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Two-Tier Internet & The End of Freedom of Speech

CmdrTaco posted more than 8 years ago | from the keep-ringing-the-bell dept.

364

Max Fomitchev writes "The proposed Two-Tier Internet bill threatens not only to raise prices on goods and services served online but also to seriously hamper free speech on Internet by allowing telecom providers choking user pages and blogs not associated with major content providers. What a perfect way of censorship..."

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364 comments

ANAL REEDUCATION (0, Offtopic)

Sexual Asspussy (453406) | more than 8 years ago | (#15436180)

CSS

Backwards into time... (5, Insightful)

beheaderaswp (549877) | more than 8 years ago | (#15436183)

QUOTE:
"While Net Neutrality bill sounds like overkill, two-tier Internet bill is ought to be stopped too. If it passes freedom of speech would be seriously hampered, startups and small businesses will take a hit and we will pay higher prices for online advertising as well as goods and services delivered or sold over Internet. Do we really want that? I think not."

His conclusions in the article are dead on correct. Though I disagree with his opinion on net-neutrality.

The beauty of the internet, in my opinion, is it's ability to link people together while allowing an even playing field for small business. These have been the greatest social and economic impact points of the new technology era. Sadly, once it becomes tiered it also becomes discriminatory based on economic factors.

Sure, your blog can be seen, but if it get's too popular you'll have to pay more...

Sure, you can start a small business, but if it get's too busy you'll have to pay more...

The idea that no one "owns" the net itself should be inviolate. I already am charged for the bandwidth that comes off my servers because of the cost incurred by my ISP for upstream bandwidth.

A tiered internet would be the same as keeping the peasants out of libraries. It's a huge step *backwards*.

Re:Backwards into time... (1)

muhgcee (188154) | more than 8 years ago | (#15436251)

Sure, your blog can be seen, but if it get's too popular you'll have to pay more...

Sure, you can start a small business, but if it get's too busy you'll have to pay more...


I am gung-ho about net neutrality, but how is what you just said any different than how things work now? I host my blog off of my 384Kbps-upload DSL. If my blog all of a sudden gets 4000 visitors per day, and I want all of them to be able to see it, I'll currently have to pay more to move it to a datacenter or get a better Internet connection, correct?

Re:Backwards into time... (4, Insightful)

colinrichardday (768814) | more than 8 years ago | (#15436432)

Yes, but people aren't complaining about paying for more service from their own providers, they're worried about having to pay other providers so to not be choked off.

Re:Backwards into time... (4, Insightful)

uglyduckling (103926) | more than 8 years ago | (#15436513)

I am gung-ho about net neutrality, but how is what you just said any different than how things work now? I host my blog off of my 384Kbps-upload DSL. If my blog all of a sudden gets 4000 visitors per day, and I want all of them to be able to see it, I'll currently have to pay more to move it to a datacenter or get a better Internet connection, correct?

Read the article. The proposal is that the big ISPs will have two tiers/channels/whatever, one that is high speed and only available to paying customers, and the other for everybody else. Note that the paying customers not only pay for their hosting and bandwidth, but also pay the ISP serving the broadband/cable/cell connection to the end user for the right to have their content served over the faster channel.

Presumably the idea of getting 'too popular' is that the ISPs would not only have the option of limiting bandwidth in the last mile to each individual subscriber, but also ISPs may have limited bandwidth across the whole network allocated e.g. by IP block, effectively slowing access to that server down as it becomes more popular, which would obviously cause a drop in popularity/revenue for the online business providing content. At the moment the bottleneck would be with their own hosting, for which they would have to pay for more transfer (GB/month) and a faster pipe (GB/sec). If these proposals are successful they may also have to pay one or more ISPs to be put on the faster pipe through their network and at the subscriber end so that the end users can access the service at an acceptable speed.

The nasty side of this is that, again presumably, the ISPs would allocate a reasonable bandwidth to non-fasttrack traffic so that end users don't notice a slowdown in less popular, niche websites, otherwise customers would complain that 'the whole internet is slow'. The big players would naturally pay up immediately, so it's only the middle group who are too popular for their own good who would be stuck.

Re:Backwards into time... (1)

plague3106 (71849) | more than 8 years ago | (#15436526)

Because you'll not only have to pay for a larger pipe at your end, you'll also have to pay several telco's for the 'privledge' of their users seeing your site. THAT would be a huge cost.

The 2 free. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15436299)

Slashdotters know well the difference between the 2 free: gratis and freedom.

But it seems that the conflict is not confined to the open source space.

Companies don't care much for free as in freedom, one way or the other, but they fight free as in gratis like the plague.

Meanwhile, the rest of the people (in general) want to have it both ways. Thus the conflict. Freedom gets hurt because people don't want to pay for want others want to charge for.

Re:Backwards into time... (4, Informative)

RingDev (879105) | more than 8 years ago | (#15436375)

"Sure, your blog can be seen, but if it get's too popular you'll have to pay more...
Sure, you can start a small business, but if it get's too busy you'll have to pay more..."

Incorrect, that is how it works now. With tiered services it would be:

Sure, your blog can be seen, but at a slower rate. If you want it to continue to perform at it's current rate or better, you need to pay more...

Sure, you can start a small business, but your services will be slower. If you want a better QoS you need to pay more...

The problem with teiring is that it doesn't actually fix any problem. If every company in the world signed up with every teiring opperator, we would still have the same limitations we have right now with a higher price tag for content providers and consumers. The other problem is that ANY non-teired provider will kill your higher teired service. So theoretically, not only will you have to pay the extortion fee to AT&T/SBC and the other back bone providers, you'll also need to pay the fee to all the local ISPs, dial ups, cable/DSL services, WiFi providers etc...

-Rick

Re:Backwards into time... (2, Interesting)

binarstu (720435) | more than 8 years ago | (#15436384)

A tiered internet would be the same as keeping the peasants out of libraries. It's a huge step *backwards*. I'm not quite sure about your analogy. Under a two-tiered Internet, the content providers pay extra, not the "peasants" who are merely browsing in the "library." In other words, you have to have more resources to publish information, which is how existing print media has always worked.

Re:Backwards into time... (2, Interesting)

artjermyn (908361) | more than 8 years ago | (#15436476)

Under a two-tiered Internet, the content providers pay extra, not the "peasants" who are merely browsing in the "library."

Nope. The "peasants" will pay more. It will cost more to push the information out to the peasants, so the "peasants" will pay more by increased cost for the products or a reduction in information/services.

Re:Backwards into time... (1)

Fyre2012 (762907) | more than 8 years ago | (#15436491)

In other words, you have to have more resources to publish information, which is how existing print media has always worked.

And look how well that's worked out, with a few major media companies profiting off of everything via the 'trickle-up' effect.

Re:Backwards into time... (1)

plague3106 (71849) | more than 8 years ago | (#15436551)

In the end though, the peasents foot the bill. You don't really think that content providers will just lose the revenue do you? No, they'll pass it onto you,the customer.

Re:Backwards into time... (1)

Alex P Keaton in da (882660) | more than 8 years ago | (#15436577)

It says something about the issue that 99.9999999% (not a scientifically obtained number of course) of the posts you read on Slashdot are pro-net neutrality... I can't think of any other issue where slashdotters, who usually have opinions ranging from alpha to omega, agree.

Censorship (1)

Alien54 (180860) | more than 8 years ago | (#15436604)

hmmmmm. The question we have is if limited access is censorship.

Is it censorship to not have the best access to the front page of the news paper, the best storefront, the best story placement in a newscast? Do these physical universe examples apply to the Internet?

Is the two tier setup meaning that currently available sites would continue with the current level of bandwidth, and only certain people would get better bandwidth service if they pay for it? or would the quality of their service decrease? If it decreases, how is this different from having a low bandwidth server like geocities? or getting slashdotted?

Is the 2nd tier Internet 2?

It probably is not fair to be marginalized. But is this censorship?

Is the lack of a free ride censorship?

I am so confused

Re:Backwards into time... (1)

nEoN nOoDlE (27594) | more than 8 years ago | (#15436619)

Sure, you can start a small business, but if it get's too busy you'll have to pay more...

Isn't that the case right now? Bandwidth isn't free. If your site gets too popular, you have to pay more.

REDACTED (5, Funny)

Stanistani (808333) | more than 8 years ago | (#15436184)

REDACTED

This content is not on your Premium Plan.

Re:REDACTED (2, Insightful)

'nother poster (700681) | more than 8 years ago | (#15436212)

Don't you mean "Sorry, Your IP isnot on your content providers basic subscribers plan. Please urge them to upgrade to the Premium Plus package to be able to serve content to you OUR customer."

Re:REDACTED (1)

tehwebguy (860335) | more than 8 years ago | (#15436601)

I wonder if Verizon's "IN" plan will let me email other people with Verizon IPs for free, the benefits just keep rolling in!

Re:REDACTED (0, Offtopic)

tolan-b (230077) | more than 8 years ago | (#15436414)

Why the hell has this been modded off-topic?

Re:REDACTED (4, Interesting)

CRC'99 (96526) | more than 8 years ago | (#15436445)

This strikes a good note with me at the moment... There's a fault with a section of the Southern Cross data cable that connects Australia to the US. This means it currently has limited access. Suddenly, my ISP lost *all* international connectivity. Interestingly enough, when I use a proxy of my ISPs upstream provider, I can get through to international sites.

This makes me think that there is already a two-tier internet - as this case obviously demonstrates. It seems that their wholesale traffic/customers aren't as important as its own. Nice way to wipe out tens of thousands of users off a network.

Food for thought.

Re:REDACTED (0, Redundant)

natedubbya (645990) | more than 8 years ago | (#15436467)

Improper use of the word redact. I'm assuming you got this word from the recent The Office episode where the employees could retract their complaints by "redacting" them. The word redact actually has very little to do with deleting or removing content. The definition is more like "edit" and relates to written publications [m-w.com] : "to select or adapt for publication."

It's interesting that a television episode (which was hilarious, by the way) started using a different word, clearly to make it quirky and funny, and now everyone has adopted this new definition. Ok, maybe not surprising, but interesting nonetheless.


Mirror? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15436468)

Does anyone know of a mirror for the parent comment?

The difference? (0, Troll)

ajiva (156759) | more than 8 years ago | (#15436187)

So with this what's the difference between the USA and China? We are supposed to have Freedom of Speech, but I guess not.

Re:The difference? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15436292)

Why Troll? The parent raises a very good question.

The difference between the USA and China is that China openly censors their citizens. The USA would love to censor it's citizens, but the only way they can safely do it is through indirect means, i.e. tiered internet.

Re:The difference? (4, Insightful)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 8 years ago | (#15436379)

So with this what's the difference between the USA and China? We are supposed to have Freedom of Speech, but I guess not.

The difference is that in China, you've got the central government blocking/filtering (and arresting/jailing) based on the content of the communication. What you say triggers their actions.

In the case being discussed, the content of your blog (your speech) or the content of some streaming media spooling off of a small company's server (as opposed to, say, AOL's or Google's) have nothing to do with it. Censorship isn't even part of the discussion. What's being talked about is who pays for the bandwidth being used. That's it. Period. If Google wants to make billions of dollars by being the go-to search engine for millions of Verizon's customers, then Verizon has every reason to place a premium on that gigantic peering arrangement.

If a little mom-and-pop web site starts getting a ton of traffic from a Slashdotting, do you really think that their monthly costs don't go up? Who should pay for that... the ISP providing their pipe? How are they causing the Slashdotting? But it's the ISP's resources that have to suddently carry all of that traffic, and that comes at the expense of other capacity. This isn't about censorship, it's about the economic realities of the fact that huge IP pipes aren't a natural occuring resource - they're mostly built and run by private companies. You can talk all you want, about anything you want. But why should you be able to dictate to some other ISP how much of your traffic they should have to carry, and at what price?

If you don't like the price they charge, you change carriers. If you don't like any of the prices available (meaning, you don't like the market), then become your own carrier (and see just how willing you are to maintain an artificial pricing scheme when "one way" traffic on certain peering connections account for the vast majority of your day's work and financial costs).

Re:The difference? (3, Insightful)

RingDev (879105) | more than 8 years ago | (#15436447)

This isn't about price per volume. The NN legislation (SFAIK) does not limit a provider's ability to charge what ever they like for volume. The legislation is designed to prevent the re-ordering of packets based on a tiered service plan.

For example, I get 75gigs of transfer on my site for $15/month. For every 5gig block above that I have to cough up another $5. So if I transfer 4 gigs, it's $15. 60 gigs, still $15. 100 gigs, $40. 500 gigs, $440.

For example, the NN legislation would prevent my provider from saying that in addition to my bandwidth costs I would have to pay $25/month for a 'QoS' guarantee or face 10% more timeouts for my customers and 150% page load times.

-Rick

Re:The difference? (1)

'nother poster (700681) | more than 8 years ago | (#15436507)

It is the providers ISP that carries the burden in your case, so they are well in their rights to charge for the bandwidth. It is not OK for MY ISP to charge me and the content provider for the same bandwidth. If I am a bandwidth hog, my ISP should charge me because I'm their customer. This is just a way to extort money from a company for services that have already been paid for. Those millions of Verison customers causing the peering issue you mention are already paying for the privilige of getting the bits delivered.

They know they have limited freedoms. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15436534)

The difference is that most Chinese citizens realize they have limited freedoms. Most Americans, on the other hand, don't understand that yet. They'll spout on and on about their supposed freedom and liberty, while at the same time actively watching it be slowly eroded. Sometimes they're even happy to see it go, especially when told it'll bring them "national security".

MOD PARENT UP (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15436543)

irony

Enough of the Editorializing Already (4, Insightful)

Illbay (700081) | more than 8 years ago | (#15436190)

We seem to have a "new class" of "article" light on content, and heavy on the ranting.

Only the government can "censor" anyone. ISPs routinely "censor" content, and have no restrictions on doing so.

Remember: Your right to "free speech" does NOT come with a corresponding right to be heard.

Else why don't I have my own late-night talk show on a major network?

Re:Enough of the Editorializing Already (1)

GeckoX (259575) | more than 8 years ago | (#15436272)

I hear you ranting, but just what is it that you are saying?

Re:Enough of the Editorializing Already (5, Insightful)

eln (21727) | more than 8 years ago | (#15436283)

Editorializing in Slashdot articles is new? That cave you've been living in all this time must have been cramped.

The very concept of the two-tiered Internet destroys what the Internet has been for years, which is a tool for global collaboration. With a two-tiered Internet, the entire multi-billion-dollar network basically just becomes a vehicle to serve corporate advertising to the plebes, as the "lower tier" sites become slow and unreliable.

This is nothing but a money grab by access providers that will blow up in their faces. Most people use the Internet for social networking these days, and if those sites either essentially get shut down (by being part of the crappy lower tier) or are forced to charge users (because they have to pay exorbitant access charges to get on the upper tier), many people will simply drop offline, which will end up hurting these access providers in the long run.

Content neutrality among backbone providers must be maintained in order for the Internet to continue to be useful to the public. Segmentation will kill the Internet.

Having a mouth does not guarantee you can talk (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 8 years ago | (#15436313)

then ...

Because 2 mean the same thing. Same goes for "having a brain does not guarantee that you might be allowed to think" too.

If you do not protect your rights, there are always people who will not hesitate to reap you off of them.

Re:Enough of the Editorializing Already (4, Funny)

Tackhead (54550) | more than 8 years ago | (#15436325)

> Remember: Your right to "free speech" does NOT come with a corresponding right to be heard.

Yes it does -- every human being on the planet has a right to be heard every time they speak. Not just Americans! Every human being on the planet has this right.

NSA is out there, burning billions of dollars and quadrillions of exaflops of computing power, all in a valiant effort to defend your right to be heard. And you just knock 'em off like that. Such ingratitude!

Re:Enough of the Editorializing Already (2, Insightful)

Cormacus (976625) | more than 8 years ago | (#15436327)

Yes, you are correct.

However, I think the point is that the Internet started out with the liberating quality that it encorporated both the "right to free speech" _and_ the "right to be heard." You don't have your own late-night talk show on a major network because you can't write up one of those in vi beginning with "" and ending with "."

It's this very quality that people are seeking to preserve when they rail against tiered internet plans. Not to mention the fact that these plans appear to be based on charging the consumer _twice_ for the same information.

Re:Enough of the Editorializing Already (1)

grasshoppa (657393) | more than 8 years ago | (#15436374)

So where is the defining factor between government and private business? And before you answer, see At&t and the NSA.

Re:Enough of the Editorializing Already (1)

robizzle (975423) | more than 8 years ago | (#15436380)

So what you are saying is that next time the KKK (or the mothers against child abuse organization for that matter) wants to have a rally/deminstration the government gives them the right to do so however, the government could also force them to do it inside of a black soundproof structure with the audience on the outside?

Re:Enough of the Editorializing Already (2, Insightful)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 8 years ago | (#15436433)

Of course not, that would be silly. What the government is saying is that Verizon can stand at the door and take money from the organization to allow you in, as well as charge the guests a ticket fee. The government just happens to get a kickback - oh, excuse me, tax - on that revenue. ;-)

Re:Enough of the Editorializing Already (1)

miskatonic alumnus (668722) | more than 8 years ago | (#15436395)

Only the government can "censor" anyone.

Really? I censor my children. Does that make me the president of the United States?

Re:Enough of the Editorializing Already (1)

Illbay (700081) | more than 8 years ago | (#15436422)

I stand by my statement. You are "correcting" your children, or "disciplining them," or what have you. You aren't "censoring" them because that can only be done--rightly or wrongly--by a government with the force of police power behind it.

Re:Enough of the Editorializing Already (1)

miskatonic alumnus (668722) | more than 8 years ago | (#15436512)

According to whose definition? Yours? And you are authoritative on these matters because of what?

Re:Enough of the Editorializing Already (2, Insightful)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 8 years ago | (#15436458)

Only the government can "censor" anyone. ISPs routinely "censor" content, and have no restrictions on doing so.

You're mistaken. The government and agents acting on their behalf can censor. ISPs are not just private companies. They are private companies subsidized by taxpayer dollars, granted special immunity for breaking certain laws, and who are granted monopolies in geographical regions enforced by the government using the police.

In most localities only one phone and one cable company are granted the right to run lines to your house through the public right of ways upon which the telephone poles and underground cables are placed. The police stop anyone else from doing so, thus limiting you to only one or two possible ISPs. Thus the government is censoring you if those companies do, by denying you the option of going with another provider supplied by the free market.

ISPs are granted special privileges for acting as impartial carriers of data. They are not prosecuted, despite the fact that they violate copyright law, transfer child pornography, publish libel, publish trade secrets, publish threats, etc. This is because they just impartially move data for the good of the country (acting as agents of the government) and are thus not responsible for what data they move. Now, however, they want to take responsibility for what data they are moving in order to extort money from those who are more reliant upon them. I think they should be allowed to do so, just as soon as anyone can string last mile wire and as soon as they lose their common carrier immunities.

The government employing a private company, granted special privileges, and whose competition is arrested by the police is not a legal way for the government to do an end-run around the constitution. ISPs are clearly acting as government agencies and as such are subject to constitutional limitations.

Re:Enough of the Editorializing Already (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15436576)

Only the government can "censor" anyone.

That's a relief. I was afraid ISPs might also be involved in "censoring" content.

ISPs routinely "censor" content,

Wait, I thought you just said only the government could do that? Make your mind up - which is it?

and have no restrictions on doing so.

WRONG. ISPs must honor the contracts they established with their customers. If their customers are paying them for access to everything on the internet that it is not specifically illegal to access, then the ISPs certainly do have a legal obligation to provide access to all that.

Remember: Your right to "free speech" does NOT come with a corresponding right to be heard.

No, but when I pay somebody to provide me with access to other people's free speech, I damn well DO have a right to receive the free speech I am paying to get access to. And any ISP that tries to restrict my access to legal materials is damn well going to refund me every last penny, or see me in court, where I will win.

Not Every Good Thing is a "Right" (1)

weston (16146) | more than 8 years ago | (#15436584)

Remember: Your right to "free speech" does NOT come with a corresponding right to be heard.

What the article is saying -- and what it's hard to argue against in practical terms, rather than the abstract principle you're invoking -- is that we currently have the ability to publish affordably, and it's a good thing. If you assume that free speech is not only a *right*, but has *value* to society (if for no other reason than allowing good ideas and dialogue to emerge), it's easy to see we're in a positive state of affairs. Anybody with access to a computer and the ability to sign up for cheap hosting or a free blogger account can publish to a wide audience. This is a new and pretty fantastic state of affairs, and not only that, it's *fair*. The telcos aren't somehow getting ripped off in the status quo -- they set rates for providing bandwidth and are paid for it.

The telco proposal would not, as you point out, violate anyone's "right to free speech." It would, however, violate one principle on which the law is written: that not only should people be safe from redaction or retribution from their government for discussing ideas, a society that allows and cultivates free speech and exchange of ideas reaps benefits closed societies don't.

And whether the society becomes more closed by economic means or state authority doesn't make much difference.

Re:Enough of the Editorializing Already (1)

VGR (467274) | more than 8 years ago | (#15436591)

Remember: Your right to "free speech" does NOT come with a corresponding right to be heard.
True, but it does come with the right to be reachable. Free speech is meaningless if no one can get to you and hear it. If the government (or a powerful corporation) can lock you in a windowless, soundproof, RF-shielded room and they tell you "go ahead and say whatever you like" while you're in there, is it still free speech?

Implicit in the right to free speech is the right of others to listen if they wish.

Hmm. (1)

RonaldReagan (112997) | more than 8 years ago | (#15436197)

I don't have any proof, evidence, or reasons, but I'm sure we can blame the Jews for this somehow.

Corporate Censorship (4, Insightful)

Shadow Wrought (586631) | more than 8 years ago | (#15436199)

Since many a blogger rails hardest against corporations and their associated ilk, it makes sense for them tot ry and limit it. What is in the interest of business is a society whose information comes from marketers.

Re:Corporate Censorship (1)

GeckoX (259575) | more than 8 years ago | (#15436302)

Bad mod, bad.

A troll that was not. I don't believe the GP was suggesting that's the way it _should_ be, by any means. It was simply a statement that shows what kind of thought process is required to come up with an idea like this!

I'm tired of the government stealing my Internet (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15436216)

If this bill passes, I fear it may be the beggining of the end for the Internet.

And in other news... (2, Funny)

gowen (141411) | more than 8 years ago | (#15436228)

Blogger with crap beard rants incoherently about Freedom.

Film at 11.

Two steps to anarchy (2, Interesting)

packetmon (977047) | more than 8 years ago | (#15436243)

telcos argue that they want to curb proliferation of online video and other types of data-hungry streaming that allegedly taxes their networks they think imposing traffic fees on content providers would be a fair solution. So ISP's (not TELCO's since not all ISP's are necessarily TELCO's) want to impose sort of a private highway fee for passing bandwidth through their networks... Its surprising to see which one of these clowns will be the first to stick it to the next one. Since all networks rely on another one to pass their information through their pipes (peering), I wonder how long before one de-peers with another and breaks the Internet again (see: Who broke *.org [cctec.com] ).

I wonder what idiotic government officials while having their pockets greased will do their emails no longer come in but instead they receive a hostage notification from their provider: Dear Mr. President, under subsection 1(a)(b)(c)(d)(e) of the Draconian Telecommunications Act, we cannot deliver today's messages. Please pay the sum of a) bandwidth b) tax fees c) attorney fees d) greaser fees in order to release your messages.

To Network Neutrality Opponents: (4, Insightful)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 8 years ago | (#15436247)

There are quite a few people out there - not just representatives of the telecommunications industry - under the impression that "Government Intervention Is Bad", hence we should all oppose network neutrality legislation. But this bill underscores the fact that government intervention by itself isn't necessarily bad - it's how government intervenes that determines whether the right or wrong thing is being done.

So let's all drop this nonsense about claiming that the government shouldn't be intervening in how the Internet works, and get back to the core of the matter - which is whether the telecommunications industry should be allowed to leverage its oligopoly position in the broadband ISP market to extract profit from content providers that don't even connect to them directly, and whether the industry should be allowed to discriminate based on traffic type and content, rather than pricing by bandwidth consumption alone.

Re:To Network Neutrality Opponents: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15436351)

The government SHOULDN'T interfere with the internet. There's no need, and you only end up wih shit legislation like this. ISP are corporations, which are groups of people who pooled their money in the interest of making more. They don't automatically lose all their rights when they incorporate. The ISPs bought their equipment with their money, yes? Why should they not run their equipment how they choose?

Re:To Network Neutrality Opponents: (2, Interesting)

shreak (248275) | more than 8 years ago | (#15436487)

I agree that we don't need a net neutrality law but it's not as straight forward as you state it.

The ISPs bought their equipment with their money, yes?
Yes... mostly
Why should they not run their equipment how they choose
It's where they put that equipment that fuzzes the issue. The old school telco's also were allowed to run cables through public right of way, i.e. land that belongs to you and me. They were not charged for this, the cable is still there and is still used.

Also, part of your phone bill is required to go towards the cost of providing phone service to rural areas where it's not as profitable (thus probably wouldn't get any service at all.)

This is arguably a tax, thus making it public funds. Therefore part of the equipment in use is paid for my you and me.

I think a big part of the problem is access (cable, towers, etc...) is bundled with service (phone switches, ISP equipment,etc...)

If access were separate from service then we could pay for bytes from any service. Pay my access provider (perhaps my municipality or local coop) and have hookups with multiple services (ISP,phone,cable...) and pay for what I want.

=Shreak

Re:To Network Neutrality Opponents: (2, Interesting)

packetmon (977047) | more than 8 years ago | (#15436437)

whether the industry should be allowed to discriminate based on traffic type and content, rather than pricing by bandwidth consumption alone. There is nothing written that states a provider has to pass traffic for another. Providers with their peering agreements agree to pass X through their networks as a means of allowing their traffic to traverse a competitors. While I see their arguments for bandwidth consumption when it becomes extreme, I see this as a ploy to eliminate competition and charge higher prices. Its not a matter of discriminating someone's views or content from my inference but more of a "how can we profit". What people should do is get together for a month long protest against these telco's... Place high content bandwidth consuming content on their sites... Waste time and money call up customer service to complain... Waste resources sending emails complaining both to officials and the providers... Call and speak to billing departments expressing concerns (more wasted money for the providers)... Threaten to jump to X Provider... Post the results for someone to analyze and do it all again. Hit em where it hurts.

Re:To Network Neutrality Opponents: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15436612)

Some packets are more equal than others. http://www.rfc-editor.org/rfc/rfc4542.txt/ [rfc-editor.org]

U.S. PEOPLE ! BLOW YOUR CONGRESSMANS' EAR OFF !! (2)

unity100 (970058) | more than 8 years ago | (#15436250)

Put the fear of god in them. Do not let them take this lightly. For this is YOUR ass on the plate.

From the article (2, Funny)

Corbets (169101) | more than 8 years ago | (#15436257)

Unless you have not heard, Verizon, AT&T, Bell South and other telecommunications giants are lobbying Congress to establish a legal basis for charging website owners for traffic with the help of two-tier Internet.

Sweet. So as long as we haven't heard about it, they're not actually doing it??? Then WTH is Slashdot doing, posting this crap and ruining the Internet for all of us?

nothing new (1)

mapkinase (958129) | more than 8 years ago | (#15436264)

Just some opinions. He does not even mention recent blow to foes of Internet neutrality.

Too sads one of the administrators is Max Fomichev's fanboy.

Wow (1)

WeAzElMaN (667859) | more than 8 years ago | (#15436268)

You'd think the telecos would have more pressing things to be worried about [slashdot.org] . Perhaps the perception the public has of them no longer matters to the machine.

Two Questions (2, Interesting)

Thunderstruck (210399) | more than 8 years ago | (#15436278)

1. From a "free speech" point of view, how is this any different than than your local newspaper's editorial policy? Some newspapers just won't print some kinds of content, even if the author is willing to pay for the service.

2. Does this form of content limitation take away any of the rights you had before the dawn of email? Back in the day, we wrote pen & paper letters because it was the only option. Today, although letters are (probably) more secure, because they are not subject to the kind of keyword data mining that can be conducted on electronic communications, we seem stuck on email. Do we need to be?

Re:Two Questions (1)

robizzle (975423) | more than 8 years ago | (#15436460)

Re:1. When you subscribe to a newspaper you understand that the articles are just reports prepaired by possibly biased people. In many cities the newspaper staff do their best to be non-biased and as such, they have a good reputation. Also, as far as I know, if you were to ask any of the forementioned newspapers about their policy of blocked content, they would share it with you (and if not then you have a red flag to not subscribe.) Thier only motive to be non-biased is to help their reputation and therefore increase sales. However, when people subscribed to the internet they expected to be able to have access to any website that is available (lets ignore government imposed censorship (ie china) for now.)

Re:Two Questions (2, Insightful)

Lysander Luddite (64349) | more than 8 years ago | (#15436490)

I believe that if you see the Internet as a public space that all have equal access to, your questions are answered.

In a public space one isn't charged to state an opinion. Other visitors to that space aren't obliged to listen to that opinion, yet the economic and political freedom to speak one's mind exists.

Removing Net Neutrality really amounts to privatizing the Internet. Just as one can be chased out of a private space like a shopping mall because the ownership doesn't want one there, so can network owners discriminate against those it chooses.

Admittedly, this is simplistic, but the Internet transcends physical space while at the same time has characterisitics of it.

Re:Two Questions (1)

moracity (925736) | more than 8 years ago | (#15436519)

Exactly. This so-called net-neutrality has nothing to do with free speech. What if all the telcos just shut down their pipes and there was no more internet? Does that deny you your freedom of speech? Of course not. Neither does charging whatever the hell they want, in whatever manner they want, to use their networks.

There is no need for government interference at this poinit. Let the telcos try to do this and see how many content providers succumb to it. Personally, the internet is not THAT important. We all got along just fine before it. Sure, it'd be a bit inconvient at first, but we'll all get over it.

Maybe I'm just burnt out on technology. I've just about had it with cell phones/blackberries and all the retards running around with their Borg-like bluetooth earpieces! I think I'm gonna start taking photos of people with those stupid things.

Re:Two Questions (1)

Nkwe (604125) | more than 8 years ago | (#15436531)

1. From a "free speech" point of view, how is this any different than than your local newspaper's editorial policy? Some newspapers just won't print some kinds of content, even if the author is willing to pay for the service.

ISPs are not content creators, they are content carriers. It is like city traffic department saying to the paper: "Because your paper is so popular and you have lots of delivery trucks, you have to pay extra to use the roads."

2. Does this form of content limitation take away any of the rights you had before the dawn of email? Back in the day, we wrote pen & paper letters because it was the only option. Today, although letters are (probably) more secure, because they are not subject to the kind of keyword data mining that can be conducted on electronic communications, we seem stuck on email. Do we need to be?

While email may parallel paper letters, there are really not pre-Internet equivalent to web sites and blogs.

With paper mail, the post office does not charge you extra if you generate lots of letters, in fact you get a bulk discount.

Why charge? (1)

icyisamu (941436) | more than 8 years ago | (#15436281)

I never understand why ISPs just want to charge more. Do they really just want to earn more money? Or do they really have a problem with current plans?

I believe Michael Douglas said it best... (1)

Lead Butthead (321013) | more than 8 years ago | (#15436449)

I never understand why ISPs just want to charge more. Do they really just want to earn more money? Or do they really have a problem with current plans?
Surely you jest.

I believe Michael Douglas said it best in the flick Wall Street... "The point is, ladies and gentlemen, that greed, for lack of a better word, is good. Greed is right. Greed works... It's never enough for Wall Street." Corporations will milk consumers for everything they got, for as long as they can, for as much as they can get away with. With Jr. and Dick in the White House, that's a lot.

Re:Why charge? (1)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 8 years ago | (#15436554)

I never understand why ISPs just want to charge more. Do they really just want to earn more money? Or do they really have a problem with current plans?

Are you really comfortable never contemplating another increase in your own household income? ISPs have to employ people. They have to replace billions of dollars of equipment on a regular basis. They have to compete with other companies and need the budget to attract better staff and better customers. Inflation is relatively low right now, but it's not non-existent. Would you rather tell them what rate they have to charge, or let them and their competition fight it out to offer you a better deal? Especially for businesses, it's a daily fight to offer them lower prices than the next guy. But if they don't earn a profit, they're dead.

And they have to earn a profit while also building up billions of dollars worth of new infrastructure (pulling new fiber into residential areas, building new peering links to growing sectors of the net, etc). They "want" to charge more because they have to provide and invest more or go out of business (leaving us with fewer choices, which is even worse).

Rather than ask why they should want to charge more, you should understand the nature of network peering, and ask why certain content providers (Google might be a good example) that make a fortune off of the ISP's users should expect to be immune from the same competitive market forces that impact everything else in our lives. You can bet that when Google orders a truck load of printer paper for their offices that the pricing models used are very, very different than those that set the price you pay for one package at the retail store. Should the government get in the way of both of those transactions and dictate pricing schemes, or should the paper supplier be able to look at high-volume customers and set prices based on things like regular ordering, bulk transportation costs, seasonal changes, etc? Who knows that market better - the paper supplier trying to win more customers or a congressman trying to sound like he's protecting you from economic reality to win a couple more votes?

Re:Why charge? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15436556)

I never understand why ISPs just want to charge more.

Please do not generalize. This is not an ISP thing - it is an incumbant carrier thing. Oligopoly local carriers (both telephone and cable) such as Qwest, Verizon/Bellsouth, Mediacom, etc. are the drivers behind this, not independent non-incumbant carriers (such as cellular and wifi/wimax providers).

This is also not a new battle. In the 1980s, Qwest (then known as US West) launched a pilot in Omaha Nebraska called CommunityLink, which was billed as a prototype of a pay-per-business BBS and video-on-demand system. Businesses had to pay per user (as well as flat-rate fees) to set up a BBS on the CommunityLink system. The model was envisioned as a place where households would modem into the network, visit various merchant BBS systems to buy things, and also visit the video-on-demand system to order movies to view.

It was a tremendous disaster. Qwest executives, however, have not let go the vision of pay-per-view content, as they continue to project the required monthly revenue per household of $225 (and you can't get there with DSL and a cell phone). They've capitalized broadband expansion with the fundamental assumption that they will offer this video-on-demand service. They've "given away" unrealistic high speeds in their DSL and cable Internet because they fully expect to apply content fees and make up for the loss - anybody in the ILEC exec circles knows DSL and cable modems are a loss leader at 5 to 10 Mbps advertised service.

Unfortunately, the free market is about to beat them to it again, just like the Internet made CommunityLink and its cluster of merchant BBS systems obsolete. Incumbants are not playing on their strength when they have to compete - they are used to using local monopoly powers and lobbying money to force or bribe their way to success. This effort is a last ditch measure to block consumer-oriented video services from occuring without their control. Realistically, their chances at success in the Senate are very high as they've bought off enough in both parties. Idiot consumers who don't realize the Senate no longer represents them (and get wrapped up in foolish arguments about which party is best/worst) unfortunately are to blame for this mess.

Don't like it? Stop supporting incumbants both in government and in your choice of service providers.

Higher prices? (1)

rnelsonee (98732) | more than 8 years ago | (#15436301)

I'm not going to say that the ISP CEOs aren't going to take a little off the top and get a little richer with this scheme, but who says customers are going to pay higher prices? If the ISPs are bringing in more capital, they will be able to *cut* prices for consumers. Assuming that you're in a free market economy, it's bound to happen as ISPs cut prices to gain your business.

The whole thing is really a tradeoff - lower prices for targeted, sponsored content. It's like TV - you can pay for commercial-free content, or be cheap about it and be forced to watch commercials.

Re:Higher prices? (2, Insightful)

dnixon112 (663069) | more than 8 years ago | (#15436390)

Assuming that you're in a free market economy


See that's where you're assuming wrong. The ISP market is not competitive and free. It's an oligopaly. The only choice customers will have is to either get broadband or not.

Re:Higher prices? (2, Insightful)

tinkerghost (944862) | more than 8 years ago | (#15436587)

Um, buy a DVD lately. How about watch Comcast's on-demand - the 'free offerings' you pay for as part of your digital package ... yeah they added commercials to the start of them and I don't recall the price of either coming down.
By the way, not once have I seen anything from a telco on 2 Tier internet where they are garaunteeing anything but best effort even if you pay. So technically, they can flag you high QoS priority at the peerpoint and ignore you after that. You pay them more, they give you a nifty flag on your packets that nobody sees.

What about international users? (5, Insightful)

Pranjal (624521) | more than 8 years ago | (#15436310)

What happens if I happen to access a US server? Will my ISP be charged extra for the services offered by the website? If yes I think all US centric websites are screwed. The content will just move to international waters like most US MNC's who are incorporated in tax free zones. The internet does not revolve around the US you know.

Petitions? Congress persons who oppose it? (1)

ericdano (113424) | more than 8 years ago | (#15436317)

So, is there some sort of online petition against this? Emails or lists of Congress people who support and oppose this?

I mean, we all know Congress is working soooo hard for us....

WTF?? I read TFA. (1)

rueger (210566) | more than 8 years ago | (#15436326)

Sorry, but a rambling and unsubstantiated opinion piece, and a short one at that, hardly qualifies as a call for action.

Commerce in action ensures that bandwidth providers will want to be paid more, and bandwidth consumers will want to pay less.

Will prices go up for popular stuff? Probably, but this is hardly news or even unexpected.

Will ISPs and their upchannel bandwidth suppliers charge more for increased badnwidth consumption? Sure, but this is hardly new or unexpected either.

Really folks, this is old news and has been discussed in a much more sensible fashion elsewhere. If you really care about providing really, really cheap Internet access to all, get busy and revive the old FreeNet [www.ncf.ca] movement. Or start throwing money at your elected representatives to influence their votes.

No ISP will censor content (1)

DBett (241601) | more than 8 years ago | (#15436344)

They would piss off their customers. They may provide premium content - such as streaming video - from privileged 'partner' sites. And non-partner sites offering similar high bandwidth content may become less popular because the quality won't be as good.

But no ISP is going to stop providing access to any content. And certainly not low bandwidth stuff like news and opinion sites.

Moving to China (2, Insightful)

wjcofkc (964165) | more than 8 years ago | (#15436350)

Is it just me, or does communist China have a better grip on the overall "issue" of controlling the internet than the Democratic Peoples Republic of The United Sta....Errr I mean the USA.

I really wish the government could just let well enough alone instead of completely fucking up the economy by way of fucking up the internet.

Ooops.. (0, Offtopic)

wjcofkc (964165) | more than 8 years ago | (#15436404)

I just read through the comments. It looks like everybody is getting scored troll for speaking out as I did.

In a distant way, that's kind of ironic.

back to my cave now. Bad, bad troll...

who owns the internet? (2, Insightful)

briancnorton (586947) | more than 8 years ago | (#15436353)

Why is it assumed that the internet is the common property of all mankind? Certainly the infrastructure owned by governments around the world is held to one standard, but why do we assume that verizon, quest, etc somehow "owe" us? The internet is a commercial entity. Laying all that fiber was paid for (mostly) by companies expecting a reasonable ROI. The way to voice your opinion is with your wallet. Cancel your service.

Yes, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15436391)

Yes, the article has a point, but being as it is nothing more than a rant - and much like the average /. article, I suppose - I would not put too much trust into it. If someone could find a better source, then maybe, but come on people...

Besides, we all know that this really could not work. No one owns the internet, and that is what these things always come down to.

My ISP can charge me to access the internent, and that's fine.

My web host can charge me to be hosted, and that's fine.

But you really can't even think that it would be possible for Your ISP to charge me to be seen, it just wouldn't work.

Try the logistics...

Besides, there are always google mirriors...

Speech has always been free as in freedom... (1)

Zarf (5735) | more than 8 years ago | (#15436400)

you've always been able to say whatever you wanted to as long as you were willing and able to pay the price. Challenge the King? Die. Challenge the Empire? Die. This time all they want is cold hard cash. I'd say the price of speech has gotten cheaper.

Re:Speech has always been free as in freedom... (1)

Lysander Luddite (64349) | more than 8 years ago | (#15436544)

Then truly nothing has changed as in your scenario those with money or power are the only ones who can challenge the entrenched interests. Everybody else is simply shut out.

There is a reason AOL didn't take over the Internet.

AnoNet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15436415)

If you feel your privacy is important to you, join an encrypted darknet such as AnoNet and speak your mind freely:

http://anonetnfo.brinkster.net/ [brinkster.net]

Net Neutrality Law = Unneccesary & Bad Idea (2, Insightful)

fortinbras47 (457756) | more than 8 years ago | (#15436417)

All kinds of people are coming out with these parade of hypothetical horribles, but WHERE IS THE CURRENT PROBLEM??!?

I don't know about you, but I am HIGHLY suspicious of the government's ability to do anything sensical when it comes to technology, and I can think of nothing worse than a law being passed to correct some theoretical problem that DOESN'T CURRENTLY EXIST and might never exist.

What would happen if Congress tried to pass some Net Neutrality Law? Since there isn't any kind of ACTUAL problem now, I'm sure the bill would undoubtedly screw stuff up through the law of unintended consequences.

Congress would insert all kinds of special provisions that would benefit some group at the expense of others, all kinds of new technology would become illegal, and lawsuits would proliferate. Who knows what would happen, the point is that when congress acts on technology (eg. the DMCA) they are likely to create a huge mess and things better be PRETTY DAMN bad before Congress can do more good than harm.

People need to read moderation guidlines (1)

fortinbras47 (457756) | more than 8 years ago | (#15436541)

Concentrate more on promoting than on demoting. The real goal here is to find the juicy good stuff and let others read it. Do not promote personal agendas. Do not let your opinions factor in. Try to be impartial about this. Simply disagreeing with a comment is not a valid reason to mark it down. Likewise, agreeing with a comment is not a valid reason to mark it up. The goal here is to share ideas. To sift through the haystack and find needles. And to keep the children who like to spam Slashdot in check.

Some moderators need to read moderation guidelines [slashdot.org]

Is it POSSIBLE to disagree with net neutrality and not get modded down?!?!?!?

My post is fair, reasonable, logical, and not hysterical. If you disagree with someone, then you post a reply; you don't mod them down or mark something as a troll when it isn't.

Grand proposal... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15436431)

I think that if the internet does end up tiered, website owners should put a message on their sites that appears only to users connecting from tiered-supportive ISPs that states something along the lines this:

"Your ISP wants to charge us for your visit to our site... but you've already paid them to do so!!! Maybe it's time for you to consider switching to an ISP that is not so greedy! Here are a few honorable ISPs you should check out:
example
example
example"

Sure, there will still be ignorant users, primarily AOL subscribers, but I think this will get the message through well enough for educated users to make a dent in the pockets of the money grubbing ISPs.

Re:Grand proposal... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15436583)

That's a great idea. Of course unless I resort to dialup, I only have Comcast, those other isps you mention are not an option.

I look forward to killing you. (2, Interesting)

Wellington Grey (942717) | more than 8 years ago | (#15436435)

That's it. I'm sending in the ninjas [askaninja.com] .

-Grey [wellingtongrey.net]

not surprising (1)

Susceptor (559115) | more than 8 years ago | (#15436448)

originally, television was supposed to serve the public as well. The government allowed companies to "rent" airspace for programming and in exchange promised to provide a public service in the form of news. We all know how that turned out. Now it looks like the companies are going to repeat the same thing with the internet, and because they control access, there is little anyone can do to stop them.

Charging content providers twice (2, Insightful)

NetSettler (460623) | more than 8 years ago | (#15436454)

I've got to say, I have trouble with charging content providers even once, so I completely agree with this criticism of the proposed "revenue enhancing" technologys for the megacorps.

I used to post commentary to Salon's TableTalk [salon.com] until they changed their revenue policy to charge people who posted stuff for the right to post. People who posted stuff? They're a magazine. It seems absurd to charge writers but not subscribers. So I left. Obviously it didn't bring the empire down, but my point was to say "look, I'm not going to pay two ways: one by providing content and another by providing money to have that content delivered". People come to the site to read posts, and they charge advertisers for that. Getting readers is enough payment for me.

Similarly here, I think it's amazing that if you have a web site that is full of content, the internet has no mechanism to make sure you are economically rewarded. The promise of micropayments for having put up very elaborate sites full of information was never carried through because the big portal sites realized they could just take all that money for themselves--why pass it through? No one cares that it's my or your commentary that people are getting out of their browser. They just thank AOL or MSN or Google for finding it for them. And we who provide the myriad little details, blogs, maps, lists, and other things that make up the real fabric of the internet are not only not rewarded but are charged.

So when you talk about double-charging for that privilege, not single-charging, at some point I have to say everyone should go read Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged [wikipedia.org] , in which something very similar occurs, and what amount to "content providers" eventually say "enough is enough". Ayn Rand is controversial for her overall broad philosophy of Objectivism, which lots of people don't buy into wholesale. But I'm not advancing Objectivism here. I'm just saying the basic premise of the book, that sometimes enough is enough, is worth considering. The book is an interesting read regardless of your position on her larger scale philosophies.

And I'm all for creating reasonable fees on the Internet. I just don't think authors and other content providers should be charged for doing so. That's the very definition of not reasonable. Sort of like having kids charge their parents for raising them. Or charging teachers for the privilege of teaching. If no one reads the content someone provides, the cost of that content approaches zero since it's just a few bytes on an unused disk. If lots of people read them, then by definition the content contributes a lot to the world, and the world should contribute by each consumer chipping in, not by each consumer contributing to the content provider's eventual bankruptcy (or in less severe cases just negatively contributing to their financial success).

Also, I like Jesse Ventura's "government should do for people what they cannot do for themselves". The big portal companies are already capable of a great many sins; the mere presence of money enables that. What the law needs to protect are the individual content providers, who are not capable of protecting themselves because often they are denied (or made to work unreasonably hard for) any revenue stream from their efforts. If there's a need for a law, it's to protect the little guy, not to enable the big one.

Where slashdot would swim (1)

neonprimetime (528653) | more than 8 years ago | (#15436473)

With two tier you've got to cash-out to cable providers if you want to ride 'high-bandwidth' channel and make sure that your pages are served fast and clear, whereas if you are a cash-strapped nobody like most of us you would be stuck to an auxiliary channel choked with spam, porn and god knows what else.

So would slashdot swim with the spam & pron?

Hyperbole (2, Interesting)

stlhawkeye (868951) | more than 8 years ago | (#15436477)

Freedom of speech is violated when there are legal consequences from government for saying what you think. This is not that. We had freedom of speech before the internet even existed, I don't see how we're losing it with a tiered system. Don't misunderstand, I don't agree with or like the "tiered" internet approach, but this hyperbolic language about what is and is not a loss of basic human rights is not conductive to the debate. It trivializes TRUE abuses and suspensions of human rights, and clouds the issue in people's minds. When people don't understand what something is, they can't make intelligent decisions about it.

Customer satisfaction (1)

dtfinch (661405) | more than 8 years ago | (#15436501)

ISPs have a small, but measurable desire to keep their own customers happy through means such as not blocking off all their favorite sites. I doubt they'll spend much time trying to squeeze blood from turnips before realizing the futility of it.

Re:Customer satisfaction (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15436539)

I guess AOL had tons of time on its hands then, and still does to this day...

Go Ahead... (1)

Aqua_boy17 (962670) | more than 8 years ago | (#15436532)

Mod me troll if you will. But we already have a 2-tiered legal system in the US, so why not a 2-tiered internet? Makes perfect sense if you think about it.

Apologies if I'm sounding too cynical, but when I see articles like this and the one on whistle-blowers today it's hard to remain very optimisitc about our future.

Paying for better service, and fighting back (2, Interesting)

phorm (591458) | more than 8 years ago | (#15436559)

There's nothing wrong with paying more for better service, for example a connection to a bigger pipe. That being said, this isn't what's happening. Rather, it's that you would be forced to pay for a transit-party (between you, your own ISP, and the client connecting to your site) to not degrade the regular connection. The problem is, that the connection has already been paid for. On the end of the client... to their ISP by them. If they don't want to pay for a higher-speed connection, then with dial-up or low-speed they will get overall lower performance. Fair enough

On your end, you have bandwidth and pipe limits imposed by your ISP. If you want more, you pay for the bigger package. Again, it depends on what service contract you choose.

What should not happen, is that the client's ISP will bill you (after the client is already paying for service) not to choke off your access. This also applies to the midpoints in the connection, and somebody has already footed the bill.

It's double-dipping, and it's extortion. It also strays far from the concept of an ISP being somewhat of a common carrier, and shows blatently that the can (and will abuse the ability to) monitor and/or restrict specific traffic.

If this passes it will be a dark day for the internet indeed... but if it does my hopes are that the first ones to try it will be hammered so mercilessly (lost customers, complaints, legislation, and banner ads everywhere proclaiming to existing customers that their ISP is evil) that the idea will quickly lose it's appeal.


That being said, perhaps we can create a master-pool of ISP's that use said service. In that case we could create something similiar to an anti-spam list wherein customers will get a memo stating "connections to this site will suffer extremely slowness and loss of quality because your ISP 'ASSHATINTERNETCO' is limiting your connection. Click here [link] for more information". I'd be happy to pop those up on my site, and it's easy enough with SHTML, etc.

Anyone in?

Let's examine the "freedom" claim (2, Interesting)

TonyXL (33244) | more than 8 years ago | (#15436572)

The pro-freedom approach would be to let fiber owners (telcoms) charge whomever and whatever they want to use the lines that THEY OWN. If these telcos start charging content providers, the cost may be shifted to users, but new companies would start laying more fiber to grab some of the profits, and the increased competition would bring prices back down in the long run. Plus, there'd be a lot more line capacity out there, which would not happen with "net neutrality".

If it were up to this guy, bookstores couldn't charge different prices for different books--that would amount to abridging "freedom to read" by his logic.

Freedom of speech means you can speak freely. It DOES NOT mean that you are entitled to be provided with the means (internet, microphone, megaphone) to speak.

Also: at the 3rd paragraph, this guy admits he's a socialist, so his credibility to talk about freedom is GONE.

Let me get this straight (1)

runlevel 5 (977409) | more than 8 years ago | (#15436589)

1. Charge users pay for internet access
2. Charge content providers for hosting
3. Charge content providers for hosting (?)
4. ???
5. Destroy universe?
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