Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Net Neutrality Seen Through the Telegraph

samzenpus posted more than 4 years ago | from the doomed-to-repeat-it dept.

The Internet 249

James McP writes "Ars Technica has a write-up on the unregulated telegraph of the 19th century, which gives a view into what could happen to an internet lacking any regulation mandating neutrality. The owners of the 'Victorian internet' used their control of the telegraph to prop up monopolies, manipulate elections, facilitate insider trading, and censor criticism."

cancel ×

249 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

foisties! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30308280)

Yayayayayayayayayyaya, foisties poisties!

Duh (5, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 4 years ago | (#30308282)

Why do you think certain groups are so pushing against it? Telcos, news networks... It's no coincidence that the ones pushing to abandon NN are also the ones dealing in information.

Re:Duh (2, Interesting)

hitmark (640295) | more than 4 years ago | (#30308326)

also, cable tv wants to use internet as a value additive, while not cutting into their existing services.

telcos wants to become cable tv, via that other cable...

in either case, sites like youtube provides for free, what the wants to be payed by view...

Re:Duh (5, Insightful)

GrpA (691294) | more than 4 years ago | (#30308394)

Actually, I think it's just because they see it as another revenue stream ( ie, Why should google make all that money from using our services, without paying us for the privilege. How can we charge them?)

I don't think the average telco exec is bright enough to see the myriad of ways that they can abuse the situation until they actually manifest. After all, being truly machiavellian is an art rarely practiced outside of government.

GrpA

Re:Duh (2, Insightful)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 4 years ago | (#30308832)

oh those guys aren't stupid. they rely on buffoons like you to think they are...

Re:Duh (5, Insightful)

wall0159 (881759) | more than 4 years ago | (#30309376)

"being truly machiavellian is an art rarely practiced outside of government." ...and a million executives howled with laughter, patted each other on the back, and spoke their congratulations about the latest advertising campaign...

Re:Duh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30308692)

I bet the one talking about the evils of the telegraph is named Danglars.

Damn you Edmond Dante! You won't use the internet to trick me into losing my entire fortune THIS time!

But... (2, Funny)

conureman (748753) | more than 4 years ago | (#30309090)

we've learned so much in the last hundred years. We won't let them do that again. Right?

As Humphrey Appleby said... (2, Funny)

iamvego (785090) | more than 4 years ago | (#30308292)

... it's the thin end of the wedge.

So many differences, it doesn't make sense (3, Funny)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 4 years ago | (#30308296)

Comparing the Internet to the Telegraph?

I would have chosen a more appropriate comparison like the regrowth of injured legs on starfish, but maybe that's just me.

Re:So many differences, it doesn't make sense (4, Funny)

shawnap (959909) | more than 4 years ago | (#30308338)

If anyone is qualified to make the call...

If you ever thought about learning Morse (4, Informative)

caluml (551744) | more than 4 years ago | (#30308318)

If you ever thought about learning Morse, you can do it at this very good site: http://www.lcwo.net/ [lcwo.net] . .-.

Re:If you ever thought about learning Morse (1)

caluml (551744) | more than 4 years ago | (#30308328)

That should have been a K on the end, rather than an R!
-.-
It's awkward typing Morse.

Re:If you ever thought about learning Morse (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#30308372)

Not CT?

Re:If you ever thought about learning Morse (2, Funny)

jaggeh (1485669) | more than 4 years ago | (#30308750)

i wanted to write to you all in glorious morse code but slashdot doesnt like it
Filter error: Please use fewer 'junk' characters.

Re:If you ever thought about learning Morse (2, Insightful)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#30308788)

Its not really a written language anyway. It works with sound and pulses of light. I am glad I learned CW even though I never got my radio license. Who knows? One day I might be trapped in a sunken Russian submarine.

Re:If you ever thought about learning Morse (1)

mcvos (645701) | more than 4 years ago | (#30308482)

If you ever thought about learning Morse,

Why would you do that? The Droid/Milestone has an app for that.

Re:If you ever thought about learning Morse (1)

tagno25 (1518033) | more than 4 years ago | (#30308484)

If you ever thought about learning Morse, you can do it at this very good site: http://www.lcwo.net/ [lcwo.net] . .-.

--- pause .-. stop
-... pause ..- pause -.-- stop
.- stop
-.. pause . pause -.-. pause --- pause -.. pause . pause .-. stop
-.-. pause --- pause .. pause -. stop

Pause and stop because of "Please use fewer 'junk' characters."

Re:If you ever thought about learning Morse (1)

Idiomatick (976696) | more than 4 years ago | (#30309192)

You could always encode it in binary and type it out in ascii... I just wasted like a full minute deciding how I would do that. Morse code can be written as base 3 then converted (since length has meaning) which takes a full byte per character... Or you could use a bitflag to denote the length for the 1st 4 bits and the have the -,. in binary for the last 4 bits. Which still takes a full byte but conveys more readable information.

It doesn't matter who is violating your rights (5, Insightful)

iamacat (583406) | more than 4 years ago | (#30308350)

The bottom line is that you are being screwed. It's a mistake to interpret constitution as only giving us protection against federal government. Any entity with significant power over individuals must be prevented from restricting freedom of speech or any other basic rights that we consider important. ISPs must not be allowed to discriminate against any legal but unpopular content, or against use of particular protocols like BitTorrent. Companies must not be allowed to fire people based on private Facebook posts.

Re:It doesn't matter who is violating your rights (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30308360)

If companies can read their employee's Facebook posts, they're hardly private ... besides, if someone is stupid enough to post something on Facebook that would get them fired if their employer saw it, they probably deserve to get fired!

Re:It doesn't matter who is violating your rights (5, Insightful)

iamacat (583406) | more than 4 years ago | (#30308612)

Anything that I do during my personal, unpaid time and without claiming to represent the company is private as far as my employer is concerned. If I am software engineer, it should be as illegal for my boss to fire me based on a sex video s/he found on Internet as it would be to make me have sex with him/her as a condition of my employment.

Besides, where is the guarantee of authenticity? My friends could post any crap they want about me without my knowledge or permission, or someone may just happen to have the same name or similar appearance. Add the widespread use of Photoshop and we have an environment where anyone's job is in jeopardy just because any other random person happens not to like them, lacks discretion or feels like pulling a practical joke. Are you saying not regulating this at all is the best solution for public interest?

Re:It doesn't matter who is violating your rights (2, Interesting)

Psaakyrn (838406) | more than 4 years ago | (#30308686)

If then, the issue is not about privacy, but biasedness. It's the same issue of how past "accused" tends to be discriminated without good reason. (Especially when one has been proven innocent, but the mark is already left)

You have NO IDEA about job rights (1)

FranTaylor (164577) | more than 4 years ago | (#30308730)

Get a clue:

Your employer can fire you for NO REASON. Conversely, you can quit your job for NO REASON.

They call it "employment at will", it is by mutual consent, and either party can back out for any reason that does not violate the law.

Your analogy FAILS because "to make me have sex with him/her as a condition of my employment." is illegal, and "to fire me based on a sex video s/he found on Internet" is NOT illegal.

Re:You have NO IDEA about job rights (1)

Fjodor42 (181415) | more than 4 years ago | (#30308748)

Fortunately, there *are* countries where an employer doesn't have such power :-)

stolen signature (0, Offtopic)

FranTaylor (164577) | more than 4 years ago | (#30308804)

Give me a break. You stole your signature from the MIT Dormline telephone system. I've gotten that message myself.

Really you should attribute your sources. You are not half as clever as you are pretending to be.

Re:stolen signature (1)

Fjodor42 (181415) | more than 4 years ago | (#30308846)

Actually, I stole it from a (non-attributed) signature here on /. but I'm glad to hear where it is from. How do you suggest I attribute it? Just a "- MIT Dormline telephone system" below it?

Re:stolen signature (1)

paiute (550198) | more than 4 years ago | (#30309128)

Give me a break. You stole your signature from the MIT Dormline telephone system. I've gotten that message myself.

Really you should attribute your sources. You are not half as clever as you are pretending to be.

My frat (early 70s) had a telephone system they called "Little Mother". It had been built from scavanged parts to replace a traditional intercom system they had called "Big Brother". Apparently unlucky brothers used to gather around the main console in the common area to listen in on the rooms where other brothers were getting lucky.

Re:stolen signature (1)

conureman (748753) | more than 4 years ago | (#30309132)

I gave up attributing sources. It messes with the character limit and anyone who cares can google it. I'm not very clever but it amuses me to juxtapose an obtuse link to one of the recent topics.
"Who is NEZ?"

Re:You have NO IDEA about job rights (1)

selven (1556643) | more than 4 years ago | (#30308930)

Well, the way I see it is "there are countries where an employee doesn't have a right to subject himself to that power even if he wants to".

Re:You have NO IDEA about job rights (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30308918)

Too bad we don't have any good countries where you have both the right to be a prostitute and the right to work at a place which offers no vacation time and no job security.

Re:You have NO IDEA about job rights (3, Informative)

Jesus_666 (702802) | more than 4 years ago | (#30309012)

Actually, not only does that not apply to all countries but AFAIK not even all US states have at-will employment. Depending on where you are, getting fired over a sex video on the internet is a great reason to sue. (However, most bosses are smart enough to find some very minor infraction, blow it out of proportion, have you complain about it and then fire you for being disruptive and creating a hostile work environment. Or some such.)

Re:You have NO IDEA about job rights (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30309016)

> Your analogy FAILS because "to make me have sex with him/her as a condition of my employment." is illegal

Tell that to porn stars...

Re:You have NO IDEA about job rights (1)

pHus10n (1443071) | more than 4 years ago | (#30309110)

You're accurate, if abrasive about it. Why so angry?

Re:You have NO IDEA about job rights (1)

CaptainNerdCave (982411) | more than 4 years ago | (#30309160)

ianal: an employer can fire you for "no reason", but if it can be proven that they fired you for an illegal reason... such as something you did on your own time... there's a problem

Re:It doesn't matter who is violating your rights (1, Interesting)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 4 years ago | (#30308386)

The highways of our great country are paid for communally. We all pay a little in taxes and we all get the right to drive on them.

But some vehicles must pay extra. There are weigh stations on our highways to make sure that those drivers who cause extra damage to the roads pay their fair share to help keep the roads in pristine condition. Since they weigh more, they must pay extra fees.

A user who is constantly maxing his connection is doing much the same thing. There is only finite bandwidth available to everyone and one guy in his parents' basement can slow traffic for everyone else. This forces the ISPs to need to replace their cables more often due to the increase in average use. Shouldn't these users be forced to pay more for their extra usage or at least be throttled to the point they aren't causing physical damage to the entire system?

Cry about "unlimited bandwidth plans" and the like all you want. It's completely irrelevant to the topic at hand. The issue is whether people whose usage habits affect others should have their activities curtailed to create a more balanced environment for everyone.

Net neutrality is a clever way of rephrasing "bandwidth abuse".

Re:It doesn't matter who is violating your rights (5, Insightful)

Fjodor42 (181415) | more than 4 years ago | (#30308420)

Isn't that extra payment what is done through paying extra for faster connections? If I pay, as I do, for a 20/2 connection, shouldn't I be able to get exactly 20/2 traffic, provided that the other end is up to the task?

Re:It doesn't matter who is violating your rights (1)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 4 years ago | (#30308476)

All I can say is that you need to read your contract.

20/2 is the maximum speed in optimal conditions. You'll find that not only is this not a guaranteed speed, it isn't even a likely speed for all intents and purposes.

Have you ever driven on the DC Beltway at rush hour?

more bad analogies (3, Insightful)

FranTaylor (164577) | more than 4 years ago | (#30308500)

Two fiber optic cables carry twice the traffic of one while consuming virtually no more resources, and they can be upgraded without disrupting existing infrastructure.

Go ahead and try to double the capacity of a highway without consuming more right-of-way or disrupting existing infrastructure.

My ISP (Comcast) consistently delivers bandwidth far in excess of what they advertise.

Your car analogy is really falling apart because the Internet is FAR less congested than our roadways.

Re:more bad analogies (1)

RoFLKOPTr (1294290) | more than 4 years ago | (#30308616)

My ISP (Comcast) consistently delivers bandwidth far in excess of what they advertise.

I can attest to this. I don't get bandwidth far in excess of the advertised speed, but I'm paying for their 16/2.5 service, and what is the speed I get when downloading games on Steam? About 1.9-2.1 MB/s. It sometimes bursts even higher than that. Unfortunately, due to the way cable communications work (being on a shared line all the way to the box on the side of your house), it's not very feasible to guarantee a speed of any sort, but for somebody to say that an ISP is completely incapable of maintaining such speeds is hogwash.

Re:It doesn't matter who is violating your rights (1)

Fjodor42 (181415) | more than 4 years ago | (#30308574)

I am aware that the distance to the nearest central might affect the speed that the ADSL modem gets to connect at, and that is fair, I guess. Throttling my connection willfully, though, is a poor excuse for not having an infrastructure to match what they claim to offer.

And no, I have actually never been to the US at all, but what are you trying to tell me?

Re:It doesn't matter who is violating your rights (4, Insightful)

blackraven14250 (902843) | more than 4 years ago | (#30308486)

Yeah, I'm fairly sure that when you build a road, they sell it as "55MPH capable", and everyone can safely drive 55mph. If the ISP's want to sell a connection as 10/1, why should they be able to say "You can only use it for applications we approve, and only at a utilization of X."? I think that selling 10/1, you should provide 10/1, not "We call it 10/1, but will block you if we think you're using exactly what we sell you."

Re:It doesn't matter who is violating your rights (0, Redundant)

Fjodor42 (181415) | more than 4 years ago | (#30308580)

My point exactly :-)

Re:It doesn't matter who is violating your rights (4, Informative)

DreamsAreOkToo (1414963) | more than 4 years ago | (#30308610)

I'm currently living with 4 people. We are paying for a 120 mbps connection. However, when I'm on WoW, and my roommates are playing Modern Warfare, streaming Hulu or music, all of a suddenly we all lose connection. We all start cussing and swearing about it. But the internet only briefly stops (long enough to boot everyone playing a game online). If we keep trying to all connect, we lose connections again.

If I'm home alone, I never lose internet even for an instant.

So tell me, if I am paying $120 for internet, which is a lot more than everyone else, and I'm using 50 mbps of my 120 connection, why can they kick me? I should be able to use every bit they've sold me 24/7... or they should bloody well send me a fat refund plus damages for advertising their services as "Unlimited."

This is blatant monopoly abuse. A monopoly on a product that my tax money built.

Re:It doesn't matter who is violating your rights (1)

tagno25 (1518033) | more than 4 years ago | (#30308772)

Where are you that you can get internet for $1 a MB?!

The thing with the Speed issue is most likely you router. Many home routers can only NAT ~60MB (you probably need a better/faster router).

Re:It doesn't matter who is violating your rights (4, Insightful)

Afty0r (263037) | more than 4 years ago | (#30308974)

If you're experiencing problems with multiple active and time sensitive connections on your home internet connection, I strongly recommend you check your routing equipment before you blame your ISP. Online gaming has a pretty low bandwidth utilisation compared with the kind of traffic that ISPs hate (big downloads, P2P, torrenting etc.) and if you're an online gamer you're probably NOT torrenting at the same time to preserve your connection quality...

I have seen MANY people with what sounds like your usage patterns have problems with routers crapping out, either losing their NAT tables and rebuilding, or just simply hot-rebooting inexplicably... Many of the home/SOHO DSL/Cable router solutions have extremely crappy software that just cannot cope with more than a few simultaneous real time connections, especially to different internal IP addresses.

I'm by no means claiming your ISP is NOT interfering with your traffic, just suggesting that it's not the primary culprit...

Re:It doesn't matter who is violating your rights (4, Interesting)

Jesus_666 (702802) | more than 4 years ago | (#30309002)

The siblings are right. Anything involving lots of connections will cause a cheap router to hand or reboot. o yourself the favor and get one intended for many connections. IIRC, the WRT45GL series ought to be able to handle the load but you should read up on it.

Re:It doesn't matter who is violating your rights (1)

gmack (197796) | more than 4 years ago | (#30309014)

Sounds like a NAT table overflow on a cheap router.

Re:It doesn't matter who is violating your rights (1)

dave420 (699308) | more than 4 years ago | (#30309056)

It's most likely not your ISP but your network infrastructure in your house. All those people using the internet are probably creating too many connections for your network to handle, causing the already-established connections to choke, killing them. It might be a good idea to determine if that is the issue before launching into a tirade against your ISP, as you might look a bit foolish. Also, if you saturate your upstream, your downstream will suffer, as the necessary overhead of creating and maintaining connections is included in the bandwidth your ISP offers you. So if you have, say, 1mb up, and you are uploading something at 1mb/s, your internet connection might become totally unusable.

Re:It doesn't matter who is violating your rights (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 4 years ago | (#30309064)

Get a router which does NAT more efficiently. Yours seems to be failing.

I lose internet connectivity sometimes when I run Spotify and iPlayer at the same time; Both open multiple connections (P2P style traffic) and cause my router to fail temporarily. It's nothing to do with bandwidth. FWIW, I play WoW and rarely get over 10kbps unless I'm in a 25man. FPS games will be similar. Your 120Mbps connection is overkill.

Re:It doesn't matter who is violating your rights (1)

Scannerman (1136265) | more than 4 years ago | (#30309152)

Yeah, I'm fairly sure that when you build a road, they sell it as "55MPH capable", and everyone can safely drive 55mph."

Great car-based analogy, when you drive on a road your car has to be an approved type (safety inspections, weight limits, seat belts, not too many passengers, not too polluting etc) and if its stolen the police will pull you over. Plus if too many people try and use the road at once everything slows to a crawl. it may be 55mph capable, but not when everyone is driving a truck full of logs....

Re:It doesn't matter who is violating your rights (1)

corbettw (214229) | more than 4 years ago | (#30309356)

Yeah, I'm fairly sure that when you build a road, they sell it as "55MPH capable", and everyone can safely drive 55mph.

Well, everyone except Sammy Hagar, of course.

Re:It doesn't matter who is violating your rights (1)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 4 years ago | (#30309368)

Joe Walsh should technically be included with Sammy Hagar, but his is a different problem altogether.

Re:It doesn't matter who is violating your rights (1)

mister_playboy (1474163) | more than 4 years ago | (#30308582)

There is only finite bandwidth available to everyone and one guy in his parents' basement can slow traffic for everyone else. This forces the ISPs to need to replace their cables more often due to the increase in average use. Shouldn't these users be forced to pay more for their extra usage or at least be throttled to the point they aren't causing physical damage to the entire system?

Did you read what he wrote? YHBT.

Re:It doesn't matter who is violating your rights (1)

Fjodor42 (181415) | more than 4 years ago | (#30308670)

Yes, and it didn't really make sense...

How have I been trolled? If you are suggesting that he was joking, I honestly can't see the point...

Re:It doesn't matter who is violating your rights (1)

mister_playboy (1474163) | more than 4 years ago | (#30308752)

The bad analogy in this case is the comparison of roadways to internet cabling.

The road experiences physical wear with usage... the cabling does not.

Re:It doesn't matter who is violating your rights (1)

Fjodor42 (181415) | more than 4 years ago | (#30308834)

Agreed! I was mainly replying to his suggestion that people who use what they pay for should pay extra for that :-)

so clueless! (4, Informative)

FranTaylor (164577) | more than 4 years ago | (#30308472)

"BadAnalogyGuy" is just so appropriate for you!

"There is only finite bandwidth available to everyone and one guy in his parents' basement can slow traffic for everyone else. "

"Shouldn't these users be forced to pay more for their extra usage or at least be throttled to the point they aren't causing physical damage to the entire system?"

Apart from all of that, you don't even know what is being talked about here. We are talking about REGULATING, CENSORING, and EVESDROPPING activities.

If you want to fix your Bad Analogy, you should compare this to allowing the turnpike authority to search the contents of every vehicle that enters their roadway, and also allowing them to steal and/or make substitutions for any cargo on any vehicle that enters their roadway.

There, I fixed your BAD ANALOGY for you.

Re:so clueless! (3, Informative)

m1xram (1595991) | more than 4 years ago | (#30309242)

Check this out. Wired has an article on Net Neutrality [wired.com] .

Reasonable network management consists of: (a) reasonable practices employed by a provider of broadband Internet access service to (i) reduce or mitigate the effects of congestion on its network or to address quality-of-service concerns; (ii) address traffic that is unwanted by users or harmful; (iii) prevent the transfer of unlawful content; or (iv) prevent the unlawful transfer of content; and (b) other reasonable network management practices.

With this definition of "reasonable network management" an ISP would be required to determine the content of packets rather than the type of packets sent. If a user was to send any image it must be determined if that image violates copyright law or whether it is child pornography, etc. The same thing applies audio and video files and streams. Typically that level of spying on customers has not been implemented and could be very costly. And, what will they do about encrypted transmission? Unless the ISP decrypts transmissions how can they know that the "transfer of unlawful content" has not occurred. This has obvious privacy concerns.

There's a PDF link on the Wired site to the 107 page FCC Proposal [wired.com] . Looking at the PDF table of contents you will notice that there should be 185+ pages. Sections IV F forward are missing and I can not find the document on FCC.gov site. Can anyone find the complete document? I would be interested in reading...

F. Reasonable Network Management, Law Enforcement, Public Safety, and Homeland and National Security pg 133
1. Reasonable Network Management pg 135
2. Law Enforcement pg 142
3. Public Safety and Homeland and National Security pg 145

I think people would be more comfortably with Net Neutrality if it did not contain these Patriot Act type things in it.

Re:It doesn't matter who is violating your rights (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30308504)

If a company advertises and sells you a package for 20mbps, unlimited, you should be able to use that, without repercussions, regardless of what technology you're using. They advertised it, they sold it to you, and you are simply consuming the product.

If an ISP like Comcast has a problem living up to its advertisements, that's really too bad for them.

Re:It doesn't matter who is violating your rights (1)

ihuntrocks (870257) | more than 4 years ago | (#30308536)

Well, you certainly live up to your name as the bad analogy guy, at least in my personal opinion. Large, damaging vehicles pay a tax because they cause damage that creates a hazard for other people. Something that can represent material danger. They are not taxed because they cause traffic jams and make you late to work. They aren't taxed because they spoil your wonderful view of the highway, or because they inconvenience you when you want to visit grandma or grab a bagel.

They pay the same tax, whether we all drive constantly and have to deal with their damage, or if we rarely drive at all. It's not really dependent on anyone else. Furthermore, they have as much access as they need to said roadways, inhibited only in ways that are in place for the material safety of others. Your analogy greatly confuses the real issues behind the two scenarios.

I apologize, not only for myself, but for all of those who make maximum use of a resource we are paying for. A resource that allows us to have unprecedented access to knowledge, media, and connections with our fellow human beings. I apologize to all of those who bear the inconvenience of purchasing fewer resources and expecting either too much of them, or exclusive rights to them just for being "part of the club". It's analogous to thinking you should have the roadway all to yourself so you can drive your Pinto 50 million miles per hour and rarely pay for gas. Most of all, I would like to apologize to the telecommunications providers of the world for their own inability to meet the demands of their consumers, for whatever reasons that may arise from.

All resources are finite. That's a simple fact that most people never take account of, save the truly poor. I grew up that way, and I'm actually rather glad for the perspective it provides me on occasion. However, I find it truly lamentable that there is so much vehemence in the argument over net neutrality, and bandwidth as a finite resource, when there are other, infinitely more pressing matters of resource consumption we should be turning our collective frustrations toward. Despite its inarguable utility, the internet is a commodity, and it speaks to the selfish nature of our species to direct so much energy toward fighting for control of it, rather than addressing what are decidedly more pressing issues.

With all of that said, I believe I might have earned my first unfavorable mod in the history of my account.

Re:It doesn't matter who is violating your rights (1)

HybridJeff (717521) | more than 4 years ago | (#30308630)

That has nothing to do with net neutrality. All ISPs need to do is implement bandwidth caps like cell phone data plans already do and charge extra for exceeding the caps. The only reason they don't do this is because those bandwidth "hogs" are costing them less than they would lose by no longer being able to advertise their cheapest plans as unlimited.

Re:It doesn't matter who is violating your rights (2, Interesting)

plastbox (1577037) | more than 4 years ago | (#30308966)

Worst. Idea. Ever. The Norwegian ISP Telenor tried this some years back (around 2003 me thinks). I lived at home at the time and thus did not have any say in the choice of ISP. Each month we were limited to 1GB of total data transferred at which point the speed was reduced to 64k, unless we chose to pay ~$20 for 5GB "packs" of data. My parents, who were paying the bills, refused to see the need to change ISP. Luckily, my mother was an avid surfer as was my sister, so within about two weeks my math was proved correct and the 1GB limit was reached through surfing alone. Believe it or not, this business move was rotten enough that even the average non-techie users fled Telenor in droves. Prior to this, Telenor was the biggest ISP by far as they (and all the phone lines) were government owned until they were privatized in 1995. A company that pulls this sort of moronic, money-grabbing stunt deserves to die horribly.

Re:It doesn't matter who is violating your rights (1)

iamacat (583406) | more than 4 years ago | (#30308656)

The highways of our great country are paid for communally. We all pay a little in taxes and we all get the right to drive on them. But some vehicles must pay extra. There are weigh stations on our highways to make sure that those drivers who cause extra damage to the roads pay their fair share to help keep the roads in pristine condition. Since they weigh more, they must pay extra fees.

Sounds like a great model for Internet and fixed charge for a given amount of bandwidth, no matter what it is used for, will certainly be allowed by network neutrality regulations. Now imagine that the road was privately owned and declared that trucks transporting Pepsi can disregard the speed limits and pay less than those transporting Coke. Or that only heterosexual drivers are allowed to use the highway. Wouldn't you want some regulation then?

Cry about "unlimited bandwidth plans" and the like all you want. It's completely irrelevant to the topic at hand. The issue is whether people whose usage habits affect others should have their activities curtailed to create a more balanced environment for everyone.

Sure, however "people" you are talking about are usually websites that return large amount of data to the browser. Since users have little control or understanding of how much data will be transferred when they type a URL, it would make more sense to "curtail" the server side.

Re:It doesn't matter who is violating your rights (2, Insightful)

Idiomatick (976696) | more than 4 years ago | (#30309208)

I DO pay for the amount of bandwidth I use. But following your analogy. They want to be able to choose how much I pay based on who I am going to visit. Driving to our affiliates? That's free. Driving to our competition? That'll be 100$ and we'll reroute you through weird country roads that will end you in a swamp.

Bullshit (1)

bonch (38532) | more than 4 years ago | (#30308578)

So the solution is to hand the internet over to the government, because they're oh-so-neutral and objective? You want corrupt politicians deciding on internet traffic instead of sysadmins? You really think a lobby group wouldn't bribe the government to regulate your precious Bittorrent traffic in order to prevent "economic terrorism" or that the government wouldn't monitor your private Facebook posts when they're already happy to continue wiretapping your phone without warrants?

Seriously, does anybody even think this shit through? I've never gotten the "net neutrality" (as phoney a name as the Patriot Act) argument or heard of a convincing example of abuse that proves it's even needed. The internet isn't a right. It's a service you pay for that an ISP can regulate however it wants. Don't like it, don't use that ISP. That you're actually arguing that an ISP has power over individuals is hysterical exaggeration. Somehow, people made do without the internet mere decades ago.

Can we please stop expanding government power for no fucking reason? Pretty please?

Re:Bullshit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30308608)

Seriously, does anybody even think this shit through? I've never gotten the "net neutrality" (as phoney a name as the Patriot Act) argument or heard of a convincing example of abuse that proves it's even needed.

Comcast LOCKING bittorrent and Lotus notes

The internet isn't a right. It's a service you pay for that an ISP can regulate however it wants. Don't like it, don't use that ISP. That you're actually arguing that an ISP has power over individuals is hysterical exaggeration. Somehow, people made do without the internet mere decades ago.

When they are the only ISP in the area then they have power over the people

Worst argument EVAR (4, Insightful)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 4 years ago | (#30308638)

Your whole argument depends on the premise that government regulation is always detrimental. This is untrue on the face of it. Government has a strong role to play in regulation, rule making, arbitration, justice, social justice, and defense.

OSHA regulations protect workers from dangerous work environments.
NTSB regulations protect travelers.
Our courts provide a venue to exercise our most important right, the right to redress of grievances.

Government regulation is a good thing because it provides the rules to which our society must adhere. Without these rules, a veritable free-for-all would occur. In a market with many players, this may be beneficial, but in a market of captive customers like we have in the American ISP market this can be very detrimental.

It's not even good enough to make the rules once and let things be. As we've seen countless times the rules need to be readdressed occasionally to adapt to new situations. Our founding fathers new this, and that is why we have the Constitutional Amendment process.

Historically, the only real "laissez-faire" founding father was Thomas Jefferson and pretty much all his contemporaries considered him a fraud and brigand. Government regulation has been the cornerstone of our country for almost two and a half centuries. To claim some sort of high moral ground because you oppose it in this one specific case is pretty sad.

No common sense (5, Insightful)

FranTaylor (164577) | more than 4 years ago | (#30308640)

"It's a service you pay for that an ISP can regulate however it wants."

No they are a regulated utility like the gas or the water. The gas company is required to pump gas through its pipes, they cannot pump salad oil or dishwater without getting into trouble.

"That you're actually arguing that an ISP has power over individuals is hysterical exaggeration."

I work from home and I need the Internet to connect to work. I have only one choice of ISP. My ISP has GREAT power over me. They can force me to MOVE OUT OF MY HOME or GET ANOTHER JOB if they decide that they do not want me as a customer.

"Somehow, people made do without the internet mere decades ago."

Somehow, that means that it does not require regulation? How does that follow? That argument can be used against the regulation of ANY technology.

Re:No common sense (3, Funny)

plasmacutter (901737) | more than 4 years ago | (#30309188)

The gas company is required to pump gas through its pipes, they cannot pump salad oil or dishwater without getting into trouble.

if I ran a gas company, I would TOTALLY pump dishwater on april fool's day.

Re:Bullshit (4, Insightful)

plasmacutter (901737) | more than 4 years ago | (#30309184)

The internet isn't a right.

equal opportunity however is a right. Since even minimum wage jobs now require online application, and you will not be allowed at all to submit applications on dead tree material to any place without nametags on the dress code.

The internet is just as fundamental to modern society as a telephone or vehicle, both of which, by the way, require a court order to be hindered.

Re:It doesn't matter who is violating your rights (-1, Troll)

DaveV1.0 (203135) | more than 4 years ago | (#30309220)

Hey, dumbshit, why do you think you have a right to free and unfettered use of someone else's work, money, and equipment? Did you build the infrastructure? No, you didn't. Did you pay for the servers and routers? No, you didn't. And, the government didn't either.

Listen up, shithead, YOU DO NOT HAVE A RIGHT TO THE INTERNET OR ANY OTHER NETWORK OR THE WORK PRODUCT OF ANYONE ELSE.

The Constitution says you can start your own news paper, and it says you can say things the government doesn't like. It does not guarantee you a phone, a news paper, Internet access, etc. It does not say you can use other people's things for free.

Oh, and just so you will know, originally the Constitution, including the Bill of Rights, didn't provide rights to anything. It provided rights FROM things, like censorship and unreasonable search and seizure.

Re:It doesn't matter who is violating your rights (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30309314)

Same constitution guarantees property right. ISP routers are private property. Hands off.

I smell a fallacy... (1)

allcaps (1617499) | more than 4 years ago | (#30308376)

Slippery Slope, anyone?

The "free market" is "people"! (4, Insightful)

plasmacutter (901737) | more than 4 years ago | (#30308414)

A lot of people seem to allow this to slip by, but the "free market" is composed of "actors", or PEOPLE.

When you remove law enforcement from an area people revert back to their "natural" state, robbing, pillaging, raping, and assaulting. For references, see looters in natural disasters, crime reports during blackouts, etc.

In the marketplace, without regulation, people with more power will perpetrate this in people with less.

People who provide internet services will abuse any way they can to gain more money, power, and control. (the same goes for software, medical insurance, mass media, commodities, you name it)

Re:The "free market" is "people"! (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30308508)

Luckily most firm's and consumers hold a marginal amount of market power. Hence we would model the market closer to perfect competition that we would monopoly. In the case of a natural monopoly, the market structure you're suggesting, there is a fair amount of debate about what it's state is, as it can act as either. However, most of the markets for internet access around the world are closer to an oligopoly, where the firms are given special privileges which swing more power their way, on top of being a monopoly.

Re:The "free market" is "people"! (1)

plasmacutter (901737) | more than 4 years ago | (#30309118)

Luckily most firm's and consumers hold a marginal amount of market power. Hence we would model the market closer to perfect competition that we would monopoly. In the case of a natural monopoly, the market structure you're suggesting, there is a fair amount of debate about what it's state is, as it can act as either. However, most of the markets for internet access around the world are closer to an oligopoly, where the firms are given special privileges which swing more power their way, on top of being a monopoly.

this is disproven in one word: Microsoft.

there are others too. Standard oil, Mah bell. I suppose the consumer wants a billion different ways to screw you on a cell phone bill too.

Without regulation centralized corporate power squeezes millions of disorganized and powerless individuals for all they will bear in money AND consumer rights.

What do you think the government is? (2, Insightful)

bonch (38532) | more than 4 years ago | (#30308636)

Uh, and just what the hell do you think the government is comprised of? Deities who are always neutral and never do anything wrong? It's made of people too, but they're privileged people who are making the laws, which makes them even more dangerous than the free market you so baselessly despise.

And are you seriously comparing an ISP's rightful regulation of its internet traffic to robbing, pillaging, raping, and assaulting? Give me a fucking break. I want sysadmins regulating their company's services--which they have every right to do--not bribed politicians who are above the law and will cater to every big financial donor's wishes. The internet isn't a right or a life necessity. It's a convenient service you pay for, like having a car or a television, and the free market keeps abuses in check because a company's livelihood depends on your dollar. A government, on the other hand, already forces you to pay it through taxes, and it makes its own special rules for itself so that it's not beholden to the law like the free market is. There's no incentive to please you as a customer. You're a citizen who will do what it says.

Could some of you stop giving the government so much power, please? We get it, you hate free markets and think government power solves absolutely everything by magic. Yep, history sure has shown how pure, fair, reliable, trustworthy, and incorruptible the government is. Uh-huh.

Clueless about power (5, Insightful)

FranTaylor (164577) | more than 4 years ago | (#30308718)

The Internet and the gear that runs it is a source of Power to whoever runs it.

This power WILL be taken and abused by whoever controls it.

Take off your blinders and understand that our economic system and our society exist ONLY because there are government regulations to hold it together.

You speak of corporations acting freely but you fail to realize that it is the power of government that allows them to have this freedom in the first place.

You are INSULTING and WRONG to paint everyone who disagrees with you as hating free markets.

Again you FAIL to understand that free markets DO NOT EXIST without government regulation to keep them free.

Here let me fix one of your sentences for you:

"Yep, history sure has shown how pure, fair, reliable, trustworthy, and incorruptible corporations are. Uh-huh."

how about the closest thing we have to accountable (4, Insightful)

plasmacutter (901737) | more than 4 years ago | (#30309108)

Uh, and just what the hell do you think the government is comprised of? Deities who are always neutral and never do anything wrong? It's made of people too, but they're privileged people who are making the laws, which makes them even more dangerous than the free market you so baselessly despise.

except the government is bound by a constitution, and subject to at least SOME form of public accountability.

And are you seriously comparing an ISP's rightful regulation of its internet traffic to robbing, pillaging, raping, and assaulting?

OMG HYPERBOLE, obviously that means my point is invalid, and that people aren't really being stripped of their fundamental rights to privacy and choice, that theyre not being defrauded, that freedom of speech is not being abrogated.

Could some of you stop giving the government so much power, please? We get it, you hate free markets and think government power solves absolutely everything by magic.

No, I believe in the government stepping on corporate toes, and the the people stepping up to the ballot box to make sure the government doesn't go too far.

Yep, history sure has shown how pure, fair, reliable, trustworthy, and incorruptible the government is. Uh-huh.

Let's ask the millions of jobless about which they'd rather have: ANY government beurocrat or the CEO's of AIG; shall we?

Re:What do you think the government is? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30309170)

> Uh, and just what the hell do you think the government is comprised of? Deities who are always neutral and never do anything wrong? It's made of people too, but they're privileged people who are making the laws, which makes them even more dangerous than the free market you so baselessly despise.

More dangerous? I'd say both are equally dangerous, given the same amount of power. But even bad politicians can make good laws. And so long as they make good laws, we have nothing to worry about. If they make bad laws, we need to replace them. Seriously, although they do lots of things wrong, they don't screw up *every* law.

> And are you seriously comparing an ISP's rightful regulation of its internet traffic to robbing, pillaging, raping, and assaulting?

"Rightful" regulation? "Its" traffic!? It's MY traffic they're "regulating" dammit. If I need to vote for a law to make businesses stop pulling that crap, I will. I'd rather it not come to that, but they started this. They were going to start double-dipping and charging people who weren't even their customers. It's only you crazy libertarians (unlike the sensible ones) who get bent out of shape over this, and there aren't very many of you, given how terribly Ron Paul did in the polls. That, or you're too afraid of the government to vote.

> Could some of you stop giving the government so much power, please? We get it, you hate free markets and think government power solves absolutely everything by magic.

Nobody thinks that, although I've seen a few libertarians where you could just about substitute government and free market and make the same statement. Neither one is good and you need a balance of both. Either one alone can and will screw you.

But you wanted to go on a crazy libertarian screed, I guess. You might try posting those somewhere that people care. Though I'm not sure that such a place even exists.

Re:What do you think the government is? (4, Insightful)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 4 years ago | (#30309332)

The key difference between government and corporate power: governments are ultimately answerable to their citizens, whereas corporations are ultimately answerable to their shareholders. That means among other things that corporations can and will ruin the lives of their employees or residents of the surrounding area (via pollution mostly) if it increases their profits, can and will bilk their customers if they can get away with it, and don't really mind a large population of unemployed, broke, desperate people.

Re:The "free market" is "people"! (1)

qazsedcft (911254) | more than 4 years ago | (#30308674)

Generally, I'm against the free for all suggested by libertarians, but here I must disagree with you. Information is the key to power. The proper way of handling this is to hand the power back to the people. What we need is to redesign the whole thing so that it's completely unblockable. For example, suppose devices were communicating directly with each other and you had just a bunch of interconnected wi-fi routers forming a global network with no large-scale infrastructure. This is the kind of thing we should be looking to build instead of asking governments to protect our right to free information.

Re:The "free market" is "people"! (4, Insightful)

fryjs (1456943) | more than 4 years ago | (#30308766)

I (as a free-market advocate) consider law enforcement and regulation as two very different things. Law enforcment being the retaliatory use of force by the government against people who have violated the individual rights of another (theft, violence, etc) by initiated the use of force. I consider law enforcement a fundamental requirement of a free society (protection from looters and thugs), but regulation the antithesis of a free society (initiating the use of force to control people).

In my view, regulation is not law enforcement, it is the initiation of force by government against people who have not (and are not reasonably predicted to) violated anyone's rights, with the intent of getting that individual or organisation to behave in a desired manner. Now this doesn't seem so bad, when it is applied to something like net neutrality which seems like a good idea, however the principle is appalling to me: using force to get what you want. This is especially true when you have a government known to be at least influenced (if not controlled) by a few powerful people and organisations.

Re:The "free market" is "people"! (1)

Ma8thew (861741) | more than 4 years ago | (#30308928)

Do you regard the FDA as regulation, because the FDA call themselves a regulator? Do you believe that drug companies should be able to sell any useless or dangerous drug to consumers? Or is your definition of regulation and law enforcement just some arbitrary distinction you came up with to justify disagreeing with laws you don't like?

Power is power and it WILL be grabbed (1)

FranTaylor (164577) | more than 4 years ago | (#30308952)

Again let me fix that for you:

"however the principle is appalling to me: using force to get what you want. This is especially true when you have a corporation known to be at least influenced (if not controlled) by a few powerful people and organisations."

GET A CLUE. The power is THERE and it WILL be grabbed. It is only a question of WHO.

I would rather that the government have the power. At least then there is at least some vague way for the people to have some sort of control over it.

Re:Power is power and it WILL be grabbed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30309154)

GET A CLUE. The power is THERE and it WILL be grabbed. It is only a question of WHO.
 
I would rather that the government have the power. At least then there is at least some vague way for the people to have some sort of control over it.

You get a clue. You want multiple competing entities hostile to each others interests to have the power if you want to have any sort of influence at all. Handing control to a single entity will not give you control, whether it be a government or corporation. Quite the opposite.

Actually, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30308468)

I am waiting for the proof to come up when it is shown that tapping is going on at qwest, ATT, Verizon, etc BY the companies, and not for the feds. It will show a clear pattern of the company execs using some interesting scanning equipment to obtain information for themselves.

Hi (1)

barbara789 (1592003) | more than 4 years ago | (#30308546)

Thanks for the Information.this is really very great news.from past so many days I was searching for this kind of article. Barbara financial services [ifsdb.com]

new proposal (1)

f3r (1653221) | more than 4 years ago | (#30308606)

A give a new proposal (not new, see BadAnalogyGuy above):

Regard the building of new internet highways exactly as that of new real highways. Private firms build them, profit from them for some years, then it becomes public property under the ruling of the state. After that you only need to be lucky and have a government which is not inclined towards cutting highways and roads and removing driving licenses for nonsensical reasons from the drivers.

Yet another BAD idea (1)

FranTaylor (164577) | more than 4 years ago | (#30308668)

What a great way for technology companies to unload their obsolete technology onto the unsuspecting public!

Again the road analogy FAILS, because roads are basically unchanged since Roman times, and Internet gear goes obsolete within a few years.

What is WRONG with having the government CONTRACT construction to private firms while holding the property rights? We do this ALL THE TIME with our public infrastructure.

The Count of Monte Cristo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30308684)

Who haven't read it?

government regulation (2, Interesting)

wuji (956131) | more than 4 years ago | (#30308888)

It's interesting enough that according to that article, the reason for the existence of "monopolies" on the telegraph was the government itself. Because there are no monopolies unless the government can protect those monopolies. And that is exactly what this is about. Somebody decides that someone should regulate the whole Internet because otherwise it will be abused by the powerfull entities inside it. And the best solution that that "Somebody" can come up with is to hand it over to the government? That government will establish monopolies to control parts of it, somehow all the "freedoms" will go away and in the end that "Somebody" will praise the regulation because without it, it would have been much worse. Since, as the experience shows, once the government takes control of the communication channels, it is for the freedom and protection of it's users. Just look at China how well that regulation works there.

Remember the wire? (2, Interesting)

Old Flatulent 1 (1692076) | more than 4 years ago | (#30308910)

As a direct result of the lack of regulation, criminals ran things from behind the scenes with bribes and even worse tactics even later on in history. Things were much worse in the early part of the 20th century. A fellow with the nick name of "Dutch Schultz" easily created a gambling and money laundering communications empire by thoroughly corrupting the industry from within. His shtick was so slick that most did not even know to what extent it went on. You essentially had to pay "The Man" if you wanted to do any financial business over the wire period! Not just the fact that it controlled race track betting information and wagering. His mafia partners made enough money to keep the FBI off their backs...J. Edgar Hoover did not even acknowledge that they existed and a substantial part of Washington not just Cities official and Police were on the take. If there is no sensible public oversight of what goes on on the internet then you can bet it will become a haven for criminals and eventually they will run things from behind the scenes!

Notice that the competition (1)

tjstork (137384) | more than 4 years ago | (#30308924)

was the only thing that really solved the problem. Wireless broke the back.

Now, the same thing will have to happen for internet service, or, really, there needs to be some federal regulation involved.

Telegraph trivia (1)

paiute (550198) | more than 4 years ago | (#30309134)

What decade was the fax machine first patented?

The 40s.

The 1840s.

Anonymous Coward (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30309302)

The socialist approach is pathetic.

The internet is doing quite well without regulations from the Federal government. Certainly better and more innovative than any other regulated industry.

You pathetic leftists are so eager to give up your freedoms. You would make perfect slaves in a dictatorship.

Re:Anonymous Coward (1)

spartacus_prime (861925) | more than 4 years ago | (#30309384)

Regulation != socialism.

"Neutrality" and regulation (2, Insightful)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 4 years ago | (#30309360)

> The owners of the 'Victorian internet' used their control of the telegraph
> to prop up monopolies, manipulate elections, facilitate insider trading,
> and censor criticism.

And it would have been so much better had the government done that instead.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>