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FCC Finalizes US Net Neutrality Rules

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the final-until-the-next-election-cycle dept.

Government 299

milbournosphere writes "The FCC has finalized its proposed rules regarding net neutrality. The rules go into effect on 20 November, nearly a year after they passed in a 3-2 vote. The FCC's statement (PDF) summarizes the rules thus: 'First, transparency: fixed and mobile broadband providers must disclose the network management practices, performance characteristics, and commercial terms of their broadband services. Second, no blocking: fixed broadband providers may not block lawful content, applications, services, or non-harmful devices; mobile broadband providers may not block lawful websites, or block applications that compete with their voice or video telephony services. Third, no unreasonable discrimination: fixed broadband providers may not unreasonably discriminate in transmitting lawful network traffic.' It should be noted that some of the language is a little ambiguous; who is to decide what constitutes 'unreasonable discrimination?'"

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299 comments

Judges, that's who! (3, Interesting)

cfalcon (779563) | more than 2 years ago | (#37492960)

"who is to decide what constitutes 'unreasonable discrimination?"

That can go to court. Yes, it's not perfect, but it's definitely more protection than currently available.

I'm more worried about "lawful" in there. If that's found to be "an application or webpage that is guaranteed to have no illegal content" or something similar, then we might end up with torrent and freenet blockers anyway.

Re:Judges, that's who! (1)

0racle (667029) | more than 2 years ago | (#37493066)

If lawful is interpreted as "an application or webpage that is guaranteed to have no illegal content" the whole internet would have to be shut down in the US. HTTP, SMTP and BitTorrent all can be and are used to disseminate content that breaks the law.

Re:Judges, that's who! (5, Insightful)

tverbeek (457094) | more than 2 years ago | (#37493100)

Yes, this is how sound legislation is always written. Rather than trying to spell things out in technical details that will immediately be obsolete and also provide a roadmap for how to get around the letter of the law, they use subjective terms like "unreasonable discrimination" to allow judicial rulings to define and redefine it over time in keeping with the spirit of the law.

Re:Judges, that's who! (1)

geekmux (1040042) | more than 2 years ago | (#37493472)

Yes, this is how sound legislation is always written. Rather than trying to spell things out in technical details that will immediately be obsolete and also provide a roadmap for how to get around the letter of the law, they use subjective terms like "unreasonable discrimination" to allow judicial rulings to define and redefine it over time in keeping with the spirit of the law.

I see what you're getting at here, leaving it mostly up to interpretation, which can be a good thing in the end.

But I also read this as an incessant and perpetual "need" to continue to bring interpretation in front of the court system in a pathetic attempt to continue to justify jobs within the legal system...a legal system that is of course, free-flowing, ultra-efficient, and never backlogged with massive amounts of bullshit exactly like this.

Re:Judges, that's who! (1)

tverbeek (457094) | more than 2 years ago | (#37493664)

This legislative/judicial system of law is badly flawed.

But it's better than the alternatives.

Re:Judges, that's who! (1)

geekmux (1040042) | more than 2 years ago | (#37493922)

This legislative/judicial system of law is badly flawed.

But it's better than the alternatives.

When greed and corruption grow large enough, it's merely given a new name and reclassified. We call it "Government" these days instead of "Mafia". Illegal extortion becomes legal taxation. Hit men and murder-for-hire turns into the CIA and "wet work". And so on.

That doesn't mean it makes it any better than the alternatives. It just appears that way due to it's inherent legality. And how far does it need to become "badly flawed" to reach the point of "Unconstitutional", or is the legal system even remotely concerned about the very document that they supposedly adhere to...

Re:Judges, that's who! (5, Insightful)

Curunir_wolf (588405) | more than 2 years ago | (#37493882)

Yes, this is how sound legislation is always written. Rather than trying to spell things out in technical details that will immediately be obsolete and also provide a roadmap for how to get around the letter of the law, they use subjective terms like "unreasonable discrimination" to allow judicial rulings to define and redefine it over time in keeping with the spirit of the law.

No, it's not. It's how tyrannies are built. It's a way for an oppressive police state to arbitrarily decide when and against whom they are going to enforce the law. Fail to provide the right media support or bribe ... err, I mean "contribution", and you're targetted - and the law is simply made to apply.

Sound legislation must disallow discrimination, provide equal protection, and enforce the tenets of the rule of law. It should be clear to anyone whether an action they take will violate the law or not. It should be unambiguous. In fact, overly broad or ambiguous legislation is often overturned on Constitutional grounds, and should be.

It's a simple idea - if the laws are so many and confusing and open to interpretation, it means anyone and everyone can be said to be breaking the law at any time. And it's up to the enforcers to decide who to actually bring down.

Re:Judges, that's who! (0, Troll)

bonch (38532) | more than 2 years ago | (#37493282)

I'm more worried about "lawful" in there. If that's found to be "an application or webpage that is guaranteed to have no illegal content" or something similar, then we might end up with torrent and freenet blockers anyway.

Well, net neutrality supporters want the government regulating everything, including the private networks of private companies that you as a customer merely pay for access to, so the inevitable result is going to be abuses like restricting torrent traffic to prevent "economic terrorism."

Nobody has yet to offer a single valid justification for so-called "net neutrality" legislation. Internet access is a technological convenience, a service sold by private companies, not some right guaranteed constitutional protection. Sysadmins should be able to regulate their network traffic however they want.

Re:Judges, that's who! (3, Insightful)

spidercoz (947220) | more than 2 years ago | (#37493432)

No, dude. Net Neutrality supporters want to be able to access whatever they want, unhindered by CORPORATE interests. It has nothing to do with private networks. People pay for access to the Internet, a PUBLIC network, and they want to be able to use it however they want. It's about freedom, not regulation.

Re:Judges, that's who! (1, Interesting)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#37493478)

Sure they have, one single valid justification for it is that the ISPs are using public resources to run their business and as such should be required to engage in neutral policies.

I love how you slipped in the word "valid" as if it allows you to ignore the fact that ISPs make use of the public right of way to conduct their business. As long as they're using easements on public land or publicly owned spectrum, the government has the right to expect that they maintain their businesses in a way that is neutral to the various parties that wish to do business with the consumers.

Re:Judges, that's who! (1)

NoSig (1919688) | more than 2 years ago | (#37493628)

Well, net neutrality supporters want the government regulating everything, including the private networks of private companies that you as a customer merely pay for access to, so the inevitable result is going to be abuses like restricting torrent traffic to prevent "economic terrorism."

Please private update your outdated private Newspeak private dictionary. The approved private term is private now "money rape" private. It has always private been private "money rape" private. Private private private.

Buried under state roads; tantamount to press (2)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#37493642)

Internet access is a technological convenience, a service sold by private companies

For one thing, people who buy a service have the right to know up front, in easily understood language, what limits the service will have. For another thing, fixed broadband providers operate under municipal franchises due to the state's monopoly on roads under which the last mile can be buried.

not some right guaranteed constitutional protection

Watch lawyers for a civil liberties advocacy group talk a judge into considering Internet publication tantamount to "speech or ... the press".

Re:Judges, that's who! (1)

Bengie (1121981) | more than 2 years ago | (#37493658)

When you pay for "the internet", you're paying for full access to the "public network". If the company interferes with that, then they should not be able to advertise it as an "internet connection" in any form.

Also, your connection may flow "over" their private network, but you do not actually have access to that private network. Not to mention, their "private network" runs over public lands and crosses state lines.

If they don't like it, then they should have to fully purchase an own the land where their fiber/cables run.

Re:Judges, that's who! (1)

Teun (17872) | more than 2 years ago | (#37493732)

In other words, you'd rather have corporate interests to 'govern' the world.

The proposed legislation is to enable corporations to compete on a level playing field, not to hinder them or their customers.

But according to your remarks your bread might be buttered on the funny side...

Re:Judges, that's who! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37493840)

Well, net neutrality supporters want the government regulating everything

Not true and you know it. You have repeatedly had explained to you what net neutrality is, and not one single time have you ever changed your critique to reflect the actual position. You are lying about what net neutrality is, because you know you are not competent to draft an intelligent critique of what it really is.

Re:Judges, that's who! (1)

AngryDeuce (2205124) | more than 2 years ago | (#37493420)

And once it goes to the Supreme Court they will shoot it down because, despite what the UN says, internet access is not considered a right here, it's a privilege.

I doubt there is anyone with the money to lobby on behalf of the consumer in this case (there never is) so, at the end of the day, this will get struck down and the ISPs will continue to throttle and do whatever they want because it's "their" network. Never mind the fact that there has been ridiculous amounts of public money involved in the creation of said network, either way, it belongs to them, because our representatives didn't care enough to fight for it. It's too damn late, now. The time for this battle was 10 years ago before the major ISPs became entrenched.

If you want to talk privileges (5, Insightful)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#37493680)

internet access is not considered a right here, it's a privilege.

Nor is wireless ISPs' access to FCC-owned spectrum a right; it's a privilege. Nor is wired ISPs' access to conduit under post roads a right; it too is a privilege.

Re:If you want to talk privileges (1)

AngryDeuce (2205124) | more than 2 years ago | (#37493860)

I agree with you whole-heartedly, but the reality of the situation is that what is fair and just for the people is of little consequence to those in power anymore. The days of fighting through legal channels is pretty much at an end, because the legal channels are all corrupted and totally preferential towards those with the most money to throw at it.

Re:Judges, that's who! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37493846)

its a privilege?? try denying someone access due to the color of their skin and see how long its a privilege, and instead turns into a right.

Re:Judges, that's who! (1)

AngryDeuce (2205124) | more than 2 years ago | (#37493956)

Like I said above, I agree that Internet Access is a right in this day and age, but the reality of the situation is that many of our fellow citizen's do not see it that way, and honestly it doesn't even matter as none of the people that make our laws or enforce them advocate on behalf of the people anymore. Consider the majority of Americans that want Universal "European Style" Health Care; even though some polls say over 70% of the population in this country wants it, it will never happen, because the people aren't represented by our legislatures.

Call me a pessimist, but frankly, at this point, I'll believe that the people have a voice in this country again when the will of the people is actually done, and I see no evidence of that happening any time soon.

Re:Judges, that's who! (2)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 2 years ago | (#37493512)

The Lawful bit it is prevent a loop hole where Illegal Content would become legal, at least unenforceable.

So if you get blocked for Illegal Content just like if you get blocked for unreasonable discrimination you go to court to try to prove otherwise.

Re:Judges, that's who! (1)

danbuter (2019760) | more than 2 years ago | (#37493880)

That's one of those little carrots they include to make lawyers really happy. Everyone knows it will lead to hundreds, if not thousands, of new court cases. All of which will pay attorneys millions of dollars.

So will verizon FIOS now open port 25? (3, Interesting)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 2 years ago | (#37493016)

I get it morons spam, but how about opening it for users on request when we want to have mailservers?

Internet service with blocked ports is not really internet service.

Re:So will verizon FIOS now open port 25? (3, Informative)

0racle (667029) | more than 2 years ago | (#37493104)

You might want to read your ToS on that residential line. I'll put money on you agreed not to run internet services on it.

Re:So will verizon FIOS now open port 25? (2)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 2 years ago | (#37493140)

I don't care. The internet is a two way street. If they don't want you using it they should not be allowed to call it internet service. They should have to sell it as "one way consumption only service for ports 80 and 443."

Re:So will verizon FIOS now open port 25? (3, Interesting)

geekmux (1040042) | more than 2 years ago | (#37493608)

I don't care. The internet is a two way street. If they don't want you using it they should not be allowed to call it internet service. They should have to sell it as "one way consumption only service for ports 80 and 443."

The term "internet service" 99.9% of the time in a consumer or residential contract is meant to DELIVER services to you, NOT for you to provide services to others. Of course, this works well because 99.9% of consumers only want or need exactly what is being delivered to them today.

Interpret that all you want, but the bottom line is chances are your ISP does in fact offer a business-class service that would unblock port 25, 80, or 443. Most consumers bitch about it only because they're too cheap to pay for business-class service, that's all. Go lease your own T1 line if you want to see what "expensive" really is.

If you want policy to change regarding consumer-class services, then shift the demand. Right now, ISPs don't have consumers in droves beating down their doors demanding they can run web and email servers. And it's not likely to happen anytime soon either.

And no, I don't work for an ISP. This is just common sense.

Diaspora and other friend-to-friend protocols (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#37493702)

Right now, ISPs don't have consumers in droves beating down their doors demanding they can run web and email servers. And it's not likely to happen anytime soon either.

That depends on how quickly Diaspora developers can get something working.

Re:So will verizon FIOS now open port 25? (2)

erroneus (253617) | more than 2 years ago | (#37493188)

Network Neutrality rules should trump ToS agreements just as local, state and federal laws trump EULAs. There are some things they shouldn't be allowed to do.

Re:So will verizon FIOS now open port 25? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37493310)

h4rr4r is lying to stir up shit. I confirm what cpicon says because port 25 works for me too. His attempt to try to claim it's a regional thing is laughable bullshit. Yes only in his region did verizon for no reason block that port.

Re:So will verizon FIOS now open port 25? (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 2 years ago | (#37493366)

I am in WNY.
I will update with logs when I get home if you like.

So either I am trolling and trying to hurt my karma, or more likely you are a full of shit AC.

Re:So will verizon FIOS now open port 25? (1)

cpicon92 (1157705) | more than 2 years ago | (#37493190)

I'm running a web server on residential FIOS, it's allowed. So is running a mail server, port 25 isn't blocked. The FIOS IP block is on the spam blacklist.

Re:So will verizon FIOS now open port 25? (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 2 years ago | (#37493232)

Perhaps they don't block it in your area. I cannot telnet from my home to a server I have at rackspace on port 25.

Re:So will verizon FIOS now open port 25? (1)

Tsingi (870990) | more than 2 years ago | (#37493438)

Perhaps they don't block it in your area. I cannot telnet from my home to a server I have at rackspace on port 25.

Have you troubleshooted the issue? You may be running a firewall on a router, or if you are using Linux, iptables may be blocking ports by default.

Also, telnet is rather insecure, SSH is what you should be using. Rackspace might not let you telnet.

(apologies if I seem patronizing, not my intention.)

Re:So will verizon FIOS now open port 25? (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 2 years ago | (#37493480)

Telnet on port 25 is how you can test if smtp is working.
You can do the whole transaction at the terminal and watch it.

Thanks for having no idea what you are talking about. SSH is not going to connect to an SMTP server.

Re:So will verizon FIOS now open port 25? (1)

Tsingi (870990) | more than 2 years ago | (#37493816)

(apologies if I seem patronizing, not my intention.)

Thanks for having no idea what you are talking about. SSH is not going to connect to an SMTP server.

No, I didn't look up the port number, I don't use telnet, although I have telnetted to mail servers before. I thought you were trying to telnet to your content server. Serves me right for trying to be helpful.

No good deed goes unpunished.

Re:So will verizon FIOS now open port 25? (1)

lgarner (694957) | more than 2 years ago | (#37493920)

How do you SSH to an SMTP server on port 25?

Re:So will verizon FIOS now open port 25? (1)

Teun (17872) | more than 2 years ago | (#37493874)

Maybe they block insecure protocols and you should try ssh :)

Re:So will verizon FIOS now open port 25? (2)

berzerke (319205) | more than 2 years ago | (#37493262)

It could be that you want to connect to someone else's SMTP server, not running your own. Blocking port 25 prevents that, forcing the user to find an alternative port. Admittedly, that alternative is usually encrypted, so overall this is a good thing.

Re:So will verizon FIOS now open port 25? (1)

0racle (667029) | more than 2 years ago | (#37493392)

Should not be a problem unless Verizons engineers are complete idiots and preventing you from talking to any SMTP server they don't own. Talking to someone else's SMTP server will make a connection TO other port 25 FROM your randomhighport. Residential internet typically blocks connections FROM randomhighport TO your port 25.

Re:So will verizon FIOS now open port 25? (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#37493774)

It could be that you want to connect to someone else's SMTP server

If you want to connect to a smarthost in a datacenter to send mail, that's what port 587 out is for. If you want to connect from a machine in your residential IP address block to the recipient's SMTP server and send mail that way, that'll be confused with a spam zombie.

Re:So will verizon FIOS now open port 25? (1)

The Moof (859402) | more than 2 years ago | (#37493338)

You have a point about running server violating terms (which was specifically mentioned by the GP), but there are other reasons I want port 25 opened that don't run servers. For example, my router is dying to send me daily status reports by e-mail, and I would love to send them anywhere but root's local mailbox. However, AT&T refuses to open port 25 (unless I upgrade to a business account) to let the MTA relay the messages to a more practical e-mail address.

Re:So will verizon FIOS now open port 25? (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#37493786)

AT&T refuses to open port 25 (unless I upgrade to a business account) to let the MTA relay the messages to a more practical e-mail address.

Have you tried configuring your router to relay on port 587 (SMTP message submission) instead?

Re:So will verizon FIOS now open port 25? (1)

cpicon92 (1157705) | more than 2 years ago | (#37493198)

Port 25 isn't blocked. The FIOS IP block is on the spam blacklist. See for yourself. Try sending mail to a server that doesn't have any kind of blacklisting.

Re:So will verizon FIOS now open port 25? (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 2 years ago | (#37493214)

I have. My own hosted server at rackspace. I cannot telnet to it on port 25 from my house.

Re:So will verizon FIOS now open port 25? (1)

cpicon92 (1157705) | more than 2 years ago | (#37493268)

That's weird, since it works for me. It's a non-issue, though because of the blacklist issue. If it were only a port 25 issue, you could just use a different port for sending mail...
Since you have a hosted server, why don't you use that for mail? It's not like it's a very resource-heavy task. If for some reason you need to have a mail server in your home, you could set up a relay system.

Re:So will verizon FIOS now open port 25? (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 2 years ago | (#37493300)

I could but I don't want to. I want them to provide the service they advertise. Internet access, not this some ports of the internet bullshit.

Re:So will verizon FIOS now open port 25? (1)

cpicon92 (1157705) | more than 2 years ago | (#37493502)

Give it a rest. They give you literally every port except 25. The recommended port for smtp is 587, now anyway. You can't blame them for trying to prevent botnets from using zombies to send out spam.
You have internet access at the advertised speed and unblocked port 80 (which most ISPs don't give). And all of this for a price that most people can only dream of. You should really consider yourself lucky.

Re:So will verizon FIOS now open port 25? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37493362)

So wait, you're actually trying to claim their blocking port 25 outbound? Yea, you're either blatantly lying or you don't know how to configure your router/firewall and are blocking it yourself.

Re:So will verizon FIOS now open port 25? (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 2 years ago | (#37493620)

Come to mention it, I do use their actiontec router and they do update the firmware and reset stuff on it on occasion. I will have to investigate it.

Re:So will verizon FIOS now open port 25? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37493638)

My thoughts exactly... if they blocked 25 out then people using eudora, Thunderbird, etc would be screwed. I think the original port 25 out poster doesn't have something configured right or something just like the parent suggests

Re:So will verizon FIOS now open port 25? (2)

nmb3000 (741169) | more than 2 years ago | (#37493238)

I get it morons spam, but how about opening it for users on request when we want to have mailservers?

Internet service with blocked ports is not really internet service.

And I get it that 0.03% of users are like you and want to run a mailserver at home. Unfortunately, 60% of users have spam-spewing malware infesting their machine and blocking port 25 on all the big ISP networks is a huge step forward to reduce botnet/zombie spam.

Does Verizon not have an SMTP gateway you can use? I know when on a Comcast connection I can simply open up smtp.comcast.net and it will relay mail for me. A quick look shows they probably do [verizon.com] , though you might have to do smarthost and authentication. Pretty easy.

Besides, any competent spam filter will increase the spam rating for mail sent directly from a network like Verizon and Comcast anyway. You're better off using a legitimate server (Verizon, Gmail, your hosting provider, whatever) to send those messages.

Re:So will verizon FIOS now open port 25? (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 2 years ago | (#37493274)

They could open it on request only.
I do not want to use their shitty gateway. I do not want them reading my mail, or filtering it or fucking touching it. I do not want to be reliant on one of those companies. I want real internet service, which means a dumb pipe. I don't care if I get bounced for what ip I have. I care about this seller committing what is in any sane sense of the word fraud. They advertise one thing and sell another.

Re:So will verizon FIOS now open port 25? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37493510)

If you don't want them "fucking touching it", then you shouldn't be sending it through their routers to begin with.

Re:So will verizon FIOS now open port 25? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37493724)

Want some cheese with that whine?

Down when you need to use it (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#37493848)

Does Verizon not have an SMTP gateway you can use? I know when on a Comcast connection I can simply open up smtp.comcast.net and it will relay mail for me.

I've read horror stories on Slashdot of ISP-provided SMTP relays having unacceptable availability. If you were to find that smtp.comcast.net was often down when you need to use it, what would you use instead?

Re:So will verizon FIOS now open port 25? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37493322)

do they consider operating a mailserver a reasonable expectation for a residential account? Especially with the potential for abuse likely to happen over that port?

Re:So will verizon FIOS now open port 25? (4, Interesting)

dbc (135354) | more than 2 years ago | (#37493364)

My ISP has this one right, I think. Port 25 and other well-known server ports that are popular among the SPAMinistas are blocked by default (on residential service lines). But opening them up is a simple matter of signing into a configuration page and clicking a button to open the port. They have a few words of warning on the web page, but don't stop you from doing it.

Let's be realistic, many customers are going to be in the "What's a port?" crowd. They are the ones who's systems are likely to get compromised and have the least idea how to fix it. People who say "I want to run SMTP on port 25." are capable of finding the button on the ISP's web site and clicking it. Also, the ISP runs statistical monitors on anybody who opens port 25. Because you found and clicked the button to open port 25, the ISP has at least half a chance that an e-mail saying: "Dude, do you know your SMTP outbound traffic just spiked up by 20X today, and that you are sending out X MB per day now?" is likely to be read by a sentient being.

Overall, I think they have the balance about right -- they don't get in your way, but they do things to minimize problems and workload caused by compromised customer systems.

Re:So will verizon FIOS now open port 25? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37493812)

I get it morons spam

You're a fucking moron who wants to generate spam.

You have no other reason for your request, asshole.

unreasonable discrimination (2)

Pat Attack (1353585) | more than 2 years ago | (#37493020)

I have a feeling that we are going to see some legal battles with the carriers over "unreasonable discrimination"

That can't be right. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37493028)

At first glance this seems to be reasonably sane, obviously this can't be right, so what's the catch?

Re:That can't be right. (1)

Tsingi (870990) | more than 2 years ago | (#37493202)

Maybe there isn't one.

That does seem unlikely, doesn't it.

Re:That can't be right. (1)

RobertLTux (260313) | more than 2 years ago | (#37493252)

the catch is the going rate for a Judge to decide things "your way".

the way "we" want things decided
The law is saying that Torrent , HyperCast, Tor and whatever CAN NOT BE BLOCKED at the service level

The Way ISPs want things decided
Any service not specifically stated to be unblockable (streaming media and VOIP) can and should be blocked if it causes the TOP TEN PERCENT USERS to increase or stay the same in useage.

Re:That can't be right. (1)

henrym (414280) | more than 2 years ago | (#37493416)

You have some errors with your capitalization. FTFY.

The catch is the going rate for a judge to decide things "your way".

The way "we" want things decided
The law is saying that Torrent , HyperCast, Tor and whatever CAN NOT BE BLOCKED at the service level.

The way ISPs want things decided
any service not specifically stated to be unblockable (streaming media and VOIP) can and should be blocked if it causes the TOP TEN PERCENT USERS to increase or stay the same in useage.

Good, but not far enough (5, Interesting)

fingers1122 (636011) | more than 2 years ago | (#37493082)

This is better than nothing, but it's only a matter of time before some of the "ambiguity" in the rules are exploited. What scares me most about net neutrality is that virtually no one outside of those who are actively interested know anything about it, and we've already seen a crazy propaganda campaign in the press to define net neutrality as a "government takeover of the Internet."

If we have any desire for true net neutrality to be upheld, we have to figure out a way to reframe this discussion in the media--and we have to do it quickly or we're going to soon end up with an Internet that is going to resemble broadcast TV more than the open web of information that it is now. I have a bad feeling in my stomach about how net neutrality is going to play out as it seems almost no one understands how vitally important it is.

Re:Good, but not far enough (3, Insightful)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 2 years ago | (#37493166)

You can't reframe it in the media. They are the ones you are fighting against.

Re:Good, but not far enough (2)

fingers1122 (636011) | more than 2 years ago | (#37493280)

Unfortunately, yes. But we are going to lose this battle if the conversation becomes about "government control" and not about freedom to communicate. Power structures all over the world fear the Internet as it is now--and they should. It is not in the interest of power structures to allow the public to communicate freely, and as a result they will eventually try to do away with it.

Re:Good, but not far enough (2, Insightful)

bonch (38532) | more than 2 years ago | (#37493248)

What scares me about net neutrality is that people actually believe a private company running a private network doesn't have the right to regulate its network traffic however they see fit.

DARN TOOTIN'!!!!11!!!!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37493306)

And people actually believe a private company hirin' private employees doesn't have the right to refuse them Negroes and darkies however they see fit.

GLORY HALLELUJAH! GOD BLESS 'MUR'KA!

Re:Good, but not far enough (4, Insightful)

cfalcon (779563) | more than 2 years ago | (#37493330)

The private companies that are federally subsidized monopolies? Go look at how all that pipe got laid. That's tax dollars at work. You want to look me in the eye and tell me that anyone can just go run a giant network of fiber? Because these turkeys sure didn't, and even if you could, you would need massive government participation to bury stuff everywhere.

These things are "utilities" for a reason. This isn't like "the only difference between these guys and the store at the corner is total money". This is different.

Re:Good, but not far enough (2)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 2 years ago | (#37493348)

I agree they should be allowed to just as soon as they give up any right of ways or government subsidies/loans or tax credits.

A company that survives by laying cable over my land without paying me by using the force of government should expect this. What is sauce for the goose...

Re:Good, but not far enough (1)

causality (777677) | more than 2 years ago | (#37493402)

What scares me about net neutrality is that people actually believe a private company running a private network doesn't have the right to regulate its network traffic however they see fit.

You really don't know how the telecoms came to run that "private" network, do you?

Put it this way: if they built it with their own money, your argument would be on much firmer ground.

Re:Good, but not far enough (3, Insightful)

fingers1122 (636011) | more than 2 years ago | (#37493682)

He probably cares very little about the fact that the government created the infrastructure of the Internet. People like him don't really believe in minimal government (as they love to claim); they believe in a very strong, robust government--but one that works only in favor of private business. We of course see this in the financial industry, where at the top, losses are socialized and gains are privatized--with no real effort to end the "to big to fail" policy. These people are not capitalist, they are Marxists, but they're on the other side. They consistently LOVE government when it funds and protects private business, but hate it when it asks for anything back--like, oh say, protection of its citizens.

At least government is accountable to the people in functioning democracies. Corporations are tyrannical in nature, owing no accountability to the public. We've seen what happens to unregulated industries. "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to fulfill it."

Re:Good, but not far enough (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37493964)

Actually there is one company that ended up using most of their own private land to run the cables, that would be SPRINT.
You see the SPR in Sprint stands for their original parent company Southern Pacific Railroad. They ran the cables under the railroad lines and land they owned, this also helped them compete with AT&T and MCI for long distance services back in the old days, they were basically not paying for leasing land and could offer cheaper rates.

Re:Good, but not far enough (1)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | more than 2 years ago | (#37493496)

Of course, those private companies use public resources, like land use/right-of-way and public spectrum, etc... and are usually considered to be (or be like) a utility. Many (most?) receive some sort of tax consideration as well and have to get municipal charters (permission to operate) in various localities... I'd argue that the right to regulate these companies like this exists as, obviously, do the companies. The difference of opinion is to what extent and I'd argue that the only leg on which these companies are standing is protecting their profits - which is okay, that's why companies exist - but predatory, discriminatory and monopolistic practices are illegal - at least for the sole sake of those practices.

Re:Good, but not far enough (1)

s73v3r (963317) | more than 2 years ago | (#37493564)

What scares me most about net neutrality is idiots like you thinking that companies can slice up the PUBLIC INTERENT however they see fit.

If they want to "regulate their network traffic on their private network", then they need to have a private network to start with. The Internet is not a private network. If they want to regulate traffic, then they need to cut all connections to the greater Internet.

Re:Good, but not far enough (1)

Bob the Super Hamste (1152367) | more than 2 years ago | (#37493696)

Then if it is all private then I should be able to remove all of their private equipment from my private property since I am not uisng it and they aren't paying me anything for hosting their cables. Charter is the local cable company and I don't have cable tv or cable internet but yet they have lines that cross my property so maybe I should go rent a ditch witch and return Charter's property. I mean come on I am a private entity with private property so I should be able to decide what runs across my property.

Re:Good, but not far enough (1)

Bengie (1121981) | more than 2 years ago | (#37493768)

If they didn't get over 800bil in subsidies over the past 15 years and didn't run their fiber over public land and other's private property, then you may have a case. But as it stands, they've gotten over 1 trillion(after inflation) of free money and they run their cables along high-ways and cross state lines. There is NOTHING private about that.

Re:Good, but not far enough (1)

AngryDeuce (2205124) | more than 2 years ago | (#37493276)

"The Media" have a vested interest in not accurately presenting the information. At the end of the day, it all comes down to money. Laws and regulations don't mean fuck all if you've got the capital and market share to protect you...two things ISPs have plenty of

I suspect the first ISP that gets nailed on Net Neutrality will take it all the way to the Supreme Court and they will rule that the ISP's have every right to provide whatever service they want because "hey, nobody needs the internet." The UN declaration of internet access being a human right was widely mocked here in the States if you'll recall (at least, widely mocked by those that get any real say in the matter anyway).

That conservative majority on the SCOTUS will take care of this no problem, you'll see.

Re:Good, but not far enough (1)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | more than 2 years ago | (#37493640)

Or, SCOTUS could finally declare the broadband suppliers / ISPs as Common Carriers [wikipedia.org] , in which case the ISPs would be screwed. While they have generally been successful at skirting this definition to date,

Internet networks are, however, already treated like common carriers in many respects. ISPs are largely immune from liability for third party content. The Good Samaritan provision of the Communications Decency Act established immunity from liability for third party content on grounds of libel or slander. The DMCA established that ISPs which comply with DMCA would not be liable for the copyright violations of third parties on their network.

Too much dickish behavior could swing thinking against them

Re:Good, but not far enough (1)

AngryDeuce (2205124) | more than 2 years ago | (#37493820)

Or, SCOTUS could finally declare the broadband suppliers / ISPs as Common Carriers [wikipedia.org] , in which case the ISPs would be screwed.

I'm way too much of a pessimist to even entertain that notion. Citizens United v. FEC [wikipedia.org] and AT&T Mobility v. Concepcion [wikipedia.org] is enough evidence in my mind to deduce that the Supreme Court is just another tool of Big Business, albeit not as obviously corrupted as our Legislative and Executive branches.

Re:Good, but not far enough (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37493516)

I'm curious how such legislation deals with content caching and other mechanisms used to bring high-bandwidth content closer to the consumers. It's easy to proclaim that everyone has to be on an even playing field, but stuff like Netflix makes use of distributed content servers for a reason. If Netflix contracts with an ISP to put that content within the network to provide better service does that run afoul of the new rules, especially when it comes to other companies that can't afford to provide that level of service?

Ok. (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 2 years ago | (#37493168)

Great. Empty variables in the form of 'lawful'. Now all you need is a few small laws to block stuff at will.

"unlawful" (4, Interesting)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 2 years ago | (#37493194)

You guys do realize that everything you do on the internet is unlawful in one fashion or another, somewhere. It's like a police officer following you while you drive. At some point during the trip, regardless of who you are, you're going to do something that is an offense the officer can stop you for. The internet is no different.

Look at how we've made breaking an EULA a crime. Tell me, how many EULAs do you interact with during your average browsing session? That's just one example... there's thousands more buried in a byzantine legal framework. So basically, the exception that they cannot disrupt "legal" traffic is a carte blanche exception to do whatever they want... because everything is illegal somehow.

And if not, your ISP will simply adjust their EULA for their website, and set your default homepage to it, and viola.

Queue prophetic Ayn Rand quote (2)

Quila (201335) | more than 2 years ago | (#37493352)

"There's no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren't enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws. Who wants a nation of law-abiding citizens? What's there in that for anyone? But just pass the kind of laws that can neither be observed nor enforced nor objectively interpreted and you create a nation of law-breakers."

She was a bit whacko in ways, but man did she hit the nail on the head with this one.

Re:Queue prophetic Ayn Rand quote (-1, Flamebait)

s73v3r (963317) | more than 2 years ago | (#37493578)

No she didn't. That quote is as off base as the rest of them.

Claim with no support (1)

Quila (201335) | more than 2 years ago | (#37493986)

Reasoning?

Re:"unlawful" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37493454)

Most "Common Law" systems have some provision that automatically legitimizes anything that a reasonable person would have a reasonable expectation to be able to do. Fair use is a derivative of this. Far as I can tell, this provision was intended to prevent abuse of the legal system of the kind you're describing. Of course, Common Law is horribly unfashionable these days - in part because people found ways of abusing it too and it was easier to abolish than fix.

You'd get more mileage out of outlawing QoS... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37493260)

...than banning "blocking."

Now you'll be able to use their service, but if you do something they don't like you'll be slowed down to less than a crawl. But you can still access it, so it's not blocking per se.

Re:You'd get more mileage out of outlawing QoS... (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#37493544)

QoS would presumably fall under the unreasonable discrimination clause. As dropping or delaying packets would be discrimination. Now, the specifics and court cases would determine when that is and is not reasonable.

Sounds good in the summary (0)

Loopy (41728) | more than 2 years ago | (#37493270)

A year from now, I wonder how many aspects of this will be abused by the FCC to the detriment of businesses or practices they just happen to disagree with, politically or otherwise.

Re:Sounds good in the summary (2)

s73v3r (963317) | more than 2 years ago | (#37493598)

I'm gonna guess 0. Now, on the other hand, how many times have ISPs abused their power to the detriment of businesses or alternative distribution means they just happen to disagree with, politically or otherwise?

"Real" net speeds (1)

Moheeheeko (1682914) | more than 2 years ago | (#37493302)

Does this mean they will stop claiming im getting 3.0 megabit when its really 1.2 and below?

lawyers (1)

Iniamyen (2440798) | more than 2 years ago | (#37493374)

This is why lawyers have jobs. Lawmakers just kick the can down the road to the next set of lawmakers & lawyers for them to interpret/repeal the laws they made, as they are too concerned about offending interests to actually take a stand on a policy.

Re:lawyers (1)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 2 years ago | (#37493550)

The alternate is very strictly written laws that are inflexible, that will just make more criminals.

Re:lawyers (1)

s73v3r (963317) | more than 2 years ago | (#37493612)

Actually, you want things written like that. You don't want them to mention specific protocols or anything, because what happens when those protocols are obsolete a year from now? Too bad, the law only mentioned these protocols.

"Lawful" content (1)

Haedrian (1676506) | more than 2 years ago | (#37493382)

There you go, one giant gaping abuse-hole.

nike shoes! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37493404)

Cheap Coach Handbag [lowcosthandbagssale.com]

Fixed? Bullshit it's fixed. (1)

JustAnotherIdiot (1980292) | more than 2 years ago | (#37493412)

The word "lawful" and "unreasonable" are thrown around a lot in this like they're some kind of barrier.
You know as well as I that those on top can bend both the law and reason to their will.
Replace these words with the word "any", and when this happens, then it shall be "fixed"
Unless there is no blocking or discrimination of ANY content, this is not truly neutral.

Let's agree to meet here in 5 years (1)

Tokolosh (1256448) | more than 2 years ago | (#37493630)

We have differences of opinion, each with some validity. In a few years' time it should be apparent which way things are going.

Personally, I'm with the "I'm from the government and I'm here to help you" as a nightmare crowd.

And on Nov 21st (1)

ThatsNotPudding (1045640) | more than 2 years ago | (#37493828)

The GOP-controlled House will move to zero out the FCC budget.
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