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Network Neutrality Back In Congress For 3rd Time

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 4 years ago | from the moving-at-the-speed-of-government dept.

Government 248

suraj.sun writes "Ed Markey has introduced his plan to legislate network neutrality into a third consecutive Congress, and he has a message for ISPs: upgrade your infrastructure and don't even think about blocking or degrading traffic. The war over network neutrality has been fought in the last two Congresses, and last week's introduction of the 'Internet Freedom Preservation Act of 2009' [PDF] means that legislators will duke it out a third time. Should the bill pass, Internet service providers will not be able to 'block, interfere with, discriminate against, impair, or degrade' access to any lawful content from any lawful application or device. Rulemaking and enforcement of network neutrality would be given to the Federal Communications Commission, which would also be given the unenviable job of hashing out what constitutes 'reasonable network management' — something explicitly allowed by the bill. Neutrality would also not apply to the access and transfer of unlawful information, including 'theft of content,' so a mythical deep packet inspection device that could block illegal P2P transfers with 100 percent accuracy would still be allowed. If enacted, the bill would allow any US Internet user to file a neutrality complaint with the FCC and receive a ruling within 90 days."

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248 comments

Ear marks? (-1, Offtopic)

ArsonSmith (13997) | more than 4 years ago | (#28932921)

Re:Ear marks? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28933077)

Re: your sig

Show me a some "free health care" that isn't tax supported, otherwise it's not and never will be free.

well (5, Insightful)

killthepoor187 (1600283) | more than 4 years ago | (#28932925)

I'd be a lot happier if the government took back the last mile and opened it up to more third party distributors. I think the real problem is the pseudo-monopolies on broadband services.

Re:well (5, Funny)

Shadow of Eternity (795165) | more than 4 years ago | (#28932937)

Same, but given the choice between that never happening and this having a snowball's chance in hell I'll give the snowball a go and warn the rabbis to keep an eye out for flying pigs.

This will kill P2P (3, Interesting)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#28933703)

Yeah I know - I'm being pessimistic, but I've seen what happens to new technologies. DAT (digital audio tape) was killed in the 80s because even though it had legitimate purposes, the courts decided it would mainly be used to steal music, so it was blocked from entering the U.S. for retail sale. Only the professionals had access to DAT machines.

I expect P2P to suffer the same fate as DAT did -

- "Yes these programs like Utorrent have legitimate purposes, but 99% of the traffic is illegal content, so I've decided it's okay for the Megacorp ISP to block these peer-to-peer packets." - Signed, Judge Clueless

Re:This will kill P2P (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28934095)

DAT (digital audio tape) was killed in the 80s because even though it had legitimate purposes, the courts decided it would mainly be used to steal music, so it was blocked from entering the U.S. for retail sale. Only the professionals had access to DAT machines.

Were you born retarded, or did your parents drop you on your head at some point?

Re:This will kill P2P (1)

Lucidus (681639) | more than 4 years ago | (#28934145)

Sorry, but your facts are wrong. I sold many DAT recorders to retail consumers in the late 80s and early 90s. There was strong opposition from the RIAA (surprise!) but they were not successful at blocking the technology. Total sales numbers never approached what Sony had hoped for, but that was largely due to market forces. The Audio Home Recording Act of 1992 effectively levied royalties on DAT recorders and blank tapes, which further discouraged sales.

Re:well (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28932953)

Agreed. If it weren't for the near-monopoly on broadband, the market would theoretically be able to weed out the bad companies that don't adopt a neutral stance. The problem with this legislation is that, on one hand, we might get a win on the net neutrality front, but on the other hand, the same companies that are in power are going to stay in power and find some other way to abuse their customers.

Re:well (4, Insightful)

MaskedSlacker (911878) | more than 4 years ago | (#28933013)

The big (legal) win for net neutrality is that it fucks the cable companies good and hard.

Cable companies are as bad as the MAFIAA. They want to prop up their outdated business model (television content) by blocking video content over the internet (which is vastly cheaper for consumers). Net neutrality stops them from being able to do this, and shatters their control over television markets.

Don't forget the telco(s) (4, Insightful)

StreetStealth (980200) | more than 4 years ago | (#28933277)

You're right on about the cable companies, but don't forget that your DSL provider would gladly do the same thing for your VOIP setup -- degrade your third-party voice service to the point where your only viable option is their first-party service.

Re:Don't forget the telco(s) (3, Insightful)

OeLeWaPpErKe (412765) | more than 4 years ago | (#28933467)

And what does it mean in practice ? The way dsl providers and large telco's "discriminate" in traffic is by peering relationships (e.g. with google). If a site is big enough and has enough money, they can get a direct private link into their network, whereas they let cheap content providers who won't pay (*cough* cogent *cough*) have only a single connection and then let it overflow. They refuse to expand that connection, except if cogent pays a large fee, which they simply won't do.

Does this law mandate that telco's peer with everybody ? Or does it simply prohibit a few types of Qos ? The first would be a very good thing for competition, the second would be very bad indeed.

Of course, knowing lawmakers (or Obama), I'm guessing it's the qos stuff. Does this mean that it's de-facto illegal for providers to deliver voip service that keeps working well when you're torrenting ? That would certainly constitute discriminating traffic, and it's something that's a bit of a necessity for a well-functioning service.

Re:well (5, Interesting)

harrkev (623093) | more than 4 years ago | (#28933345)

I can understand that the cable companies want to preserve some bandwidth for their own use. However, I think that net neutrality is too heavy handed, and doing nothing is even worse.

How about this as a compromise: the cable companies have to guarantee a certain "net neutral" bandwidth. Then, this is the bandwidth that they are allowed to advertise.

Therefore, if they have a 20-Gbps link to your house, but they offer 7-Mbps of open bandwidth, with 13-Mpbs reserved for their own downloadable movies, they can only advertise 7-Mpbs service.

This would kind of solve the whole thing. The cable companies can partition the bandwidth any way they like. They can reserve bandwidth for their own movie services. The customer still gets what is advertised.

Makes sense to me... Can anybody poke any logical holes in this (other than "Cable sucks, let's screw them")?

Re:well (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28933519)

Makes sense to me... Can anybody poke any logical holes in this (other than "Cable sucks, let's screw them")?

Broadband is sold for speeds "up to" a certain level, it's not guaranteed. Therefore I don't think you would be able to enforce the amount of neutral bandwidth you're getting. The ISP could always just tell you that you're not getting the advertised speeds because of network congestion, while their own services worked well, because they have separate infrastructure for them.

Re:well (5, Insightful)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 4 years ago | (#28933531)

Therefore, if they have a 20-Gbps link to your house, but they offer 7-Mbps of open bandwidth, with 13-Mpbs reserved for their own downloadable movies, they can only advertise 7-Mpbs service.

That's actually more restrictive than net neutrality because it would mean they have to guarantee a certain minimum bandwidth in order to advertise that bandwidth. Which is fairly unrealistic. Even if they actually upgraded their equipment instead of whining about how expensive it is and pocketing all their profits like douchebags, it'd still be the case that cable service would likely be degraded during the prime-time hours when everyone in your neighborhood hops on the same shared connection.

Net neutrality isn't about guaranteeing a minimum amount of internet bandwidth. Net neutrality is about not discriminating based on type and more importantly source of internet packets. For example, Time Warner doesn't want to degrade the internet in general, rather they'd like to degrade performance for packets from Hulu or Netflix specifically. Degrading the internet in general would make Time Warner look bad compared to DSL, while selectively blocking/degrading Hulu packets would make Hulu look like a bad choice compared to TW cable TV.

Another commonly proposed non-neutral situation is where TW or other ISP degrades Google's packets unless Google pays them specifically (as opposed to the ISP Google already pays and who has peering agreements with the would-be blackmailing ISP, meaning they're already getting paid once).

But for Time Warner, it's all about hurting online video services, without hurting their own cable internet business.

Re:well (1)

bennomatic (691188) | more than 4 years ago | (#28933771)

I think you're totally right, and my solution would be tiered pricing for consumers. Like the GP said, true competition could make this a reality.

As far as I'm concerned, if I could choose from 10 DSL/Cable/Fiber vendors to provide my Internet, chances are they'd all be clamoring for my patronage, even if I'm a small customer. As such, they'd offer me options ranging from $10/mo to $80/mo in $10/mo increments.

Each option would allow me to choose my maximum sustained and burst speeds, say 1 Mb/s with a 3 Mb/s burst, 3/6 and so on. The lower end would all have relatively small upload speeds (i.e. 1/4 of the sustained max download), being consumer-oriented, but for home office workers, the 10/20 plan might have a synchronous 10/20 upload upgrade.

The advantage of something like this is that it ensures that someone who's paying very little can't overwhelm the network with Hulu or P2P or some such, and that people who do want to push a lot of data can do so without running afoul of arbitrary (and sometimes anticompetitive) limitations. Even more important, there's not a cap per se, so people on the low end won't have to live in fear that they'll be billed for overages or threatened with disconnection.

And I know for a fact that this sort of thing is not impossible to do. Some time back I worked for an ISP where we did bandwidth-controlled hosting. We modified our BSD-based web servers' TCP stacks so that we could indicate in a config file how much bandwidth should be available to a given IP address. Since each site had its own IP (Yay for us having a class B address!), we could offer entry level hosting rates for a site on a virtual 28.8kbps connection vs. a 56kbps vs... anything. It was very cool No reason this couldn't be done for end users.

Re:well (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 4 years ago | (#28933921)

Requiring that advertised speeds be available 80% of the time (or whatever) would not be onerous for the ISPs.

It might not be perfect, but it would help address things like DSL being advertised as if the connection will maximize the technology (which between line quality and distance, almost never happens).

Re:well (1)

CodeBuster (516420) | more than 4 years ago | (#28934059)

Net neutrality isn't about guaranteeing a minimum amount of internet bandwidth. Net neutrality is about not discriminating based on type and more importantly source of internet packets

This is similar to a problem which is present in health insurance markets; namely, if the insurance companies (or the ISPs in the net neutrality case) cannot charge some people more and some people less depending upon the amount and type of services used then everyone will have to pay the average amount of the cost of those services spread out evenly over the pool of subscribers. Another example is the old "split the check evenly" dilemma when it is obvious that some people in the group have eaten a way more expensive meal than others. In any case some people will be required to pay more than they otherwise would have had the charge had been based upon relative use instead of split evenly between heavy and light users. If this drives the price up enough then it might squeeze out some people near the margins who cannot afford to pay the higher "average" price.

Re:well (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28934075)

I think the G-P meant "guaranteed net-neutral," not "guaranteed amount of bandwidth."

Re:well (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28933565)

This is exactly what AT&T does with their "UVerse" service. You get a fast enough pipe to get TV, but you have a pitifully slow Internet connection. I'm not sure if they're neutral about how they let you use your open connection, but it seems like it's such a small amount of bandwidth that they don't care if people saturate it.

Is this kind of service reasonable or should the customer at least have an option (perhaps at a significantly higher cost) to use some of the huge fiber connection for other things?

Re:well (2, Informative)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 4 years ago | (#28933573)

This would kind of solve the whole thing. The cable companies can partition the bandwidth any way they like. They can reserve bandwidth for their own movie services. The customer still gets what is advertised.

Again, I just want to make this clear... It doesn't solve the problem. The customer gets what is advertised... unless it's a site TW doesn't like. Because you haven't required them to be packet agnostic (i.e. "net neutral"), they can still do traffic shaping to suit their agenda.

Re:well (1)

mea37 (1201159) | more than 4 years ago | (#28933657)

Not bad, but three things:

1) Is it practical? Aren't there cases where, to be useful, network traffic shaping takes place well upstream of a specific end user's broadband link? Can that always be translated into "you have x MB with which to do as you please?"

2) What about companies that want to sell services that aren't technically "neutral" but which differentiate them in ways that some customers want? Under the proposed law, I guess they can't. Under this proposal, I guess they can, but have to advertise 0MB/s as that's the total amount of "neutral" bandwidth.

3) If an area is effectively monopolized by a single broadband provider, then changing the rules for how they advertise won't accomplish much.

You can address the 2nd concern just by making it a more comprehensive "labeling law" - you have to clearly tell the user how much of their bandwidth is "neutral", and maybe if you advertise additional bandwidth in terms of Gb/sec (or Mb/sec, or whatever) then you have to give certain information about how you shape that traffic.

That alone would probably keep legislators occupied for a while (not necessarily a bad thing), but I don't know how you'd deal with the other issues.

Re:well (4, Funny)

fwice (841569) | more than 4 years ago | (#28933683)

Therefore, if they have a 20-Gbps link to your house, but they offer 7-Mbps of open bandwidth, with 13-Mpbs reserved for their own downloadable movies, they can only advertise 7-Mpbs service.

Makes sense to me... Can anybody poke any logical holes in this (other than "Cable sucks, let's screw them")?

For one thing, 7 Mbps + 13 Mbps is not 20 Gbps

:]

Re:well (3, Insightful)

MobyDisk (75490) | more than 4 years ago | (#28933729)

I think that doesn't work for two reasons:
1) Nothing stops them from offering a really tiny tiny amount of neutral bandwidth
2) It will still influence the markets
- Let me clarify this last point. One of the problems with a non-neutral internet is that if a major ISP partners with one content provider, it puts the others at a disadvantage, which impacts the market. Imagine if Comcast decided that Amazon was their preferred MP3 store, so it got a full 20-Mbps; but the iTunes music store only got 7Mbps. People will perceive the Amazon store as faster, and spend more money there. It has unfairly biased the free market system.

It would be similar to having wider roads go to Home Depot stores than are going to Lowes stores. The fact that there is a guaranteed to be at least some road, at least one lane wide that goes to Lowes, does not fix the problem. Fundamentally, the road system must be neutral. Same with bandwidth providers. Same with transportation (which is where the term "common carrier" came from). Attempts like yours allow loopholes, and create a mess like what the US tax code has become.

Re:well (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28934131)

Well..the flaw is...cable sucks.

No--seriously--if you permit that, what they'll do is "guarantee" 56K, and reserve the rest for themselves. It's only remotely viable if this somehow would guarantee competition for the unreserved portion. Worse than that, they'll change advertising to "up to 20M with comcast partners." Give it a few years, you'll have AOL back on the cable companies.

You suggest regulating what they can advertise--but that should fail on first amendment challenges... No...if you give them an inch, they'll claim the entire equator.

Open up the last mile backbone--outlaw regional monopolies, and update the definition of broadband to grow exponentially annually for a decade with a suitable alpha value.

Re:well (2, Interesting)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#28933635)

>>>Cable companies want to prop up their outdated business model (television content) by blocking video content over the internet

Sorry to break the news, but it's already too late. Comcast, Time-Warner, and Cox have negotiated with the cable channels to put all video content behind a subscriber wall. So if you want to watch Eureka at scifi.com, you can't because it will be locked. Want to watch Mokn on usa.com or Kyle XY on abcfamily.com? Nope. Again you'll be blocked.

CC, TW, and Cox claim they pay for these programs, therefore they should be able to limit streamed cable programs to only their customers, and that's what will take effect this Fall 2009.

So the only video content that will still be available for free are the broadcast nets (NBC, FOX, CW, etc) and the older reruns like Bewitched or Munsters or M*A*S*H on hulu.com

Re:well (1)

mR.bRiGhTsId3 (1196765) | more than 4 years ago | (#28933831)

[Citation Needed]?
They are already payed royalties by sites like Hulu to rebroadcast the shows. And, by all accounts, Hulu is doing quite well. I can't image they would try to ruin that.

Re:well (4, Insightful)

Wrath0fb0b (302444) | more than 4 years ago | (#28933207)

Agreed. If it weren't for the near-monopoly on broadband, the market would theoretically be able to weed out the bad companies that don't adopt a neutral stance.

You are making a lot of assumptions here without even stating them, let alone proving them.

For instance, you assume that the marginal cost of maintaining a neutral network is identical to a non-neutral one, which might not be true. If the non-neutral one has significantly lower upkeep, it might win out as an inferior but cheaper product. That is, even if consumers prefer neutral ISPs to non-neutral ones, that preference only goes so far towards convincing them to pay a higher rate.

Another important assumption is that the consumer preference function really distinguishes between neutral and non-neutral. For the vast majority of consumers this might not be the case -- especially with less-tech savvy older folks that use the net mostly for email/light web and don't notice any filtering. For those consumers, there is no product differentiation being neutral and non-neutral at all.

So yeah, if the costs stack up right and the consumer preference actually does favor neutrality, then a free market would deliver it. Those are some pretty big caveats though.

Re:well (4, Interesting)

Silentknyght (1042778) | more than 4 years ago | (#28933473)

Agreed. If it weren't for the near-monopoly on broadband, the market would theoretically be able to weed out the bad companies that don't adopt a neutral stance.

You are making a lot of assumptions here without even stating them, let alone proving them.

For instance, you assume that the marginal cost of maintaining a neutral network is identical to a non-neutral one, which might not be true. If the non-neutral one has significantly lower upkeep, it might win out as an inferior but cheaper product. That is, even if consumers prefer neutral ISPs to non-neutral ones, that preference only goes so far towards convincing them to pay a higher rate.

Another important assumption is that the consumer preference function really distinguishes between neutral and non-neutral. For the vast majority of consumers this might not be the case -- especially with less-tech savvy older folks that use the net mostly for email/light web and don't notice any filtering. For those consumers, there is no product differentiation being neutral and non-neutral at all.

So yeah, if the costs stack up right and the consumer preference actually does favor neutrality, then a free market would deliver it. Those are some pretty big caveats though.

I gave up moderation in this thread to reply to this post.

First, there's nothing to suggest either (a) net-neutrality will present a higher marginal cost or (b) net-neutrality will present a lower marginal cost on the same. Given this, it's logical to assume no change.

Second, consumer preference is moot if there is no outlet to express said preference. Few consumers--slashdot crowds included--will opt to forego internet to flex their meager muscle against the monopoly; internet is such a necessity that people are going to choose some internet over none, even if it's sole-sourced. Moreover, this point piggybacks on your earlier point, which seems to assume that neutrality carries higher costs, and therefore there is a cost function impacting consumer decisions in a hypothetical neutral vs non-neutral decision.

Ultimately, lets first get to a free market, and then we can take a look at your points.

Re:well (1)

Wrath0fb0b (302444) | more than 4 years ago | (#28933955)

(1) You are correct that there are no reliable data on costs. I would dispute, however, that this means that the most rational assumption is "no difference".

For one, a neutrality mandate from Congress can only increase costs or keep them the same since, in the absence of a mandate, the telcos could chose between neutrality and non-neutrality. IOW, if neutrality is cheaper then an FCC mandate makes no difference (since providers would do it already), otoh, if non-neutrality is cheaper then the FCC mandate increases costs. No matter what uncertainty there is about the cost function, the expected cost difference of the mandate is strictly non-negative.

(2) Yup, current market conditions are far from ideal and effectively obscure market preferences. We don't know what the function is because people don't have a choice.

My basic point is that (1) and (2) means that you probably should not make any predictions about what might happen in a hypothetical ideal free market for internet. One that we certainly don't have today.

Re:well (1)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 4 years ago | (#28933631)

For instance, you assume that the marginal cost of maintaining a neutral network is identical to a non-neutral one, which might not be true. If the non-neutral one has significantly lower upkeep, it might win out as an inferior but cheaper product. That is, even if consumers prefer neutral ISPs to non-neutral ones, that preference only goes so far towards convincing them to pay a higher rate.

Okay, well then at the very least a free market would result in us getting much better and much cheaper service than we currently are, since the cable companies are making money hand-over-fucking-fist right now and not investing it in improving service. I don't recall the exact number but last I checked TW was spending millions on upkeep on their network, and made billions in revenue off their cable internet service. Again no exact number (though it's public) but it was a profit margin of easily 1000%. No way does the difference between neutral or non- erase that margin.

So, worst case: Competition means that cable companies have to either drop prices or improve service, either way resulting in a profit margin that is somewhat sane, and a much better value/dollar for the users.

Re:well (1)

sys.stdout.write (1551563) | more than 4 years ago | (#28932985)

I think the real problem is the pseudo-monopolies on broadband services

Maybe - but we already have anti-trust laws on the books. Codifying net-neutrality is definitely a step in the right direction.

Re:well (3, Insightful)

TooMuchToDo (882796) | more than 4 years ago | (#28933195)

Ask your local government to provide municipal broadband. It's the same thing as taking back the last mile.

They tried that in the US (3, Informative)

P0ltergeist333 (1473899) | more than 4 years ago | (#28933381)

See the telecommunications act of 1996. This opened up the market for new companies to come in and provide data services over existing lines. Those new companies upgraded the hardware for data, then Greenspan ratcheted up interest rates over 2 points over two years. This helped to start the telco / dot com bubble burst. You then had companies with huge debt from upgrading equipment, a glut in capacity, and their stock prices falling along with the dot coms. One by one, they went out of business, and guess who bought up all the new equipment in their own closets for pennies on the dollar? The ILEC's.

Re:They tried that in the US (4, Informative)

R2.0 (532027) | more than 4 years ago | (#28933499)

You are forgetting a very crucial point - although the 1996 act "forced" ILECs to open their lines to 3rd party providers, the Ilecs - Verizon especially - fought it tooth and nail. From charging outrageous fees for access ("Your fees are too high". "Really? Compare my fees to the other providers in the area." "There are no other providers." "Exactly.") to "accidentally" disconnecting random 3rd party wires every time a union electrician entered a CO (Oh, no - something broke? Sounds like I'll need some OT to fix it), the ILEC's made sure that, though access was available, it would never really work.

Re:They tried that in the US (1)

FesterDaFelcher (651853) | more than 4 years ago | (#28933851)

disconnecting random 3rd party wires every time a union electrician entered a CO

Sounds good, but can you backup these claims?

Good news, bad news... (5, Insightful)

MaskedSlacker (911878) | more than 4 years ago | (#28932935)

If the summary is accurate (I must be new here) this is probably the best we can hope for from politicians in the US.

I'm not happy about allowing ANY packet inspection without a warrant, but I don't foresee winning that battle.

Re:Good news, bad news... (1)

Bacon Bits (926911) | more than 4 years ago | (#28933489)

Deep packet inspection is still circumvented by encryption. What it boils down to is that if you don't encrypt your data, someone will read it. This means unencrypted data on the Internet doesn't have a reasonable expectation of privacy. Basically, the Internet becomes subject to Open Fields.

Re:Good news, bad news... (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28934025)

What it boils down to is that if you don't encrypt your data, someone will read it. This means unencrypted data on the Internet doesn't have a reasonable expectation of privacy.

NO NO NO NO NO! A "reasonable expectation of privacy" has nothing to do with the feasibility of being spied upon. If it did, then these days telcos could just as easily do speech recognition on all your phone calls in order to help target advertising (like Google does with your gmail traffic).

The distinction is important because so far as US law is concerned, the consequences (and warrant requirements) of spying are determined based on whether you have "a reasonable expectation of privacy".

Since (again) that expectation has nothing to do with how technologically easy the spying is, you still deserve to have that expectation so long as you demand it.

I, for one, am not ready to give up a legal expectation for privacy online, as your wording seems to have done.

Now does that mean that bad guys (or ethically challenged companies) won't spy on unencrypted internet traffic, just because you reasonably expect it to be private? No, but it does mean the consequences to them if they get caught are will prohibit many corporations from doing flagrant sh*t without your consent.

Re:Good news, bad news... (1)

Mendoksou (1480261) | more than 4 years ago | (#28933781)

Especially not in the regulation from ISP side (there'd be a better chance if it just limited the ability of third parties to requisition or request such data). People still seem to think that internet traffic is public domain, which is like saying mail I send to my parents is privy to the USPS's inspection to make sure it isn't copyrighted material or child porn, imho. It's ridiculous, but people (especially those who still see the internet as "new" just don't understand it the way we do.

100 percent accuracy . (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28932997)

"A mythical deep packet inspection device that could block illegal P2P transfers with 100 percent accuracy would still be allowed." Sorry just had to snicker at that line, especially since nothing is 100% , hell some of us aren't even sure if we exist. We all could be a figment of the creator's imagination or some Matrix existence. One thing I am sure of is that I am babbling .... I think ... err ummm

Re:100 percent accuracy . (1)

RoFLKOPTr (1294290) | more than 4 years ago | (#28933251)

"A mythical deep packet inspection device that could block illegal P2P transfers with 100 percent accuracy would still be allowed." Sorry just had to snicker at that line, especially since nothing is 100%.

Exactly. That's why such a system will never be allowed.

Re:100 percent accuracy . (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28933321)

As long as it doesn't have any false positives, it WILL be allowed. Even if it only detects 1% of illegal transfers, as long as it doesn't falsely identify legal ones as illegal it looks like it would be kosher under this law.

Re:100 percent accuracy . (2, Insightful)

OeLeWaPpErKe (412765) | more than 4 years ago | (#28933401)

Actually you forget that people do have some tolerance for mistakes, and judges are people. Sure it's not allowed theoretically to have a p2p blocker screw up, but a judge will soon enough reduce the demand to something like "a good faith attempt to avoid and fix false positives" being good enough.

That's exactly why we have judges, of course.

Re:100 percent accuracy . (1)

Nethemas the Great (909900) | more than 4 years ago | (#28934073)

Exactly. That's why such a system will never be allowed.

I suspect that it will be far more likely that 100% will become a "fuzzy" value...

I really think that this whole debate should be rephrased as a 4th amendment issue. Just because we're speaking of a "virtual" domain does not mean we should permit an erosion to our reasonable expectation of privacy in the conduct of our affairs. What's to prevent every tel-co system between source and destination from sniffing our business for their commercial gain? I would assert that encryption isn't an available option for the vast majority of a typical person's internet usage. Even the safeguards of encryption will soon be evaporating as quantum computing comes online.

Re:100 percent accuracy . (2, Insightful)

Bakkster (1529253) | more than 4 years ago | (#28933283)

It doesn't need to block illegal P2P with 100% accuracy, it simply needs to allow 100% of legal P2P traffic. Most likely, this would result in a diminishing returns wild-goose-chase, but as long as it doesn't return false-positives, they're free to try.

Re:100 percent accuracy . (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 4 years ago | (#28933563)

"A mythical deep packet inspection device that could block illegal P2P transfers with 100 percent accuracy would still be allowed." Sorry just had to snicker at that line, especially since nothing is 100%

I'd say that depends on who is doing the verification.

"We find that our own deep packet inspection method blocks only illegal P2P transfers 100% of the time we tested it (1 out of 1). Our techs put a Brittney Spears MP3 on a file sharing service, running the inspector from that very computer instantly verified that the filesharing was illegal, was shut down, and the computer was automatically set on fire, killing the techs running the test. We deeply regret their loss but their sacrifices were not in vain in the war on file stealing."

i may agree, but ... (2, Interesting)

neonprimetime (528653) | more than 4 years ago | (#28933045)

"This bill will ensure that the non-discriminatory framework that allows the Internet to thrive and competition on the Web to flourish is preserved at a time when our economy needs it the most."...
President Obama has repeatedly called for Net Neutrality...
If enacted, the bill would allow any US Internet user to file a neutrality complaint with the FCC and receive a ruling within 90 days.


... how much more is this gonna cost me? i don't think i even want to imagine how many tax dollars would need to be spent to actually have enough staff and resources to rule on every compliant within 90 days.

Re:i may agree, but ... (4, Insightful)

Skye16 (685048) | more than 4 years ago | (#28933155)

Good question, make the fines steep enough that every time your cable company gets found out, their fine pays for the FCC workers who go through every complaint.

Re:i may agree, but ... (4, Insightful)

Alzheimers (467217) | more than 4 years ago | (#28933165)

You try living without the internet for 90 days. Then we'll talk about how much it's worth to you.

Re:i may agree, but ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28933209)

I don't think I'll ever me addicted enough to the internet that I want 30,40,50% etc of my wages taken from me by uncle sam to ensure the internet stays up and running. I think I can find other things to do with my time ... I've seen the outdoors, and they can be very enjoyable! we need to be concious of the government programs we're creating, and if we're going to create more crap for the government to control, it damn well better be a profitable endeavor ... I'd rather not go further into debt.

Re:i may agree, but ... (1)

Mad Merlin (837387) | more than 4 years ago | (#28933549)

I've seen the outdoors, and they can be very enjoyable!

That's a filthy lie and you know it.

Re:i may agree, but ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28933317)

It really isn't too hard to write a script to say, "Thank you for your concern, we have looked into the problem and found the ISP to be within their rights." That will be able to slog through a nation's worth of complaints in 90 days.

"reasonable network management" LOL (5, Insightful)

megamerican (1073936) | more than 4 years ago | (#28933101)

That's all you need to read and it should be obvious that this bill is not net neutraility. That means that any ISP that has good connections inside the government will be exempt from any rules.

which would also be given the unenviable job of hashing out what constitutes 'reasonable network management' â" something explicitly allowed by the bill.

The word reasonable doesn't show up in the Constitution yet the Supreme Court always rules the government can reasonably restrict your right to bear arms. The 2nd amendment is something which is a very touchy subject to a large portion of Americans and they still are able to trample all over it.

What do you think will happen with net neutraility, a topic which the vast majority of Americans simply don't know they should care about?

This is simply going to codify the large corporations ability to shape traffic, block p2p, etc... The only thing Congress could do to ensure a neutral net is to get out of it completely and break up any monopolies these companies now enjoy and let the people to directly dictate what they want from their ISPs.

Re:"reasonable network management" LOL (4, Informative)

Trepidity (597) | more than 4 years ago | (#28933219)

That does seem like a truck-sized loophole. I think some variety of loophole will end up in any bill that gets passed, though, because at this point the idea of at least some traffic shaping is accepted pretty widely. It is still possible to concede that while insisting on neutrality with respect to sites--- say that, sure, they can prioritize email over bittorrent, but they can't prioritize foo.com traffic over bar.com because bar.com failed to pay for the high-tier service. I see that sort of source/destination discrimination as more insidious than per-protocol discrimination.

Re:"reasonable network management" LOL (1)

Locklin (1074657) | more than 4 years ago | (#28933325)

Except that cable companies can provide their IPTV or VOIP on their own proprietary protocol (unshaped), and shape the competition's protocols -especially those non-commercial or low-budget ones that use p2p.

Re:"reasonable network management" LOL (1)

Trepidity (597) | more than 4 years ago | (#28933807)

That's true, but the regulators don't have to be blind. There are plenty of existing industries in which bad-faith attempts like that to circumvent restrictions are regulated.

Re:"reasonable network management" LOL (1)

The Moof (859402) | more than 4 years ago | (#28933435)

I think some variety of loophole will end up in any bill

Well, yea! It's not polite to put in stuff explicitly saying "except for my campaign donors and lobbyists" these days.

Re:"reasonable network management" LOL (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28933349)

I wouldn't have a problem with "reasonable" exceptions...if everyone else's definition of "reasonable" was the same as mine.

Reasonable always sounds so nice. How can you argue against the inclusion of something reasonable? We all know that extremism is a bit dangerous, after all, so having a little bit of elbo room to keep things reasonable sounds like a good idea.

But the person saying the word "reasonable" and the person hearing it can (and often will) have vastly different ideas of what that means. It sounds good to both of them precisely because they disagree on what it means.

And the meaning is changed again by those who interpret the law generations later.

I don't think this problem has a solution, either.

Re:"reasonable network management" LOL (4, Insightful)

raddan (519638) | more than 4 years ago | (#28933357)

Network management is a fact of life. Many automatic mechanisms (e.g., load-balancing of circuits) need to know the state (e.g., load) of a particular circuit in order to balance traffic across another one. This is 'reasonable'. Other measures are 'reasonable' too.

People may disagree with me, but I also think that it is reasonable to make sure that jitter-sensitive data (like VoIP) is treated differently than Bittorrent traffic, which is not at all sensitive to jitter. The IP suite of protocols are extremely limited when it comes to flow control-- they can only do congestion prevention or egress rate limiting. If you're at the point where congestion is a problem, everyone is going to suffer. If that means that someone's Bittorrent traffic needs to be capped, I'm OK with that.

So the only other solution to 'reasonable' traffic management is overprovisioning. I know that your average Slashdotter thinks that ISPs should not 'oversubscribe' their lines, but saying this reveals a fundamental misunderstanding of the way packet switched networks work. I run networks. They're always oversubscribed. That's what makes them better than the POTS network-- the realization that most of the time, you don't need all that bandwidth for everybody. This is why packet-switched networks are cheaper, and counter-intuitively, more reliable (there was a paper in the '70's that showed that pooling memory resources vs statically allocating resources made out-of-memory errors orders of magnitude less likely; sorry don't remember the cite of the top of my head, but, same idea). Overprovisioning to the fantasy-level of a Slashdotter is very expensive because you're not just talking about extra bandwidth in the endpoints-- you're talking about bandwidth at the core.

The Internet always has had, and probably always will have growing pains. Right now VoIP, video-on-demand, and Bittorrent are competing for scarce resources. Until then, operators need to manage traffic. I will leave how as a discussion point for every else.

Re:"reasonable network management" LOL (2, Insightful)

maxume (22995) | more than 4 years ago | (#28933577)

It's bizarre that you are using euphemisms like overprovisioning and oversubscribing, all the damn companies need to do to avoid that whole game is to advertise what they are actually willing and able to sell for $25 a month.

If it isn't unlimited transfer over a guaranteed 2 Mbps pipe, stop trying to convince me that it is in your advertising.

Re:"reasonable network management" LOL (2, Informative)

AK Marc (707885) | more than 4 years ago | (#28934121)

If it isn't unlimited transfer over a guaranteed 2 Mbps pipe, stop trying to convince me that it is in your advertising.

What advertisements are you looking at with "guarantees" to Internet sites at line speed? Or is it a case where you don't understand what "best effort" Internet access is?

Re:"reasonable network management" LOL (1)

OeLeWaPpErKe (412765) | more than 4 years ago | (#28933723)

Sadly I think this bill basically outlaws quality voip service, unless that's the only type of traffic going over the link.

And it does not outlaw the preferential treatment of specific sites by limiting peering connections "as long as no discrimination is done on the core network". Letting specific peering connections at the edge of the network fill up and even congest (or even specifically directing certain sites through congested links) does not at all seem to be covered.

Obviously in practice this congestion is what carriers use to give preferential treatment to specific sites.

Re:"reasonable network management" LOL (3, Insightful)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 4 years ago | (#28933823)

People may disagree with me, but I also think that it is reasonable to make sure that jitter-sensitive data (like VoIP) is treated differently than Bittorrent traffic, which is not at all sensitive to jitter. The IP suite of protocols are extremely limited when it comes to flow control-- they can only do congestion prevention or egress rate limiting. If you're at the point where congestion is a problem, everyone is going to suffer. If that means that someone's Bittorrent traffic needs to be capped, I'm OK with that.

To some extent, that's fine. Different uses need different quality of service -- VoIP is low bandwidth but latency sensitive, while Bittorrent is bandwidth intensive and latency insensitive. There's no reason to cap bandwidth, just use a different router scheduling policy for the two different packets. VoIP gets priority but by its very nature this shouldn't hold up the Bittorent for long. If it does and the "VoIP" app starts eating bandwidth like it's a file transfer, then de-prioritize it.

Honestly, just implementing a multi-level feedback queue like they've had in OS schedulers for decades (though admittedly it's easier to implement wrt processes vs connections) would do what you're asking for, and fairly so without having to "cap" or otherwise actually degrade Bittorrent or any other specific app. As congestion increases, everyone's bandwidth-intensive applications would degrade proportionately as expected during prime-time hours, while the latency-sensitive applications would still be serviced reasonably well.

The most important part of net neutrality is not about preventing any kind of QoS based on packet type. It's about discriminating based on source. It's about degrading a movie file that came from Hulu vs some site Time Warner approves of.

Net neutrality doesn't prevent them from doing what you're asking. It just means they can't do it in a discriminatory way that is ultimately designed not to make life on the network better, but to protect their other businesses.

The Internet always has had, and probably always will have growing pains. Right now VoIP, video-on-demand, and Bittorrent are competing for scarce resources. Until then, operators need to manage traffic. I will leave how as a discussion point for every else.

Easy. It's a two step process:
1) Implement source- and type-neutral management policies that are based on actual usage, not assumptions that certain kinds of traffic, or certain sources of traffic -- who coincidentally are always competitors of the ISPs' media business -- are "evil" and must be slowed down or blocked.
2) Invest the ludicrous profits these fuckers are making into increasing capacity, so prime-time degradation isn't a very big deal.

Net neutrality doesn't prevent this. In fact it probably makes it more likely.

Re:"reasonable network management" LOL (1)

bionicpill (970942) | more than 4 years ago | (#28933959)

The problem with this is you're discriminating against the type of traffic and saying some is more legitimate than others. Why is someone's http traffic more important than my bittorrent traffic, or more important than someone else's ftp traffic. We are all paying for the use of the network, so you need to let people use it however they like. If some user is being abusive of the network, that's a different discussion all together.

Re:"reasonable network management" LOL (2, Insightful)

Sandbags (964742) | more than 4 years ago | (#28933389)

1) they left the definition of reasonable to the FCC, for which standards already exist thanks to the case against Comcast, and which those requirements can be further refined.

2) Apparently you;re unfamiliar with the original drafts of the constitution, often used by the supreme court and others to determine the mindset of those who wrote it. You see, the constitution was revised multiple times, much of it in order to make it fit to a small number of pages for simplicity of replication and distribution to the million plus people who needed to see a copy after it was ratified (a massive expense in 1776). In those drafts, Jefferson had penned "The right of the free man to bear arms on his own lands, being necessary..." The forefathers felt this was redundant, as that was the existing law, a FREE, LAND OWNING man was allowed to have weapons within the bounds of his own lands.

You also need to considder that A) we had no organized police force, only magistrites and jailers and B) in the fronteir, the only defense on your own land, which could be tens of thousands of acres, against invaders, the Spanish, indians, and more, was for people to arm themselves, as we also not only did not have a military, but most of our borders were wholy undefended.

Jefferson and the rest of our forfathers had NO INTENTION of letting just anyone run around town with guns. let alone had they imagined "portable" machine guns or weapons easily concealable capable of inflicting mass casualties. It was for the protection of one's own lands in the fronteir, for the ability to hunt on one's own lands, and for if and when the local government or state called you to arms in defense of self, town, god, and country. If you would actually read some real history, including one of the 6,000+ letters Lincoln alone wrote about stuff like this, or visit some of our colonial towns and dive into the history, get an understanding for what life was like in the late 18th century, you might have a greater appreciation for what we have today.

Re:"reasonable network management" LOL (2, Insightful)

R2.0 (532027) | more than 4 years ago | (#28933613)

"and for if and when the local government or state called you to arms in defense of self, town, god, and country"

Given that the founding fathers had recently fought a war where they were defending themselves FROM their own government, I think they may have had a broader view than you attribute to them. Maybe Jefferson's wording was ditched, not to save space, but ebcause a majority of the other founders didn't like it?

Re:"reasonable network management" LOL (4, Informative)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 4 years ago | (#28933873)

Given that the founding fathers had recently fought a war where they were defending themselves FROM their own government, I think they may have had a broader view than you attribute to them. Maybe Jefferson's wording was ditched, not to save space, but ebcause a majority of the other founders didn't like it?

Maybe. But more likely given all of Jefferson's writings on the subject, is that the GP's reading of the 2nd Amendment as not supporting the idea of armed rebellion is simply wrong. Egregiously so, considering his admonition to read the Founder's writings. Hello? Jefferson was constantly on about the need for the people to remove governments that don't represent them, and do so through organized rebellion. And that explicitly included the government he helped create, should it become necessary.

Re:"reasonable network management" LOL (1)

CodeBuster (516420) | more than 4 years ago | (#28934149)

for if and when the local government or state called you to arms in defense of self, town, god, and country

Which is becoming an increasing problem these days for military recruitment, especially with urban west coast recruits from states like California. If a recruit has never held or fired a weapon in his or her entire life then it requires substantially more training in order to bring that recruit up to a minimal level of competence with rifles, machine guns, and other modern projectile weapons than someone who grew up around guns and using them for hunting and target shooting. In fact, there is even evidence to suggest that other countries, Japan in WWII for example, were substantially deterred from invading by the large civilian population of gun owners who were at least competent in the use of their weapons.

Re:"reasonable network management" LOL (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28934219)

Not only that--he was allowed to have arms on public lands, and pretty much anywhere but inside a church in most states (and nations)--more or less anywhere but ...places it would be deemed poaching. But that's okay, feel to add extraneous details to artificially limit the scope according to your pre-existing beliefs and conclusions

Would same rules apply to cellular companies? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28933183)

So if I get internet on my cellphone, does this make my cellular provider an ISP, if so would they legally have to allow tethering?

Re:Would same rules apply to cellular companies? (1)

Chyeld (713439) | more than 4 years ago | (#28933267)

Depends on the nebulous definition of 'network management' I would imagine. If it means your carrier can go "Oh noes! Tethering = unstable network" then no.

Re:Would same rules apply to cellular companies? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28933827)

Ideally we decouple phones from services from bandwidth...

Buy X phone, subscribe to Y service(s) and buy your bandwidth from Z for maximum mobility.

i.e. I buy my nifty iPhone, subscribe to Google Voice for my voicemail and phone # tied to that phone because I like them and I buy my bandwidth from Sprint because they've got the best signal in my area

More competition for hardware, service and bandwidth providers can't be a bad thing for consumers.

Re:Would same rules apply to cellular companies? (1)

angelbunny (1501333) | more than 4 years ago | (#28934199)

Yes and no.
Yes your cellular provider is an ISP. Yes the ISP has to allow tethering BUT
No the phones do not have to allow tethering.

If you get a phone that supports tethering like through an app on windows mobile your cellular ISP has to accept it. However, if you get a phone that could have tethering support but doesn't then you can't get tethering.

In other words, the cell companies can legally make it a pain in the ass to get tethering but they can legally not stop you once you've obtained it, but the cell phone maker could potentially try to stop you.

GNU-THINK (3, Insightful)

jameskojiro (705701) | more than 4 years ago | (#28933253)

Kinda like new-think instead it is GNU-Think. Call a Bill "Net Neutrality" and people will sign it even if it does the opposite.

three quarks for muster markey! (0, Offtopic)

JackSpratts (660957) | more than 4 years ago | (#28933269)

atta boy ed. and hey while you're at it dump that pesky dmca. hide it in some other amendment to 1934 nobody'll read either...until it's too late. muahaha!

- js.

Would this apply to the app store? (1)

HappyDrgn (142428) | more than 4 years ago | (#28933301)

Would this apply to the app store? Apple has been actively blocking certain applications from the market for some time now, just wondering how this applies to that market.

Additionally, there was a long time where I could not access AIM services through my Verizon blackberry, it was blocked by Verizon, but has since been lifted and I'm able to use the service fine. I'm curious how this will play out with cell companies and their practices of blocking applications and protocols that compete, or make it easier for consumers to work around expensive competing telco offerings. It's certainly not something specific to Apple, or even something new to telcos in general.

Re:Would this apply to the app store? (1)

angelbunny (1501333) | more than 4 years ago | (#28934227)

Unfortunately no. Apple is not an ISP.

Any company that sells hardware can today legally restrict what you run on their hardware. It is a messy subject because if the law changed other companies could legally sell their games to console hardware and you would have the atari issue all over again. If anything Nintendo was the one who started the whole licensing developers thing.

Spammer's delight? (1)

LoadWB (592248) | more than 4 years ago | (#28933347)

Seems like this would also cover the oubound SMTP port 25 blocks that ISPs use to prevent direct-to-MX spam. It is an illegal activity, but SMTP is a legitimate protocol. Thoughts?

Re:Spammer's delight? (2, Interesting)

Atti K. (1169503) | more than 4 years ago | (#28933787)

My ISP does it like this: outbound port 25 is blocked (probably inbound too, never tried) by default, you can use only their SMTP server. But if you need it, you can ask them to open it up for you, explaining shortly why you need it. The whole thing is done online, within their website. They specifically state there that if you're sending spam, they will block it again. Disclaimer: I'm in Europe, but I think such a solution would be legal even under the net neutrality act, and still prevent large amounts of spam from infected PCs. The approach seems right: if a user doesn't know what port 25 is, they probably don't need it. :)

"CAN-SPAM" (3, Insightful)

oneiros27 (46144) | more than 4 years ago | (#28933375)

Internet service providers will not be able to 'block, interfere with, discriminate against, impair, or degrade' access to any lawful content from any lawful application or device

I'll have to read the bill, but if this is like the last ones, I have my same complaints -- spam is legal under CAN-SPAM (so long as it meets certain requirements), and this will make it illegal for ISPs to block it unless it's 'illegal'.

Does this mean the iPhone... (1)

bhagwad (1426855) | more than 4 years ago | (#28933427)

Does this mean that Apple can't discriminate between wifi and regular internet connection? Can they be taken to court for not allowing Skype to use regular Internet Server over EDGE? What about Google Voice? Does this sort of legislation ensure that carriers can be treated as "dumb pipes"?

Hoping against hope here...

Re:Does this mean the iPhone... (1)

Ziwcam (766621) | more than 4 years ago | (#28934239)

Apple is not a carrier. They make the phone. They run the App store.

Skype is not a carrier. They make the application.

AT&T *IS* a carrier. But, obstinately, they have no control over Skype or Apple. Apple could still say "Nah, we still want Apps over 10MB to be downloaded over WiFi, for the sake of our customers experience".

Too much regulation as it is. (3, Interesting)

MaWeiTao (908546) | more than 4 years ago | (#28933451)

The most effective way to address this problem and foster competition is to break up the existing structure and excessive regulation that makes it next to impossible for new competitors to enter the market. If this means wresting control of the last mile from providers, so be it.

This wont necessarily guarantee quality, but at least it should ensure that you have a number of competitors to choose from when you want to switch. When I was overseas the quality of the cable service I originally had was utter crap, barely better than dialup. I then switched to DSL, which was a good deal better, but still not as good as I have now. But at least, I had options which forced these companies to lower prices or improve service. I don't remember what I was paying now, but I think it was in the range of $15 a month or so, which is a far cry from the $50 I pay now.

What always happens with these damn regulations? The government steps in to regulate something obvious to appease the masses and then turn around and make concessions to companies in some other way which ends up screwing people up in the long run. And the irony here is that a lot of this is done for the sake of the "small guy" but the end result is that it really ensures that those already established have the resources to survive and thrive. It pretty much helps guarantee monopolistic control for some companies.

At least I happen to be living in an area where there is some level of competition, which basically means one provider for cable and one provider for DSL. So like most other service providers it's like they compete in a vacuum and basically only acknowledge each other by ensuring their prices match. Which reminds me, one thing I'd like to see abolished is this bullshit with contracts.

Re:Too much regulation as it is. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28933689)

It's hard for new companies to emerge because of the huge infrastructure investments it takes to start an ISP. As it is right now, there is at least some regulation for these natural monopolies. You would have them removed?

Network Neutrality? (-1, Offtopic)

pyrothebouncer (1595641) | more than 4 years ago | (#28933541)

What a crock! Its only neutral on the part of big business and the idiotic, morally oppressive, creationist (/ "Intelligent Design") "christians" who want to push their morals and ideas of morality onto the internet. The internet should be a free bird, not a bird in a selective cage. Who made them kings to decide what is and is not good for us the citizens? Can someone invent a packet bomb, that destroys deep packet inspectors?

'Up To' (2, Insightful)

Odin_Tiger (585113) | more than 4 years ago | (#28933637)

Net Neutrality is important and I hope it succeeds, but I what I would really like to see - that is, what would have the greatest impact on me personally - is requirements for reasonable QoS and limits on the 'up to X speed' marketing. That would be in keeping with the 'upgrade your hardware' statement. I'm tired of paying for a certain level of service, only to discover that between 3:30pm and midnight or so, my bandwidth / latency are utter shit because the ISP has more customers than it's hardware can handle during prime use times, but they get away with it because, on average (figuring in non-prime time hours), their service looks pretty good.

What about content providers? (3, Informative)

ArhcAngel (247594) | more than 4 years ago | (#28933693)

ESPN 360 [dslreports.com] blocks access to anyone visiting it's site from any ISP that didn't pay ESPN a subscription fee. I don't mind ESPN charging me for access to their content in fact I expect to pay for quality content but throwing up a page saying something to the effect of oops! looks like your current internet provider isn't one of our subscribers. You should switch to one of our "partners" below. isn't what I would call neutral. IMHO it's a direct attempt to turn the internet into just another cable provider. What do you think your internet connection will cost as more & more sites start charging the ISP a subscription fee?

Re:What about content providers? (1)

billcopc (196330) | more than 4 years ago | (#28933939)

No, eventually you will migrate to a cheaper ISP that's not being blackmailed by all these content providers. Switching ISPs, for most residential users, is extremely easy. You call up the new guy, give him your credit info, then call the old one and cancel your service. There is no loyalty in the ISP business, people jump ship all the time to score a better deal or faster service.

scary sounding (4, Insightful)

Gogo0 (877020) | more than 4 years ago | (#28933745)

'Internet Freedom Preservation Act of 2009'

sounds great! who would vote against a bill that preserves freedom?!

so... what did they hide in it?

Another underhanded bill (4, Insightful)

billcopc (196330) | more than 4 years ago | (#28933775)

Internet service providers will not be able to 'block, interfere with, discriminate against, impair, or degrade' access to any lawful content from any lawful application or device

No, Mr Markey, you don't fucking get it. Back to the drawing board, please!

IANAL, but I am wise enough to know that the bolded words are a LOOPHOLE. Every single bit of data should be transmitted without obstruction by the ISP. If they can't be trusted as judge, they certainly can't be trusted as executioner either. Let law enforcement do what law enforcement does, and keep the ISP out of it. The only thing this bill will cause, if succesfully passed into law, will be to spur the introduction of many more bills to codify a slew of "unlawful" things the telcos want to police. It's not like they have any shortage of lobbyists and contribution money. Take the whole thing out of their grasp.

If a highway construction guy barricaded a highway, by his own whim, because he suspects "his" highway might be used by drug traffickers, is he legally permitted to do so ? Or is that considered vigilante behaviour ? Then why should we allow ISPs to be vigilante internet cops ?

DPI automatically degrades lawful traffic (1)

riceboy50 (631755) | more than 4 years ago | (#28933885)

Wouldn't the mythical deep packet inspection mentioned by the summary interfere with and degrade lawful traffic? It seems like only tactics which do not degrade legitimate traffic would be admissible from my uninformed understanding of this legislation.

Needs work (1)

crusisredux (1527929) | more than 4 years ago | (#28933919)

This act doesn't account for any legitimate use of differentiated services. As an ISP that also offers VoIP, by classifying voice traffic over data traffic on our local network, even to the degree that it has a negligible impact on data traffic, would be in violation of this act. I think it needs to be amended to take into consideration legit uses of differentiated services, and not just as an evil that big telco and cable companies can use to prevent or limit access to content of their choosing. In spirit i would support this act, but it going to take some modification to insure it doesn't create the anti-competitive environment it's intended to prevent.

Bill's Title = True Intent of Bill??? (2, Insightful)

whoisjoe (465549) | more than 4 years ago | (#28934215)

I'm confused. The bill is called Internet Freedom Preservation Act of 2009, but having read the bill, it looks like it would actually do the OP says it will. I was beginning to think that there was a rule that a bill's title has to be antithetical to its true intent (e.g., the PATRIOT Act and Internet Freedom and Broadband Deployment Act)

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