×

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!

Gov't Docs Reveal Canada's Net Neutrality Enforcement Failure

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the stop-or-we'll-say-stop-again dept.

Canada 109

An anonymous reader writes "An investigation into the enforcement of Canada's net neutrality rules reveals that virtually all major Canadian ISPs have been the target of complaints, but there have been few, if any, consequences arising from the complaints process. Michael Geist obtained internal CRTC documents on all net neutrality complaints and found that Rogers was the top target, primarily for throttling access to World of Warcraft. Other notable cases include Bell throttling access to hotfile.com and Barrett Xplore, a satellite Internet provider, rendering VoIP unusable. Despite the revelations, there have no fines, no audits, and the CRTC has even refused to investigate some cases that appear to raise obvious net neutrality concerns."

cancel ×
This is a preview of your comment

No Comment Title Entered

Anonymous Coward 1 minute ago

No Comment Entered

109 comments

VOIP via satellite? (1)

Kenja (541830) | more than 2 years ago | (#36697186)

I cant really think of any conditions under which that would be "useable". Speed of light limitations and all of that.

Re:VOIP via satellite? (1)

what2123 (1116571) | more than 2 years ago | (#36697346)

How do you think most VOIP connections cross over the oceans? Not all traffic crosses the trans-ocean underwater cables. A lot of it is still through satellite feeds, which is why VOIP to any other country usually has a two sometimes three second delay.

Re:VOIP via satellite? (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#36697390)

I cant really think of any conditions under which that would be "useable". Speed of light limitations and all of that.

It is certainly going to suck; but the cynic would note that satellite service providers seem to have satellite phones working adequately enough. If there is a substantial delta between the quality of properly set up VOIP installation over a satellite link and the satellite phone connection that the company would likely prefer that you buy as a separate item from them, I'd raise my skepticism eyebrow more than a touch...

For remote locations it's great! (3, Informative)

Wrexs0ul (515885) | more than 2 years ago | (#36697462)

I work with a couple oil companies here in Alberta, and at their drilling sites you'll usually only have internet via a shared connection from data logging companies.

You barely get high-speed, but if you use a lower quality codec and are careful about setup the call quality is as good as a cell phone call. Which compared to nothing makes satellite internet awesome! :)

-Matt

Re:VOIP via satellite? (3, Informative)

wolrahnaes (632574) | more than 2 years ago | (#36697496)

My thoughts exactly. VoIP is my day job and I can tell you that once pings exceed 200ms things get questionable. If there's low jitter, it can work and just have a delay like old intercontinental satellite PSTN links, but usually this is not the case. Any satellite connection using fixed dishes and thus geostationary satellites (a.k.a. everything marketed to home users) has an absolute minimum latency caused by the "last mile" of 472ms. This could only be achieved at the equator, anywhere else would be farther away and have greater latency but I don't feel like doing the math for Canadian latitudes.

tl;dr: VoIP on consumer satellite internet connections is stupid, end of story.

Re:VOIP via satellite? (2)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 2 years ago | (#36698100)

Consumer satellite internet connections are stupid, end of story.

Fixed that for you.

Re:VOIP via satellite? (1)

wolrahnaes (632574) | more than 2 years ago | (#36698498)

I mostly agree, they have their purpose if they're the only option but they can't compete with any of the other broadband options. 3G cellular or a long-run DSL are certainly better choices where available even as bad as they can be. If you don't have that though, satellite is an appealing last resort.

Re:VOIP via satellite? (3, Informative)

BuckaBooBob (635108) | more than 2 years ago | (#36698860)

Sorry to rain on your parade... But ping latency has little to do with voice quality(unless you are using a horrid codec that has super crappy buffers...).. most of the quality comes from jitter.. (Packet to packet delay) as long as you have a fairly steady stream of packets moving (IE your buffers don't run empty then get a wack load of packets then go empty for a while again) You quality should be fine... if there is a large amount of latency you will start to get an echo if poor/cheap handsets are used... but with a proper/robust echo cancellation this can be overcome... But once you start hitting 800+ ms of latency the talking delays do get annoying but the quality is still there.. Please stop using latency as a measurement of VOIP quality... what your really looking at is jitter... on FDD networks with high latency thats usually a sign of high congestion and you will get alot of packet clumping which is the real reason why quality starts to go to crap(The codec can't handle that amount of clumping hence the inconsistent quality of the VOIP call)...

Re:VOIP via satellite? (1)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 2 years ago | (#36701022)

Satellite communications only has that minimum latency if you're too cheap to put steppers on your antenna mast....

Re:VOIP via satellite? (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 2 years ago | (#36697508)

Eh, I guess you're too young to remember transatlantic phone calls in the pre-internet era.

Re:VOIP via satellite? (1)

wolrahnaes (632574) | more than 2 years ago | (#36698528)

That was a commercial system with predictable timing and QoS measurement. Not exactly comparable to a consumer satellite internet system.

Re:VOIP via satellite? (1)

Skidborg (1585365) | more than 2 years ago | (#36698032)

The thing is, they aren't the only ISP blocking VOIP. Telus in British Columbia has been disallowing VOIP on their 3G internet plans for a couple years because it interferes with their other business of selling standard cell phone plans.

Re:VOIP via satellite? (2)

GooberToo (74388) | more than 2 years ago | (#36698092)

People get confused by this all the time. JITTER is what destroys VoIP quality, not latency. Latency can negatively affect the human element on both ends but it can still be completely intelligible. That's a human factors issue with high latency, not a technology issue.

Re:VOIP via satellite? (1)

liquidweaver (1988660) | more than 2 years ago | (#36698122)

Well, it depends on the way the VOIP is transmitted actually. If you don't mind encoding sections of speech and doing an eventual delivery, then latency doesn't matter. For example, most gaming services utilize the method of sending snippets of voice that are fenced by silence using this mechanism.

Now, if you are talking RTP vis a vis SIP where it's truly realtime, 20ms timeslices with stateless compression like G.729 then yes - you will be chopped to pieces with a non-constant time latency (i.e. jitter) medium like open air. That's why wireless voice standards are so specialized, like DECT. It's impossible to pull off realtime when you have jitter - all you can do is mask the jitter by filling it in with predictive audio (or whitenoise/repeated audio in the naive implementation).

Re:VOIP via satellite? (1)

liquidweaver (1988660) | more than 2 years ago | (#36698150)

Basically what I mean is if you have information/time and the time is non-constant, you have to make the information non-constant as well.

Re:VOIP via satellite? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36698792)

Speed of light is a limitation until someone finds a way around it.

Re:VOIP via satellite? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36701366)

Agreed, and to everyone saying the satellites aren't the problem - you're right. It's the 56k dial-up required to USE the satellite.

Re:VOIP via satellite? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36701986)

Xplornet does do satellite, but they also have terrestrial service (mostly wifi, but lte is emerging) which should be quite adequate for voip. In fact, anecdotally, xplornet are well known for delivering far below their advertised speeds which would also impact voip.

Not really a surprise (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36697238)

Everyone in the ISP industry in Canada is fully aware that the entire CRTC is a joke full of corporate bribery and incompetent schlubs who don't want to do anything that would involve work. (If they were competent and lazy, they'd be joining the corporate bribery gang.)

Re:Not really a surprise (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36697552)

This.

Re:Not really a surprise (1)

bonch (38532) | more than 2 years ago | (#36699084)

I sure hope we can institute net neutrality here in the States to protect our right to unthrottled World of Warcraft.

"Net neutrality" remains a joke. Sysadmins at ISPs are running private networks that you merely pay for an IP address on, and they can manage their traffic however they please.

Re:Not really a surprise (1)

modmans2ndcoming (929661) | more than 2 years ago | (#36701008)

and if the market was no a bunch of local monopolies or duopolies then I would have no problem with your sentiments, but how about you free market fools pull your heads out of you asses and stop pounding the screw (monopoly markets) with your hammer (free market theory).

Re:Not really a surprise (1)

jo42 (227475) | more than 2 years ago | (#36700838)

The CRTC is staffed by ex-Bell and ex-Rogers people. Sort of like the many of the current US gooberment positions are staffed by ex-Wall street arseholes.

Bell sucks (3, Insightful)

Tsingi (870990) | more than 2 years ago | (#36697262)

Bell Canada was fined recently for lying in advertising about how much their services cost. They were levied a fairly huge fine, several millions of dollars. They refer to this as an "Administrative" cost.

Internet in Canada is expensive and slow, and it will stay that way until the CRTC stops pandering to Bell and Rogers.

Re:Bell sucks (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36697468)

Internet in Canada is expensive and slow, and it will stay that way until the CRTC stops pandering to Bell and Rogers.

Not gonna happen. Steve Rogers was the best pitcher the Montreal Expos ever had. Bur Albert Belle never played for the Blue Jays, so I don't know why the CRTC panders to him.

Re:Bell sucks (1)

Tanktalus (794810) | more than 2 years ago | (#36698420)

Internet in Canada is expensive and slow

Are you sure? I just bumped up to 50/3 about a month ago, for a price that seems a little high. Check it out [www.shaw.ca]. My bill says, "Personal TV + Broadband 50 .... $84.90" (personal TV includes sufficient HD programming for our purposes). Add on two phone lines, and the children's tv stations, plus GST, and it's $128.85 per month. That's actually ~$60 less than before: by removing a bunch of TV stations that I didn't need and increasing my speed from 25 to 50Mbps.

I guess it depends on your definition of "expensive". I consider this "slightly uncomfortable" price for value, not "oh gawd, I'm being financially raped". As to speed, I'm not sure that 50Mbps counts as "slow". Sure, my network is a mix of 100Mbps switches and 1Gbps devices, much faster than this. But I don't think it's reasonable to expect sustained rates that high from across the world for $84.90/month.

Other providers might be expensive and slow. But that doesn't encompass every provider.

Re:Bell sucks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36701578)

So you are clearly living within one of a very few select cities in western Canada. And I'd love to see what your bill is if you keep up a sustained 50Mbps for an entire month. More likely your data cap equates to 1-2% of advertised bandwidth.

There are many more places in Canada that cost more for much less.

Re:Bell sucks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36701572)

And Bell is laying out Fiber to the home as we speak. Not to mention the upgrades to 4G wireless networks over the last few years...

Who's being paid off? (1)

Anomalyst (742352) | more than 2 years ago | (#36697264)

Follow the money.

Re:Who's being paid off? (4, Interesting)

Toze (1668155) | more than 2 years ago | (#36697554)

Money, hell; follow the employers. The CRTC's Vicechairman of Telecom worked for Rogers for 17 years. The Ontario regional commissoner worked for Alliance Atlantis, Atlantic/Nunavut was VP of Access, Quebec spent two decades at CBC, and Manitoba/Sask spent two decades at SaskTel. http://www.crtc.gc.ca/eng/about/commissioners.htm [crtc.gc.ca] Not to say the whole batch of 'em are crooked, but it seems like half the commissioners they've got don't just have industry experience, they worked for the companies they're now in charge of regulating. I don't know about you, but the Rogers group not even being /investigated/ for egregious harm to network access, while the CRTC telecom VP used to work for them, seems mighty suspicious.

Regulators (5, Insightful)

Hatta (162192) | more than 2 years ago | (#36697300)

Regulators should be like engineers, personally responsible for a failure to do their jobs. They should be paid well enough to accept those risks. This will draw more competent people away from lucrative public sector jobs, and ensure that they actually do the job they are required to by law.

As of now, if a regulator refuses to enforce regulations, what recourse do people have? They are not elected, so we can't vote them out.

Re:Regulators (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36698218)

It's generally not an issue of ability, but bandwidth. Applying a specific set of rules to a problem isn't hard, applying that same set of rules to 300 problems a day with feedback required is. Sounds like an ideal task for Watson though.

Re:Regulators (1)

d3ac0n (715594) | more than 2 years ago | (#36698258)

All the more reason to "go light" with government.

Since regulators and bureaucrats are unelected and therefore inherently insulated to the "will of the people" via elections, they are uniquely and ideally positioned to profit the most from corruption and corporate bribery.

Therefore, it is in the people's best interests to have as few of them as possible, thus lowering the overall ability of corporate interests to bribe the government into doing what is against the interests of the populace at large.

To put it another way: "That government which governs least governs best."

so how do you deal with "natural" monopolies? (3, Insightful)

Chirs (87576) | more than 2 years ago | (#36698412)

An unregulated telecom business would have no coverage in rural areas because the density isn't worth the effort. It wouldn't have universal 911, it wouldn't have interoperable services, and you'd have totally unfettered monopolies.

No thanks, telecommunications and utilities should be owned by the people (i.e., the government).

Re:so how do you deal with "natural" monopolies? (1)

mandelbr0t (1015855) | more than 2 years ago | (#36700684)

No thanks, telecommunications and utilities should be owned by the people (i.e., the government).

Agreed. TELUS was started when the government gave away what was previously government infrastructure to a few pals. Now they are a bunch of intolerable fucks. Maybe my Internet wouldn't be as fast, but at least I wouldn't have to suffer TELUS.

Re:Regulators (1)

sustik (90111) | more than 2 years ago | (#36698460)

I like your reasoning and suggest that we also elect:

- the FDA
- bank and insurance regulators
- police officers
- members of the military
- the fire department
- customs officers
- airport security personnel
- doctors in government run hospitals (like the VA)
- teachers in public schools
- supreme court justices (done in some states already)
- DPS employees
- etc.

Or alternatively (if I follow you correctly) we should just do away with all the above in the name of
eliminating bribery, inefficiency, waste and abuse of power. The above institutions were necessary
only in the middle ages; modern societies consist of enlightened members who can govern themselves
without institutional interference and bloat.

I am intrigued. What is this new political ideology that leads to such powerful and splendid ideas?
I want to learn more!

Re:Regulators (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36699906)

"I am intrigued. What is this new political ideology that leads to such powerful and splendid ideas?
I want to learn more!"

Book a flight to the southern parts of Somalia. They're a world leader in implementing these new ideas.

Re:Regulators (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 2 years ago | (#36699558)

Regulators and bureaucrats are unelected and unaccountable, but so are CEOs. CEOs don't even have a mandate for doing what's in the interest of the populace at large.

No thanks, I'll take the regulators and work to make them accountable rather than suffer under the absolute rule of plutarchs.

Re:Regulators (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 2 years ago | (#36699620)

Also, you're right "that government which governs best governs least". You just have to take into account the equivalency between economic and political power. A sufficiently large disparity in wealth becomes a de facto government. We even see this today where wealthy corporations hold more power than the government. (why do you think no one has been arrested for causing the financial crisis?)

So at some point, as you reduce the power of government, private power fills that void. In order to have the best government, you have to find the sweet spot where total power (economic and political) is minimized.

Re:Regulators (1)

modmans2ndcoming (929661) | more than 2 years ago | (#36701028)

So, you are in favor of getting rid of police officers too then? They are regulators as well you know.

Re:Regulators (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36701296)

Yes! They prevent me from exercising my God-given right to beat people like you!

Re:Regulators (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36698376)

The CRTC isn't elected, but the CRTC reports to parliament via the Minister of Canadian Heritage (straight off the CRTC FAQ [crtc.gc.ca] page), who is elected. So, write a letter to the Minister of Canadian Heritage, who at the moment is the Honourable James Moore, whose page in the capacity of minister is at: http://www.pch.gc.ca/pc-ch/minstr/moore/index-eng.cfm [pch.gc.ca], complete with contact information. Also available in French, of course. On top of that, write your own MP and the CRTC itself with your concerns.

The amount of political pressure the government can apply to the CRTC is intentionally limited in some ways, but if the CRTC isn't doing their job, then the CRTC is ultimately accountable to parliament and will get called on it, especially if the opposition parties get a hold of it and push the issue.

All of this assumes that our parliamentary democracy is still working the way it is supposed to, something that the current government certainly isn't particularly known for. In a majority situation they'll probably be inclined to pay even less attention to it. In any case, sitting back and griping about it won't accomplish much. Talk to what representatives we do have access to.

Re:Regulators (1)

Renraku (518261) | more than 2 years ago | (#36700244)

"Are you throttling anyone or violating net neutrality?" "Nope." "Alright then! Well we got a report saying you were, but we trust you over some random civilians that get uppity about everything."

Yikes... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36697332)

And i thought some countries had rampant corruption, seems Canada is the underdog.

Of course, net neutrality is not to help YOU (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 2 years ago | (#36697376)

Net Neutrality is backed by industries like the music and movie industry specifically so they can put in place a structure to impose controls on consumers later.

It was never about helping you, the consumer, with any problem.

Any thoughts otherwise are purest fantasy as Canada shows us.

Enjoy your chains Canada.

Re:Of course, net neutrality is not to help YOU (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36697502)

?? I was under the impression the music and movie industry only like net neutrality because it stops ISPs from charging content providers from said industries. Net neutrality is supposed to indirectly help consumers, because we won't end up paying for the fees the ISPs wanted to impose on content providers.

Re:Of course, net neutrality is not to help YOU (2)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 2 years ago | (#36697668)

Enjoy your chains Canada.

you really think this is about canada?

leaders are leaders. leaders are cheaters. those in charge get power, get drunk, abuse it.

film at 11.

Re:Of course, net neutrality is not to help YOU (1)

MikeBabcock (65886) | more than 2 years ago | (#36699082)

Umm, we're the ones free to copy our music as well as to rebroadcast any over the air signal. We're not the ones with laws like the DMCA, and we are the ones who told the big music companies to go away when they tried to get user data from major ISPs.

You enjoy your own chains, I'm proud to be part of a country that is attempting to have net neutrality at all. Maybe if you understood the issues (rather than the hype), you't want it too.

Unrelatedly, We're also the country who successfully sued big tobacco and won. I'm not upset to be Canadian at all.

Freedom (2)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 2 years ago | (#36699134)

Umm, we're the ones free to copy our music as well as to rebroadcast any over the air signal.

Yes, you are "free" to do that because a tax is added on to media everywhere, basically assuming you are all thieves.

We are "free" to do what we like in the U.S. and we don't have to funnel money to the music industry for data CD's in order to enjoy that "freedom".

Maybe if you understood the issues

I understand the long-term issues; it is plain you and many do not. When the regulations tighten then you will comprehend what you have allowed to come through the door...

Re:Freedom (1)

sarhjinian (94086) | more than 2 years ago | (#36699474)

We are "free" to do what we like in the U.S. and we don't have to funnel money to the music industry for data CD's in order to enjoy that "freedom".

No, you just get sued for infringement, whether you infringed or not. You also get laws that assume you're a criminal and lock down what you can and can't do with your devices and your content. He's right, that Canadian model really is better and could stand to be expanded. A pittance of a tax that lets you do what you want when you want without fear of corporate reprisal or legal roadblocks seems a fair trade.

It's like healthcare: the American model gives you notional freedom but costs more and delivers less at the end of the day. Meanwhile, the socialized systems cost less and deliver more with less pain.

Re:Freedom (1)

MikeBabcock (65886) | more than 2 years ago | (#36700920)

You have no freedom to do what you want with music in the USA. Your Copyright system makes you a criminal when you even just transcode a music file or exercise your rights by cracking CSS on a DVD. Our system doesn't assume everyone's a criminal, it assumes what we want to do is perfectly legal and to compensate the artists for possible lost sales, blank media levies are divided up and paid out to the most popular artists.

Silly groupthink.

Re:Freedom (1)

modmans2ndcoming (929661) | more than 2 years ago | (#36701110)

you are a naive anarchist pal. Corporate governance is going to eat you up and when you look around to redress your grievances, a wonderful thing called forced arbitration will be thrown in your face where the judge is paid by the company to rule in the companies favor.

Re:Of course, net neutrality is not to help YOU (1)

modmans2ndcoming (929661) | more than 2 years ago | (#36701084)

How the fuck does that even make sense?

So... a system of regulations that tells ISPs they are not allowed to filter traffic that favors their services over any other service and can not charge external service providers money for access to the customers of ISPs is some how bad because somewhere in there the boogie men of the RIAA/MPAA are setting up an infrastructure that will get you?

Before you assume anything... (1)

MetalliQaZ (539913) | more than 2 years ago | (#36697540)

Before you assume anything about net neutrality being deprioritized, remember that this is business as usual for government agencies.

Money buys power, again. (3, Interesting)

rlglende (70123) | more than 2 years ago | (#36697608)

We have more than 100 years of evidence wrt the effectiveness of regulations.

Are there ANY successes? How do these successes compare to the failures, e.g. the 100s of 1000s of people that the FDA's regulations kill every year via inhibiting the development of new drugs and protecting drug manufacturers from competition and the resulting high prices.

Money buys power in all times and places. So far as I can see, the only way to prevent that is to limit the power of the gov to the absolute minimum that is consistent with civilization. We should be experimenting with that lower edge of gov power, as the "sky's the limit" edge we are on has proven a failure in all cases it has been tried in.

Re:Money buys power, again. (2)

TheCycoONE (913189) | more than 2 years ago | (#36697788)

I'm lead to believe that Canadian banking regulations worked out pretty well while the US was deep in credit crisis. Could be propaganda though.

Re:Money buys power, again. (1)

MikeBabcock (65886) | more than 2 years ago | (#36699098)

Facts are facts though; for some reason the Canadian banks didn't crash and burn with the rest of the G8's major banking systems.

Proving what that reason is, and whether those regulations created those circumstances would be very hard, but it seems reasonable that they're involved.

Re:Money buys power, again. (1)

JMJimmy (2036122) | more than 2 years ago | (#36699498)

It actually wasn't propaganda. Some of the Canadian banks were hit hard as they did have stakes in the sub-prime scandal.

There were a lot of factors, including tighter regulation, but the main thing credited to protecting them is their reserve requirements. The reserve requirement is how much banks can leverage their money.

In Europe it's about 40:1
In USA it's 30-35:1
In Canada it's 20:1

So the main, but not only, reason they didn't fail is because they had enough of money on hand to weather the storm.

Re:Money buys power, again. (2)

pcb (125862) | more than 2 years ago | (#36699790)

That's the whole point! Canadian regs required a higher ratio than both Europe and the US. So in fact, it was a better regulatory framework that saved the Canadian banks.

Re:Money buys power, again. (1)

Kielistic (1273232) | more than 2 years ago | (#36697840)

The hundreds of thousands of people that don't die every year from untested or fraudulent drugs that FDA regulations don't allow?

There seems to be a concerning amount of Americans that think that the only way to stop corporations from skirting regulations is to allow them to just do anything they desire from the start. The solution is, as it always has been, awareness and education. At least this way we have legal recourse to work with once enough of the population realizes what is going on.

Re:Money buys power, again. (1)

GooberToo (74388) | more than 2 years ago | (#36698176)

e.g. the 100s of 1000s of people that the FDA's regulations kill every year via inhibiting the development of new drugs and protecting drug manufacturers from competition and the resulting high prices.

That's an extremely poor example. The FDA has actually made things far, far easier in recent times. As a result, thousands are now being killed by drugs which should never have been proved - and wouldn't have been under the old regulations.

Re:Money buys power, again. (2)

Elbereth (58257) | more than 2 years ago | (#36698468)

Are you kidding? I'm tempted to believe that you are joking, but you seem serious. The problem is not with the concept; the problem is in the enforcement. I'll give you a success story for regulation: I walked into a pharmacy and bought a bottle of medicine that more-or-less truthfully lists its ingredients, claimed benefits, and usage on the side of the container. Maybe you're not familiar with a period of history in the USA where so-called snake oil [wikipedia.org] was sold, but this is quite a revolution in terms of customer rights. Without the FDA and FTC, we'd have a return to this system, wherein companies could claim whatever they wanted, with no repercussions, except for a possible boycott by the most informed consumers.

When enforcement -- by pro-business, Libertarian types -- becomes a joke, yes, the system does look pointless and worthless. But that's the whole point, isn't it? By appointing such people to head regulatory agencies, the agency is made lame, so that Libertarians can say, "See? Regulation doesn't work. It's just a waste of time and money."

Re:Money buys power, again. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36698740)

>>..So far as I can see, the only way to prevent that is to limit the power of the gov to the absolute minimum that is consistent with civilization.

This is what the US Constitution was initially designed to do, but we see how those in power circumvent their restrictions ..a la Patriot Act. What you really need is a continuously engaged populace to ensure the limits are continually held in place.

They're apparently learning from the USA (4, Interesting)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 2 years ago | (#36697612)

It's very simple: Have the laws on the books, but don't enforce them. That way, congressmen / MPs can go back to their district / riding and announce that they've gotten some law passed to deal with a problem, but your pals in industry don't have to actually deal with the law.

There were lots of laws that the SEC and Federal Reserve could have used to squash down much of the real estate bubble. They didn't use them. After the fact, there were people and organizations who had committed criminal fraud, and the "Justice" Department has refused to investigate them. There were laws on the book that the MSHA could have used to prevent the Upper Big Branch Mine disaster in West Virginia. They didn't use them, despite lots of evidence that the owner of the mine routinely violated the law and then bribed the judges in the state to ensure that they were effectively immune from lawsuits. There are laws on the books saying that torturing people is illegal. A few grunts have been prosecuted for it, but those giving the orders have gotten off without even a cursory investigation.

Sad to see Harper go that route though. I thought the Canadians had more resistance to the blending of corporate and government power that's so prevalent in the US.

Re:They're apparently learning from the USA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36697758)

Money is money and many politicos are not in for the good of the common man. But that lucrative retirement, all the speaking engagements, and sweet cushy jobs after the 4-6 years.

I am starting to think there should be 0 elections. And people are randomly selected to be part of the machine. Like jury duty. And for like 2-3 months at a time.

Re:They're apparently learning from the USA (1)

JonySuede (1908576) | more than 2 years ago | (#36698982)

that is my political dream, the randomocraty.

Re:They're apparently learning from the USA (1)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 2 years ago | (#36699246)

That's not as preposterous as it sounds - the Athenians did quite a bit of picking people at random to lead.

The other very interesting idea the Athenians had was immediately putting former officials on trial as soon as their term ended.

Re:They're apparently learning from the USA (1)

JonySuede (1908576) | more than 2 years ago | (#36699446)

I was not sarcastic and thank for the Athenian knowledge, the part about "putting former officials on trial as soon as their term ended" was somehow excluded from my curriculum.

Re:They're apparently learning from the USA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36698102)

"Have the laws on the books, but don't enforce them."

What laws?!

Re:They're apparently learning from the USA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36698178)

Harper's not doing us any favours, I can guarantee you that much. Our ISPs/telcos/media giants/etc are terrible and own everything. If you want to make a complaint about Rogers, Bell, Telus through the CRTC you are redirected to a board that deals with the complaints that is made up of... Rogers, Bell, Telus. I made a complaint about Rogers due to them blocking access to my prepaid (Bell) phonecard. They weren't connecting my toll-free calls because of a dispute between Bell and Rogers about who should pay for what and were taking it out on the consumer without any right to do so. I went to complain and I could only complain to somebody that represents both companies... shouldn't they have solved that out themselves? it's absurd.

Re:They're apparently learning from the USA (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36698386)

Note that Harper does not represent Canadians. In the last election approx. 61% of Canadians voted, and of those only 39.6% voted for Harper's party. This means that overall, 1 out of 4 (24%) Canadians support him. But yeah, it's sad to see Canada sinking into corporate favoritism.

Re:They're apparently learning from the USA (1)

DarthVain (724186) | more than 2 years ago | (#36698392)

I would actually say it is the opposite of that.

Laws have not kept up with changing technology. There was no such thing as bit torrent or throttling 5-10 years ago. Heck 10 years ago bandwidth caps didn't exist in Canada. What is happening is technology evolves and industry makes up rules to make money. It is the fault of the government for not creating laws keeping up with the pace, or even trying to. Of course until recently the population has been ambivalent which doesn't help motivate the politicians to actually do anything. That said the CRTC is nothing more than a shill for industry. They have never favored consumers, always Bell and Rogers. It is run by former industry execs. Having the CRTC defend the little guy would certainly help matters.

Anyway case in point is the one time the Conservative government intervened, was over Wind telecommunications a new cell phone player. Without getting too much into the details, Wind was trying to get around a law that currently exists to protect Canadian interests and jobs by limiting foreign ownership. Essentially they borrowed all their capital from a foreign telecommunications company (Egyptian I think, perhaps Indian, not sure). In any case, they argued they they were not foreign owned, they merely owned money to foreign interests. Of course when Bell and Rogers heard of this, not wanting to actually have to compete and perhaps lower profits, call up their buddy in the CRTC and raise holy hell. The CRTC rules on it, and basically says, nice try, but that's against the current law. The government then came in and reversed the decision, saying that it is within the law. My own opinion here is that they didn't want to change the law because its a pretty hard sell right now to kill a law that protects Canadian interests and jobs, to open up the industry to foreign investment (which might help consumers with increased competition). Doing it this way they get all the benefit of the "open market" that Conservatives love, but none of the political backlash about changing a law. Anyway then of course Bell and Rogers take it to court, and the judge says, nice try Wind, but its still illegal. Currently Wind has appealed and it is now in the supreme court waiting for a final decision.

All this really point to the fact that either a new regulator needs to regulate this stuff, or CRTC needs to be gutted, and the government needs to do a better job keeping our laws current with reality. Heck simply having a regulator that does a decent job and isn't in the pocket of industry would help a lot!

Re:They're apparently learning from the USA (1)

tlhIngan (30335) | more than 2 years ago | (#36699420)

Laws have not kept up with changing technology. There was no such thing as bit torrent or throttling 5-10 years ago. Heck 10 years ago bandwidth caps didn't exist in Canada.

Actually, bandwidth caps have been around since broadband was made available in the late 90s. Pre-DOCSIS, most broadband providers gave you 1GB of transfer. Somewhere around the turn of the millenium they started upping them to 5 and 10GB. Somewhere along the line they upped them again but never enforced them.

This also applied to the US as well. Heck, @Home charged something like $5/GB excess back then. I recall a conversation with an old admin about how someone ran up a $90 bill because they managed to transfer 5+GB in a month.

Of course, back then things were different - Napster was somewhere in the background, web pages didn't have all sorts of Flash crap on them, and videos were tiny and required QuickTime or RealPlayer and the like. Speeds were also much lower, and dialup was still common.

Remember the old LPB complaint? (Low Ping Bastard - i.e., someone on broadband). I also remember complaining about the low caps since I actually managed to pull > 1GB at times over dialup.

Next up, regulate Netflix (2)

static416 (1002522) | more than 2 years ago | (#36697810)

At the same time as this is going on, the CRTC is holding a "fact finding mission" to discuss whether or not online video like Netlfix and YouTube should be required to meet CANCON regulations. This means a minimum amount of Canadian content, and paying taxes into a fund to drive the creation of more Canadian content.

Of course this idea is retarded to anyone reading this. How exactly do they propose to enforce content rules on YouTube? Block it at a national level until it's able to show it complies with the rules? Would YouTube even care?

But Bell, Shaw, Telus, MTS, and many other telecom, cable, and content providers are complaining that they can't possibly compete with an $8 a month Netflix account, so they want it regulated/taxed/restricted/throttled. Only Rogers said they didn't see the need to regulate Netflix. You'd think the CRTC (a regulator whose primary purpose is to protect the consumer) would see Netflix and YouTube as an opportunity to increase competition in the marketplace and drive down prices for consumers. But in reality, the CRTC is so deeply influenced by the incumbents it's supposed to be controlling that a internet video tax seems somewhat likely.

Why have a regulator that only further reinforces incumbent and monopoly actors?

I'm not saying remove all regulation, that would make things even worse. What we need is a regulator whose sole focus is increasing market competition, and maximizing consumer benefit.

Re:Next up, regulate Netflix (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36698266)

"I'm not saying remove all regulation, that would make things even worse. What we need is a regulator whose sole focus is increasing market competition, and maximizing consumer benefit."

Good luck with that when you find this Utopian world let me know I be there in a second..

Re:Next up, regulate Netflix (0)

DM9290 (797337) | more than 2 years ago | (#36698318)

At the same time as this is going on, the CRTC is holding a "fact finding mission" to discuss whether or not online video like Netlfix and YouTube should be required to meet CANCON regulations. This means a minimum amount of Canadian content, and paying taxes into a fund to drive the creation of more Canadian content.

Of course this idea is retarded to anyone reading this.

If you think it's retarded to get facts before making decisions then maybe you're the one who is retarded.

Re:Next up, regulate Netflix (1)

TimHunter (174406) | more than 2 years ago | (#36698388)

I've posted this before but it seems appropriate here.

/. commenters, lacking knowledge substitute cynicism, lacking experience substitute pessimism, lacking wit substitute sarcasm, and lacking passion substitute indignation.

Re:Next up, regulate Netflix (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36701422)

Why would you say that in this case? The GP to your post made a gross assumption and insulted any discenting oppinions in an attempt to silence. The P simply reflected this back to point out the invalidity of both stances...

Um... (4, Insightful)

Mashiki (184564) | more than 2 years ago | (#36697818)

So we have misleading headlines, and misleading stuff by Geist again. Big shock. Here's the thing, we don't have net neutrality rules in Canada. There are voluntary guidelines. And people got 'upset' and threw a hissyfit the last time the conservatives were going to rip the mandate away from the CRTC on internet related stuff.

And yet the CRTC is continuing the status-quo. So what's the problem fellow Canucks? You want one, but don't want anyone to do anything about it. And you don't want those 'evil conservatives' to remove the mandate but you want the CRTC scrapped.

You blow my fucking mind.

I suppose the upside is old Von Cough(Konrad von Finckenstein), will be gone in a little bit with a new chairman.

Re:Um... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36698206)

Couldn't agree more....

less than 50 complaints in about 2 years, and most of which show they have been investigated, and investigation is either continuing or closed. Why the spin?

Re:Um... (0)

urbanriot (924981) | more than 2 years ago | (#36698662)

50 kids complained they couldn't connect to World of Warcraft? It MUST be their ISP, no way it could be their routers, software, torrent downloading, etc.

Re:Um... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36699586)

Except when the ISP admit it's theyre fault....

Re:Um... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36700634)

Where? what "fault"? The guidelines basically just say you need to describe what you're doing in an open way; which they are...

Re:Um... (2, Insightful)

Chryana (708485) | more than 2 years ago | (#36700090)

Your complaint does not make much sense to me. Check the websites openmedia.ca and saveournet.ca. I don't see much criticism of conservatives on either websites, and Michael Geist's article does not even contain the word "conservatives". As for wanting the CRTC scrapped, again, neither website I have mentioned nor Michael Geist appears to have spoken in favor of that. In fact, Michael Geist speaks of having stronger enforcement of the guidelines crafted by the CRTC, hardly a call to disband it. As for your point on people getting upset because the conservatives wanted to change the mandate of the CRTC, I can't remember it, and I've been following this issue to some extent.

Re:Um... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36701120)

You're right. He never calls it disbanding; just his audience does that. He calls it things like "significant restructuring" without ever really defining it....

Re:Um... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36701210)

right off the front page of openmedia.ca quoting one of their supporting articles:

"There has been no shortage of protests over the civil rights and privacy implications of the set of proposed laws now collectively known as Lawful Access bills put forward by Stephen Harper's Conservative government."

Re:Um... (1)

Simon80 (874052) | more than 2 years ago | (#36701780)

As weak as our net neutrality rules are, your statements are blatantly incorrect. Not even two paragraphs in, he links to the CRTC guidelines, which say stuff like:

ISP must also reference its online disclosures in relevant marketing materials, customer contracts, and terms of service.

and

Clear and prominent disclosure of technical ITMPs on the websites of primary ISPs must be made a minimum of 30 days in advance of a new technical ITMP being implemented or an existing one being modified.

I don't see how things like that can be construed as voluntary. It seems like an enforcement failure if you ask me. It's objective fact that there are very few neutral ISPs here (Teksavvy cable is the only one in my area that I know of, on the DSL version, Bittorrent gets throttled by Bell), and we're also falling behind the rest of the world in terms of the speed and price of access.

a rule without sanctions (1)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 2 years ago | (#36698046)

a rule without sanctions is no rule at all, it's merely advice.

Re:a rule without sanctions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36698358)

Exactly... It never was a rule... it was a *GUIDELINE*.
And, the complaints show that they ARE being investigated....

Digging in (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36698454)

Okay... so, I randomly pick one of these complaints that was closed without an audit....

Bell -- December 2009 --- CRTC #475593

Nice fax of the screenshots saying that the user's activity is being throttled. CRTC correctly finds that this is not the network provider. (if it were it wouldn't put up a page saying it was throttling, they wouldn't be allowed). Sure enough the problem

http://www.ventismedia.com/mantis/view.php?id=6245

is an application issue with mediamonkey as the CRTC stated.

Another random choice:

Rogers - February 2011 - CRTC #513298
No details provided on the complaint. The CRTC correctly states such and that further evidence is required to show a violation from what Roger's listed policy to meet the guideline.

One must assume that this evidence couldn't be recorded as the complainant did not follow up.

The CRTC is not tech support and shouldn't be expected to be....

Let me guess... (1)

RandCraw (1047302) | more than 2 years ago | (#36698570)

...the regulations were passed under one party, and now another party is in power and has decided not to enforce those laws. Am I right?

I have to wonder why any part of law enforcement is in the executive branch of government. Inevitably, the law becomes politicized as executive(s) selectively enforce(s) only the laws that will lead to re-election of his/her BFFs, especially when there's money involved (e.g. large corporations).

Instead, maybe all law enforcement should be part of the judicial branch. And while we're at it, eliminate election of judges and court officers (e.g. DAs). Instead, appoint them ranked on only their competency (their accuracy and competency in past investigations and court cases, as judged anonymously by their peers).

Oooo. Governance by meritocracy. What a concept.

Re:Let me guess... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36698666)

No. Same government.

A revolution is coming. (1)

pablo_max (626328) | more than 2 years ago | (#36699258)

Anyone else feel like we are on the verge of a revolution across the western world? Where the people finally say, enough of of this shit, we are not going to take the corporate overload crap anymore.
Then again, maybe everyone will sit there and take it like always.

No surprise here (2)

SilverJets (131916) | more than 2 years ago | (#36699320)

Everyone (well every Canadian at least) knows that the CRTC exists to serve the interests of Bell and Rogers. And it goes farther than just net neutrality complaints. Canadians are getting SCREWED by Bell and Rogers for pricing on internet access, data caps, cell phones plan pricing and options, and data plans.

Re:No surprise here (2)

Phrogman (80473) | more than 2 years ago | (#36699610)

"The best government money can buy..."

Expecting Harper's conservative government to do anything about this is just stupid. Harper and his cronies support the big businesses that got him elected and they can do no wrong. The man has the morals of a used-car salesman at best. I am ashamed my fellow Canadians elected him.

Re:No surprise here (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36701002)

"The man has the morals of a used-car salesman at best. I am ashamed my fellow Canadians elected him."

Might want to add Paul Martin & Jean Cretien to that list, as both of them led Governments that not only wasted billions of our tax dollars on penalties payed to corporations (killed military contracts anyone?) but also where caught funneling money to their constituencies for idiotic projects and openly practicing patronage when they should have been trying to improve the country.

I'm not trying to start a flame war here, but Harper has been judged more on baseless speculation and fear mongering about what he MAY do than what his actual actions have proven.

F*ck Rogers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36700740)

Pardon my french but I think it's obligatory to share some discomfort when THEY are mentioned.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

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>
Sign up for Slashdot Newsletters
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...