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Netherlands Cements Net Neutrality In Law

samzenpus posted about 2 years ago | from the equal-treatment dept.

Communications 115

Fluffeh writes "A while back, Dutch Telcos started to sing the 'We are losing money due to internet services!' song and floated new plans that would make consumers pay extra for data used by apps that conflicted with their own services — apps like Skype, for example. The politicians stepped in, however, and wrote laws forbidding this. Now, the legislation has finally passed through the Senate and the Netherlands is an officially Net Neutral country, the second in the world — Chile did this a while back."

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115 comments

Too bad (4, Insightful)

meerling (1487879) | about 2 years ago | (#39963831)

Too bad our politicians probably won't take the hint.

Re:Too bad (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39963979)

Does the net really need the intervention of the Nanny State?

Only in Europe would this blatant intervention with people's business models be tolerated. Isn't this, in effect, an uncompensated expropriation?

Re:Too bad (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39964037)

Does the net need a nanny state (so called)? I dunno, ask Comcast who slows connections to Netflix and torrents. Ask Comcast again, who do not throttle their own streaming service. Ask the cable channels who withhold streaming content to try and force cable subscriptions that people do not want. Ask the government who want unfettered access to everything you do online and will probably willingly sell that information to the highest bidder.

Yeah, we need net neutrality, or your idea of a "nanny state". Because not all regulation IS nanny stating, you've just been convinced by Fox News that it is so they can participate in these exact kinds of things with everyone else.

Re:Too bad (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39964083)

The Nanny State? Parroting a-holes use that word.

The Dutch Nanny State happened to be the one that for a large part co-provided all the infrastructure most telco's use. And then it just had to be privatized for no other reason other then trying to force a failing market system.

You obviously don't know what you're talking about.

Re:Too bad (1)

1s44c (552956) | about 2 years ago | (#39965147)

The Nanny State? Parroting a-holes use that word.

The Dutch Nanny State happened to be the one that for a large part co-provided all the infrastructure most telco's use. And then it just had to be privatized for no other reason other then trying to force a failing market system.

You obviously don't know what you're talking about.

The Government used to own the post office and telecoms. They privatized them as the company KPN. I've dealt with KPN and they are a bunch of customer hating assholes who love forcing their insane internal policies on customers. They started with a government department mentality because they were exactly that, a government department. Change comes slow in the Netherlands but it does come. With the forced separation of infrastructure other companies started providing phone and data services and the situation has greatly improved.

The free market system saved Dutch telecoms. It's not failing, it's providing more and higher quality service than a self-serviing government department ever could.

And no - I'm not an American who loves free markets. I'm an end user who happened to have the misfortune of dealing with KPN.

Re:Too bad (1)

GrumpySteen (1250194) | about 2 years ago | (#39966651)

Free market != unregulated market. A free market is a market in which prices, supply and demand are not controlled.

When a company sets up barriers to prevent other companies from competing, they are controlling the supply. Net neutrality laws specifically address this by making it illegal for an ISP to preferentially slow down or charge more for data from companies that provide the same services that the ISP provides.

The "Nanny State" argument is a false argument that suggests that net neutrality laws prevent businesses from competing freely while ignoring the fact that the laws (if written correctly) would actually make it more difficult for businesses from controlling the market.

Getting laws that are written correctly so they can't be exploited for one corporation's benefit, however, is an entirely different can of worms.

Re:Too bad (1)

s73v3r (963317) | about 2 years ago | (#39968267)

Nothing of what you said has made the argument that privatizing the infrastructure is a good thing. In fact, it makes it seem like a bad thing.

Re:Too bad (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39964437)

Who gives a(n) [instert whatever you think is the worst swear word]? The "free market" is free and all powerful in the sense that it will continue on regardless of what restrictions are put on it. So go cry in a corner and die in a fire afterwards you freedom hating [instert whatever you think is the worst swear word].

Re:Too bad (1)

Dunbal (464142) | about 2 years ago | (#39965793)

Communications sectors in all countries are run by oligopolies at best and are beset by regulations and restrictions. Where the hell do you see a "free market"?

Re:Too bad (1)

Alex Belits (437) | about 2 years ago | (#39965185)

Does the net really need the intervention of the Nanny State?

Yes!

Only in Europe would this blatant intervention with people's business models be tolerated. Isn't this, in effect, an uncompensated expropriation?

Yes!

And it's a good thing. Now fuck off.

Re:Too bad (1)

Cajun Hell (725246) | about 2 years ago | (#39967571)

Does the net really need the intervention of the Nanny State?

Probably.

It's 2012 and we still don't have a free market in ISPs yet. Every business who is allowed by the government (remember: we're talking about a situation where various levels of government are already heavily involved) to run wires to my home (i.e. both of them), is also in the content bundling business. How many more decades until there's competition (more than two of them)? I'm not holding my breath on that one, because I also have only one powerline and water supply pipe. (Maybe there are some efficiency reasons that our government grants these monopolies. But however good/bad you think the tradeoff is, one thing's for sure: it exists. This is how things are, and all discussion about changing from this, is hypothetical.)

But until the government stops using deadly force to keep their numbers down, I think I'd like the government to also use deadly force to keep my IP payments from subsidizing their content business. If you're willing to kill to prevent a third ISP, I'm willing to kill to prevent that subsidy. Doesn't this seem reasonable? I hope you'll even join me; you and I should be voting together on this.

Only in Europe would this blatant intervention with people's business models be tolerated

You are mistaken. America, in fact, has a much greater desire for Nanny Statism than Europe, and Europe is downright hard line in its conservativism compared to our own population's desire for government micromanagement to expand into new areas at the expense of liberty. We are the freedom-hating interventionists, not them.

Consider that in America, people are voting to amend state constitutions to Nanny-Statize who can marry whom, a situation where there is a lot less public interest and motivation than something as large and interconnected as the Internet. We Americans even still vote to have our government overrule doctors' opinions on when marijuana should be prescribed, because we feel our politicians' faith is more authoritative and trustworthy than their silly experiments, observations, and reason.

America is far to the left of Europe. Those people are practically libertarian anarchists, compared to our worship of Stalin and Mao. Or if this isn't what people say on the street, it's at least what everyone says in the voting booth.

Re:Too bad (1)

mcgrew (92797) | about 2 years ago | (#39968111)

Idiot teabag nutjob (or Comcast shill)! Do you consider having the police investigate burglaries as "nanny state"? You don't even know what the fucking word means. When the state is trying to protect you from yourself, that's a nanny state. When the state is protecting you from predators like burglars, rapists, and powerful corporations, that is NOT nanny state.

Seat belt and helmet laws are nanny state laws. Environmental laws, price regulations on natural monopolies, and net neutrality are NOT nanny state, moron.

Re:Too bad (1)

s73v3r (963317) | about 2 years ago | (#39968227)

Only in an idiotic anarcho-capitalist state would limiting someone's access to the internet, and interfering with their traffic be considered a "business model".

Re:Too bad (1)

toutankh (1544253) | about 2 years ago | (#39963991)

And by "our politicians" you mean?

Re:Too bad (1)

1s44c (552956) | about 2 years ago | (#39965159)

And by "our politicians" you mean?

Good question. "our politicians" doesn't really make sense in any country I've seen unless you actually work inside a political party.

They are always "their politicians" working for their own personal gain.

Re:Too bad (5, Interesting)

interkin3tic (1469267) | about 2 years ago | (#39963995)

Our internet is half their speed, [phys.org] and I'm guessing that we have, proportionally, less than half the options for internet providers that they do.

Someone remind me of the specifics of when we gave telecos a bunch of taxpayer money to speed up our internet, and they, naturally, gave it to their CEOs and investors, and are now complaining they don't have the infrastructure to not throttle and cap and can't possibly afford to upgrade?

The dutch probably didn't do that. Just a wild guess.

Re:Too bad (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39964057)

Actually, we had cheap unlimited mobile internet up to about a year ago (E 9.99 for the internet add-on). Now that the customers have discovered the mobile web, mobile providers have doubled their rates three times (all in unison, fixed pricing anyone?) and adding ridiculously low data caps on their cheaper plans (100mbs a month, seriously??). Moreover, they tied the data allowance to the minutes in a plan, so if you want a 2gb cap, you'll also have to buy a ridiculous amount of minutes. Only last month some virtual providers started offering mix 'n match packages where you are free to select separate internet, voice and text packages.

Also, most non-mobile internet providers are formerly state-owned, so they didn't have to build their own networks. And if you want cable internet (triple play packages) there is absolutely no consumer choice as the Netherlands is divided between two large cable providers and a bunch of small ones, with their networks having NO overlap. Where you live decides your ISP. The only competition the cable companies have is ADSL through KPN (and a few virtual providers) and (in a few larger cities) Fiber.

Then again, we're not as screwed as Belgium where data caps are very normal (even on non-mobile) and competition is also absent.

Re:Too bad (3, Informative)

JosephTX (2521572) | about 2 years ago | (#39964769)

Mobile service is irrelevant. Nobody actually WORKS from their phone or tablet.

And bandwidth caps in most countries are still higher than what most people in America could get by downloading movies for most of the month. One of Japan's largest ISP's (NTT), for example, received alot of bad publicity when they started a policy to slow down service to anyone downloading 30GB a day. That's almost 1TB a month. Australia, one of the most notorious countries for bandwidth restrictions, has ISP's that charge anywhere from $60 (unlimited DSL) to $130 (1TB monthly).

And the US has almost no overlap in high-speed internet networks, either. In fact, 98% of Americans have only ONE choice for broadband speeds. Everything you just complained about with the Netherlands applies to the US as well. The funny thing is that, while AT&T and Comcast both call it socialist when anyone says we should take the infrastructure back and let ISP's compete over it, they campaigned FOR that very thing in the UK because THEY were the small ISP's there.

Re:Too bad (3, Informative)

Caesar Tjalbo (1010523) | about 2 years ago | (#39964945)

Mobile service is irrelevant.

Mobile was the reason the Dutch netneutrality legislation was drafted. Carriers used to selling (mobile) phone by the minute and text messages per piece wanted to apply the same ideas to data: such as Skype per minute or pay-per-video Youtube, all to be monitored through DPI.

Re:Too bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39965137)

Nobody? Actually, I do quite a bit of work over my tethered mobile, since I spend a lot of time at customers who don't offer guest wifi and have their wired infrastructure sorted out in a way that doesn't allow me internet access. But I agree that I'm part of a minority in actually needing a large data allowance.

On the other hand, if you *give* it to the consumers, they will start using it. And clearly the telco's think that there is a market for taking it back and selling it, since they're charging quite handsomely for the service and I know of enough people that pony up the dough. Once you had a taste, it's a hard habit to kick, it seems.

The GP complaints about the Dutch cable network may seem unfounded to you, as you have the same situation in the US, but the US is hardly the benchmark, now is it? I think the complaint is valid, since the same situation used to exists for phone lines; but in that case it was resolved in a way similar to what you outlined. The owners of the infrastructure are forced to provide access to competitors, in a fashion similar to roaming services. Calling it socialism doesn't change the concept or its merit, that's another discussion altogether.

I do agree that GP complaints about data caps ignore reality and their claims about the unavailability of alternative plans for mobile data are simply untrue or at least near-sighted.

Re:Too bad (2)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about 2 years ago | (#39966029)

Mobile service is irrelevant. Nobody actually WORKS from their phone or tablet.

Hey speak for yourself man. Not all of our phones or tablets are dinky little media consumption devices.

Re:Too bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39966581)

The reason behind the price hike for mobile and the data caps was that income from sms and phone was paying for most of the infrastructure. As KPN says (and Vodafone and T-Mobile agree with), these numbers have been going down since the start of 2011 since the youth then started to discover "free" messaging like whatsapp and ping. So now suddenly a very important market segment stops using their highest revenue application: SMS and thus the revenue of the phone companies went down pretty hard. Since all three companies are public, these figures can be found in their statements, it's not just an argument to get more profit.

The thing is, price hikes are not something companies like to do, so all three companies kept trying to delay it while at the mean time they saw their revenue plummet. Finally, when KPN said "enough is enough, this is unsustainable" the other two took a breath of relief and also raised their price since it wouldn't change their competitive position much.

So it isn't price fixing (much), it is really just 3 companies serving the same market and thus seeing the same trends. So now finally we have pricing a bit more from the services that really cause most of the cost: phone and especially data. Messaging is now finally nearly cost-less, as it should be with its low real costs to the providers and the users have to pay a more realistic price of their usage.

Re:Too bad (2)

Verunks (1000826) | about 2 years ago | (#39964423)

that's the average speed though, Netherlands is quite small and there are no mountains as far as I know, the US on the other hand is huge, you can't expect fiber optic connections in rural areas, that's also the reason why South Korea and Japan come out on top, they are very small country, of course they are also usually better than the rest of the world when it comes to technology

Re:Too bad (3, Informative)

dingen (958134) | about 2 years ago | (#39964459)

Finland is huge and has mountains. Super fast internet for everyone over there.

Re:Too bad (2)

Verunks (1000826) | about 2 years ago | (#39964725)

according to wikipedia Finland has a very low density and most of the population lives in the south of the country, the mountains in the south are quite small as well and Finland is still very small compared to the US

Re:Too bad (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39964799)

Please explain why metropolitain areas are still not that fast and very expensive? High relative population densities should have fast and cheap providers.

Re:Too bad (4, Insightful)

dingen (958134) | about 2 years ago | (#39965245)

Of course Finland is small when compared to the US. So lets compare the EU to the US. Why is the internet faster in the entire Eurozone, with all their different countries, cultures and languages, than in the US?

Re:Too bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39967329)

Of course Finland is small when compared to the US. So lets compare the EU to the US. Why is the internet faster in the entire Eurozone, with all their different countries, cultures and languages, than in the US?

Hmm, let's see:

European Uniom - 4,324,782 sq km; 502,486,499 people; 116.2 people per sq km
United States - 9,826,675 sq km; 313,521,000; 33.7 people per sq km

In summary, apples to orangutans.

Re:Too bad (2)

gl4ss (559668) | about 2 years ago | (#39967615)

finland is more like colorado.

and lapland is like alaska. still, in most areas in lapland you can get cellular internet. get that, you might have to drive 5 hours to get vodka but you still got internet for 10 bucks a month. getting landline dsl to some places can still suck though, especially those places that don't have any copper taken to them but in cities(10 000+ population, that had telephone service) shouldn't be a problem.

now if you want to compare apples to nokias, why the fuck is mobile internet in new york city more expensive than in helsinki and why is the general cellular reception so shitty there ? (yadda yadda skyscrapers yadda yadda bla bla bla, having better cell sites and more population density is actually not a good argument).

every time the excuses are that either population density is too poor or too rich - the real reason is that americans were stupid in the '90s and allowed for network lock in and culture of renting devices and not being able to move from carrier to carrier easily. there's an operator in finland that has higher ups talking about starting to charge for skype traffic - the day they start actually doing that shit they'll see people flock to the other two operators who have 100% compatible tech(there's virtual operators too but there's 3 actual different network operators). oh and we have 3g on 900mhz because we threw using gsm on 900mhz away due to no need for it. but still, net neutrality in law would be nice to smack some sense into those responsible for the ex-national telecom trying to ruin the party for everyone.

written over ~35mbit/s connection over cable in helsinki and this is not a fast connection... plenty enough though.

Re:Too bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39966939)

No mountains here in Finland. Also, 8/1 Mb/s is the de-facto norm with 24/3 Mb/s common and 100/100 Mb/s available to many. Some of the fastest access is in the remote areas of the country.

Those in the U.S. decrying unfair comparison, please bring up your locality and brag about that. Wisconsin? Oregon?

Re:Too bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39965305)

It is the average speed consumer are paying for. The average speed in the Netherlands could be much higher if consumers would be willing to pay more. The infrastructure is there, it is just not being used to its full potential.

I think the difference in theoretical average speed between the two countries is much, much greater.

Re:Too bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39965309)

that's the average speed though, Netherlands is quite small and there are no mountains as far as I know, the US on the other hand is huge, you can't expect fiber optic connections in rural areas, that's also the reason why South Korea and Japan come out on top, they are very small country, of course they are also usually better than the rest of the world when it comes to technology

Your argument for Japan doesn't really add up. "Japan is an archipelago of 3900 mountainous islands with a total land size of 377 835km2" [some paper]
Yes, the US is a lot bigger than that. But if you take the fact that Japan is littered with islands/mountains/... in a seismic active region and compare that to the US, it shouldn't be all that difficult to get good speeds in the US.

Re:Too bad (2)

s73v3r (963317) | about 2 years ago | (#39968311)

The thing is, your argument completely falls apart when you look at the speeds in urban areas of the US, and they are still extremely shitty compared to their urban areas.

Re:Too bad (2)

Jedi Alec (258881) | about 2 years ago | (#39964625)

The dutch probably didn't do that. Just a wild guess.

Actually, we did. And then we noticed that may not be the best approach and we forced the main ISP to make the phone lines available to anyone who wanted to start an ISP over ADSL.

Separation of infrastructure and service. Try it, it works. Of course, in yank country that would be "hating freedom", "destroying job creators" and other anti-monopolist tripe.

Re:Too bad (1)

lxs (131946) | about 2 years ago | (#39965355)

It works, somewhat, for telecoms. It has been a waste of time and money for energy providers and a disaster for the railways. So much so that even our most privatisation-happy party is calling for renewed nationalisation of the rail infrastructure to repair the mess that separation of infrastructure and services has created.

Re:Too bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39966737)

Yeah but the rail infrastructure wasn't really opened, especially not passenger carrying (no Arriva cannot setup a train between Amsterdam and Utrecht, whatever they would want to pay). Them ain problem is that pro-rail really still behaves like a state owned company, just with less money and that the NS has gotten a monopoly on most of the rail (Virgin wanted to pay twice, read that: TWICE, the price the NS is paying for the unprofitable high speed rail, but nope, the NS got it for the old unprofitable price.

And why has it failed with the energy companies? Last time I looked there is a ton of companies competing. Yes the price has gone up, but that is because base energy prices have been going everywhere. With the phone market, the cost was already going down continuously because of technology, but the big monopolies just took that change as profit. With the extra competition, they had to keep in pace with the lowering costs and they had to keep infesting to keep tis pace going down.

Re:Too bad (1)

s73v3r (963317) | about 2 years ago | (#39968339)

Actually, we had that, a loooooooong, loooooooong time ago. Then the Bush FCC decided that it was stupid, and so the line owning telcos were allowed to jack line rental rates up to astronomical levels. Needless to say, that put an end to that.

Re:Too bad (5, Insightful)

Eraesr (1629799) | about 2 years ago | (#39964239)

Too bad our (as in: the Dutch) judges don't take a hint. Yesterday a judge ruled that a bunch of additional Dutch telcos needed to block access to The Pirate Bay. A few months back that very same judge already ruled that two telcos (XS4ALL and Ziggo) needed to block access to TPB. Not that it matters, research by an independent company has indicated that usage of TPB by XS4ALL and Ziggo customers hasn't decreased the slightest bit.

Re:Too bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39964467)

As a XS4ALL costumer this rubs me in the wrong way. Hence why I've decided that I want to download stuff from TPB. I wouldnt know what but hey, screw the nutters that think this is a reasonable judgement. Then again, I have better things to do then download stuff I dont want.

Re:Too bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39964919)

That's funny... as a Ziggo customer I've started replacing _all_ my vinyl (200+) records with MP3s since Ziggo was ordered by that @ss judge to block TPB. Cheers!

Re:Too bad (1)

Caesar Tjalbo (1010523) | about 2 years ago | (#39964931)

And why exactly should a judge take new 'netneutrality' legislation into account when he's asked to make a decision on existing copyright laws? The new telecom law still allows for specific anti-piracy measures.

Re:Too bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39965713)

Thankfully, governments never abuse copyright laws, nor do they hide invasion of privacy and prior restraint behind the guise of "protecting intellectual property" and "national security".

Nope, if the government plays referee, we never, ever, ever have anything to worry about.

Re:Too bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39966145)

Net neutrality laws are there to protect you from company power abuse, not from government power abuse.

Which hint? The blokking of TPB? (4, Interesting)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | about 2 years ago | (#39964703)

I am dutch, our politicians are taking the hint and have sold out en-mass to big media by ordering the blocking of The Pirate Bay despite wasting millions on a free internet project.

This means nothing, it is just a load of drivel enacted by politician who have spend the last 2 years one enacting and revoking a 130km/h speed increase, a ban on burka's now canceled again and the privatization off the rail roads now to be reversed and the admittance that the privatization of the post office was a mistake...

It is not like the economy is down the crapper, un-employment is rising and the Euro/EU is a stinking pile of crap or anything.

Be very careful what you wish for when looking at other countries, KPN, which set of the rush for this law is the company that wanted to charge extra for whatsapp recently announced with other mobile operators that they would introduce a limited business only roll out of LTE, just enough to satisfy the license demands so if you pay a premium, own a business and are in the right street, you can have modern tech before the end of the decade. The rest? Get stuffed, we are making to many millions of 3G still.

Re:Which hint? The blokking of TPB? (1)

Nugoo (1794744) | about 2 years ago | (#39966725)

This means nothing, it is just a load of drivel enacted by politician who have spend the last 2 years one enacting and revoking a 130km/h speed increase, a ban on burka's now canceled again and the privatization off the rail roads now to be reversed and the admittance that the privatization of the post office was a mistake...

At least you guys get rid of your crappy laws.

Re:Which hint? The blokking of TPB? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39966807)

What? The laws used to block TPB were enacted waaaaaay before the current government. The current politicians didn't have anything to do with it except that they didn't put new laws into place to protect TPB.

And with the lower revenue because of kids using whatsapp instead of sms, all telecoms in the Netherlands have been reporting far lower revenues while before 2011 they reported raising revenues every single year. This is just an adjustment after losing their main revenue stream (sms and phone) and they are finally asking the most for what costs the most: first data, then phone and only then messaging (in effect, since most people are now using whatsapp/ping, messaging as a whole costs almost nothing).

Breitbart and the CIAâ(TM)s Heart Attack Gun (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39963837)

http://www.infowars.com/breitbart-and-the-cias-heart-attack-gun/ [infowars.com]

Kurt Nimmo
Infowars.com
March 7, 2012

Andrew Breitbartâ(TM)s media empire undoubtedly posed a threat to the establishment. From the takedown of New York Rep. Anthony Weiner to the outing of the USDAâ(TM)s Shirley Sherrod and very public revelations about the seamy underside of ACORN, Breitbart was considered a thorn in the side of the liberal establishment.

Senators Frank Church and John Tower examine a CIA poison dart gun that causes cancer and heart attacks.

But it was his promise to release information that would critically damage Barack Obama prior to an election that really grabbed the attention of the establishment and possibly led to his assassination.

As firebrand talk show host Michael Savage said following Breitbartâ(TM)s collapse on a Brentwood, California, street and his subsequent death from an apparent heart attack, he would be remiss if he didnâ(TM)t suggest that the liberal gadfly was assassinated. âoeIâ(TM)m asking a crazy question,â Savage said on his nationally syndicated radio show, âoebut so what? We the people want an answer. This was not an ordinary man. If I donâ(TM)t ask this question, I would be remiss.â

Others insist Breitbart had a history of health issues and simply collapsed and died from a heart attack as thousands of Americans do every day. They say Savage, Alex Jones and many others who posit a Breitbart assassination are engaging in baseless conspiracy theories.

However, we do know that government engages in assassination of political enemies and has the means to do so without leaving a trace.

During Senate testimony in 1975 into illegal activities by the CIA, it was revealed that the agency had developed a dart gun capable of causing a heart attack. âoeAt the first televised hearing, staged in the Senate Caucus Room, Chairman Church dramatically displayed a CIA poison dart gun to highlight the committeeâ(TM)s discovery that the CIA directly violated a presidential order by maintaining stocks of shellfish toxin sufficient to kill thousands,â a Senate web page explains.

âoeThe lethal poison then rapidly enters the bloodstream causing a heart attack. Once the damage is done, the poison denatures quickly, so that an autopsy is very unlikely to detect that the heart attack resulted from anything other than natural causes. Sounds like the perfect James Bond weapon, doesnâ(TM)t it? Yet this is all verifiable in Congressional testimony,â writes Fred Burks.

âoeThe dart from this secret CIA weapon can penetrate clothing and leave nothing but a tiny red dot on the skin. On penetration of the deadly dart, the individual targeted for assassination may feel as if bitten by a mosquito, or they may not feel anything at all. The poisonous dart completely disintegrates upon entering the target.â

Burks suggests that Mark Pittman, a reporter who predicted the financial crisis and exposed Federal Reserve misdoings which led to a Bloomberg lawsuit against the bankster cartel, may have been assassinated with the CIA weapon.

Of course, Breitbartâ(TM)s untimely death prior to the release of information that would damage the presidential campaign of Obama may be purely coincidental. If he was, however, assassinated with a frozen dart that denatures and leaves no trace, chances are we will never know what really happened to him.

Someone has to say it (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39963867)

Net neutrality?? What were they smoking??

Gigity :)

Re:Someone has to say it (2)

wvmarle (1070040) | about 2 years ago | (#39964209)

Nothing illegal!

Re:Someone has to say it (1)

azalin (67640) | about 2 years ago | (#39964739)

In the Netherlands that still leaves a LOT more options than in most other countries. Why are they called "coffee shops" anyway?

Re:Someone has to say it (1, Offtopic)

Razgorov Prikazka (1699498) | about 2 years ago | (#39964943)

Well, as I was told: Coffeeshop (one word) is a place where one can buy and use cannabis products, a coffee shop (two words) is a place where coffee is sold. A bar needs a licence to sell alcohol, and that licence can be revoked if anything else is sold there.
Coffee shops were already around in 1968, when the first coffeeshop opened. So the coffeeshop was at first a place where one could buy a cup of coffee (like at *bucks) and some "other products" without the owner having to worry about his licence that might be revoked. He might get punished put at least his main source of income will not be in jeopardy.
Actually cannabis is an illegal substance in the Netherlands, which is tolerated, but not legal. But that is a different story.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cannabis_coffee_shop

Re:Someone has to say it (1)

azalin (67640) | about 2 years ago | (#39965283)

So the coffeeshop evolved from the coffee shop? I always wondered why the called their "recreational drug purchasing and consumption centers" like this, as there obviously wasn't much coffee involved in the whole affair. Thanks for the info.

Re:Someone has to say it (1)

wvmarle (1070040) | about 2 years ago | (#39965633)

It is indeed confusing; I've even once heard a group of locals entering the "wrong" kind of coffeeshop (a group of teenagers, 16-18yo mostly, from a local church on trip to Amsterdam wanting to have a cup of coffee). Anyway, when in doubt, use your nose.

Re:Someone has to say it (1)

lxs (131946) | about 2 years ago | (#39965701)

Why was this modded down? It might be slightly off topic, but it answers GPs question and is factually correct.

Still charging high prices for data though (2, Informative)

raarts (5057) | about 2 years ago | (#39963877)

Note this will not keep them from charging high rates for datatraffic, or setting very low caps, and charge lots more if you go over your allotment. Has cost me hundreds of euros per month for several months.

My iPhone appeared to be very uninformative about which apps were the data hungry culprit, and Apple has blocked API's for third-party developers. Also it seems that when you enable sending diagnostics info to apple, crashdumps will be sent AT NIGHT OVER 3G EVEN IF YOU ARE AT HOME ON WIFI!

My Dutch provider KPN was unable to offer any insight into my traffic, and was unable to help me with determining why I was consuming so much traffic.

Many ad-supported apps do not have switches to disable ads-over-3G, my traffic app was eating into my monthly

Overall I have been very disappointed at my iPhone in this respect, and no, I will not switch to Android yet, but this was a serious downer.

Re:Still charging high prices for data though (3, Interesting)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about 2 years ago | (#39963889)

Android means Droidwall. You can block access to 3g, wifi or both on a per-app level with that.

Re:Still charging high prices for data though (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39963935)

I'm a bit of a "fandroid", but even I have to point out that you can only use Droidwall if you root your device. Rooting your device is similar to jailbreaking an iPhone (in a lot of cases, but not all as some manufacturers will allow you to [rom] unlock their phones).

If you jailbreak your iPhone, you can install Firewall iP which afaik will give you the same results.

Re:Still charging high prices for data though (1)

ThatsMyNick (2004126) | about 2 years ago | (#39964325)

If you dont really need a firewall, and are looking to just block 3g/wifi on a per-app basis, you should try LBE Privacy Guard. It allows you set pretty much every permission on a per-app basis (3g, wifi, location, contacts, call information etc).

Re:Still charging high prices for data though (2)

wvmarle (1070040) | about 2 years ago | (#39964217)

Dunno about iPhone but Android lets you disable WiFi or mobile data very easily. Switch it on only when you need it. Best adblocker possible, too.

Re:Still charging high prices for data though (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39964339)

Seems more like you are the problem, not your phone.

Re:Still charging high prices for data though (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39964601)

You must be wrong. Apps approved by Apple never crash.

(fun intended)

incomplete article. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39963883)

A day after this was announced all Dutch ISPs were ordered to block TPB.

http://torrentfreak.com/five-more-dutch-isps-given-10-days-to-censor-the-pirate-bay-120510/

The US isn't the only country that is getting destroyed by lobbyists and religious nutjobs.

Re:incomplete article. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39963943)

The new law isn't active yet. 2013-01-01 is the date providers can try to remove the need for censoring in the courts.

Re:incomplete article. (2)

interkin3tic (1469267) | about 2 years ago | (#39964003)

I'm not sure how net neutrality, TPB, lobbyists, and religious nutjobs are connected.

I can see the links between pirate bay being blocked and lobbyists, but the line from either to net neutrality I'm a little blurry on. I was under the impression that was copyright law and didn't overlap much with ISPs charging content providers more for preferential treatment.

The religious nutjobs I really don't see the connection between, but given that they're just bad news in general, I'll go ahead and assume they're not doing anything positive on the issue.

Re:incomplete article. (5, Interesting)

sFurbo (1361249) | about 2 years ago | (#39964111)

I don't see how blocking TPB is not related to net neutrality. Net neutrality can be boiled down to "treat all package the same", which includes packages to and from TPB. The mechanism of package discrimination are different (pay us more or we won't allow this package to come through vs. we won't allow this package to come thorugh), but they are both examples of package discrimination, and thus breaks net neutrality (as I see it, at least). Of course, there is an immense differnce between an ISP deciding to do it themselves versus an ISP being ordered by a court, so they aren't equivalent in all respects.

The religious nutjobs, I have no idea how they fits in.

Re:incomplete article. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39964453)

With this law an ISP is not allowed to block domains. But there are exceptions for court orders (like the piratebay) and when a customer *wants* to have domains blocked .

Re:incomplete article. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39966295)

This argument is as sound as the argument that the policeman who distinguishes between the man pointing a gun at some other man and the man at whom the gun is pointed violates anti-discrimination laws if one of the two happens to be black and the other white.

Re:incomplete article. (1)

s73v3r (963317) | about 2 years ago | (#39968475)

You know, if you're going to bash hate crime laws, it might do you well to actually educate yourself on how they are used. A crime committed by someone of Race A against someone of Race B is NOT automatically a hate crime. Courts take things like "motive" and "intent" into account. If Guy A mugs Guy B, and it goes wrong and Guy A kills Guy B, that is not a hate crime. However, If Guy A lynches Guy B in the public park, and hangs a sign around his neck saying "Die [Insert appropriate racial slur here]!" or something, then that IS a hate crime, because the purpose of the crime was not just to kill Guy B, but to intimidate and send a message to everyone else of Guy B's race.

Re:incomplete article. (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about 2 years ago | (#39964897)

Religious nutjobs as such don't, but they do heavily overlap with the anti-regulation faction of conservative, who are involved. They oppose net neutrality on the grounds that it means more regulation, and they view more regulation as intrinsicly bad.

The religious nutjobs do sometimes like to mutter a line about copyright infringement being theft and thus sinful, but it's so far down their long list of priorities that they hardly ever even think about it. They have a hundred things they consider more important and worthy of their attention. The only thing they are really concerned about on the internet is pornography, which does draw their ire more intensely.

Re:incomplete article. (1)

s73v3r (963317) | about 2 years ago | (#39968483)

Religious nutjobs as such don't, but they do heavily overlap with the anti-regulation faction of conservative, who are involved.

To be pedantic, they aren't "anti-regulation". They are very much in favor of regulation. Just for things they like. In the US, for example, they claim to be for "smaller government", yet invite the government into the bedroom, and want to regulate who can marry whom.

Didn't stop net censorship. (5, Insightful)

lxs (131946) | about 2 years ago | (#39963887)

Net neutrality is a great step, but on the same day a judge ordered all ISPs in the Netherlands to block the Pirate Bay. You win some you lose some.

Re:Didn't stop net censorship. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39964005)

It's worse than that. A judge has forbidden linking to operating or listing proxies that allow or show how to access TPB which in turn only links to stuff hosted elsewhere.

Weird kind of net neutrality.

Re:Didn't stop net censorship. (1)

Gnavpot (708731) | about 2 years ago | (#39964463)

It's worse than that. A judge has forbidden linking to operating or listing proxies that allow or show how to access TPB which in turn only links to stuff hosted elsewhere.

Are you saying that it is illegal to link to a proxy which allows access to TPB?

Doesn't that include any VPN connection to a network in a foreign non-TBP-blocking country, unless the administrator of that network has blocked access to TPB?

If yes, I guess that a lot of employees of foreign companies could be in trouble when they access the company network through VPN during a travel in The Netherlands.

This is challenged (3, Insightful)

thrill12 (711899) | about 2 years ago | (#39964179)

There are already voices in the Dutch parliament calling for an investigation into copyright law, and whether censoring sites for commercial purposes/civil law is allowed : this would then only allow the blocking of sites illegal under criminal law. This story has not ended by far, and a similar thing as what happened to KPN (calling netneutrality into question) could happen to Brein (our "MPAA", using censorship for commercial purposes).

Re:Didn't stop net censorship. (1)

Hentes (2461350) | about 2 years ago | (#39964431)

Exactly. This is just banning deep packet inspection not true net nutrality.

Re:Didn't stop net censorship. (1)

Adriax (746043) | about 2 years ago | (#39966419)

Ahh, damn. I was about to go find 10 cubic meters of obsidian and build myself a portal.

3 fist sized diamonds and 10m^3 of obsidian is cheaper than a plane ticket, and non-invasive.

I'm torn. (2)

jtownatpunk.net (245670) | about 2 years ago | (#39963901)

On the one hand, net neutrality would be great. On the other hand, our (American) politicians don't have a snowball's chance in Hell of getting the legislation right. [sigh]

Re:I'm torn. (2)

will_die (586523) | about 2 years ago | (#39964389)

That Dutch law would probably have a really good chance of being passed in the USA.
The problem with the bills that have been submitted in the USA use a different definition of net neutrality than you see in the Dutch and other laws.
The Dutch law limits blocking protocols unless they are don't to all, in the USA the bills have been more about not being able to block sites or to provide sites. So under the USA bills ISPs would not beable to block a site to MANBLA or even SPAM that followed the rules on the CANSPAM law. Under the Dutch law ISPs cannot block or charge extra for voice calling that they are not providing.
BTW the reason for the MANBLA reference is because that organization is one of the bigger supportors of the net neutrallities laws in the USA they have members that have provided the wording for the various bills and have setup web sites and ads advocating net neutrallity under new organizations.

Nice, but incomplete (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39963903)

Unfortunately it contains an exception that still requires ISPs to block websites deemed copyright-infringing by a judge. Soon, almost all ISPs will be blocking the Pirate Bay (although they are still on appeal). Fortunately, free proxies are popping up like mushrooms, so it doesn't have must direct effect, but it still effectively requires ISPs to set up theur system for censorship through DNS+IP blocking.

... and block websites. (4, Informative)

DerPflanz (525793) | about 2 years ago | (#39963927)

And, in other news, a Dutch judge approved blocking of the piratebay, as requested by a private party Brein (dutch RIAA).

The net neutrality law actually allows blocking of sites through court orders.

Re:... and block websites. (1)

Zaldarr (2469168) | about 2 years ago | (#39964041)

Source please on the second statement.

Re:... and block websites. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39964123)

Article 7.4a/d. There are also exceptions that cover malware (/b) and spam (/c).

Re:... and block websites. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39964391)

None of which is Piratebay and far harder to defend in court than that the Piratebay is spreading copyrighted material, which is pretty hard too (it took them multiple years to get as far as they are now.

Which means absolutely nothing.. (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39963953)

..because all you need is a judge to agree otherwise. The law specifically includes an exception to allow the Dutch court to deviate from neutrality.

Gettings a judge to agree in the Netherlands is not that hard as some recent court cases show.

Re:Which means absolutely nothing.. (5, Informative)

JaredOfEuropa (526365) | about 2 years ago | (#39964559)

I think you misunderstand the reasons for the creation of this law. It is not to safeguard us from censorship, or to protect providers from having to censor certain sites. It is to protect us consumer from those providers, preventing them from blocking certain traffic selectively and ask for a premium to have that block removed, and to prevent them from throttling bandwidth to services that compete with premium services they offer themselves. Since the providers were poised to do exactly that, this law is far from meaningless.

There is another exception, by the way: providers are still allowed to block certain sites at the request of the subscriber. There is a Dutch provider (Kliksafe) which offers pre-filtered Internet connections that are deemed safe for members of the Dutch Reformed church, whatever that means (maybe they shut off on Sunday...)

Re:Which means absolutely nothing.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39965045)

There is a Dutch provider (Kliksafe) which offers pre-filtered Internet connections that are deemed safe for members of the Dutch Reformed church, whatever that means (maybe they shut off on Sunday...)

I think it means they only let though far-rght race hate and pedo sites.

Only half joking BTW. There is a strong hatred and fear of foreigners and anything else that isn't hardline Christian in Dutch politics as well as a party that wants to make pedophilia legal.

Re:Which means absolutely nothing.. (1)

longk (2637033) | about 2 years ago | (#39965247)

How does this matter to me as a consumer? Whether it's the telco charging extra for Whatsapp or the MPAA/RIAA blocking TPB through a court order. In both cases a money hungry entity took something that worked perfectly fine and crippled it for me. Telco's strategize, lobby both with government and standards bodies and have sizable legal departments. It's just a matter of time before they manage to stack the cards in their favor and find a way to legally cripple Whatsapp [if that's what they want to do.] I think anonymous' point is that exceptions create loopholes.

Re:Which means absolutely nothing.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39966877)

oh come on, there is a bit of a difference between a site balancing right on the edge of illegality (TPB) and companies that have nothing to do with anything illegal at all . At the most whatsapp could be used to communicated about terrorist acts, but that is not its main announced goal (it is the bay you know) and it definitly is not even closec to the main reason for traffic (even with all the officially released stuff on TPB, the far majority is still illegal traffic in the Netherlands).)

Re:Which means absolutely nothing.. (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about 2 years ago | (#39967669)

of course it matters. if you can't see the difference in being blocked to visit tpb. vs. being billed per torrent downloaded..

Special 301 Report (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39964019)

Special 301 Report welcomes Netherlands!

Your BACKDOOR smells sweet as a rose! -- Bubba (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39964167)

You'd be surprised how much hardware and software have back doors built into them, much of it legally.

GOOGLE: Cisco routers back doors

and you'll find hours of reading material alone just for one company.

WIKILEAKS: published information on dozens of companies making spyware for hardware and software and selling it to governments.

When is the last time you checked the firmware on your PCI devices and network card?

Your router?

Dumped and checksummed/debugged your BIOS lately?

Why aren't the anti-malware companies like Symantec and others climbing over each other in an effort to invent the technology and utilize it via the cloud to create GIANT databases of legit firmware for hardware in the fight against the most serious of root kits? Are they in bed with big bro?

How many so called remote exploits were patched this week in Windows? This month? This year? Since its release? Start from the beginning of the Windows version release and count all of the remote exploits up to present day and compare that to OpenBSD for example.

##

U.S. govâ(TM)t wiretapping laws and your network
â" https://www.networkworld.com/news/2007/012307-us-govt-wiretapping-laws-and.html [networkworld.com]

âoeActivists have long grumbled about the privacy implications of the legal âoebackdoorsâ that networking companies like Cisco build into their equipmentâ"functions that let law enforcement quietly track the Internet activities of criminal suspects. Now an IBM researcher has revealed a more serious problem with those backdoors: They donâ(TM)t have particularly strong locks, and consumers are at risk.â
â" http://www.forbes.com/2010/02/03/hackers-networking-equipment-technology-security-cisco.html [forbes.com]

The block pirate bay. (1)

1s44c (552956) | about 2 years ago | (#39964987)

How can they be net neutral yet block pirate bay? Either it's all just internet traffic or it's something to stick your dirty fingers in in order to increase profit for you and your cronies.

They are as conflicted and subject to legal trolling as any other country.

Slower (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39965131)

Sadly this made internet (especially mobile) more expensive. Also it's slower now as advanced forms of traffic shaping are no longer allowed.

Hypocricy (1)

binkzz (779594) | about 2 years ago | (#39966113)

I'm very happy this law passed over here. What does annoy me some is that the major telcos are now having large marketing campaigns about how they decided to no longer charge for these plans out of the goodness of their hearts. But I guess that's inevitable.

Never! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39968127)

This will never happen in an ENGLISH speaking country.

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