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EFF Reviews the Verizon-Google Net Neutrality Deal

CmdrTaco posted about 4 years ago | from the yeah-that's-still-happening dept.

Google 162

I Don't Believe in Imaginary Property writes "The EFF has written an analysis of the Net Neutrality deal brokered between Verizon and Google. While the EFF agrees with substantial portions of it, such as giving the FCC only enough authority to investigate complaints, rather than giving them a blank check to create regulations, there are a number of troubling issues with the agreement. In particular, they're concerned that what constitutes 'reasonable' network management is in the eye of the beholder and they don't like giving a free pass to anyone who claims they're attempting to block unlawful content, even when doing so in such a way that they interfere with lawful activities. On balance, while there are some good ideas about how to get Net Neutrality with minimal government involvement, there are serious flaws in the agreement that would allow ISPs to interfere with any service they wanted to because there is no algorithm that can correctly determine which numbers are currently illegal."

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Goatse (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33227506)

http://goatse.fr/

So, regulation haters... (5, Insightful)

Pojut (1027544) | about 4 years ago | (#33227518)

...how's that "let companies police themselves" stance on net neutrality working out for you?

Re:So, regulation haters... (4, Insightful)

HangingChad (677530) | about 4 years ago | (#33227590)

"let companies police themselves"

Almost as well as letting banks and investment companies police themselves.

Or oil companies policing themselves.

Or government contractors with automatic weapons police themselves.

And the deregulated airline industry has done wonders for air travel.

Government bad, corporate self-regulation good. Just stick to that line and ignore any evidence to the contrary.

Re:So, regulation haters... (2, Insightful)

Brootal (571331) | about 4 years ago | (#33227674)

"let companies police themselves"

Almost as well as letting banks and investment companies police themselves.

Or oil companies policing themselves.

Or government contractors with automatic weapons police themselves.

And the deregulated airline industry has done wonders for air travel.

Government bad, corporate self-regulation good. Just stick to that line and ignore any evidence to the contrary.

Or letting Internet users police themselves. This just part of the process of finding an UNhappy balance between freedom and control. Myriad, mutually exclusive motives guarantee that any reasonable solution must leave the fringes deeply unsatisfied.

Re:So, regulation haters... (1, Interesting)

commodore64_love (1445365) | about 4 years ago | (#33230502)

>>>Or letting Internet users police themselves.

Precisely. The "free market" simply means "power to the citizen". What is so horrible about letting people decide for themselves? i.e. "Microsoft sucks, I'm switching to Apple or Linux or Amiga OS." Or: "Comcast sucks... I'm switching to Verizon or Cricket Broadband instead."

What Google and the FCC want to do is give control to themselves, like they did with TV, and away from the citizens. Goodbye any illegal activities (like bittorrent or encrypted file-sharing) or adult content (nudist websites) or free speech (you'll need a license to publish a blog).

Re:So, regulation haters... (2, Funny)

NevarMore (248971) | about 4 years ago | (#33227738)

Or government contractors with automatic weapons police themselves.

So it'd be OK with you if they only had semi-automatic or bolt action weapons?

Re:So, regulation haters... (-1, Troll)

commodore64_love (1445365) | about 4 years ago | (#33227962)

>>>Government [good], corporate self-regulation [bad]. Just stick to that DNC line and ignore any evidence to the contrary.

Fixed that for you. Which agency is responsible for executing over 100 million of its own citizens over the last hundred years? Corporations? Nope. They don't operate firing squads or gas chambers. So then it must be government. I consider BOTH entities to be evil, dangerous, and untrustworthy and so should you. The difference: Corporations don't have power to throw me in jail, bust down my door, send me to Afghanistan to die, or suck money directly from my wallet. Corporations are the lesser evil. Government is the greater evil.

Also "free market" simply means "power to the citizen". What is so horrible about letting people decide for themselves? i.e. "Microsoft sucks, I'm switching to Apple or Linux or Amiga OS."

Finally: It was government that caused the housing bubble (and subsequent crash). It was *too much* regulation not a lack of regulation. Here is the late-90s regulation that made it happen. Basically it boils down to: Loan mortgages to people who can't pay them back, else the US Government will drag you into court and prosecute you. The government speaker even admits it in this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ivmL-lXNy64#t=2m10s [youtube.com]

An Inconvenient Truth indeed.

Re:So, regulation haters... (1)

HeckRuler (1369601) | about 4 years ago | (#33228288)

So how many people died in coal mines? Or of black lung? Those people weren't exactly executed, but they were worked to death.

Which agency is responsible for executing over 100 million of its own citizens over the last hundred years? ...it must be government.

Most of them deserved it. Not all sadly, but most.

Corporations don't have power to throw me in jail, bust down my door, send me to Afghanistan to die,

And neither does our government, without justification. But then again, a corp guard can kill you if he has justification.

or suck money directly from my wallet

Ah, well. You got me there. But then again, how much do you pay all the corporations? Sure you get something in return, usually, but you also get something for your taxes. Which is more valuable to you? That new TV or the security from roving band of TV-taking brigands?

Also "free market" simply means "power to the citizen"

It means a lot of different things to different people. It really means power to the people with money and power. For the last decade that meant that if you tried to sell something, then Wang Chung in China would make it cheaper then you, Wally would undercut you, and you'd go broke.

And oh yes, because while we're talking about network neutrality, let's bring up the housing bubble! All sorts of people were responsible for that. Get over it.

Re:So, regulation haters... (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | about 4 years ago | (#33230586)

>>>So how many people died in coal mines?

In the last 100 years? Just a few hundred in the US (because of safety requirements). Not >100,000,000. ALSO: I worked in a coal mine. For one day. I decided I didn't want to stay and risk getting killed, so I left. People who stay behind and CHOOSE to do dangerous work are equivalent to a person walking up to a cop and grabbing the cop's gun. They chose that fate and the consequences.

Also I find it odd you would compare an *accident* in a coal mine, to the government's willful extermination of its own citizens. Not the same thing.

.

>>>Most of them deserved it. Not all sadly, but most.

15 million mentally ill, Jews, and Gypsies deserved to be exterminated by the German National Socialists? 40 million Ukranians and "undesirables" deserved to be exterminated by Lenin and Stalin? 50 million by Mao Tse-tung? Really??? Oh my god.

Re:So, regulation haters... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33228374)

There you go spreading lies again, Troll64.

You've been smacked down about this two [slashdot.org] times [slashdot.org] now. Please, just shut the fuck up. We're on to you, and won't let you get away with spreading lies. The First Amendment protects your right to speak, but it does not shield you from the consequences of your words.

Re:So, regulation haters... (-1, Offtopic)

commodore64_love (1445365) | about 4 years ago | (#33228256)

>>>Government bad, corporate self-regulation good. Just stick to that line and ignore any evidence to the contrary.

Government is responsible for killing over 100 million of its own citizens (since 1910). Government used executions, gas chambers, and genocide. How many corporations do that? So yes government IS bad.

Re:So, regulation haters... (2, Informative)

Qzukk (229616) | about 4 years ago | (#33228574)

How many corporations do that?

The original Corporations (eg East India Trading Company) were expressly given the permission to fight wars against other nations to establish their trading outposts and protect their "turf".

Even in reasonably modern times, corporations had hired militias to gun down strikers' wives and children with impunity.

Re:So, regulation haters... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33228678)

Or oil companies policing themselves.

Assertion: Oil companies self regulate.

This is false statement. The US federal government was regulating the ‘Deep Water Horizon’ http://www.gomr.mms.gov/ [mms.gov] . If they performed their duties adequately, then the disaster in the gulf would not have happened. Point of fact, the US has a regulated market, not a free market. The false choice you raise is the following: A society picks either (Government Regulation) or (Corporations behaving the way they wish). In a free market BP would be responsible for every drop of oil which damages private property, as they would not have limited liability. That’s some hefty risk, which is why they’d need to purchase insurance. Their insurer would recognize the risk, and would need some way to evaluate it and ensure large scale quality control.

This is where private firms step in, such as UL: http://www.ul.com/global/eng/pages/ [ul.com]

A government regulator is not sufficiently accountable. If disaster strikes, they lose their jobs and the next round of bureaucrats step in. On the other hand, UL’s entire future is dependant solely on the accuracy of their ratings and recommendations. If half of the electrical appliances UL approved caught fire, their competitors would be more trust worthy in the eyes of insurers, and UL would lose business.

Re:So, regulation haters... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33229544)

Of course, this isn't a problem with government, just a problem with our government.

Re:So, regulation haters... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33228758)

And the deregulated airline industry has done wonders for air travel.

It pretty much has, unless you want to go back to the days when it cost $2,000 to fly two states away.

Re:So, regulation haters... (-1, Troll)

commodore64_love (1445365) | about 4 years ago | (#33230452)

>>>Almost as well as letting banks and investment companies police themselves.

Don't blame them. It was government that caused the housing bubble (and subsequent crash). It was *too much* regulation not a lack of regulation. Basically it boils down to: Loan mortgages to people who can't pay them back, else the US Government will drag you into court and prosecute you. The government speaker even admits it in this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ivmL-lXNy64#t=2m10s [youtube.com]

An Inconvenient Truth indeed.

Re:So, regulation haters... (1)

sexconker (1179573) | about 4 years ago | (#33230652)

Government bad, corporate self-regulation good. Just stick to that line and ignore any evidence to the contrary.

I'm going to go with:

Government bad.
Market self-regulation good.
Corporations having the legal protections of a person without any of the legal obligations / responsibilities terrible.

Re:So, regulation haters... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33227608)

Pretty well seeing as I can just switch to someone who isn't Verizon if I don't like it. That's a lot easier than trying to pick a new government.

Re:So, regulation haters... (4, Insightful)

ceejayoz (567949) | about 4 years ago | (#33227634)

If Verizon owns the bandwidth lines leading to your community (or to the specific site you're attempting to access), it doesn't matter who your end ISP winds up being.

Sick of hearing 'no other options' . . . (1)

hideouspenguinboy (1342659) | about 4 years ago | (#33227912)

That's just not true. I don't have any lines to my house and I use satellite. Don't have line of site? Use a cellular connection. There are options.

Re:Sick of hearing 'no other options' . . . (2, Informative)

BassMan449 (1356143) | about 4 years ago | (#33228254)

AT&T and Verizon both own major Internet backbones. It doesn't matter if you use cellular or satellite your data is still extremely likely to run over their networks. That's the problem with the current Internet setup. If those 2 companies decide to charge for faster data (or rather charge to not slow your data down) then it doesn't matter what ISP you use, you are going to be affected.

Re:Sick of hearing 'no other options' . . . (2, Insightful)

Shakrai (717556) | about 4 years ago | (#33228580)

It doesn't matter if you use cellular or satellite your data is still extremely likely to run over their networks.

Actually, in this day and age the Tier 1 networks aren't as important as they used to be. The bulk of my traffic on Roadrunner comes in on Time Warner's own (tbone) backbone. They have peering arrangements with most of the major content distribution networks. The only time I've seen traffic traceroute onto Level 3 is for oddball connections (torrents to European hosts and the like)

Re:Sick of hearing 'no other options' . . . (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33228334)

Not for everybody. There are actually a lot of people in the US who still don't have access to any form of broadband whatsoever.

Re:Sick of hearing 'no other options' . . . (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33229348)

That's just not true. I don't have any lines to my house and I use satellite. Don't have line of site? Use a cellular connection. There are options.

Dude, if you don't have cable, DSL or satellite, you sure as heck aren't going to have 3G cellular. Might as well say "Hey, they can still use dial-up, so what's the problem?".

Re:So, regulation haters... (2, Interesting)

butlerm (3112) | about 4 years ago | (#33229358)

If Verizon owns the bandwidth lines leading to your community (or to the specific site you're attempting to access), it doesn't matter who your end ISP winds up being.

That is like saying if Verizon owns the telephone lines leading to your community it doesn't matter who your bank ends up being. Telephone companies are legally prohibited from doing things like arbitrarily charging one bank more than another if they want the privilege of receiving incoming calls, let alone listening in on the conversation and charging both parties more if a high value transaction was performed.

The whole net neutrality debate is about extending the non-discrimination rules that apply to common carriers like telephone companies to common carriers like internet access providers. I say "common carrier" advisedly. Unless the law is changed the FCC has ample legal justification to regulate internet access providers as common carriers, under Title II of the Communications Act of 1934 as amended.

Re:So, regulation haters... (2, Informative)

ViViDboarder (1473973) | about 4 years ago | (#33227680)

Lucky. I can't. The only option for me is Verizon FiOS.

Re:So, regulation haters... (5, Insightful)

BarryJacobsen (526926) | about 4 years ago | (#33227840)

Pretty well seeing as I can just switch to someone who isn't Verizon if I don't like it. That's a lot easier than trying to pick a new government.

Really? I takes you four years to get a new government, and it seems like it'll be a cold day in hell before I can choose between more than the one broadband provider in my area.

Re:So, regulation haters... (1)

HeckRuler (1369601) | about 4 years ago | (#33228318)

Please, don't think that the president is the almighty who is all knowing and all powerful. We have elections for different positions on 2, 4, and 6 year cycles, all of which are staggered so there's near constant change.

Re:So, regulation haters... (1)

BarryJacobsen (526926) | about 4 years ago | (#33228416)

I wasn't thinking of the president, rather I figured that after 4 years there'd be enough elections that you could have the majority of the positions be replaced (and thus the vote could/would go a different way).

Re:So, regulation haters... (1)

Shakrai (717556) | about 4 years ago | (#33228902)

rather I figured that after 4 years there'd be enough elections that you could have the majority of the positions be replaced (and thus the vote could/would go a different way).

The full House is up every two years. That's 1/2 of 1/3 of the Federal Government and more than enough to change what's going on in Washington if the people aren't happy with it. Remember the House is the chamber that has to originate all spending bills.....

Re:So, regulation haters... (1)

number11 (129686) | about 4 years ago | (#33229078)

The full House is up every two years. That's 1/2 of 1/3 of the Federal Government and more than enough to change what's going on in Washington if the people aren't happy with it.

I'm reasonably happy with my own Congresscritter, it's those other bozos that are the problem. Unfortunately, everybody else seems to feel the same way.

Re:So, regulation haters... (1)

Shakrai (717556) | about 4 years ago | (#33229840)

Except of course in 1994, 2006, 2008 and in all likelihood 2010......

Yes, the vast majority keep their seats, but enough turned over in those years to make a real difference on the national scene.

Re:So, regulation haters... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33228306)

Enjoy switching to another one of the three or so companies who all have identical policies.

Re:So, regulation haters... (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33227662)

Up until now it has actually worked fairly well. Think about that for a min... There is no regulation right now. In fact I would say some regulation has hindered us such as build out rules and line sharing rules. Which let single providers monopolize huge areas.

The reason regulation idea has started popping up is because a few have decided the gentleman agreements that have held in the past are no longer helping them. There be gold in dem der hills, they yell. What they do not realize is that the very hills they want to strip mine we are living on and is how they run their business.

Going forward I think no regulation is not going to work. What the net neutral people want is a codifying of the 'gentleman agreement' that has worked up until now. The problem is some have decided to take advantage of the changes to position themselves better.

Be careful what you ask for you may just get it. Then 'it' may be worse than what you have now as there are other players in there who want some mega cash thrown their way.

Re:So, regulation haters... (2, Interesting)

Rockoon (1252108) | about 4 years ago | (#33227884)

The regulation supports will just blame capitalist interventions into the legislative process when the regulation ends up screwing us all over.

Meanwhile those of us against net neutrality regulation at this time are shaking our heads wondering why so many people want to forever trade their freedom of choice to a bunch of politicians that are sure to meddle with the trust they have placed in them a thousand times over.

Re:So, regulation haters... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33228164)

The regulation supports will just blame capitalist interventions into the legislative process when the regulation ends up screwing us all over.

If true, they should. After all, corruption is illegal.

Re:So, regulation haters... (1)

Rockoon (1252108) | about 4 years ago | (#33229290)

This corruption is legalized. Its called lobbying.

Re:So, regulation haters... (5, Insightful)

Kaboom13 (235759) | about 4 years ago | (#33228006)

Deep packet inspection of large amounts of traffic was not possible until fairly recently. The technology did not exist to allow ISP's to treat traffic differently. The peering agreements between providers were born out of the difficulty of accurately accounting and billing for traffic. It was cheaper for everyone with roughly similar amounts of traffic to agree to pass each others traffic for free then to spend millions on systems to try to figure out who was owed what. The only reason this hasn't been an issue until now is purely technical in nature. Because of the huge investment to enter the market, plus the network effect and economies of scale inherent, plus the corruption of politicians, make the telecom industry a natural oligopoly, if not a natural monopoly. WIthout regulation, they will abuse their customers to the maximum extent possible, because their customers have little if any choice. Choosing an ISP is like choosing between getting in a cage with a hungry lion or a hungry bear, either way the outcome is unpleasant, just in slightly different ways. There is no avoiding it in the current environment, every business in this situation is going to act this way. The only solution is to either artificially break them up into small pieces, or to artificially regulate their behavior. I'm willing to bet the companies involved would prefer the latter to the former.

Re:So, regulation haters... (1)

Shakrai (717556) | about 4 years ago | (#33228674)

The technology did not exist to allow ISP's to treat traffic differently

Yes it did. We were running QoS at my Mom-and-pop ISP back in 2000. It was the only way to provide decent service to our business customers when Napster and Kazaa first appeared on the scene.

DPI was around back then too. There was a program called Etherpeek (which is still around I believe) that could even give us a real time running list of the URLs that our customers were visiting. It cost serious money and there are free tools today that will do a better job but it was still effective enough for our needs.

Re:So, regulation haters... (1)

countertrolling (1585477) | about 4 years ago | (#33229208)

I take it you couldn't simply charge by the kilo/mega/gigabit? You know, kinda like a gas/electric meter? That way you wouldn't have to snoop in on where they were going. Something which sounds very offensive. An ISP should be prohibited from doing anything beyond simple routing of traffic. Just count the bits, and go from there.

Re:So, regulation haters... (1)

Shakrai (717556) | about 4 years ago | (#33229896)

We could have (charged by the bit) if we wanted, though it would have required some upgrades to our billing system. We were mainly interested in ensuring that business customers weren't buried by teenagers down/uploading tons of music that they'll never listen to. We didn't care how much bandwidth they used, only that they didn't disrupt the experience for everybody else on the network.

Re:So, regulation haters... (1)

countertrolling (1585477) | about 4 years ago | (#33230020)

We were mainly interested in ensuring that business customers weren't buried by teenagers down/uploading tons of music that they'll never listen to.

And that's precisely the tiering we want to prohibit. You could just as easily limit total bandwidth that penalizes no particular user based on what they do with their connection. And spying on them for that purpose is even worse.

Re:So, regulation haters... (1)

Shakrai (717556) | about 4 years ago | (#33230286)

Climb off your high horse. It's not "spying" on your customers when an automated system puts network traffic into different QoS tiers. The notion that all traffic should be treated equally is absurd. VoIP needs real time routing. Interactive terminal applications (remote desktop/X/VNC/SSH sessions/etc) need real time routing or something very close to it. FTP/Bittorrent/NNTP could care less if the packets spend a few seconds in the queue before going out. HTTP is somewhere in the middle -- the protocol doesn't mind being queued but people expect a web page to open quickly when they follow a hyperlink.

And yes, we could have limited total bandwidth. But that would be stupid. Why should I limit all my customers to 1.5mbit/s when I can allow them to burst at 10mbit/s? The customer doing a short download gets his file faster. The customer doing a large download gets all available free bandwidth in the best case scenario and no less than he would have received under your scheme in the worst case scenario.

1 to 1 contention looks great on paper but does not scale well in the real world.

Re:So, regulation haters... (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | about 4 years ago | (#33230640)

But what about when Comcast gives priority to its streaming rented videos, and slows down streaming from outside connections (like hulu and netflix). That's the real concern.

Re:So, regulation haters... (1)

butlerm (3112) | about 4 years ago | (#33229224)

The key phrase is "large amounts of traffic", as in hundreds of megabits per second. Examining the URLs customers visit for other than network management purposes is probably illegal, by the way.

Re:So, regulation haters... (1)

Shakrai (717556) | about 4 years ago | (#33229948)

We ran our operation on two T-3s. That's nearly 90mbit/s. If my small business employer was able to do it back in 2000 I have a hard time believing that a Fortune 500 company like Verizon or AT&T couldn't scale it up to their operation.

BTW, I didn't say that we monitored everyone's web traffic, only that we had access to software that was capable of doing it. We mainly used it for troubleshooting and the occasional law enforcement subpoena.

Re:So, regulation haters... (-1, Troll)

commodore64_love (1445365) | about 4 years ago | (#33228042)

>>>The problem is some have decided to take advantage of the changes to position themselves better.

That's for sure. If the Government gets hold of the internet (via regulation) we can expect the following to happen:

- Porn will be pulled off the net.
- Even nudity will eventually be outlawed. The internet will become as tame & boring as broadcast television, thanks to the FCC.
- Internet licenses will be required if you want to publish a blog. i.e. No more free speech for the citizenry
-
- And possibly a reinvigoration of the fairness doctrine. So if I want to publish an article on my web journal about the Tyranny of Bush and the loss of freedom under the Patriot Act, I then have to link to a counter-article that claims Bush was a great president and the Act was brilliant. (Quoting ideas direct from Obama's white house employees.)

Re:So, regulation haters... (3, Insightful)

chowdahhead (1618447) | about 4 years ago | (#33228462)

Net neutrality is not the same as government censorship. In fact, it's sort of the opposite of that--net neutrality at its core is simply the prevention of traffic discrimination. Internet access should simply mean access to the internet, and one's access to content shouldn't depend on the ISP carrying the data. Online anonymity is a different issue and separate from net neutrality, unless we have an Internet Overhaul Bill, which is entirely possible.

Re:So, regulation haters... (1)

mcgrew (92797) | about 4 years ago | (#33230034)

Without Net Neutrality, every ISP becomes the old Compuserve from the 1980s. I, for one, do NOT want that. I traded Compuserve for BBSes as soon as I found out such things existed.

Re:So, regulation haters... (2, Insightful)

commodore64_love (1445365) | about 4 years ago | (#33230670)

But if Congress gives itself power to regulate net neutrality, then it also gives itself power to remove nudity from the web, and to require licenses to publish blogs. Like they did with TV and Radio. That too started as a way to prevent multiple stations from interfering with one another, but quickly expanded to restrict the actual content.

Re:So, regulation haters... (4, Insightful)

HeckRuler (1369601) | about 4 years ago | (#33228442)

We've always had network neutrality. At least to a certain extent. There was peering and a "gentleman's agreement", back when there was more then a handful of gentlemen. Now single providers HAVE ALREADY monopolized huge areas. What you fear has already happened. And guess what? Now that they have power over regions, they're starting to break down the time-honored rules of a neutral internet. And they're doing so to make a buck. Fuck 'em. Regulate them. Or bust them up.

But seriously people, stop modding up cowards who are probably verizon astroturfers.

Re:So, regulation haters... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33230126)

Aw did I say something you didnt like? The fact that the ONLY ones that will make the 'net neutral' laws will be the very ones you want to be beholden to something? Or perhaps you missed my point.

http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2010/08/att-keen-on-verizongoogle-net-neutrality-proposal.ars?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=rss [arstechnica.com]

Notice who is cheer-leading the latest set of changes... Att and Verizon. The VERY ones who need the "gentleman's agreement" codified.

Be careful what you ask for. You are asking congress and fcc to get in there and make laws. You may just end up with more than you ask for. I never said they shouldnt in fact it is a good idea. However, you are also asking the very same group that just a few days ago that couldnt be bothered to fill out the summary page on a bill to make something. What are the chances that it would actually help us? You can see the normal political sides being masterfully played by the astro turf groups. Where I live I have seen first hand telcos writing state law line for line and then just handing it over to some local bought off politico to be voted on.

We need this, but I am skeptical we would even end up with something that helps us. Instead we will end up with something from the very people you accuse me of being from. I think instead of getting what we need we would end up codifying the 'status quo' of duopolies and corporate kickbacks.

Also how do you think those dudes ended up with monopolies? By laws that only let them into certain areas. There are many states where the local government are banned from building any sort of infrastructure (you know things governments should be doing). Instead it must go to some sort of external group. Even if it would be better for the local govs to build their own. How about the line sharing rules that are non existent? Because they were slowly eroded piece by piece BY LAW to cement in the local monopolies.

If there was real competition this would not be such a huge issue. Instead by the very nature of the laws we have, we ended up with a small group who just mirror each other and act in a duopoly fashion.

Re:So, regulation haters... (1)

roman_mir (125474) | about 4 years ago | (#33227986)

How is the government created monopoly in telcos working out for you?

Government providing subsidies to phone companies, exempting them from land taxes, doing all sorts of things to give a specific company a monopoly status and let it own the landlines.

So if government creates monopolies in ISPs that way, then sure, fighting evil with evil will be necessary.

However if you open your own Telco tomorrow and buy 100 pieces of land and put 100 cell towers on that land and start selling wireless access including Internet access and you do this with your own money (well, money not taken from a government) then would you be upset if government then came to you and told you what you can and cannot do with your property? If you sell network access on infrastructure you built yourself, then it's totally your property, you can discriminate against protocols or websites or content of any kind, AS LONG AS you specify that in the contract with your customer, otherwise it's false advertisement.

Re:So, regulation haters... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33228916)

No. Because I do not own the airwaves. The government does. They let me use them and they get to make the rules. Just like a landlord can make rules.

Re:So, regulation haters... (1)

roman_mir (125474) | about 4 years ago | (#33229688)

You buy the access to the 'airways' just like anybody else for your purpose, you are paying a fair price for it.

Re:So, regulation haters... (1)

Yvanhoe (564877) | about 4 years ago | (#33228166)

For building infrastructure, anarchic capitalism is good. For maintaining them, you need a good ol' government.

Re:So, regulation haters... (1)

jim_v2000 (818799) | about 4 years ago | (#33228380)

It's working pretty good so far, really. Are you having some kind of problem with your internet provider?

Re:So, regulation haters... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33228560)

"there is no algorithm that can correctly determine which numbers are currently illegal."

"illegal" means - "anything the Jews don't want you to hear"...

i.e. the Jews who run your government. The Jews who own all the banks, and hence YOU and your family, as you will never be able to repay the interest on all the loans...

Google 'The Money Masters' to find out about what these parasites have done to us.

Re:So, regulation haters... (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about 4 years ago | (#33229128)

If you think the broadband market is anything like a free market, then you don't know the broadband market.

Re:So, Regulation Stupidity or Absence ~SOS (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33229850)

Regulation by corporate/government fiat is always a SNAFU waiting to FUBAR on US, EU, RU....

Why, typically there are two causes: (1) Incompetence or (2) Megalomania. Sometimes both are part of suicidal symbiotic parasites homicidally consuming cultural and economic health to the point of extinction.

Maybe, there should be a lobbyist-free judge (Germain-Governor) and jury (professional-peers) process that develop economic, education, medical, technology... laws for governing bodies (without modifications, amendments, or edits) to vote on.

Jury selection would be performed by Public and Private peaceful adversarial contest. Judge selection would be by Jury selection. Always have a small and diverse odd-count jury (7, 11...17).

Why let corporatist or dogma (fascist) determine and write laws in their own petty and selfish interest.

In the US (1)

zoomshorts (137587) | about 4 years ago | (#33227600)

The FCC should be the end all and be all of communications
control. Sadly many of those on the commission , are Bush
appointees.

That needs to change fast. Same with the SEC.

Not to surprising (2, Interesting)

FrozenTousen (1874546) | about 4 years ago | (#33227730)

From TFA :

Limited FCC Jurisdiction — Good
Standard-Setting Bodies — Interesting
Reasonable Network management, Additional Online Services — Troubling
“Lawful” Content and Wireless Exclusions — Fail

One thing that seems good (mostly for content providers, but also consumers) and a few things that could be good for consumers, but still favor ISPs. Sounds like Verizon agreed, "We will let the FCC regulate on a case by case basis, as long as we get broad powers manipulate our other services, and block content we fear is unlawful." The standard setting body is iffy, since as the article points out, these groups tend not to be on the consumers side.

It will be interesting to see where this goes, but personally I am against the idea that they will throttle torrents, or downloads cause "they are consuming too much for it to be legal".

Re:Not to surprising (1)

Tacvek (948259) | about 4 years ago | (#33230606)

Well there is more to say. The transparency requirements are a very good thing. This may indicate that they need to provide information about the bandwidth of the limiting router, and the number of people using it, which gives useful information. They would need to indicate any ports that they filter, whether they drop any packets by type. (There are some that block ICMP traceroute packets for no good reason, despite permitting ping packets. (They can differentiate by the much lower TTL values on the traceroute packets)). All of that s very good.

The "Lawful" qualifier on content is questionable. The only remotely legitimate use I can think of is filtering known child pornography sites. But that s dangerous precedent. They may start to filter "obscene" sites. [1]

The wireless exclusions are definately less than ideal, but there is some good reason for it. The consumer protections allow any equipment to be connected to the network for wired broadband. But wireless providers feel the need to differentiate between use of data by a phone, and use by a computer, be it by tethering or by a separate cellular modem card. There is some reason for this. Cell phones tend to use less data than a computer. So a cell-pone only data-plan is cheaper. If they could not differentiate between the two, because of the severe bandwidth limitations, they would need to charge the computer data rate to everybody. But that rate is high enough that it is unreasonable for somebody who wants a data plan only for the phone. However, I would argue that a better solution would be to offer multiple tiered plans, with different bandwidth caps, but let you use any device with any plan.

Reasonable network management does need to be permitted. The BGP/IGP packets probably should have higher priority than other packets. That is because the flow of those packets can result in changes to a networks internal routing to help alleviate the congestion. It might also be reasonable to assign higher priorities to packets that benefit from lower latency, and let those packets like bittorrent where even doubling the latency makes only a very small difference have a lower priority, at least when the network is not congested enough that packets are being dropped.[2] However some further details about what is and isn't reasonable would be a good thing.

Additional Online Services is supposed to cover things like Phone or Television services that share the data line. What should be permissible is for the company to have phone or TV packets get higher priority than all Internet packets. In that case the internet service they provide is basically selling the unused bandwidth on a cable that is primarily a phone or TV cable, even if IP packets are how the TV or phone service is encapsulated. Thus what they are selling is not logically VOIP service, but merely phone service, or not IPTV, but merely TV. The fact that they use VOIP or IPTV technologies would be irrelevant. What they would not be permitted to do is degrade VOIP or IPTV services. They would get equal footing with anything else on the internet. Thus if they prioritize the Additional Online Services too highly, the internet service would be of poor quality and they would be shooting themselves in the foot.

Footnotes:

[1] Laws against obscenity are idiotic. Quite a bit of fetish material out there would be ruled obscene if tested in a court. But there is no good reason to actually ban the material. I agree that there should be some limits on what can be displayed publicly in real life so we don't have things like explicit pronography plastered on billboards. I would also agree that for that sort of purpose the "community standards" system may work well. Some communities may feel that one image is inappropriate for public display that a different community has no issue with. But to make the material unlawful even in a private setting has no benefit.

  [2] When you need to start dropping packets, what you really want is for any given packet to have exactly the same chance of making it from one side of the router to the other, but for the packets that benefit from low latency to get lower latency than those that don't. The easy way to do this is to have the buffer implement a randomized priority queue, where the priority is not strict but acts a weight in the random picking of the next packet to send. When the buffer is full and a new packet is received, you drop the packet that would have been sent out next. This ensures that the low latency packets are dropped with the some probability as the high latency packets despite the lower latency packets spending less total time in the buffer and thus less opportunities to get dropped.

Who decides what is "lawful"? (4, Insightful)

cjonslashdot (904508) | about 4 years ago | (#33227782)

And the agreement states that "lawful" content will not be interfered with.

But who decides what is "lawful"?

Is this an invitation for the ISPs to take on a police role?

Is it a way for big telco and the media companies they have merged with to decide that someone's content might be unlawful, because it is politically subversive - only because it questions government policies that the telco and media companies support?

ISPs should not be in the business of deciding what is lawful content and what is not. I hope the agreement does not presume that they will be in that business. That is a job for the police and the courts. ISPs should only act on legitimate police requests (i.e., those with warrants or some other transparent or traceable due process) and court orders.

How is this "insightful?" (0, Flamebait)

MikeRT (947531) | about 4 years ago | (#33228088)

But who decides what is "lawful"?

Oh, I don't know, slick. Maybe Verizon's legal counsel might come up with a list of suggestions based on, you know, statutes, case law, stuff like that. For example, if a web site advocates the blatant overthrow of the United States Government or is dedicated to the distribution of child pornography or warez, they might tell their technical staff to take it out of Verizon's DNS or throttle it down to uselessness.

Realistically, you have two choices: either Verizon jealously guards its prerogative or you will get the law enforcement authorities in this country using the FCC to ram down a f#$%-you-up-the-@$$ set of restrictions like they did to telecoms via CALEA. At least in the former, they have the freedom to unblock content based on user feedback without worrying about the feds.

Re:How is this "insightful?" (1, Insightful)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | about 4 years ago | (#33228466)

For example, if a web site advocates the blatant overthrow of the United States Government

cue to just a bit over 200 yrs ago. we, OURSELVES, overthrew a corrupt and unjust government. we were 'rebels' back then going against an established (very much so) kingdom.

how is today any different? if you EVER get a government you can't stand (we're basically at that point, now, right?) you do have the 'right' to overthrow it.

now, the ones in power will try to reverse this; just like jolly old england did 200+ yrs ago. we forced the issue and did 'illegal things' (according to the king).

history judged us as 'right'.

but why is this old-and-trusted concept now verbotton?

seems the new king isn't very different from the old king, when it comes right down to it.

look at the US constitution; all over it implies and outright states that no government can be trusted and that the balance of power must ALWAYS be on an edge to keep both parties honest.

remove the ability to 're-align the government' or even get a new one and you're right back to where we were 200+ yrs ago. they say 'jump' and we have no guns or powers left to say 'no!'.

Re:Who decides what is "lawful"? (0, Troll)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | about 4 years ago | (#33228118)

layer-8.5, the policing layer, of course.

like I commented on my previous post on this subject, the concepts of 'legal' and 'ip datagrams' should NEVER co-mingle. they are as orthogonal as it can get.

keep your damned PORK-FED POLITICATS out of my datacomm network!

they mess up everything they touch and I do not want them (further) ruining our one last resource of free human expression.

dammit.

Re:Who decides what is "lawful"? (1)

HeckRuler (1369601) | about 4 years ago | (#33228542)

Did you know there are laws against reading other people's mail?
Yeah, horribly broken system right there.

Re:Who decides what is "lawful"? (1)

crosbie (446285) | about 4 years ago | (#33228322)

Lawful means:
1) Unencrypted (or encrypted with TSA backdoor)
2) Not infringing copyright, or involved in facilitating/inducing infringement
3) Not unauthorised communication of military/industrial secrets
4) Not relating to terrorism, extremism, drugs, porn, anarchy/sedition, blasphemy, etc.
5) Not unauthorised communication of personal data
6) Not transmitted to/received from banned sites, organisations, persons, IP addresses, networks, etc.

Other than that, and except for network optimisation purposes, all packets will be treated equally.

Re:Who decides what is "lawful"? (1)

cjonslashdot (904508) | about 4 years ago | (#33228664)

But who decides this? A court? A police officer? A judge? Or Verizon and Google?

Under these rules, the Pentagon Papers could not have been published on the Internet.

And under these rules, the ISP is free to decide is something violates copyright; yet, it is widely documented how publishers (including media companies) falsely claim copyright. For example, works that are in the public domain are routinely published in books with a copyright claim in the front. Media companies (or their telco partners) cannot be allowed the power to decide what can flow on the conduits of communication.

The decision to stop content must be made through due process.

The network management issue is a complex one, because spam is content. I think for spam filtering an exception can be made because the overwhelming majority of customers do not want spam. But other than that, any filtering or throttling of content must be clearly explained and treated with great concern. Policies for throttling should be fair and not favor certain content providers.

Re:Who decides what is "lawful"? (1)

crosbie (446285) | about 4 years ago | (#33229032)

'Network neutrality' IS regulatory capture.

Anyone who thinks government can regulate communication to ensure everyone can say what they like and that no speech suffers discrimination is living in cloud cuckoo land.

All that happens is that government says "Ok, if you really, really want us to regulate your speech, we will - reluctantly".

And then you end up with a system of censorship at the infrastructure level that China would wet its knickers over.

Network neutrality is everything everyone is asking for EXCEPT what they're expecting to get, i.e. all packets may still be discriminated against for purposes of state control and commercial expediency, but all those packets that the state and infrastructure owners wouldn't really have cared to fuss over are assured equality (which they would have had anyway).

'Network neutrality' is 'Turkeys voting for Xmas' - very sad, but that's turkeys for you; brain the size of a pea.

Once the turkeys get what they wished for, the guano will hit the plucking machines and they'll all come running to the hackers for help and salvation. The Internet then gets yet another layer to route around censorship, another layer of inefficiency. And the cycle repeats itself...

Re:Who decides what is "lawful"? (1)

locallyunscene (1000523) | about 4 years ago | (#33229754)

Network Neutrality says NOTHING about "regulating speech". All it says is that ISPs are common carriers like telephone, electricity, water and can't discriminate traffic based on its content.

Re:Who decides what is "lawful"? (1)

crosbie (446285) | about 4 years ago | (#33230066)

"can't discriminate LEGAL traffic" -- watch out for that critical qualifier won't you?

Re:Who decides what is "lawful"? (1)

Shakrai (717556) | about 4 years ago | (#33228860)

Not unauthorised communication of military

That's not illegal in the United States. We have no Official Secrets Act. It's illegal for someone with a security clearance to leak information but it's not illegal for the person that receives said information to publish it.

Not relating to terrorism, extremism, drugs, porn, anarchy/sedition, blasphemy, etc.

With the exception of terrorism, none of those are illegal. There are websites that will tell you how to set up a grow-op and keep it hidden from the police. There are websites advocating the overthrow of the Federal Government. All perfectly legal and protected by the 1st amendment. A website that advocates terrorism wouldn't be illegal either -- the ones that have gotten into trouble were the ones that were running forums that supported terrorist communications.

Re:Who decides what is "lawful"? (1)

crosbie (446285) | about 4 years ago | (#33229212)

Believe it or not, but copyright infringement isn't illegal either (the holder of the privilege can sue to exclude, but unless they do, the infringement isn't illegal per se).

Frankly, 'packets not yet determined to be legal' is quite sufficient to route them via a network node with indefinite latency.

Copyright is already making illegal speech that should be free, so I don't know where you get your confidence that 'legal' isn't a major communications discriminator.

The best mechanism for achieving neutrality is to have MORE unregulated network providers - to prevent cartels & monopolies, etc. Given a choice between an ISP that throttled BitTorrent and another that didn't, the latter would win the custom of those who used it, and the former the custom of wealthy couch potatoes.

#6 means you're OK with the Chinese firewall. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33229942)

#6 means you're OK with the Chinese firewall. Would this be correct?

#3 means you hate whistleblowers that tell on illegal issues with industry or the military. Would that be correct?

#4 means you're OK with thoughtcrime and hate the separation of church and state. Would that be correct?

#2 is not a criminal issue, so you're OK with private laws and unaccountability. Would that be correct?

#1 means you hate secure computing with your bank, which means that #5 is broken. Would this be correct?

Re:#6 means you're OK with the Chinese firewall. (1)

crosbie (446285) | about 4 years ago | (#33230170)

Actually, I'm pretty sure I've missed quite a few more cases of potentially unlawful communications.

Do also bear in mind that 'legal'/'lawful' doesn't stipulate the jurisdiction - it could be 'Lowest common denominator', e.g. discussion concerning the weather and praise for the king could remain the only legal communications in all jurisdictions.

Re:Who decides what is "lawful"? (4, Insightful)

butlerm (3112) | about 4 years ago | (#33229116)

You are making a mountain out of a mole hill. "Lawful" means "not illegal". ISPs have no desire to police what is lawful or not, it just creates more work for them. ISPs do have an obligation not to aid and abet illegal activity if they have actual knowledge of the same.

This obligation applies primarily to hosting providers. ISPs are not held legally accountable if traffic pertaining to illegal activity traverses their networks, for the same reason that common carriers like telephone companies are not held accountable if two people discuss a bank robbery over the phone.

"Lawful" arises in the context of net neutrality merely by stating that _end users_ should have the right to engage in lawful communications with anyone they want, without ISPs blocking or purposely degrading communication with some sites in a discriminatory manner (i.e. for economic advantage).

ISPs (and common carriers in general) are not _required_ to pass traffic generated by illegal activity. They just have no incentive to even attempt to make that determination, especially since if treated like common carriers the may find themselves at the end of a lawsuit if they make that determination incorrectly.

Seems like all they do (1)

al3k (1638719) | about 4 years ago | (#33227790)

"So long as your ISP claimed that it was trying to prevent copyright infringement or helping law enforcement, it could be exempted from the net neutrality principles."

So all they have to do is claim? "Preventing copyright infringement" seems to be high up on the list of motivators for anything the ISP's do anymore (and the Feds for that matter). This is so vague it seems like it could be stretched to essentially allow the them to do anything they wanted under the guise that it is "effectively reducing pirating."

Throw it to the civil courts (0)

hessian (467078) | about 4 years ago | (#33227906)

If we want to avoid letting a strong regulatory body decide, I suggest using civil law to fix the problem of net neutrality:

Allow plaintiffs to claim damages based on the inequality of their traffic.

This way, if Joe Small Site finds out that Crazy Big Network is dropping or delaying his packets, he can sue them.

Fear of lawsuits seems to trump even fear of the death penalty in this country, so it might work...

Bittorrent will be a victim (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33227964)

It will be a victim of "blocking unlawful content'. There is plenty of court rulings that just because a very small non-infringing use exists does not mean that thing is deemed legal. Most BT traffic is unlawful, around 95 to 98% by some measures, so it is only a matter of time until such protocols are blocked.

Yes, for a while it will be possible for some tech literates to get around that but it won't be possible for most people. And it will get harder and harder as blocks and detection get more sophisticated, just like breaking bluray is far harder than it was for DVDs.

Anyone else? (4, Insightful)

HeckRuler (1369601) | about 4 years ago | (#33228004)

Anyone else think it's odd that we're reading an article about a group of lawyers commenting about two companies coming together to broker a deal about what the government should be allowed to do?
Isn't that a little backwards? I mean, I like the EFF. But the idea that we need lawyers to tell us what's good and what's bad seems odd.
And having two giants acting like they can simply write legislature is balls to the walls wrong. The FCC can do whatever the laws says they can do, Google and Verizon be damned. Who writes those laws? Those that We The People (tm) put in power.

Re:Anyone else? (4, Interesting)

rajafarian (49150) | about 4 years ago | (#33228234)

I'm not sure how old you are, young man, but, corporations (through lawyers, of course) have been writing some of our laws for quite some time. For a current example, see the DMCA; for an old example, we can see that Du Pont appears to be responsible for making marijuana illegal in this country [ozarkia.net] .

But I do find it odd that they are now doing it so blatantly, right in front of our eyes!

Re:Anyone else? (1)

locallyunscene (1000523) | about 4 years ago | (#33228404)

I don't really see what's odd about it. Lobbyist involvement in lawmaking aside, two companies submitting an open letter to the FCC is how it should work. Not only is it covered under free speech, it just makes sense the the stakeholders have input into the process(FTR I don't think campaign donations by non-human entities should be considered anonymous free speech, but that's not what this is about). I would be just as worried about lawmakers trying to make decisions without involvement by technology experts.

Similarly asking why lawyers should be commenting on law is like asking why technology experts comment on what Google, Apple, and Microsoft all the time.

Re:Anyone else? (1)

HeckRuler (1369601) | about 4 years ago | (#33230216)

Yeah, lawyers commenting on law. I guess that makes sense. Lawyers commenting on an open letter is a little weird, but it's not an open letter, it's a a brokered compromise between two giants. I get the free speech thing, I do, and damn to hell anyone who says that me, Google, or Verison can't send letters to the FCC.

But it's that they're acting like they're sitting down at a table and negotiating power sharing rather then asking the FCC "please mother may I".

I guess my problem is that if all of slashdot came together and wrote what we wanted the law should be, it would be dismissed out of hand by everyone. But Google and Verizon write their version of the law, and it carries weight? It's a story? why?

Re:Anyone else? (3, Insightful)

esocid (946821) | about 4 years ago | (#33228438)

Anyone else think it's odd that we're reading an article about a group of lawyers commenting about two companies coming together to broker a deal about what the government should be allowed to do? Isn't that a little backwards? I mean, I like the EFF. But the idea that we need lawyers to tell us what's good and what's bad seems odd. And having two giants acting like they can simply write legislature is balls to the walls wrong. The FCC can do whatever the laws says they can do, Google and Verizon be damned. Who writes those laws? Those that We The People (tm) put in power.

I have to admit, I read the stories about the deal. First the NYT one that got it completely wrong, then the Engadget one, then several others that flowed out, and the EFF put it more succinctly than I could have understood. Previously, all I got out of it was, we want industry rules to remain neutral, but VZW wants some wiggle room on wireless/mobile traffic.

But surely you don't think our legislative bodies are informed enough to write laws/regulation about stuff like this? Imagine if Ted "the tubes" Stevens had been around to have a hand in NN legislation. These two parties are, but of course you have to single out what they say that will directly benefit them (screw consumers over), and see exactly what will benefit consumers.

Re:Anyone else? (5, Insightful)

jim_v2000 (818799) | about 4 years ago | (#33228444)

>And having two giants acting like they can simply write legislature is balls to the walls wron

They didn't write any legislation. They wrote up some suggestions that the FCC and the Congress are free to use or discard. They have every right to do that.

Re:Anyone else? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33229474)

Having watched this process up-close-and-personal, I can assure you that lobbyists not infrequently do write proposed "draft" legislation which they present to their favorite elected official. That official will often do only do a bit of editing before introducing the lobbyist-written proposal as a bill for consideration by the legislative body. This happens at all levels of government.

And I'm sure (0, Troll)

ThatsNotPudding (1045640) | about 4 years ago | (#33230050)

They didn't write any legislation. They wrote up some suggestions that the FCC and the Congress are free to use or discard. They have every right to do that.

I'm sure that's written on the post-it note stuck to VerGoozon's massive campaign donation checks; 'just a suggestion'.

Re:Anyone else? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33230474)

So you prefer the traditional way of doing things? Instead of publishing their compromise-between-opposites, semi-workable proposal for open debate, they could do what has always been done before: have a bidding war to bribe as many legislators as necessary to pass a one-sided bill that only benefits themselves individually.

Incidentally, don't forget where we currently stand with respect to net neutrality -- nada, zilch, the big zero. With the FCC vs Comcast decision, net neutrality is currently just a figment of your imagination. And given the obvious gridlock in Congress, it may not be such a bad move by Google to compromise slightly with the enemy in order to get at least something reasonable on the books.

Obvious solution: two networks (1)

davide marney (231845) | about 4 years ago | (#33228788)

After reading the discussion on "additional services" from the EFF position paper, I came away convinced that we really do need two parallel networks: one funded by the public, like our interstate highway system, and one funded by private organizations:

There may be some services that need traffic prioritization, such as urgent medical services, but the approach in the proposal creates no real limits on what could be allowed as an “additional online service.” It would be much better if space for these services was addressed through waivers or other processes that put the burden on the company suggesting such services to prove that they are needed. And such processes must be fully transparent — not just consumers but the FCC must be in a position to know how these services work and what impact they are having. They must also be open to real debate and opposition. (Emphasis added)

The key point is, to whom would companies have to prove their service was worthy of a waiver? If it's the government, then basically that means the government would become the approver of all new internet businesses. Who in their right mind would want that? So, what if it was some other body, such as a standards body? Same problem. Is there any organization that we should trust to be the gatekeeper?

No. This whole notion eviscerates the very meaning of "free" in "free market".

What's unfair about the current situation is that some private businesses are trying to commander the public parts of the internet for their own purposes. The obvious answer to this situation is to have a fully-public network that is owned entirely by the people, and can be used by one and all, exactly as the interstate highway system is used today. Private businesses that want to build private infrastructure should absolutely be allowed to do so, but only in parallel with the public network.

Let there be interconnects between the public and private networks, just as private roads interconnect with public. But once a private business puts its data on the public network, public rules apply. Once the data is on it's own network, it's rules apply.

Trying to munge these very different access models together as the EFF recommends seems to me to be a hopeless cause. "Good fences make good neighbors." Better to have clean separation of concern.

Re:Obvious solution: two networks (1)

locallyunscene (1000523) | about 4 years ago | (#33229906)

There may be some services that need traffic prioritization, such as urgent medical services, but the approach in the proposal creates no real limits on what could be allowed as an “additional online service.” It would be much better if space for these services was addressed through waivers or other processes that put the burden on the company suggesting such services to prove that they are needed. And such processes must be fully transparent — not just consumers but the FCC must be in a position to know how these services work and what impact they are having. They must also be open to real debate and opposition. (Emphasis added)

The key point is, to whom would companies have to prove their service was worthy of a waiver? If it's the government, then basically that means the government would become the approver of all new internet businesses. Who in their right mind would want that? So, what if it was some other body, such as a standards body? Same problem. Is there any organization that we should trust to be the gatekeeper?

No. This whole notion eviscerates the very meaning of "free" in "free market".

Hmm, not quite. You've forgotten the context. It's not that they would be gatekeepers of all traffic, it's that they would be gate keepers of traffic getting a higher priority. IE company A starts prioritizing certain news sources traffic over other traffic. They would have to show that this is neccessary(for an emergency evacuation signal or something) or stop giving that traffic high priority. Not that they would have to drop that traffic entirely.

Unlawful Content (1)

StikyPad (445176) | about 4 years ago | (#33228818)

With the arguable exception of child porn, there is (or should be) no such thing as "unlawful content," in the United States; only "unlawful use of content." Unless a provider is either a party to, or a mediator of such contracts, their involvement is neither desirable nor justifiable.

If service providers want to be responsible for the traffic they carry, then I propose making them liable for allowing any port scans, malicious payloads, SPAM, fraudulent advertisements, or unsolicited phone calls (VoIP) to reach my network. What's good for the Goose, right?

this is a pretty weird article. (1)

nimbius (983462) | about 4 years ago | (#33228884)

historically, and i mean since the inception of a "corporation" as an entity created to sell things to consumers, freedom hasnt been at the forefront...no more obvious is it than in software and computing where the idea of "patent everything, share nothing" has dominated the industry for decades....

Im sure for all slashdotters the idea of a "neutrality" act being crafted by two of americas most monolithic corporations sends up red flags and klaxons as it naturally should. consumer "freedom" acts, as a parallel, normally only afford the consumer the freedom to continue consuming from the provider. Only when governments intervene do consumers begin to realize real freedom...an example being the banking reform that prevents banks from automagically enacting overdraft protection fees and overdraft protection in general...bankruptcy as a "service."

as the internet was invented by a government, do corporations have the power to regulate its usage terms? Could this be a tipping point where corporations change? or their lobbyists and greased politicians become too ineffective to resist public outcry...I dont know if anyone will have a clear understanding of what was going on here for years to come.

Re:this is a pretty weird article. (1)

cdrguru (88047) | about 4 years ago | (#33229826)

A corporation has nothing to do with "an entity created to sell things to consumers". A corporation is a tool to eliminate the possibility of liability to investors.

In a partnership the partners all share in liability for debts of the partnership. This also means that any fines or judgements levied against the partnership are distributed among the partners according to their interest in the partnership.

With a corporation the liability ends with the corporation. Only in very special circumstances and the shareholders be found to have liabilty for corporation debts. This means investors are essentially judgement-proof.

This pretty much dates back the 1600s with the formation of trading companies and such where it was necessary to obtain outside investment to build the large companies that were needed to trade at a practical level with India from England. What we have today is mostly unchanged from the rules that were established at that time.

Today, especially in the litigous environment we live with in the US, I can't imagine it being possible to secure investment for businesses without the shield of a corporation. Would you invest money in a partnership when it meant that you might be found to owe 1% of a billion-dollar judgement against the partnership? No? Well neither would anyone else. And that would mean that business investment would cease and we would be back to the economy the way it was in 1500 Florence.

technology? (1)

david_bandel (909002) | about 4 years ago | (#33229124)

How is this technology and not 'your rights online'?

What nobody seems to understand ... (1, Interesting)

cdrguru (88047) | about 4 years ago | (#33229908)

Today there are two ways content is delivered on the Internet. I has been that way for a number of years, at least since 2000 and maybe longer.

Way one is the way we are familiar with - User A connects to Server B and content is delivered. Slowly. Through whatever forest of routers and links are needed to get from A to B.

Way two is evidently a secret to a lot of people. Akami. This company has servers co-located in ISP centers all over the US and other parts of the world. User A no longer connects to Server B but instead connects to Akami caching server C which is right there at the ISP where User A's service is hosted. Content is delivered across the internal ISP network very, very quickly. Much, much faster than from a remote server.

How do you get your content on Akami caching servers? You pay. Lots and lots. But your users then get really excellent service. Isn't this what people are talking about trying to prevent from happening? The whole pay-to-play model is already here and it isn't going away.

Sorry, but we lost the idea of treating every server identically at the dawn of the Internet when it moved from University computers to commercial entities.

Re:What nobody seems to understand ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33230198)

How do you get your content on Akami caching servers? You pay. Lots and lots. But your users then get really excellent service. Isn't this what people are talking about trying to prevent from happening? The whole pay-to-play model is already here and it isn't going away.

Sorry, but we lost the idea of treating every server identically at the dawn of the Internet when it moved from University computers to commercial entities.

Is the traffic on Akami's servers prioritized over other servers or is it just a far more efficient setup? Net neutrality isn't about giving Joe Schmo's home server on a 486 PC the same speed as a network of mainframes. It's about giving equal access to the internet for Joe Schmo's server and Akami's servers, and equal access to Joe Schmo's server and Akami's servers from the internet.

Re:What nobody seems to understand ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33230302)

How do you get your content on Akami caching servers? You pay. Lots and lots. But your users then get really excellent service. Isn't this what people are talking about trying to prevent from happening? The whole pay-to-play model is already here and it isn't going away.

Right there you fail.

That is not pay-to-play. That is pay-to-cache-my-data and have great performance.

Pay-to-play is if you don't pay your blood money to the greedy ISP, they QoS your traffic into the everyone-is-better-than-me category while everyone else that did pay gets good QoS.

See the difference? In the first scenario, everyone is equal, even the Alami servers. They are just closer to your node so they perform better, less hops to traverse and all. In the second, if you don't pay, your traffic going through that ISP is going to suck as you get delayed to the end of the queue while those that did pay get to cut in front of you in line.

I QoS my traffic the way I see fit, that is, I set the priority how packets reach my ISP via my router. Once it hits the ISP, I expect them to fair-queue everyone's traffic with no artificial delay, ie. everyone gets an equal chance to send one packet. Anything else would just screw up the Internet. Imagine a scenario where you traverse three ISPs to reach Google. ISP1 does fair-queueing, ISP2 prefers Google, ISP3 delays Google. In the end, everyone pays everyone or it all goes to crap.

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