like it or not, data costs money.

Yep. Sure does.

I don't want to continuously support people who download more stuff than me.

And I don't want to support people who: read/post on Leftist, Creationist, or conspiracy blogs, use BitTorrent for Leftist, Creationist, or conspiracy movies, or... well, you get idea.

Sucks for both of us, huh?

The people that download the most (in terms of bytes) are the people that steal movies and music.

Bytes? I'm working on gigabytes/day.

I buy my movies, and I buy music; and use the internet for sharing of information and gaming.

Why should I have to support your gaming? Hm?

That's a rhetorical question.

The problem will only get worse when HD movies get on P2P networks.

Welcome to yesterday, man.

So, good luck to these guys.

And good luck to the creepy guys in cars using laptops and stealing wifi! ;D

When on /. did QoS become "gagging the Internet?" (4, Insightful)

schnell (163007) | more than 6 years ago | (#23982153)

Seriously - what's wrong with wanting e-mail, IM, VoIP or other packets to be ranked as higher priority? So this device the guy is fronting can detect encrypted P2P traffic - is that what is now equal to "gagging the Internet?"

Of course, Evil Corporations(TM) can use this for Bad Things(TM), Bush administration must be somehow involved, this will cause the Earth to spin off its axis, etc. But with Comcast et. al. already throttling P2P, what is it that this guy is doing that's so evil? As long as they aren't blocking P2P entirely, I'd rather get my e-mail in a timely fashion that speed up my ISO downloads which aren't time sensitive.

Alternatives: (2, Insightful)

trolltalk.com (1108067) | more than 6 years ago | (#23982281)

Some alternate scenarios:

  1. bittorrent over ssh
  2. wireless mesh lilypad networks
  3. "community server shares" for members of the previous group
  4. the oldfashioned sneakernet, except this time w. usb sticks

Re:When on /. did QoS become "gagging the Internet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23982295)

e-mail? I can't think of a lower priority packet...

Re:When on /. did QoS become "gagging the Internet (1, Informative)

xoundmind (932373) | more than 6 years ago | (#23982515)

Do you want a postal service to decide how quickly to deliver letters based on their content?
I don't know about you, but that's absolutely horrifying.

Re:When on /. did QoS become "gagging the Internet (2, Insightful)

deraj123 (1225722) | more than 6 years ago | (#23982689)

If postal services charged a flat rate, this might be a reasonable analogy.

As it is, I pay for every single piece of mail that I send. And, amazingly enough, if some piece of mail has more "priority" than another, I can pay more for it to be delivered more quickly.

Re:When on /. did QoS become "gagging the Internet (2, Insightful)

Fastolfe (1470) | more than 6 years ago | (#23982887)

If the USPS become deluged with junk mail, to the point that the average piece of mail was "degraded" by 2-3 weeks, wouldn't you want the USPS to offer a way to prioritize your rent check to arrive in a more reasonable time? Some applications are flat out *unusable* when the link is congested, because everything has equal priority today. Other applications can tolerate this congestion more easily, so why not exploit this fact and make everything work as well as it can when things are congested?

Re:When on /. did QoS become "gagging the Internet (2, Insightful)

maxume (22995) | more than 6 years ago | (#23983077)

Do you want the postal service to charge different amounts for different levels of service?
I don't know about you, but to me that seems like a really good idea.

Re:When on /. did QoS become "gagging the Internet (2, Insightful)

ebs16 (1069862) | more than 6 years ago | (#23983157)

they already do... first class mail, media mail, magazines, etc. are shipped using different priorities based on their content.

Re:When on /. did QoS become "gagging the Internet (1)

vertinox (846076) | more than 6 years ago | (#23982645)

Seriously - what's wrong with wanting e-mail, IM, VoIP or other packets to be ranked as higher priority? So this device the guy is fronting can detect encrypted P2P traffic - is that what is now equal to "gagging the Internet?"

How can you tell if someone is using a secure SSL connection for work related purposes (Email, large file transfers, terminal services) and someone that is using SSL for bit torrent?

And how can you tell the difference between someone downloading the latest torrent of a Linus or BSD distro for their company server for his work and say someone downloading movies?

And for the person downloading movies, how can you tell if they are downloading documentaries for a presentation for their job (or maybe research, media etc) that is completely legal and authorized versus someone who is downloading illegal movies?

And if you can't, why would you take away preference to people not legitimately using P2P even and give it to those who quite possibly are illegally downloading using some old fashion method like FTP?

I'm just saying... If encrypted properly, you can't tell what people are downloading unless you are seeding. So they only solution would be to punish everyone regardless of its legitimacy.

Re:When on /. did QoS become "gagging the Internet (2, Informative)

dkf (304284) | more than 6 years ago | (#23982815)

How can you tell if someone is using a secure SSL connection for work related purposes (Email, large file transfers, terminal services) and someone that is using SSL for bit torrent?

You can hazard a guess using traffic analysis. Bit torrent (and other P2P apps) use a different pattern of connections to normal browsing because the torrent clients also act as servers for many simultaneous external clients, and it's very difficult to conceal that, even if the content of the connections is hidden by encryption. (Of course, such analysis cannot detect the legal status of the data being transferred. Not unless the EVIL bit [faqs.org] is set in the packet headers...)

Re:When on /. did QoS become "gagging the Internet (1)

Evets (629327) | more than 6 years ago | (#23983001)

However, much like DRM technology, people will ALWAYS find a way around this kind of thing.

If it's based on packet inspection, they secure the packets. If it's based on connection patterns, change the connection patterns. If it's based on ... the list goes on.

The only thing this technology ensures is that the people who are passionate about what they want to do will educate themselves.

Re:When on /. did QoS become "gagging the Internet (1)

jonaskoelker (922170) | more than 6 years ago | (#23982907)

How can you tell if someone is using a secure SSL connection for work related purposes (Email, large file transfers, terminal services) and someone that is using SSL for bit torrent?

You look and the mean and variance of packet sizes and interpacket time delays going in each direction, plus the entropy of the data and the server-to-client traffic ratio (or difference, forget which). That's what these guys [shmoocon.org] (warning: mp4 video) did.

And as an ISP and not just a man in the very middle, you can count the number of connections which have a similar set of values for these ten parameters.

Re:When on /. did QoS become "gagging the Internet (1)

Fastolfe (1470) | more than 6 years ago | (#23982943)

And how can you tell the difference between someone downloading the latest torrent of a Linus or BSD distro for their company server for his work and say someone downloading movies?

Why does it matter? The intent (ostensibly) is to ensure latency-sensitive applications (e.g. VoIP) are still usable when links become congested. Random Bittorrent transfers can easily accommodate a few extra seconds of delay. Your VoIP phone call cannot. Bear in mind that QoS only matters when links become congested. When a link is congested, *something* (everything, currently) has to be degraded. QoS simply allows the network operator to specify what gets degraded less. IMO, sacrificing bulk data transfers in favor of interactive traffic is generally in everyone's best interests, but I can understand how people would get squeamish if there is the possibility that this could eliminate P2P at all. If I had an easy way at home to ensure that my web browsing, SSH, etc., were all responsive even though I had a bunch of bittorrents going, I'd love that.

Re:When on /. did QoS become "gagging the Internet (1)

vux984 (928602) | more than 6 years ago | (#23983091)

How can you tell if someone is using a secure SSL connection for work related purposes (Email, large file transfers, terminal services) and someone that is using SSL for bit torrent?

Volume of traffic alone is enough for most, and really if they throttle large file transfers in addition to p2p, that's hardly a bad thing.

And how can you tell the difference between someone downloading the latest torrent of a Linus or BSD distro for their company server for his work and say someone downloading movies?

You can't; but that isn't important. The point of throttling large file transfers and p2p and so on is to ensure that other more time-sensitive stuff gets through on time. If your legal p2p distro takes an extra minute or two to download to ensure a bunch of voip calls don't get scrambed, that is a perfectly reasonable allocation of the isp's resources.

And if you can't, why would you take away preference to people not legitimately using P2P even and give it to those who quite possibly are illegally downloading using some old fashion method like FTP?

What makes you think preference would be given to large file transfers over ftp?

I'm just saying... If encrypted properly, you can't tell what people are downloading unless you are seeding. So they only solution would be to punish everyone regardless of its legitimacy.

Its not 'punishment'. To use a car metaphor. Its the equivalent polite traffic, regular cars and trucks pulling over to the side of the road to let emergency vehicles by, and gigantic slow moving tractor trailers moving someones house pulling over to let regular cars by when they get piled up behind it.

Its only 'punishment' if they get blocked entirely, or throttled back far more than is required for the higher priority traffic to get through.

So like anything it can be used for evil, but its not inherently evil, and it even has some perfectly good uses.

Re:When on /. did QoS become "gagging the Internet (1)

fplinn (1129625) | more than 6 years ago | (#23982857)

You should come to Europe, we don't have bandwith problems. Maybe because our providers actually work on improving the tubes available instead of finding way to shape the traffic more to their likeness.

Re:When on /. did QoS become "gagging the Internet (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 6 years ago | (#23983123)

You mean "to their liking". "their likeness" means "their image".

Not flaming, just pointing out the difference.

Re:When on /. did QoS become "gagging the Internet (1)

Solandri (704621) | more than 6 years ago | (#23982967)

Seriously - what's wrong with wanting e-mail, IM, VoIP or other packets to be ranked as higher priority? So this device the guy is fronting can detect encrypted P2P traffic - is that what is now equal to "gagging the Internet?"

What you're describing is prioritizing (QoS, bandwidth shaping). Unfortunately, Comcast, Bell, et al have been engaging in unnecessary traffic throttling, and lying about it saying that they were merely prioritizing. So it's understandable that people are now getting upset any time they hear that prioritizing is going on. It could be just prioritizing. Or it could be another lie to take your money without providing you the service (bandwidth) you contracted and paid for.

Re:When on /. did QoS become "gagging the Internet (4, Insightful)

tom's a-cold (253195) | more than 6 years ago | (#23983121)

If I, as an ISP user, can determine the QoS algorithm, that's a different story. But when the providers of the service have a financial incentive to favor categories of content that they sell, QoS is not being done in my interest. It's just a way of further degrading and limiting a service that I paid for. That's manipulative and slimy. Please look at how cellular providers operate for a nice preview of that dystopia.

Most ISPs already advertise packages on the basis of bandwidth but penalize customers who actually use it, so there's plenty of reason to distrust them in making any decisions on which content should be favored. Hint: if they're making a buck on it, it will have higher priority. If it's costing them money, lower. Nothing to do with what you want or need. Big ISPs don't give a shit about your interests.

Re:When on /. did QoS become "gagging the Internet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23983213)

You think your VOIP is more valuable than my HTTP or XYZ? Then you pay more for it!

If you want our provider to prioritize some of _your_ traffic over _mine_ - you should be paying extra (or suffering some other way) for these high-priority (in your point of view) packets. It doesn't really matter what kind of traffic is your favorite.

Re:When on /. did QoS become "gagging the Internet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23983263)

Seriously - what's wrong with wanting e-mail, IM, VoIP or other packets to be ranked as higher priority?

Honestly? Of the three, you're on crack if you want IM or email to be high-priority. Is it critical if packets get delayed and have to be retransmitted for email VoIP? YES. But e-mail and IM packets can wait in line, go over the cheap route, fail the checksums and get re-transmitted, etc.

Poor bastard (1)

Zerth (26112) | more than 6 years ago | (#23982161)

He must have blew all his creativity years ago and realized that, if you can't be part of the solution, there's good money to be made in prolonging the problem.

In other news (2, Insightful)

Protonk (599901) | more than 6 years ago | (#23982189)

Old people are old. Whether they helped create the system we work with today or not. First, p2p isn't the ridiculous bandwidth hog we all though it was (compared to legit streaming video). Second, p2p was designed as a means around previous circumvention measures. Future circumvention measures will have to change things pretty radically before they will be able to effectively throttle only p2p traffic.

DPI? encrypt. Throttle anything encrypted? Piss off lots of banking and e-mail customers. throttle based on header info? Spoof the headers.

I'm not arguing that it is pointless. just very hard and liable to have a greater negative net effect for non-infringing users than we would anticipate. Nevertheless that does not stop companies from doing things that will eventually be deemed not in their self interest.

'higher priority traffic' (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23982203)

Didn't the recent Bell stats ( http://yro.slashdot.org/yro/08/06/27/007209.shtml ) show that p2p isn't actually the problem? so why should it be throttled in favour of 'higher priority traffic'

Re:'higher priority traffic' (1)

Fastolfe (1470) | more than 6 years ago | (#23983105)

I'm not sure what you mean. The studies showed congestion occurring sometimes. Do you want your VoIP call being dropped 2-5% of the time because someone fired up Bittorrent? Prioritization is not about throttling Bittorrent. It's about choosing what gets dropped when congestion occurs. Something has to get degraded.

Metcalfe and Roberts both have it wrong (4, Interesting)

postbigbang (761081) | more than 6 years ago | (#23982213)

And so does Cerf, and all of the other co-called inventors, and fathers. They got us into this mess.

Someone needs to sort out egalitarian access, hopefully some visionaries and NOT a large group of non-vendors, so that the process can be as inclusive as possible.

My suggestion: two channels, one for QoS-respected traffic, the other free-for-all. The QoS channel costs you, per period time. The free-for-all is all you can eat. Vary the mix you want to purchase, or offer at your free hotspot or WebbieTubeBar. You get what you pay for, no more, and less if you don't use it.

The pontiff approach ain't working.

Re:Metcalfe and Roberts both have it wrong (2, Insightful)

Fastolfe (1470) | more than 6 years ago | (#23983015)

My suggestion: two channels, one for QoS-respected traffic, the other free-for-all. The QoS channel costs you, per period time. The free-for-all is all you can eat. Vary the mix you want to purchase, or offer at your free hotspot or WebbieTubeBar. You get what you pay for, no more, and less if you don't use it.

So the problem with this approach is one of cost/administration. The QoS-enabled path must be a QoS-trusted path. That is, you have to ensure that everyone in that path is going to be honest and respectful with their QoS flags, and honor them appropriately. Otherwise, everyone is going to start prioritizing their random BitTorrent downloads so they'll go faster, and we'll be stuck right where we are today with everything prioritized equally (high).

The second problem is political. What you're proposing is the exact definition of a "non-neutral" Internet.

I hope this more than just (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23982217)

applying simple heuristics based on the packet protocol (TCP, UDP, etc), port number, whether either the sender and destination are large commercial sites, etc.

In other words, it could be similar to what a screening router in a firewall does, only it throttles instead of drops.

Youtube (2, Interesting)

Deliveranc3 (629997) | more than 6 years ago | (#23982229)

Seems to be getting hit by filtering. So they are attacking legal forms of high volume, low priority traffic.

There was an article a few days ago about a man with an $85,000 phone bill, something VOIP could cure if we could trust it to work consistently.

If the ISPS can "lower" priority on some packets can't they just raise the priority of VOIP and html requests. Eventually P2P would mimic them (and in the meantime it would blend with other traffic so it shouldn't take a significant loss.

A lot of ISPS have a "heavy traffic lane" high latencies but unlimited throughput, that is probably the wrong solution why not a "low traffic lane" to support the small fast transfers (IM,VOIP,SSH).

If they can sniff the general hidden packets for patterns that show it's p2p it should be easy to find the stuff that isn't p2p.

Re:Youtube (1)

osssmkatz (734824) | more than 6 years ago | (#23983085)

The canadian man in question who had the $85,000 cell phone bill had it from downloading high-resolution movies and other things using his cell phone as a modem. Most geeks know (although he did not) that the unlimited plan is only designed to be used on the phone, not on the computer. VoIP would not have helped with this.

Maybe certain traffic does deserve priority (3, Interesting)

MacTO (1161105) | more than 6 years ago | (#23982257)

Perhaps I'm slightly biased here, because I usually see P2P being used to transfer large data files (e.g. Linux ISOs), but it strikes me that certain types of traffic should have a priority.

Think about it: downloading something like an ISO or video is somewhat different than downloading the various bits and pieces of a web page or streaming video or making a phone call via VoIP. Network congestion or throttling for the former is not really an issue since it does not diminish service. You will get your data, even if it takes twice as long. Yet most people won't want to wait a couple of minutes for a web page to download, won't want to watch their video screech to a halt as it buffers more data, or deal with horrendous amounts of distortion due to higher compression on their VoIP call.

Now there is a problem with this technology: it could just as easily be used to block as to throttle. And that is what we should really be concerned about. Alas, if we go around freaked out about throttling low priority traffic our larger concern (blocking) will probably lack credibility in the eyes of policymakers when that time comes. And it will come.

Be smart about the battles you pick.

Re:Maybe certain traffic does deserve priority (1)

Creepy Crawler (680178) | more than 6 years ago | (#23982423)

Ok. Lets say your viewpoint is true: some traffic is more important than others. That point is substantiated by the fact we have interactive sessions (http, ssh) and bulk data transfers (bt, ftp).

My logical "hacker" choice is to wrap everything around the high priority protocol. After all, http was never meant for large files, yet most file servers are purely http.

In reality, priority should be set by the user as part of the interface, and not by anybody else. Thanks to congestion algorithms, the lowest common priority would win out between 2 people. The user should also set "phone bandwidth" so if one wanted 2 lines for today, they could get it. That's the ideal network: you buy the pipe, and you set the service as you want. More bandwidth? More money.

Re:Maybe certain traffic does deserve priority (1)

MacTO (1161105) | more than 6 years ago | (#23983093)

> My logical "hacker" choice is to wrap everything around the high priority protocol.

But is that really going to work in the long term? I'm fairly certain that the people behind these companies are fairly intelligent and are going to figure out the bit about wrapping traffic in high priority protocols, or encryption, or what be it. So what's the next step: they look at traffic patterns. HTTPS to access your bank is going to look quite different from someone using a P2P protocol encapsulated in HTTPS to download a GB of data.

> In reality, priority should be set by the user as part of the interface, and not by anybody else.

If you can trust the user, sure. If the user is allocated a certain data transfer rate and prioritizes among their own tasks, sure. The thing is, you can trust person X to say that they are lower priority than person Y. In most of the cases that I've seen, ISPs over-commit their bandwidth, so switching to a pay-for-bandwidth model would be disastrous in the context of their current model.

Besides, North American users love flat-rate models. Which is likely why so many of them rejected the data transfer caps when they were first introduced.

Re:Maybe certain traffic does deserve priority (1)

Creepy Crawler (680178) | more than 6 years ago | (#23983211)

> But is that really going to work in the long term? I'm fairly certain that the people behind these companies are fairly intelligent and are going to figure out the bit about wrapping traffic in high priority protocols, or encryption, or what be it. So what's the next step: they look at traffic patterns. HTTPS to access your bank is going to look quite different from someone using a P2P protocol encapsulated in HTTPS to download a GB of data.

Well, of course it will look different. The idea is here that there is so much bits flying around, that they cannot afford (cpu wise) to monitor and correctly analyze traffic. Even this day, ISP's dont watch the source field on the IP header due to extensive cpu demands.

Now, could they create a selective filter that analyzes every 10 packets and watches for anomalies? Yes, but that is highly unlikely except for the big guys.

> If you can trust the user, sure. If the user is allocated a certain data transfer rate and prioritizes among their own tasks, sure. The thing is, you can trust person X to say that they are lower priority than person Y. In most of the cases that I've seen, ISPs over-commit their bandwidth, so switching to a pay-for-bandwidth model would be disastrous in the context of their current model.

For starters, we dont give a user an option to set priority over other users. The only case where that would happen is for "corporate" charges.They would undoubtedly get higher overall priority.

As for the over-committing of bandwidth, get them for false advertising if they sell X rate and only provide X-Y rate. When they get hit for multiple thousands per user, they will learn to not lie, even if that means they offer 2 scales: guaranteed bandwidth and average bandwidth (128k/128k ~ 768k/384k). They can just set the contention ratio and backbone connections so the guaranteed is always there, no matter what. Even that is 2 phone lines of bandwidth, decent for minimum guaranteed.

We allow them a monopoly, so they should provide a minimum standard of service, or we should fracture them again. There's no reason we should be put over a barrel over basic infrastructure.

"more important data". Who qualifies this? (4, Insightful)

joocemann (1273720) | more than 6 years ago | (#23982307)

If our current private internet entities fail to realize that there can be no universally determined difference between one data or another, we need to either regulate or take that power from them.

There is no 'more important data'. That term is a relativistic concept that bears no actual meaning when read by anyone but the original believer. What is more important to one person is worthless to another.

The internet is a well established virtual representation of public interaction. It has many intricate elements, all of which should be preserved in the aspect of freedom. There is no universally determinable difference of importance between one data or another; the quality is only relative.
---------
Anyway, if these companies want to place values on data, we need to exercise our ability consumers and citizens of this country to tell them WE DON'T AGREE WITH WHAT YOU SAY IS IMPORTANT.

I'd hate to see it, as it would probably be worse, but we could probably socialize the whole internet in the U.S. Take all those companies and acquire all their assets through some form of virtual eminent domain, etc.

Our failure to achieve our very popular goals of freedom in the US will most likely fail due to LOBBYING. Our desires as a majority are easily ignored. Hold your congressmen responsible. Write them and tell them what you want.

People of America: Take Control Back. Spread truth, refuse corruption, and get off the goddamn couch.

Re:"more important data". Who qualifies this? (2, Insightful)

Kijori (897770) | more than 6 years ago | (#23982811)

There is no 'more important data'. That term is a relativistic concept that bears no actual meaning when read by anyone but the original believer. What is more important to one person is worthless to another.

Maybe not, but it's obvious that some types of data are more time-sensitive than others. If your P2P connection spikes and dips regularly it makes no real difference; if your average speed is fine it doesn't even matter if sometimes it drops to 0 to make way for other types of traffic. VOIP and regular streaming video are very time sensitive, and need a solid connection; they don't necessarily need the same average downspeed as P2P, but they need to be able to guarantee a minimum speed (especially for VOIP, which doesn't benefit from buffering). In this context it's not a system that is denying the use of P2P, but a technology that makes it possible to use VOIP and many other systems that require consistent speeds.

Of course, it depends on how it's used; maybe it will be used by ISPs to simply reduce their load. However, used intelligently, a system like this could give priority to time-sensitive applications when load is particularly high, knowing that the load will return to sub-100% soon enough, at which point it will stop throttling P2P, allowing it to make up for lost time.

p2p interpretations (4, Insightful)

v1 (525388) | more than 6 years ago | (#23982335)

p2p could also be interpreted as the reaction of the public to the current state of IP law.

In today's world there is so very little the individual can do to change laws that favor big businesses. This is simply those individuals reacting to laws that they cannot change, by finding ways to do what they believe they should be allowed to do.

In the end, the absurd laws and the p2p about negate each other, so I'm not in favor of people trying to "fix" p2p unless they are also undertaking a fixing of the laws that are providing p2p with justification.

Examine the situation from a different perspective. In the wild west there were small towns that didn't have effective law enforcement or court, and there was a wide measure of "mob rule" / rioting when a big business started running the town, getting the laws of that town changed to their favor and owning the local judges. Sure, you can work to dissolve the mob, but that doesn't really fix the problem. If you're truly interested in fixing the problem, you have to deal with the mob and the company (and it's effects/actions) that's causing the mob to be necessary. If all you work against is the mob, you've only made things better for the minority.

We've been trying for years to fix the laws and it just keeps getting worse. Then came along p2p and suddenly all the injustices were dealt a serious blow. It's still nowhere near even, but it's taken a big enough bite out of the injustice that the "mafiaa" is looking to beat down the newly formed resistance against it. Can't say as I blame them, they've got a sweet thing going and don't want to lose it. But I'm on the losing side of the issue so I'm rooting for the underdog.

Oh, the virtual circuit guy (5, Interesting)

Animats (122034) | more than 6 years ago | (#23982383)

Oh, the virtual circuit guy. I interviewed with Telenet when they had 13 employees, so I met him in the 1970s. Telenet HQ was in a big mansion-like house. It seemed too weird to succeed, and I didn't want the job.

The virtual circuit vs. datagram battle is almost forgotten now, but it was a major issue before fiber optics provided vast cheap long-haul bandwidth. Remember, the ARPANET backbone was only 56Kb. Long-haul leased bandwidth was incredibly expensive through the 1980s.

If the backbone bandwidth is the constraint on network traffic, congestion management of a pure datagram network is very tough. I had to run such a network in the early 1980s, which is why I have all those classic RFCs and papers on network congestion. We figured out how TCP should play nice to avoid congestion collapse, and how fair queuing could give the network some defenses against overload. That was enough to make a network of reasonably-well behaved nodes not doing anything with real-time constraints behave.

In the days of congested backbones, virtual circuits were looking like the future, because they were more manageable. Bandwidth could be assigned at connection setup, and each connection throttled. Tymnet and Telenet worked that way. That approach became obsolete when local area networks became widely used; none of them were virtual circuit, so the backbone had to be at the datagram level. Then fibre optics came along and saved the backbone.

We still don't really know what to do when the backbone is the bottleneck and latency matters. "p2p" file transfer isn't the problem, though. HDTV over the Internet is the problem. There isn't enough backbone bandwidth to support the world's couch potatoes with real-time HDTV streams.

Microsoft at one point proposed a system where real-time HDTV would be multicast, while video on demand would be heavily buffered. That could work, but multicasting with bandwidth guarantees requires more centralized control than the Internet usually has today, which is probably why Microsoft and parts of the broadcast industry liked it.

The "p2p" thing is a side issue. The big issue is going to be who gets to throttle whose HDTV streams. The cable guys want really, really bad to charge extra for those streams, regardless of who originates them.

Re:Oh, the virtual circuit guy (1)

abigor (540274) | more than 6 years ago | (#23982987)

I think your analysis is spot-on and very well put. I too have long felt that all that p2p hand-wringing on the part of ISPs is just a feint to get the price infrastructure in place to manage hdtv streaming.

Snake-oil liniment of the pioneers (1)

OldHawk777 (19923) | more than 6 years ago | (#23982443)

Snake-oil liniment of the pioneers.

Folks you may not know what you want, you may not know what you need, but I can guarantee you, my Anagran-oil will cure what ever ailments y'all got from clogged up Internet pipes to tube-pipes so tight that a family of pencil-dick politicians could not touch all sides with a collective hard-on.

Buy my Anagran-oil for what ails you, and you will never need to fix your infrastructure, invest in broadband contraptions, or do anything that will cost far more than my distinctive hue, fragrant taint, well proven performance Anagran-oil.

Get it now, get it cheep, get it before you go to sleep with any more infrastructure and broadband nightmares.

The above oh21 comment is open content for any corporatist marketeer or politician to use (they can even take credit for the comment). Take it to the board room or chambers to help convince fools of your personal concern in piss-poor USA telecommunications and comical interpretation of QoS broadband/bandwidth.

Its necessary... (2, Insightful)

nweaver (113078) | more than 6 years ago | (#23982469)

The problem is, what users expect is long-baseline fairness (measured over minutes to hours) evaluated between users.

What the network provides is either nothing (UDP) or short baseline fairness (measured over round-trip-times) evaluated between flows.

Thus everyone benefits if the short flows from the light users are given priority, as they don't have to wait but it has almost a trivial effect on the big heavy users.

I don't like one aspect of his solution, however, is that it focuses on apps first and then users, when it should be the opposite: focus on users first then applications.

Working in the entertainment industry as I do... (1)

FlyingSquidStudios (1031284) | more than 6 years ago | (#23982471)

I deal with transfers of very large (sometimes as much as 100 gb) video files. The most practical solution we've found for sharing those files between editors, colorists, digital effects artists, etc. if they are not in one centralized location where a LAN can be used is P2P. Having that throttled will be a big blow for us.

Re:Working in the entertainment industry as I do.. (1)

simong (32944) | more than 6 years ago | (#23982951)

Indeed, but ten years ago you would have been using ISDN (or whatever the equivalent is in the US) in a point to point manner. In Soho in London even before then someone set up a localised IP network for exactly that purpose which could provide 2Mb/s if the studios were willing to pay for it. You'll still be able to shift data, just don't expect to do it over public networks.

Ancient Wisdom Applies (3, Insightful)

FurtiveGlancer (1274746) | more than 6 years ago | (#23982543)

You may not always get what you paid for, but you will always pay for what you get (an expansion of Heinlien's TANSTAAFL [wikipedia.org] principle).

Enjoy the ride, until you truly have to pay for what you get. Any New York lawyer will tell you "unlimited" anything is physically impossible and, thus, merely a marketing term. Your plan is "virtually unlimited," especially when compared to 2.4 kbps dial-up.

Increasing reliance on VoIP makes it essential to grade services and throttle in a reasonable fashion.

Guy's an idiot ... he's never heard of NBAR (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23982603)

thats network based application recognition features in Cisco routers.

This whole story is just CRUFT.

Just what I wanted (1)

VanderJagt (833197) | more than 6 years ago | (#23982627)

Echoing what others wrote, it's good when people can do it to themselves, and it's bad when people do it to others. Yet I can't help but think this is exactly what I want, and so I'll probably find myself cheering it on.

of P2P and overselling (1)

v1 (525388) | more than 6 years ago | (#23982665)

The original case I believe was to charge the providers the bigger percentage for their bandwidth. At that time the providers were the universities, the businesses, etc, the people that provided the average user with the content. You see that even today when you compare your network connection's upstream and downstream. My DSL is 936 up and 1536 down. My cable is 2k up and 20k down. And those lines cost 2-4x as much as non business lines that have really crappy upstream without too much less downstream.

But now with p2p, everybody can contribute to upstream. And they are losing their revenue stream because they are used to 1% of their customers consuming 80% of their resources. My upstream is your downstream. So they don't care if your downstream triples. Just so long as my upstream doesn't go up, you can't download from me any faster. ;)

But now there are so many others that can upstream. Not faster, just more OF them. And as a result, YOU can download faster. And this requires an overall increase in network capacity.

So why should the people contributing a little more upstream than usual, which is allowing you to DOWNLOAD faster, cost only them more? Makes ya think.

It's not about p2p. it's about people using what they're selling. They want to sell you a service and not have to provide it. It's like buying a member card from a health club. At any given day there are maybe 5% of the members AT the gym. What do you think would happen if there was some big advertisement in town for the health benefits of a particular new workout? What would happen if now suddently, on average, 20% of the members were at the gym?

They'd flip out. Not enough space, not enough machines, lines at machines, customers pissed off, gym pissed off. And they'd want to start raising rates of course. The reason is they have totally oversold their service, and now the public is taking more advantage of what they paid for, and it's biting them. This isn't YOUR fault any more than it's MY fault, if we're both members. They've oversold their service. Now lets say I'm one of the people that decides to go in there every DAY? My card says I can come in any time. So does yours. But you're only in there once a week.

So I should have to pay EXTRA now? I don't think so. I paid for this card, it says I can come in anytime.

Yet another asshat (2)

Duncan Blackthorne (1095849) | more than 6 years ago | (#23982727)

I hope him and Al Gore enjoy blowing each other. I couldn't care less if this guy worked for ARPA or not, doesn't mean any of his opinions mean squat to me or should to anyone else. If he's who he claims to be, then ARPANET was something completely different than what the internet has become today -- and besides all that, he's just trying to peddle his 'wares and pandering to the IPSs -- so he can effing bite me. Get lost, grandpa; go tend to your lawn and leave the rest of us alone.

Throttling (1)

Wowsers (1151731) | more than 6 years ago | (#23982777)

I know who/what I'd like to throttle, but TCP/IP packets aren't one of them.

I'm paying loads for my internet connection, it's my desire to use it how I like, whatever time of day or night. Stop telling me how I should use my connection, go build more backbone and local capacity that you've been scrimping on installing all these years.

P2P is just the wedge (4, Insightful)

whoever57 (658626) | more than 6 years ago | (#23982855)

P2P traffic throttling is just the wedge. It is intended to legitimize throttling. If the telcos get this accepted, the next step is to throttle traffic of big sites who don't pay the telcos extra for their traffic to have priority. Goodbye Vonage, etc..

The way to do Business/War (1)

Asomatous (1316093) | more than 6 years ago | (#23982921)

All this reminds me of the Bush Administration when they said "Weapons of Mass Destruction" that is why we need to go to war. Americans got scared and they backed the false accusations. We see the same technique all over the world now - people create false accusations, spin the media behind it, create a sense of urgency, and if the regular joe out there decides this is valid, he (along with other millions of sheep) will give this unjust cause a backbone, allowing it to proceed. It is only because of people like you that dissect the false cause and show its cancer to the rest of the people/sheep, that do not care to seek the truth themselves, that a lot of these false causes get shut down before they can even lift off the ground. To you all, I salute you, and thank you for not exercising your new American freedom - Freedom from Thought

And *YOU* Own the Internet? (4, Insightful)

f2x (1168695) | more than 6 years ago | (#23983145)

It sucks whenever that horrible word rears it's ugly head. "THROTTLE." Ugh! It hurts the most just after the "R". I agree that the internet should be free, but let's face it: It's not.

From my understanding, various entities actually own and maintain different parts/sections of the Internet. So when you pay your ISP for internet access, you should only be entitled to whine about the parts of the internet they actually control. It amazes me to think how many people seem to believe they have a true "end to end" connection through their ISP to every computer in the world! The sense of entitlement they exude is almost nauseating. If the route your connection is taking to "GothicKitty42" (a legitimate business associate in Denmark) is being throttled as it passes through Briton, feel free to take control and re-route your own path through the internet. Oh wait... You're too busy watching that DVD you just burned. You certainly can't be bothered to monitor your own QoS when you're paying as much as you do for that broadband connection!

And here's where I actually have to take issue with Bit Torrent type clients. While they don't overload a centralized server, they actually make less efficient use of the network as a whole since everything usually finds its way through the same old trunks of copper and fiber time and time again. All those little packets swimming around like a puddle of sperm looking for an egg... It's a redundancy nightmare of exponentiating proportions.

I'd love to see how some of these people would react if tomorrow they woke up with a peer to peer mesh network instead of their current arrangement. I bet they'd cuss to no end whenever they saw traffic freeloading through their node. They'd probably be racing to the computer store and buying software to shake off those pesky packets so they could get the most out of their internet connection.

But that's just my opinion.

The problem is scaling and cost (2, Informative)

fialar (1545) | more than 6 years ago | (#23983149)

Having worked for an ISP, I can tell you. The problem isn't prioritizing traffic. It's capacity and scaling.

If you are a small ISP with a OC-3 and you have 1000 lines, that means if all lines are active, each one would only have an average speed of 6Kbps.

That's not very good. The problem is, in the UK, an OC-3 from BT costs £20,000+.

People buy broadband for cheap (£8-£15/month), and expect spectacular results. It just can't happen.

All networks seem to be oriented towards the idea that 90% of the DSL lines will be idle most of the time. With the advent of BBC's iPlayer and more streaming video, this network model falls flat on its face.

Google could put a stop to this. (1)

Gldm (600518) | more than 6 years ago | (#23983241)

Or any of the other shenanigans ISPs are trying to pull over on people. Just block the entire ISP from Google.com. See how long it takes before the weight of support calls crushing them and customers leaving in droves makes it unprofitable to mess with traffic.

All that would really do is offer a sneak peak of the inevitable anyway if they keep on this track. Once P2P is locked down and all nice and cleanly precedented in court, what do you think they'll throttle next? Traffic to "non-partner" sites, and then come the DNS redirects. "Oh you meant google.com? Well we have a deal with MS so it goes to MSN.com first and then has a tiny flash overlay in the corner that prompts if you really meant google.com, which IE conveniently blocks as 'popup spam' by default now."

I've read the arguments on both sides of net neutrality, forcing this kind of thing stifles sandbox development of new tech. But the alternative would seem to be worse.

The scary thing is, the government is already taking a side, and if you want to know which, just watch for "think of the children" arguments.

I'm surprised nobody's written a doomsday scenario book about this with a silly title, like "P2P: An Inconvenient Packet. How ISPs and the Government are planning the death of the Internet as we know it."

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