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Net Neutrality Voted Down in U.S. House Committee

CowboyNeal posted more than 8 years ago | from the multi-lane-internets dept.

354

Ana10g writes "Business Week provides a look at the recent vote by the House Committee on Energy & Commerce, in which the FCC would have been given the power to prohibit discrimination of Internet traffic. The battlefield seems to be centered around which group has the better funded lobbyists, with companies such as Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, and many others competing against the well funded Telecommunications lobbysts. The committee voted the amendment down, 34 to 22."

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354 comments

Anyone Suprised? (1)

UniAdept (721668) | more than 8 years ago | (#15218692)

I certainly am not suprised that the house reps are supporting the telecoms.

Re:Anyone Suprised? (5, Insightful)

kitejumping (953022) | more than 8 years ago | (#15218709)

This just reinforces the fact that the common public interest is not correctly represented by congress.

Re:Anyone Suprised? (5, Insightful)

DrMrLordX (559371) | more than 8 years ago | (#15218716)

As the old saying goes, the opposite of progress is Congress.

Re:Anyone Suprised? (1)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 8 years ago | (#15218733)

Well duh. They haven't represented the public interest since at LEAST when I was born....

Dirty, greedy, corrupt leaches.

Re:Anyone Suprised? (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15218737)

13 years ago?

Re:Anyone Suprised? (4, Funny)

x2A (858210) | more than 8 years ago | (#15218817)

So it's YOUR fault?!!

*grr*

Re:Anyone Suprised? (3, Informative)

Reverend528 (585549) | more than 8 years ago | (#15218752)

Although the telecoms are powerful, this isn't just an issue of telecoms vs. the public. There are a lot of powerful voices saying that the telecoms shouldn't have this power, such as google, amazon, and intel.

Re:Anyone Suprised? (2, Interesting)

Firehed (942385) | more than 8 years ago | (#15218788)

Unfortunately, Google can't do anything as buying senators qualifies as "evil", which is in direct disagreement with their slogan.

Re:Anyone Suprised? (4, Funny)

Reverend528 (585549) | more than 8 years ago | (#15218808)

I think congressmen are like patents. It's morally acceptable to purchase them for defensive purposes.

Re:Anyone Suprised? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15218838)

"I think congressmen are like patents."

Umm...I think you mean parasites

Re:Anyone Suprised? (1)

escher (3402) | more than 8 years ago | (#15219142)

Umm...I think you mean parasites

There's a difference?

Logic breakdown... (5, Funny)

skiddie (773482) | more than 8 years ago | (#15218872)

It's the evil big telecom corporations vs. The Public and Microsoft.

OMG!!1! We're on the same side as Microsoft!?!?! WTF?!?!?!11?!?//

Good. (-1, Flamebait)

s16le (963839) | more than 8 years ago | (#15218702)

Good. I'm glad the House didn't allow itself to get swayed by the rabble.

Re:Good. (3, Informative)

eno2001 (527078) | more than 8 years ago | (#15219063)

In the words of our infamous veep: "Go fuck yourself". Now whaddaya say we go hunting next weekend and you stand in front of me? Kay? ;P

Hmm... Technicalities. (5, Interesting)

Davus (905996) | more than 8 years ago | (#15218717)

The proposal, by Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.), would have given the Federal Communications Commission the power to prohibit discrimination when it comes to sending traffic over the Internet. Couldn't this, technically, also eliminate QoS/fair queue'ing and general firewall rules?

Re:Hmm... Technicalities. (3, Insightful)

mattkinabrewmindspri (538862) | more than 8 years ago | (#15218783)

It would depend on the wording of the bill, and given that Google, Yahoo, and Amazon know something about traffic over the internet, I would assume that the bill would be written well enough to get around those problems.

Re:Hmm... Technicalities. (1)

Firehed (942385) | more than 8 years ago | (#15218807)

Like that recent 'you must have a secure access point' bill in some county? Seeing that requires the AP owners to have a firewall and a sign that says "We're not liable", not something that in any way actually secures the connection, you can be pretty damned sure that the bill isn't the slightest bit well-written. Unless that was intended as funny...

Re:Hmm... Technicalities. (5, Funny)

x2A (858210) | more than 8 years ago | (#15218829)

"Unless that was intended as funny"

*lol* can see it now: breakdown of votes for new amendment was:
60% funny
20% troll
20% overrated

goddamn mods

Re:Hmm... Technicalities. (5, Informative)

arivanov (12034) | more than 8 years ago | (#15219019)

Couldn't this, technically, also eliminate QoS/fair queue'ing and general firewall rules?

First, yes it would. Thanks god I live in a slightly more sane country (only by a bit unfortunately). Otherwise I would have lost one of my primary pieces of daily bread. Been doing QoS for 7+ years now.

Second, Amazon, MSFT and Co should have acted long ago when the Baby Bells and Bell Wannabies killed off the peering points circa Y2K. Instead of that, they went into a direct relationship with the Baby Bells and Bell Wannabies. As a result they simply do not have a leg to stand on regarding any such issues. They are already in contractual agreement with the ATT, Verizon, Level3, etc and if one of these decides to alter the contract there is little they could do.

To put things in a perspective - in the US traffic from access goes across the telco backbone and goes to Amazon and the like via a private link. In this environment the content provider is at the mercy of the telco. In Europe the traffic goes from access across the telco backbone after that traverses a well maintained non-profit peering point like Lynx and hits the content provider after that. Technically, you can do QoS in both cases. Practically, while you can there is no way you can guarantee any QoS because you do not control the entire route. The Bells understood this more than 5 years ago and killed the US peering points like MAE by maintaining the infrastructure as bad as they could (they also owned most of them) and forcing everyone to go private. From there on the question of net neutrality is utterly pointless.

There's something so wrong with this story (5, Insightful)

Reality Master 201 (578873) | more than 8 years ago | (#15218732)

The battlefield seems to be centered around which group has the better funded lobbyists, with companies such as Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, and many others competing against the well funded Telecommunications lobbysts. The committee voted the amendment down, 34 to 22.

So long as we're clear: it's just big companies with lots of money fighting each other for the right to make money off of us. God for-fucking-bid the "battlefield" should in anyway involve some kind of consideration of what might be best for the human constitutents the congresscritters are elected to serve.

Re:There's something so wrong with this story (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15218800)

"What's best for the biggest corporations is best for all of us. You're not a commie, are you?"

Re:There's something so wrong with this story (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15218816)

"What's best for the biggest corporations is best for all of us. You're not a terrorist, are you?"

There, brought you up to the 21st C.

Re:There's something so wrong with this story (1)

NitsujTPU (19263) | more than 8 years ago | (#15218801)

I'm confused. Can you tell me how this would have effected you personally?

People keep saying how it will effect them personally, but I guess I just don't understand how.

Re:There's something so wrong with this story (3, Informative)

theripper (123078) | more than 8 years ago | (#15218858)

affect, the word you were looking for is affect

Re:There's something so wrong with this story (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15219105)

affect, the word you were looking for is affect

A dash - the punctuation you were looking for is a dash.

Re:There's something so wrong with this story (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15218884)

I think I see your confusion. You think because the information on your screen arrived in the form of packets, the ideas embedded within are the creation of those packets and it's the packets themselves who are worried. No no no, it's the human who is watching the most powerful and open means of communication in human history being pulled like a rag doll between corporate pitbulls with no other motive than locking in a future of guaranteed profits. Or are you one of those people who still pine for the days when a 'fax line' had a higher monthly charge?

Re:There's something so wrong with this story (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15218946)

If the companies can discriminate traffic, they can divide the internet into two parts. The "open" net that they give lower priority and the "paid" net that gets the highest priority.

The result is that if you visit website A you might get a transfer rate of 1K/s, but if you visit website B you will get 10000K/s. The difference is that you ISP has a "partnership" with website B to give them priority over non-partners.

The ISP will extend this to make more money. You will end up having to pay for access to partners, either a small cost per web site or a subscription based service.

Re:There's something so wrong with this story (1)

NitsujTPU (19263) | more than 8 years ago | (#15219081)

I was just kidding. Looking for responses since everyone seems to complain about this, but few really seem to understand it.

Re:There's something so wrong with this story (5, Informative)

eno2001 (527078) | more than 8 years ago | (#15219094)

OK Dim son. Here goes (all hypothetical):

1. You get your internet access from AOL
2. They get their access from a metaISP. Let's just say AT&T for simplicty
3. AT&T is finacially related to... let's say Barnes & Noble Bookstores
4. You want to hit Amazon to buy a book
5. Barnes & Noble tell AT&T to provided the slowest possible access (modem speeds) to their competitors and lightning fast access to Barnes and Noble. AT&T Complies
6. You try to get to Amazon.com and you either get a timeout or the site renders VERY SLOWLY
7. This makes you think that Amazon sucks, so you ditch them and go through others until you find this really great bookseller online: Barnes & Noble

Nevermind that their prices are higher and they don't provide access to used books and media. So you just got hamstrung. Now... let's say you discover through friends who have excellent experiences with Amazon that you are missing out. What do you do? You could change ISPs to one who is a partner or in some other way is financially related to Amazon. But then... your access to your favorite news or sports site slows to a crawl. That's how this is going to impact you. Nice huh?

Re:There's something so wrong with this story (4, Insightful)

RoffleTheWaffle (916980) | more than 8 years ago | (#15218818)

A-fuckin'-men, bro'. I'm of the mind that the means to communicate should be a utility, not a luxury. Our taxes did after all subsidize the telecommunications industry to allow them to lay the copper lines to make this happen in the first place, and everyone and their mother knows that this has shit to do with fiber. It's all about money and who gets to play with it.

Re:There's something so wrong with this story (4, Insightful)

Arker (91948) | more than 8 years ago | (#15219046)

Not only that, we also subsidised all that fibre already as well. The telecoms pocketed most of the money and now they're complaining they need to finance the fibre we already paid them for once.

On the bright side, it's nice to see MS money going to a good cause. I bet Bill Gates is rolling over in his coffin at the thought.

Re:There's something so wrong with this story (2, Informative)

Tim C (15259) | more than 8 years ago | (#15219096)

On the bright side, it's nice to see MS money going to a good cause. I bet Bill Gates is rolling over in his coffin at the thought.

You do realise that the Gates Foundation [gatesfoundation.org] has given grants worth $10.2 billion [gatesfoundation.org] since its inception, right?

Bash MS and Gates all you like, but at least bash them for legitimate reasons, and Gates' lack of caring about good causes isn't one of them.

Re:There's something so wrong with this story (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15219107)

On the bright side, it's nice to see MS money going to a good cause. I bet Bill Gates is rolling over in his coffin at the thought.
Indeed; it's well-known that Bill absolutely despises charity.

http://www.gatesfoundation.org/ [gatesfoundation.org]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_&_Melinda_Gates_ Foundation [wikipedia.org]

Re:There's something so wrong with this story (1)

something_wicked_thi (918168) | more than 8 years ago | (#15219118)

I bet Bill Gates is rolling over in his coffin at the thought.

Damn you. Don't get my hopes up like that.

Re:There's something so wrong with this story (2, Insightful)

Tim C (15259) | more than 8 years ago | (#15219113)

Not only that, but the vast majority of that fibre and copper is laid through public land. I say that if the telecoms companies start charging content providers like this, you guys should start charging them for use of your land.

Re:There's something so wrong with this story (5, Informative)

littlerubberfeet (453565) | more than 8 years ago | (#15218902)

I called my representative (Jim Moran) and had a productive conversation with a senior staffer. My congressman is in agreement with net neutrality, and has been since the issue first manifested itself. My two Virginia senators don't even have public issue statements yet, and are difficult to contact, even the staffers. Allen and Warner are difficult to deal with generally.

But anyway, to the meat of my comment: Our reps actually DO listen, at least when we call or write (on that flat white thin stuff...email is ignored) so, I chose to make some phone calls.

My basic pitch to the representatives: I'm a small business owner in Virginia. I voted for you. I might not in the future. A core part of my method of business relies on a neutral, accessible internet. If congress were to allow the telecoms to restrict access, my business might fail, along with many others in the state. Help us, and we will help you.

Basically, let your reps know your point of view, and make them recognize that this is a litmus test issue for you. Ask them to work for you and keep your vote. This won't work for the complete whores in congress, but the ones on the fence, or in vulnerable elections will listen. So: CALL OR WRITE THAT PERSON WHO YOU VOTED FOR, AND ARE PAYING TO REPRESENT YOU. IT WORKS SOMETIMES.

Re:There's something so wrong with this story (1)

Xaositecte (897197) | more than 8 years ago | (#15219021)

I'm in total agreement here, would be modding up if I had any points left.

The end loyalty of elected officials is to their respective electorate, and if enough of that electorate makes it clear what their desires are, no amount of lobbying will presuade them to give up their chances of reelection.

Re:There's something so wrong with this story (1)

professionalfurryele (877225) | more than 8 years ago | (#15219212)

Don't know if you noticed but relection isn't decided by these issues. It is decided by who gets the largest campaign donations so they can do the most fear moungering.

That's up to the constituents (4, Insightful)

Beryllium Sphere(tm) (193358) | more than 8 years ago | (#15218937)

If they ask questions and vote their interests, Congress will respond to their interests.

If they spend their time watching TV and vote based on what they see in expensive TV campaign ads then Congress will respond to whoever donates money.

Re:There's something so wrong with this story (1)

some damn guy (564195) | more than 8 years ago | (#15219001)

"So long as we're clear: it's just big companies with lots of money fighting each other for the right to make money off of us. God for-fucking-bid the "battlefield" should in anyway involve some kind of consideration of what might be best for the human constitutents the congresscritters are elected to serve."

So, have you bothered to write your congressperson about it?

Yeah, thats what I thought.

How the hell do you think the people in congress are going to get the idea that this is in the 1% of important issues that a sizable number of voters actually cares about? By whining on slashdot?

The two groups battling over this happen to be the only two groups who actually are willing to take the time and effort to make their voices heard. If that scares you, you have only yourself to blame. Just remember, one hand written letter from a genuine constituent represents hundreds if not thousands of votes to a congressperson.

They need campaign contributions to get votes after all, so they don't do them much good if they piss off a lot of voters in the process. The only problem is that no one gets pissed off enough to actually bring the hurt down on them- and it isn't because the numbers aren't there. It's because people just whine about it and then throw up their hands in disgust without actually doing anything.

WHAT?! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15218735)

***Get those GOD DAMN REPUBLICANS OUT of *OUR* government! I am SO tired of this crap!

Good, the Internet will continue to be free (-1, Flamebait)

Kohath (38547) | more than 8 years ago | (#15218741)

We don't need the FCC regulating the Internet. Not for "neutrality" or any other excuse someone can think of.

Free? How so? (4, Insightful)

Travoltus (110240) | more than 8 years ago | (#15218875)

This is a step towards an extortion economy. I've heard of right wingers playing Twister before but the logic behind that post makes a Pretzel look straight as a pencil.

Re:Free? How so? (1)

CCFreak2K (930973) | more than 8 years ago | (#15219293)

Perhaps you've never seen one of THESE [qualitylogoproducts.com] then!

Re:Good, the Internet will continue to be free (1)

SQLz (564901) | more than 8 years ago | (#15218940)

Heh...umm, don't look now but the FCC regulates the internet.

Re:Good, the Internet will continue to be free (3, Insightful)

frinsore (153020) | more than 8 years ago | (#15219016)

The parent to this post is an idiot.

The FCC is desperately needed to regulate the internet. The FCC needs to ensure a level playing field when it comes to net traffic, whether that traffic is for google or microsoft, or my own server. I don't want to access my mail at dial-up speeds because the provider between me and it decides to that their uncompressed HD content is more important then my 5k file. I don't want my connection to time out to an independant site because verizon decided to shift all their traffic onto "the internet" thus freeing up some of their private lines to save maintanance costs.

Ensuring that the net stays neutral keeps the net more like a town hall and less like disney land. Allowing the telecoms to start charging prices ensures that they only peolpe who can truely serve content are those that have the money, not neccassarily the ones with the best content.

I'm not a fan of regulation, but it's better that the FCC does it then the telecoms.

Re:Good, the Internet will continue to be free (1)

flimflammer (956759) | more than 8 years ago | (#15219022)

Do you even know what you're talking about, parent, or did you read "FCC regulation" and "internet" in the same sentance, and come to the conclusion that the big bad FCC is trying to regulate things, even though they already have been for a very long time, and this particular regulation is in fact a very needed one? This getting voted down is actually a Bad Thing(tm)

Nationalization (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15218755)

Times like this, I wonder if nationalization of communication industry may be net plus for the economy. I mean, Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo are the sort of enterprises that people actually *LIKE* (yeah, yeah evil MS, but what do people buy?). SBC ("AT&T" whatever) and Verizon!? They can rot in hell (and I sure hope they do for God/gods sake). Comcast and all them cable companies, too. Rot in fucking hell.

capitalism wins again. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15218757)

once again, the free market prevails, allowing competition to grow against the current cable companies.

Really? (1)

ZoneGray (168419) | more than 8 years ago | (#15218761)

Ed Markey involved with telecom lobbyists? Say it ain't so!

I'm so torn (3, Insightful)

deque_alpha (257777) | more than 8 years ago | (#15218770)

The idea of giving the FCC more control over things they probably shouldn't control doesn't make me happy, but missing a chance to explicitly prohibit a tiered Internet is kind of a bummer... Oh well, in cases like this consumer always gets screwed one way or another, it's just a question of who's doing the screwing...

As an aside, doesn't the whole "tiered Internet" concept that the telco's are trying to float violate the concept of "common carrier"? Anyone know?

Re:I'm so torn (5, Informative)

TX297 (861307) | more than 8 years ago | (#15218805)

As an aside, doesn't the whole "tiered Internet" concept that the telco's are trying to float violate the concept of "common carrier"? Anyone know?

Networks not regulated as common carriers are referred to as Information Services or Enhanced Services, and are generally regulated under title I of the Communications Act. (Source [wikipedia.org] )

Re:I'm so torn (1)

plasmacutter (901737) | more than 8 years ago | (#15218837)

The FCC reclassified them from telecommunications to "information service".

all they need to do to enforce net neutrality is to reclassify them once again as telecommunictations.

fat chance of that happening though.. guess who lobbied for that in the first place.

Re:I'm so torn (0)

idesofmarch (730937) | more than 8 years ago | (#15218859)

A tiered Internet could be more efficient. Traffic that needs reliable speeds, like say VOIP, should be placed ahead of filesharing and email. Nobody cares if their email gets to the destination one second later, but a one second delay in voice communications can clearly be felt. Why not let the free market decide this?

Re:I'm so torn (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15218907)

In regards to market decisions, it is hard to call it free. The major telcos and other service providers have a strong monopoly on most local markets. In many of these markets, consumers have the option of getting either Cable (ie Comcast) or DSL (ie AT&T) Internet service. To begin with, the service providers can easily force out competing services (ie Vonage) by charging for higher priority service. This will in turn cause more overhead cost for providers such as Vonage. Then guess what? The huge service provider steps in and sells their own VoIP service (ie Comcast) at a discounted cost, or in the case of telcos, they are more easily able to compete using their existing phone service (ie AT&T) against VoIP providers.

Re:I'm so torn (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15218920)

The free market is a wonderful thing, when there is actually a free market. How come I only have two ISP choices where I am? How come my father only has 1? How come my grandparents have about 7?

We gave the telecos a regulated monopoly for decades, now they want to unregulate their monopoly service structure without actually disolving the monopoly. Free market? Nope.

How to accomplish that... (2, Insightful)

hackwrench (573697) | more than 8 years ago | (#15218964)

The thing is, without the neutrality bill, the telecom could slow down the traffic of that download or email to nearly zero before building extra capacity to handle both the priority and nonpriority services.

Re:I'm so torn (2, Insightful)

x102output (536049) | more than 8 years ago | (#15218871)

what?

The whole reason the Internet has been the way it has is because of the FCC regulation.

This got voted down....THIS IS BAD.

Companies like Barnes and Noble would have the cash to have their page served to you fast, while your local library would run slower then a 56k modem. (Analogy from http://www.savetheinternet.com/ [savetheinternet.com] This creates a Walmart effect!

Re:I'm so torn (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15219090)

the FCC does not regulate the internet, FYI

Insights * 2 (3, Funny)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 8 years ago | (#15218815)

The battlefield seems to be centered around which group has the better funded lobbyists,

Shouldn't be which group has the most voters? And I mean in the country, not in Congress.

with companies such as Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, and many others competing against the well funded Telecommunications lobbysts.

Ah, yes. Your monopoly profits at work -- ON BOTH SIDES!

Re:Insights * 2 (1)

dvdave (175509) | more than 8 years ago | (#15218896)

Shouldn't be which group has the most voters? And I mean in the country, not in Congress.

Only if we lived in a true democracy, which we don't. It's a representative one.

Re:Insights * 2 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15219280)

Mod parent up! Insightful/informative response to the ignorant grandparent poster.

Re:Insights * 2 (5, Insightful)

jrieth50 (846378) | more than 8 years ago | (#15219095)

In fairness a plethora of consumer group's pleadings and petitions were filed into the official record - but the only 'man speaking for the people' at the hearing was a guy from Columbia Law.

The only guy on the panel who felt net neutrality was unnecessary was the telco guy 'McCormick' who repeatedly assured the panel they would never 'limit, degrade, or block service' to anyone - all while agreeing that one congressman's analogy that suggested exactly that was 'apropos.' How bout that.

Meanwhile republican bobble-heads were nodding in agreement nearly the entire time with the 4 other panelists who FAVORED net neutrality and seemed to understand the issue. Vote time comes - only one republican voted for it. Another 'gee, how bout that' moment. What I think surprised me the most is that they actually seemed to grasp the necessity of net neutrality throughout - but they're such whores they voted against it anyways when the attention was elsewhere (see gas prices.)

Re:Insights * 2 (1)

the_womble (580291) | more than 8 years ago | (#15219125)

Shouldn't be which group has the most voters?

That deserves to be modded +5 funny.

Trolling On Slashdot (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15218822)

The last few months I have been doing some research into the trolling phenomenon on slashdot.org. In order to do this as thoroughly as possible, I have written both normal and troll posts, 1st posts, etc., both logged in and anonymously, and I have found these rather shocking results:

  • More moderator points are being used to mod posts down than up. Furthermore, when modding a post up, every moderator seems to follow previous moderators in their choices, even when it's not a particularly interesting or clever post [slashdot.org] [slashdot.org]. There are a LOT more +5 posts than +3 or +4.
  • Logged in people are modded down faster than anonymous cowards. Presumably these Nazi Moderators think it's more important to burn a user's existing karma, to silence that individual for the future, than to use the moderation system for what it's meant for : identifying "good" and "bad" posts (Notice how nearly all oppressive governments in the past and present do the same thing : marking individuals as bad and untrustworthy because they have conflicting opinions, instead of engaging in a public discussion about these opinions)
  • Once you have a karma of -4 or -5, your posts have a score of -1 by default. When this is the case, no-one bothers to mod you down anymore. This means a logged in user can keep on trolling as much as he (or she) likes, without risking a ban to post on slashdot. When trolling as an anonymous user, every post starts at score 0, and you will be modded down to -1 ON EVERY POST. When you are modded down a certain number of times in 24 hour, you cannot post anymore from your current IP for a day or so. So, for successful trolling, ALWAYS log in.
  • A lot of the modded down posts are actually quite clever [slashdot.org] [slashdot.org], funny [slashdot.org] [slashdot.org], etc., and they are only modded down because they are offtopic. Now, on a news site like slashdot, where the number of different topics of discussion can be counted on 1 hand, I must say I quite like the distraction these posts offer. But no, when the topic is yet another minor version change of the Linux kernel [slashdot.org] [slashdot.org], they only expect ooohs and aaahs about this great feat of engineering. Look at the moderation done in this thread [slashdot.org] [slashdot.org] to see what I mean.
  • Digging deep into the history of slashdot, I found this poll [slashdot.org] [slashdot.org], which clearly indicates the vast majority does NOT want the moderation we have here today. 'nuff said.

Re:Trolling On Slashdot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15218835)

Begging for a moderator to use a point to rate your post down?

I'd love to see this. (5, Interesting)

mattkinabrewmindspri (538862) | more than 8 years ago | (#15218854)

I'd like to see companies like Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, et cetera, form some kind of coalition. For one week, I'd like them to choose a telecom, maybe Verizon one week and at&t the next.

During that week, any requests for pages from those sites from the telecom's network would respond with a warning page saying

WARNING:

Your ISP ([Verizon]) is attempting to charge [Google] so that you can continue to access our site over the internet. If this happens, you will not be able to access [Google] using [Verizon]'s network. We assure you this is not our fault, and we hope you continue to use our site in the future.

If [Verizon] begins charging sites, you will no longer be able to access any of these sites using [Verizon] internet access:

  • Google
  • Yahoo
  • ebay
  • et cetera

[Verizon]'s customer service number is [1-877-483-5898].

Continue on to the page you requested. [google.com]

Content providers' sites are one of the few reasons that Verizon and at&t can sell anything. Without sites like Google, Amazon, and Yahoo, Verizon and at&t's pipes are pretty much worthless. The content providers really should make this clear to Verizon and at&t.

Re:I'd love to see this. (2, Insightful)

Joel from Sydney (828208) | more than 8 years ago | (#15218870)

Without sites like Google, Amazon, and Yahoo
You forgot Empornium and ThePirateBay ;-)

Re:I'd love to see this. (1)

Esion Modnar (632431) | more than 8 years ago | (#15218900)

If the NFL and UPS can strike, so can Google. One day without Google, and the telecoms' customers will go apeshit and fucking melt their switchboard in India.

We have a Congress whose only thought is to their lobbyists, not their constituents. So the rest of us are left to the law of the 800-lb. gorilla.

Well, Google is the 800-lb gorilla. I look forward to when Google sees fit to serve up some attitude correction: "Sit down, shut up, and don't MAKE ME come back there."

Re:I'd love to see this. (1)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 8 years ago | (#15218925)

As much as I like that idea, I don't think it will happen.

Google doesn't want to burn thier bridges in case someday, it's their turn to fellate some prick in congress to get a custom-tailored law.

Re:I'd love to see this. (4, Funny)

From A Far Away Land (930780) | more than 8 years ago | (#15218932)

And with the government demand to hand over logs they don't want to give, the fellating might happen sooner rather than later in order to get out of that pickel Bush is putting them into.

At least if they fellate Bush, then we can finally impeach him ;-)

More draconian perhaps... (1)

VValdo (10446) | more than 8 years ago | (#15218994)

Along the same lines, individual users and bloggers could join this coalition and blacklist any ISPs that are known to degrade or give preferential service to certain sites. Users attempting to hit a page would get a standardized page directing them to savetheinternet.com or some such location w/instructions on how to complain to their ISP.

Users may not miss one or two sites, but when enough sites do this, if the coalation for a free Internet is large enough, maybe the ISP's own customers will start to complain.

Would blacklisting ISPs that do not respect Net Neutrality in the same way that ISPs with open email relays are blacklisted work if enough content providers/blogs/online services/etc. banded together? I could see the argument that this would cut into your marketshare, but better to do it now with hopes of establishing Net Nuetrality than to wait until the net is balkanized and marketshare gets cut anyway.

W

DEMAND your rights! (4, Insightful)

buss_error (142273) | more than 8 years ago | (#15218863)

I see a lot of "Oh, well, we get screwed again!" kind of comments.

The shame is that we (the voters) don't stand up and say "ENOUGH!" Is it because we don't think what we want is right, or is it because we expect political special interests to win despite what we, the voters want?

The game is rigged, sure enough, just as long as we sit down, shut up, and don't vote. I don't care if you disagree with me, I just want you to vote.

Re:DEMAND your rights! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15218877)

The problem is that I do vote for someone who I think will protect us, and then the bastards throw everything out the window once they are elected.

Re:DEMAND your rights! (4, Insightful)

Sathias (884801) | more than 8 years ago | (#15218962)

How exactly do you vote for the people who aren't politicians?

Forget Voting, It's time for the general strike! (1)

hackwrench (573697) | more than 8 years ago | (#15218995)

It's time for the general strike [wikipedia.org] . Thing is, it has to be coordinated so that there's a critical mass all at once or it won't work.

Re:Forget Voting, It's time for the general strike (1)

Slithe (894946) | more than 8 years ago | (#15219084)

How would a general strike effect anything? We, at least most of us, are not working for the telecoms, so we would have little influence on their running. Do you mean that we should stop using the Internet?

Re:DEMAND your rights! (1)

killjoe (766577) | more than 8 years ago | (#15219027)

Shhhh. You will wake up sheeple. Quick turn on friends, that Rachael sure is cute.

Re:DEMAND your rights! (1)

schneidafunk (795759) | more than 8 years ago | (#15219035)

Actually, the voters do not get to vote on subjects like this. Your REPRESENTATIVE votes for you. Sure I can vote for a democrat or republican, but in the end of the day they listen to wall street instead of me. Voting for a 3rd party (which I've done) seems to produce no results. Explain to me again why I should vote for someone else to make decisions for me? I think the better method is to aim to get rich and buy a politician... I wish I was misguided, but tell me a better strategy?

Re:DEMAND your rights! (1)

perrygeo (927096) | more than 8 years ago | (#15219078)

A better strategy.. speak out to your reps and senators. Send 'em letters, phone calls, emails and fruit cakes. Let them know you're here. If the special interests are the only ones who have the ears of our representitives, guess who they're going to listen to?

Re:DEMAND your rights! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15219054)

FOR WHO? Without an alternative voting system such as approval voting, the only two viable options are Republican and Democrat, both who have proven themselves no better than the other. Don't encourage people to vote; encourage people to push their Congressperson to push for approval voting so that their vote actually MEANS SOMETHING and isn't wasted if spent on a third party.

Well... (1)

JimXugle (921609) | more than 8 years ago | (#15218869)

No matter how cute they are, and how good of pets they are, and how they've served us so loyaly in the past, I belevie that there is an overpopulation of congress critters. Some even have a genetic disorder known as 'stupidity' to the experts, which causes them extreme pain. Please stop the hurting and put these poor creatures out of their misery.

As I look at my own congress critters with affection and pet them lovingly, I'm forced to conclude that they serve no purpose and that they're more trouble than they're worth, dispite thier cuddly fur.

*/end sarcasm.

Re:Well... (1)

bl00d6789 (714958) | more than 8 years ago | (#15218965)

Please stop the hurting and put these poor creatures out of their misery.

Welcome to a lifetime of Secret Service surveillance. ;-)

End of Net Neutrality means what? (3, Interesting)

beoswulf (940729) | more than 8 years ago | (#15218874)

I don't understand how telecos are going to throttle packets.

It sounds as if the telecos are going to throttle the entire internet, especially the bigger content providers. Then only "paid", higher tiered content providers will be delivered with "premium" speeds? All the while the premium bandwith will be reserved for the telecos digital television over DSL and such.

But how is a teleco operating one of the net backbones going to know what exactly is inside a packet, if the packet is coming from a paid tier source, and where it's destination is without opening it up and examining it? That sounds like a rather ominious intrusion.

Re:End of Net Neutrality means what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15218939)

I guess they could throttle based on ports? But it wouldn't be impossible to examine the contents of a packet, figure out what type of traffic it is, and throttle it accordingly. The challenge for the ISPs will be doing it without it costing more than they'd make forcing people to use their own piece of shit services. They'd need some serious infrastructure to handle that sort of load, and that costs money to both build and maintain.

Re:End of Net Neutrality means what? (2, Interesting)

Allnighterking (74212) | more than 8 years ago | (#15218975)

Most likely they won't open packets. Too difficult for them. What they will do IMHO however is to throttle at the point where the line that leaves the building enters the main flow of traffic. Then just run it like the old 3 Stoogies routine. Heres 1 for you and 2 for me, one for you and 3 for me.... Wonder how long it will take before people learn how to manipulate the system and we'll have the Telco's screaming to congress that mean old pirates are stealing their bandwidth and as a result they can't sell their crap content that nobody wants.

The miracle of IP addresses. (1)

hackwrench (573697) | more than 8 years ago | (#15219023)

The higher tiered content providers will register a set of source IP's they want to send the data to be accelerated from. They can even ask that only data being sent from a given set of ports from those IP addresses be accelerated.

Re:End of Net Neutrality means what? (1)

flooey (695860) | more than 8 years ago | (#15219037)

But how is a teleco operating one of the net backbones going to know what exactly is inside a packet, if the packet is coming from a paid tier source, and where it's destination is without opening it up and examining it? That sounds like a rather ominious intrusion.

They just need to look at the source and destination IPs on the packet to know where it's going and coming from. And they're already looking at the entire IP header, so it's not exactly an intrusion.

Re:End of Net Neutrality means what? (4, Informative)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 8 years ago | (#15219147)

It's all about killing VOIP. It's real fucking easy to do now days. Not only can you sniff each packet, but you can tell what application that VOIP traffic is coming from. You can kiss Vonage, Lingo, and Skype good-bye. But don't worry; the local Telco's and cell phone industry would be more than happy to offer you an alternative...for a small fee of course.

Remember, VOIP is still a new technology in the eyes of the public. They feel the need to crush it before it gains mass public support and thus political support to keep it alive.

Net Neutrality: Three Questions (3, Interesting)

shalunov (149369) | more than 8 years ago | (#15218945)

I don't think the net neutrality [internet2.edu] question---or, rather, questions---are so straightforward as some here make them appear. The topic, however, is extremely important: what connection do you want to have in 5 years---a 10-Mb/s one or a 1-Gb/s one?

they'll probably argue its about competition (3, Funny)

Jafafa Hots (580169) | more than 8 years ago | (#15218955)

You know... if everyone is forced to deliver all net content unfettered, there's no competition on quality, whereas is they aren't required to, different carriers will be able to compete on how unrestricted their net access is... thereby helping consumers by driving prices... um... sideways or something.

OMFG! No way! (2, Funny)

edunbar93 (141167) | more than 8 years ago | (#15219014)

The battlefield seems to be centered around which group has the better funded lobbyists

Gee, I would *never* have thought! I mean, like, in this day and age, I would expect that buying off politicians was *impossible!*

Such Damage... (4, Insightful)

BlueStrat (756137) | more than 8 years ago | (#15219052)

..will be routed around. At least for the rest of the world that doesn't cripple itself. It could really suck for US internet customers and businesses for a long time unfortunately, if the major copper and fiber owners manage to roll this out.

This may very well mean those content providers and other businesses will move operations outside the USA. Hopefully, this might (not sure on this) make it difficult for US-based major telecoms and ISPs to discriminate against foreign traffic because of international treaties and agreements.

Combined with restrictive IP laws and high taxes, this could add significantly to pressure forcing innovative technologies and the corporations behind them to base themselves outside US control.

As Princess Leia said about a possible future powergrab..

"The more you tighten your grip, Tarkin, the more star systems will slip through your fingers."

Once more, it seems (relatively) short-term profits win out over longer-term strategies that would benefit everyone in many ways, including even themselves, and to a much greater degree over time than this self-defeating quick cash grab.

Seems they never learned the old adage about not crapping in ones' own nest.

Cheers!

Strat

Getting a little sick of this. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15219120)

I swear, with all these moronic laws requiring DRM in things that shouldn't require it, cutting consumer rights left and right to help line those corporation silver pockets with gold instead, and crap like this I sometimes wonder if it isn't just time to move to another country. They don't seem to need us anyway. There's no way you can tell me it's actually in the best interest of the people to screw as many people over as possible so a few companies can have more money.

Interesting Question (4, Interesting)

jrieth50 (846378) | more than 8 years ago | (#15219133)

Another interesting question I think needs to be asked - if the United States validates AT&T Chairman's belief that those are 'his pipes' (forgetting its only the last mile,) how long before China decides that those are 'their pipes' and ditto for every connected country in the world.

Doesn't it stand to reason that anyone providing last mile connectivity or even backbone suddenly declare themselves worthy of charging these tolls? So instead of Google/Yahoo/etc paying just SBC/Verizon/AT&T - now they're expected to pay every telco the world over to ensure they're competitive globally vs. local competition?

Very dangerous precedent could potentially be set. (And FYI - Congresspeople are not completely oblivious to phone calls and snail mail. If it adds up on them they take that very seriously particularly if you are a constituent. Sending an e-mail though is completely useless (I know...)

Correction: (1)

jrieth50 (846378) | more than 8 years ago | (#15219144)

SOME Congresspeople are not completely oblivous to constituent outreach. Some are deeply entrenched in gerrymandered districts and couldn't give a rats ass if you all died a fiery death.

But not all! Find one that thinks his seat might be in danger and flood his office with calls and you've got yourself your own personal demagogue.

So, would you say this is right or wrong? (3, Interesting)

sentientbrendan (316150) | more than 8 years ago | (#15219173)

Cynicism aside, what's the right thing to do in this situation?

On the one hand, in seems like the people who own the pipes should be able to do whatever they want with them. If we say they can't prioritize traffic of people that pay them good money to do it, aren't we violating their right to property?

On the other hand, if they start charging individual sites they could potentially hamper the economy, which would be against the public good. The problem is something like if all the roads in the country were privately owned and had toll booths everywhere...

Maybe the answer is that bandwidth should become a public utility. The companies who own it should be granted a monopoly, but then should be severely regulated along the lines power is. Its obvious that internet connectivity is as important to the public good as water and power. We need uniform access to these services across the country. Any part of the country that doesn't have access because its not profitable for verizon to provide it, simply can't economically develop. Also, realistically speaking, this would be *vastly* easier to do than power.

I'm sure that the existing bandwidth providers would have to be pulled into this kicking and screaming... but frankly the exact same thing happened with power providers. Originally, power companies didn't want to be forced to do things like run lines out to rural areas. This was unfortunate, because electric lighting is pretty important in agriculture. Eventually, when it was evident that the interest of the power companies came so strongly in conflict with the public interest, the regulations we have today were set up.

I don't know if this is necessary for bandwidth. It hasn't really come up so far, primarily because its a new thing, and because it didn't take them that long to make the internet accessible from pretty much everywhere in the country, by some means or another. Of course, that's just my anecdotal impression. Are there some places where its impossible to get a T1 line at a reasonable price? Are even businesses stuck with satellite in many places? If that's the case, it would be a strong argument to regulate the ISPs in some ways.

However, as far as I know aside from just generally failing to get home broadband to work on their first try, the ISPs seem to have done a pretty good job of getting everyone internet access. I think they must be somewhat aware of what could happen to them in terms of regulation if they abuse the public good too much. I'm sure they will follow a very fine line, but I'm happy to wait to see if they cross it before I consider regulation a good option. As a rule, its best to do nothing if you can. However, prioritized traffic is probably something we have to stop, depending on how strong the prioritization is. If they insure a certain level of quality for all traffic, it probably won't be an issue... but I suspect that they won't if they can get away with it.

QOS (1)

john_uy (187459) | more than 8 years ago | (#15219203)

isn't this being implemented now? networks already have qos in place and they charge different rates for best effort, guaranteeed, bursting traffic, etc.

but in any case, good thing i don't live in the usa. lately, there have been lots of crazy laws being made. it's the most exciting drama show on earth.

but seriously, i hope that other countries will not get into this (this issue in particular.) right now, networks are being interconnected and not passing through usa anymore. i just hope that major providers will just diversify their systems to be hosted in major traffic points outside the usa for better traffic. they can use anycast.

nig6a (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15219259)

play parties the caNn no longer be any parting shot,
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