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New Network Neutrality Squad — Users Protecting the Net

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 6 years ago | from the better-than-bad-it's-good dept.

Announcements 168

Lauren Weinstein writes in to announce the new "Network Neutrality Squad" — NNSquad. Joining PFIR Co-Founders Peter G. Neumann and Weinstein in this announcement are Vinton G. Cerf, Keith Dawson (Slashdot.org), David J. Farber (Carnegie Mellon University), Bob Frankston, Phil Karn (Qualcomm), David P. Reed, Paul Saffo, and Bruce Schneier (BT Counterpane). The Network Neutrality Squad ("NNSquad") is an open-membership, open-source effort, enlisting the Internet's users to help keep the Internet's operations fair and unhindered from unreasonable restrictions. The project's focus includes detection, analysis, and incident reporting of any anticompetitive, discriminatory, or other restrictive actions on the part of Internet service Providers (ISPs) or affiliated entities, such as the blocking or disruptive manipulation of applications, protocols, transmissions, or bandwidth; or other similar behaviors not specifically requested by their customers.

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168 comments

If kdawson is involved (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21268923)

We know it will suck.

Re:If kdawson is involved (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21269849)

why did the parent make me lol for 5 minutes? A: Because it's true!

Oh, how sweet it is. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21268941)

Here's hoping this marks the beginning of the end for those against net neutrality.

Great idea... (5, Interesting)

Facetious (710885) | more than 6 years ago | (#21268953)

...awful name. I can't help but think of Geek Squad, and that doesn't make me happy.

Re:Great idea... (2, Insightful)

d34thm0nk3y (653414) | more than 6 years ago | (#21269023)

..awful name. I can't help but think of Geek Squad, and that doesn't make me happy.

We already understand the issues surrounding network neutrality (and Best Buy). To a normal person a name reminding them of the people who fixed their computer adds credibility.

Re:Great idea... (1)

dascritch (808772) | more than 6 years ago | (#21269453)

Network Neutrality ? Squad ?

Terrorist Buzzword Threat Advisory : Yellow
May rain bananas during the evening

Re:Great idea... (3, Funny)

widget54 (888141) | more than 6 years ago | (#21269157)

I for one welcome our unlikely super hero's

Re:Great idea... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21269689)

I for one welcome our unlikely super hero's
Our unlikely super hero's what? dog?

I for one welcome our unlikely super heroes themselves.

Re:Great idea... (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21269211)

I think it looks really interesting. Too bad Comcast won't let me access their sites. :-/

"Layer 3" might be better (3, Interesting)

Burz (138833) | more than 6 years ago | (#21269795)

...or something that evokes the Internet Protocol.

People need to be reminded of what the ISP's role is: The offer Layer 3 service in the form of IP. Muck around with the protocols above that and you've not only stepped outside the bounds of an ISP, but are guilty of false advertising and data falsification.

Network PRIVACY might be better than NN... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21270653)

I sometimes wonder if "Network Privacy" might be a better thing to advocate than Network Neutrality. Right now, the attacks vs. Network Neutrality are silly made-up positions (e.g. "it's communism!", "so you hate QoS!?", etc.) that have people arguing against things no one actually advocates simply because there isn't a coherent position in opposition to Net Neutrality.

Network Privacy, however, would make it clear that what NN proponents are truly against is having their ISPs spy on them and try to degrade competing services in order to hinder free market competition using their government-granted monopoly powers, government funded lines, etc. And that's not some theoretical scenario, but rather exactly the sort of "revenue expansion" the big telcos announced that they are looking towards. Furthermore, it brings on board those who are disturbed by our government's wholesale, unwarranted monitoring of private online communications.

After all, you can't do the things those of us who support NN hate without spying on the user! You can't degrade their connection to Vonage in favor of your own VoIP service if you don't monitor whether or not they're connecting to Vonage (even if this is incidental to the degradation). The less they're allowed to spy on us, the fewer ways they can screw with our connection. And I think that's a good thing.

UDel's mandatory ThoughtCrime a better fit for YRO (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21270781)

Many universities try to indoctrinate students, but the all-time champion in this category is surely the University of Delaware. With no guile at all the university has laid out a brutally specific program for "treatment" of incorrect attitudes of the 7,000 students in its residence halls. The program is close enough to North Korean brainwashing that students and professors have been making "made in North Korea" jokes about the plan. The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) has called for the program to be dismantled.

Residential assistants charged with imposing the "treatments" have undergone intensive training from the university. The training makes clear that white people are to be considered racists - at least those who have not yet undergone training and confessed their racism. The RAs have been taught that a "racist is one who is both privileged and socialized on the basis of race by a white supremacist (racist) system. The term applies to all white people (i.e., people of European descent) living in the United States, regardless of class, gender, religion, culture, or sexuality."

FIRE reports that the university's views "are forced on students through a comprehensive manipulation of the residence hall environment, from mandatory training sessions to 'sustainability' door decorations." Residents are pressured to promise at least a 20 percent reduction in their ecological footprint and to promise to work for a "oppressed" group. Students are required to attend training sessions, floor meetings and one-on-one sessions where RAs ask personal questions such as "When did you discover your sexual identity?". Students are pressured or required to accept an array of the university's approved views. In one training session, students had to announce their opinions on gay marriage. Those who did not approve of gay marriage were isolated and heavily pressured to change their opinion.

The indoctrination program pushes students to accept the university's ideas on politics, race, sex, sociology, moral philosophy and environmentalism. The training is run by Kathleen Kerr, director of residential life, who reportedly considers it a "cutting-edge" program that can be exported to other universities around the country. Residential assistants usually provide services to residents and have light duties, such as settling squabbles among students. Kerr and her program are more ambitious. She has been quoted as saying that the job of RAs is to educate the whole human being with a "curricular approach to residential education." In this curricular approach, students are required to report their thoughts and opinions. One professor says: "You have to confess what you believe to the RA." The RAs write reports to their superiors on student progress in cooperating with the "treatment."

The basic question about the program is how did they think they could ever get away with this? Most campus indoctrination is more subtle, with some wiggle room for fudging and deniability. This program implies a frightening level of righteousness and lack of awareness. But the RAs have begun to back away a step or two. After telling the students the program is mandatory, the RAs sent an email saying the sessions are actually voluntary.

----------------
In one-on-one sessions with RAs (Resident Assistants), University of Delaware students were questioned: "When did you discover your sexual identity?" In dorm meetings, they were pressured to pledge their allegiance to university-approved views on race, sexuality and environmentalism. When FIRE (Foundation for Individual Rights in Education) spotlighted the indoctrination, a university official defended the "free exchange of ideas." A few days later, the program was canceled.

How can academics talk about "critical thinking" while turning residence halls into reeducation camps? Well, they meant well. Everyone agrees they meant well. If only academics were capable of thinking critically about their own assumptions.

Thanks to FIRE's links to ResLife (Residential Life) materials, we know the goal was to teach dorm dwellers "competencies" for "citizenship," such as: "Students will recognize that systemic oppression exists in our society," "Students will recognize the benefits of dismantling systems of oppression," and "Students will be able to utilize their knowledge of sustainability to change their daily habits and consumer mentality."

"Learning" was defined as "specific attitudinal or behavioral changes." The program was called a "treatment."

Students who agreed with ResLife's views on "diversity, homosexual rights (and more subtly, politics)" were hired as RAs, writes Dan Lenker, a former RA, on SayAnything. Then RAs were trained in how to pressure students to accept the program's "unarguable dogma," such as the fact that "racist" applies to all whites in the U.S. "regardless of class, gender, religion, culture or sexuality." Over time, "ridiculous and poorly designed" programs became "more belligerent" in pushing students to accept the approved beliefs, Lenker writes. While older students realized they could skip dorm meetings, "gullible" freshman believed RAs who said they had to participate.

This year, ResLife hired Shakti Butler, executive director of World Trust Educational Services, to train RAs. Her specialty, according to her web site, is "constructive conversations on oppression through the lens of race." She claims her work "speaks to the interconnectedness of racism, classism, sexism and homophobia."

The program "has gotten out of hand," writes "Bill," who says he's been an RA for two years, on Chronicle of Higher Education. Asked to defend the training to the press, he refused. "When I declined, I was taken aside and told that my future as an RA was in jeopardy as was my future as a student."

The university's first response to FIRE came from Michael Gilbert, the vice president of student life, who claimed the program wasn't mandatory and was all about "the free exchange of ideas."

Not so, responds "Marie," who says she works in the student affairs office, in the Chronicle: "... until this week the program was mandatory and they have temporarily suspended the mandatory nature of it, but once the attention goes away especially with Parents Weekend arriving they want to look good. Boy can they lie."

A chilling description was provided by freshman Brooke Aldrich in a Wilmington News-Journal story: "Students were asked if they approved of such things as affirmative action or gay marriage. If they did, they would join students on one side of the room. If they didn't, they would join students on the other side of the room. They were not permitted to explain their reasons or to answer 'I don't know,' she said."

Go forth my minions! (-1, Offtopic)

kitsunewarlock (971818) | more than 6 years ago | (#21268993)

"Internet's operations fair and unhindered from unreasonable restrictions."
Their first task: figuring out why I can rarely get over "1" on my posts whereas some people who copy and paste wikipedia articles build up enough karma to get troll-like replies at a 2 minimum.

Net Neutrality Sucks (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21269005)

It's like saying everybody must fly coach, and nobody should be able to offer first-class or business-class seating.

I have more money, and less time than most people to have to deal with the unwashed masses. I should have the option of paying for better QOS if I feel like it.

Re:Net Neutrality Sucks (3, Insightful)

Pantero Blanco (792776) | more than 6 years ago | (#21269111)

It's like saying everybody must fly coach, and nobody should be able to offer first-class or business-class seating.

I have more money, and less time than most people to have to deal with the unwashed masses. I should have the option of paying for better QOS if I feel like it.


No. Different tiers of internet service are like having a first-class and business-class seating section. You pay for X downstream and Y upstream.

Net neutrality is like saying that the airline can't sell you a first-class ticket, and then bump you down to coach unless you win a bidding war with another guy in first-class after you're on the airplane.

Re:Net Neutrality Sucks (2, Insightful)

DMUTPeregrine (612791) | more than 6 years ago | (#21269517)

I think it's more like the airline charging the receiving hotel to take you. If they don't pay to get you off the plane, you sit there for eight hours.

Re:Net Neutrality Sucks (5, Informative)

doas777 (1138627) | more than 6 years ago | (#21269561)

I think you guys need to read up on the topic. Teired service is NOT like your first class/economy example, though it may head that way eventually.

ok heres the deal. AT&T is mad because Google is making money off selling ads to THEIR users without writing a check to AT&T. the users paid for their access, as did google, but AT&T wants to double-dip, and charge Google for access to THEIR subscribers.

so lets say AT&T and Yahoo! entered into an agreement whereby Yahoo would be the default search provider for AT&T networks. AT&T could then degrade or eliminate traffic to google, in an attempt to sway user preference. would you keep going to google if it took 35 seconds to load, while yahoo comes up at lightspeed?

Teired service comes in two flavors. one is paid for by web providors, the other by customers.
1) Google pays AT&T for perfered access to THEIR customers. google would have to pay off every ISP nation wide if that were the approach.

2) create user packages where the user would pay extra for access to sites that AT&T does not have deals with. For $19.95 you get yahoo, and email. for 29.95 you can get google (but not any of the sites linked therein), and for 59.95 you can get access to the internets 200 most popular sites. full access to the internet available for $.20 per site hit. be sure not to hit reload...

neither gives you any more than you have today, all it does is take away. I pay my bill. if that isn;t enough for them, then they either need to raise their prices, or live with it.

I heard Tim Berners-lee came down on the anti side of NN. I read his arguments and while they are valid from a network engineers perspective, he's completely missing the consumer protection aspect, which is the whole reason the rest of us are discussing NN.

I am not a commodity that AT&T can buy and sell. if AT&T wants to charge companies for access to AT&T subscribers, then they owe us subscribers a check, not the other way around.

Re:Net Neutrality Sucks (1)

Jarjarthejedi (996957) | more than 6 years ago | (#21269951)

Mod Parent Up. Very good example, it's not about getting better access, it's about getting access at all.

Re:Net Neutrality Sucks (1)

Mode_Locrian (1130249) | more than 6 years ago | (#21271503)

Wow, that's a great point. I hadn't considered that problem before--when you put it that way, NN begins to look not only appealing, but quite pressing as well. That's a rather grim picture of the future of the (NN-less) internet that you paint...

Re:Net Neutrality Sucks (1)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 6 years ago | (#21270053)

Net neutrality is like saying that the airline can't sell you a first-class ticket, and then bump you down to coach unless you win a bidding war with another guy in first-class after you're on the airplane.
Or it's like paying up-front for first class on every flight you take, only to be bumped down to coach sometimes, depending on what airport you're flying into, and whether that airport has paid their 'passenger priority fee'.

Or it's like paying for Amtrak first class non-stop to Timbuktu and then being seated on a Greyhound bus that stops in Oswego first.

Or maybe it's like pay for a limo to the airport and a bus with only three wheels shows up at your door, and the driver is Otto from the Simpsons.

Or maybe it's like buying a twelve-speed bike and finding that only three gears work, and they shipped it with a banana seat and a shopping basket instead of the high-quality shock absorbers you paid for.

Where's bad analogy guy when you need him?

Re:Net Neutrality Sucks (1)

mgh02114 (655185) | more than 6 years ago | (#21270075)

Net neutrality is like saying that the airline can't sell you a first-class ticket, and then bump you down to coach unless you win a bidding war with another guy in first-class after you're on the airplane.

No, net neutrality is like saying that the airline kicks you off the plane because you are black, and the NAACP hasn't paid it's monthly extortion fee yet. You are given a stand-by ticket on the next flight, so you can't complain, because you weren't "blocked."

Re:Net Neutrality Sucks (1)

ewieling (90662) | more than 6 years ago | (#21270101)

No, it is like not allowing the airlines to charge both the passenger AND the city of Los Angeles for a ticket to Los Angels, CA. i.e. Net Neutrality would prevent ISPs from charging both the end user and the web site the end user goes to for access to that web site. ISPs would still be allowed to offer different speeds of service - coach class , business class, and first class. ISPs would still be allowed to ban specific protocols or usage patterns. Net Neutrality just means the ISP is not allowed to bill two different entities for the same service.

Re:Net Neutrality Sucks (1)

Relic of the Future (118669) | more than 6 years ago | (#21270121)

Or more like "Oh, you're traveling to Washington and staying at the *Ramada*? Well, that means we have to transfer you through Atlanta on the way there (I know, it's four extra hours; you'll miss your meeting? Oh well, should have thought of that before.) You see, Ramada didn't pay us to expedite travelers staying with them. If you were staying at Best Western, you could have had a direct flight."

Net Neutrality from an operator's POV (4, Insightful)

DragonHawk (21256) | more than 6 years ago | (#21270391)

Let's drop all the bad analogies for a minute (pretend I'm new here) and actually look at the situation.

Net Neutrality is an issue I'm concerned with. However, the only information I get from the Net Neutrality camp seems to be "the-sky-is-falling" sensationalist propaganda. So while I want to support NN, my rational mind says "Hold the phone. This is just an ad-hominem rant, not a rational argument."

Say I'm a network operator. (I am, actually. I have more than one PC at home. And quite a few I'm in charge of at work. But let's also say I'm in the business of renting access to my network -- an "ISP" as we all say.) So I've got a bunch of subscribers paying me a fee for a connection my network. I've also got connections to other operators. Some of those are transit I pay for, some are peering agreements. My customers use those connections indirectly, of course.

Now let's say I'm looking at my traffic logs, and I see that a ton of traffic is going to and from YouTube. So much so that I have to buy more transit to operators connected closer to YouTube. So now I have a bigger bill. And that cost has to be covered (TANSTAAFL).

I could raise rates for my subscribers. Or I could say to YouTube, "Hey, guys, you're a hot ticket. If you give me some more money, I'll buy a faster pipe to you guys. If not, well, you're going to be stuck on an overloaded transit line."

While I do have concerns with the above scenario, it does not make me want to take to the streets with a torch and pitchfork. Can someone explain what is so evil in the above?

If you want to propose scenarios that involve abuse, censorship, wire-tapping, giant insect overlords, etc., that's fine, but please also address plain old business scenarios like the above.

Re:Net Neutrality from an operator's POV (2, Insightful)

Dragonslicer (991472) | more than 6 years ago | (#21271329)

Now let's say I'm looking at my traffic logs, and I see that a ton of traffic is going to and from YouTube. So much so that I have to buy more transit to operators connected closer to YouTube. So now I have a bigger bill. And that cost has to be covered (TANSTAAFL). I could raise rates for my subscribers. Or I could say to YouTube, "Hey, guys, you're a hot ticket. If you give me some more money, I'll buy a faster pipe to you guys. If not, well, you're going to be stuck on an overloaded transit line."
There's nothing wrong with that scenario. YouTube pays you a specific amount of money for a specific amount of bandwidth. If YouTube is getting more traffic than the bandwidth can support, transfer speeds will be lower because traffic has to be throttled. This is a purely physical issue; a connection cannot carry more data than its bandwidth will allow. Additionally, if YouTube wants to increase their bandwidth, they can simply pay you more money, with the cost increasing approximately linearly with the amount of bandwidth you're buying.

What Net Neutrality is about is making sure that traffic to YouTube is not throttled solely because they aren't Yahoo and that YouTube can buy more bandwidth at the same rate as Yahoo.

Analogies suck (2, Insightful)

SiliconEntity (448450) | more than 6 years ago | (#21270671)

It's like saying everybody must fly coach, and nobody should be able to offer first-class or business-class seating.

No,

Net neutrality is like saying that the airline can't sell you a first-class ticket, and then bump you down to coach unless you win a bidding war with another guy in first-class after you're on the airplane.

No,

Net neutrality is like using a vacuum cleaner to pick up lawn clippings, while a dwarf follows behind you with a rake.

Aren't analogies helpful? Everyone always tries to come up with analogies to deal with things, but most of the time they are misleading and even manipulative. Everyone tries to find an analogy which makes their position look best.

I would say, instead, that issues should be analyzed from first principles. If net neutrality is good or bad, just say so, and say why. Don't say it's like a chicken with eyeglasses or a frog jumping out of a pot. That doesn't help.

Another stab at this analogy. (1)

nobodyman (90587) | more than 6 years ago | (#21271217)

Net neutrality is like saying that the airline can't sell you a first-class ticket, and then bump you down to coach unless you win a bidding war with another guy in first-class after you're on the airplane.
Yikes, that's a mouthful. Here's another stab at it:
Imagine the electricity company charging $.10/kWh for your lights, and $.20/kWh for your television.

Ridiculous, right? That's similar to what the ISP's are trying to do. They'd like to charge (for example) $1/GB for accessing comcast.com, and $15/GB for accessing google.com.

That's not Net Neutrality (5, Informative)

norminator (784674) | more than 6 years ago | (#21269219)

It's not about how fast your general Internet service is... that already works the way you want.

It's about how fast the sites you're getting your content from are, based on how much they pay your ISP. Want to buy TV shows and movies from iTunes? Better hope they paid off your ISP, and if customers in general want good service, Apple would have to pay all of the ISPs. Want YouTube? Better hope they paid up. BitTorrent? Games? Good luck.

Net Neutrality does not mean that the ISP doesn't discriminate against you based on how much you pay. It also doesn't mean that the ISP can't give certain types of traffic higher priority. It does mean that the ISP can't discriminate against traffic based on what site the content is coming from, and I think it doesn't suck, and is very important to understand.

Re:That's not Net Neutrality (1)

darjen (879890) | more than 6 years ago | (#21269525)

Question for you: do the ISPs own their equipment?

Re:That's not Net Neutrality (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21269735)

Your question is irrelevant. No matter who owns the equipment, the ISPs are selling bandwidth. We all understood (or thought we understood) how bandwidth is measured. Now the telcos want to re-create what the Internet tore apart -- a pay-for-each-destination model in which they can somehow monetize every connection a customer might want to make, or each communications protocol that a customer might want to use. This is a Frankenstein-like effort to revitalize an old cash cow -- the long-distance calling business.

Re:That's not Net Neutrality (2, Insightful)

darjen (879890) | more than 6 years ago | (#21270861)

The question is not irrelevant. They are selling a service that is only possible to provide on the communications gear that *they purchased*. If you are willing to argue that they don't really own the stuff they provide that service with, then who does? Society? The problem with this for property advocates such as myself is that it is a very slippery slope. Who knows what other rulings against property will come of it - or how courts may use this precedent to justify taking others property for some kind of "common good". If you favor net neutrality, you should start your own telco without charging content providers extra for what bandwidth they use, rather than using the saw to prevent others from using property that they legally purchased.

Re:That's not Net Neutrality (1)

Pantero Blanco (792776) | more than 6 years ago | (#21271479)

The "it's their equipment" argument is irrelevant. A person's freedom to do what he wants with his property doesn't make him immune to laws dealing with contracts, advertising, etc. If an ISP has a contract with a customer to provide a service, they have to provide it.

Who knows what other rulings against property will come of it - or how courts may use this precedent to justify taking others property for some kind of "common good".
You mean like using tax money to build telecommunications infrastructure? [spectacle.org]

Re:That's not Net Neutrality (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21269763)

> It does mean that the ISP can't discriminate against traffic based on what site the content is coming from, and I think it doesn't suck, and is very important to understand.

How about on the basis of which TCP/IP stack is in effect?

Weirdest thing I've seen so far is a bog-standard Win9x box alongside an XP box and a Linux box. All three boxes are clean. All three boxes can resolve DNS. From 4.0.0.0/8, 99.9% of web traffic to all sites is unaffected. The XP and Linux box behaves normally, and the Win9x box can connect to fark.com, but the transmission hangs after the first few packets are received. The connection stays open, but no traffic ever comes in. Only on that site, and only on the Win9x box.

The only conclusion I can draw is that there's a router between Level3 and Fark that's no longer interested in routing TCP/IP traffic with sequence numbers that correspond to the Win9x stack. I would never have discovered it had I not felt like browsing on my old MAME rig.

First they came for the DOS boxes, and no one cried out "WTF?"...

Re:That's not Net Neutrality (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21269865)

Oh god, the double negatives!!!

Re:Net Neutrality Sucks (1)

DustyShadow (691635) | more than 6 years ago | (#21269255)

Net neutrality has nothing to do with your ability to buy a faster service from your ISP. It has to do with not allowing providers to prevent you from accessing certain sites or protocols.

Re:Net Neutrality Sucks (1)

spikenerd (642677) | more than 6 years ago | (#21269885)

It's like saying everybody must fly coach, and nobody should be able to offer first-class or business-class seating.

It's a bit more like this...

Thankyou for flying coach-air, and welcome to coach-France. Since you didn't fly first-class, you may not visit the Eiffel Tower or the Louvre, but you may visit any of the fine attractions on this list of businesses that support our airline. Since you flew during our limited offer, you will be permitted to purchase three souveniers instead of the usual two. And remember, don't try to visit anyone you know in France--that would be a violation of the terms of service under which you flew. We hope you enjoy your visit to coach-France. If you'd like to upgrade your service in order to visit some of the finer attractions in France, your stewardess will be happy to help you make arrangements. Please have your credit cards ready, and remember, it's a violation of Federal law to visit attractions that do not comply with the terms of this airline service.

Re:Net Neutrality Sucks (1)

z0idberg (888892) | more than 6 years ago | (#21270047)

Bad Analogy here we come!

So say you pay top dollar to fly first class (i.e. you paid for a fast internet connection), but the company that provides the catering for the flight (i.e. nytimes.com) didnt pay top dollar to the airline (ISP) so you get an economy class meal.

The company that provides the in-flight entertainment though (myspace) did pay top dollar to the airline (ISP) so you get top class movies, sports etc on your flight.

The company that makes the seats for your flight (google) didnt pay top dollar to the airline (ISP) so you get a fold-out chair to sit on for your flight (except when it came to this google would hopefully tell the ISP to shove it and everyone on that airline/ISP gets to stand for the whole flight).

You see how that works now? no matter how much you want to pay doesnt affect the service you get.

Re:Net Neutrality Sucks (1)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 6 years ago | (#21270091)

I have more money, and less time than most people to have to deal with the unwashed massAnd yet you have time to read slashdot and post inanity. Something tells me that not only do you have plenty of time, but that you yourself are a member of the massive unwashed.

By Our Powers Combined... (2, Interesting)

Pantero Blanco (792776) | more than 6 years ago | (#21269007)

They certainly have some big names on the list. I hope that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts, and they're more effective at getting politicians to listen than they were when standing apart.

Network Neutrality != good (0)

skydude_20 (307538) | more than 6 years ago | (#21269041)

If Network Neutrality is legalized, it really means government regulation. The Internet regulated by the FTC/FCC, and we know how wonderful that won't be. Do we really think open market operations won't solve the issue? I mean if some ISP's are going to be double charging Google for access, I'm willing to bet Google can easily figure out a way around them.

Re:Network Neutrality != good (3, Funny)

Wesley Felter (138342) | more than 6 years ago | (#21269143)

There's always the possibility that ISPs could voluntarily (after receiving a few visits from the NN Mafia, er Squad) adopt network neutrality principles.

Re:Network Neutrality != good (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21269147)

Modded (-1, What?)

Re:Network Neutrality != good (1, Interesting)

plasmacutter (901737) | more than 6 years ago | (#21269171)

what BS rhetoric.

allow me to bring you back down to reality from your rabid right wing frothing.

The "open market" as you so quaintly call these broadband monopolies is failing us. They are deliberately censoring websites, blocking protocols, forging packets, and illegally giving data on our internet use to the US government.

The only thing left they haven't done is implement the great firewall of china, something even the bush administration would not get away with.

So, in short, they are already as bad as the government could ever be with the internet. Regulation can only make it better

Re:Network Neutrality != good (1)

TWX (665546) | more than 6 years ago | (#21269223)

I have a feeling that most users are too stupid to understand what their ISPs do, and if people-in-the-know don't organize to fight it that it will just get worse.

Re:Network Neutrality != good (5, Interesting)

Dorkmaster Flek (1013045) | more than 6 years ago | (#21269237)

I could be wrong, but it sounds more like they're looking for technical documentation and solutions to the issues rather than lobbying politicians for new laws. Also, do you really think that we even have "open market operations"? ISPs in North America have government regulated monopolies and it's killing our ability to keep pace with the rest of the world in connection speed and penetration to the majority of the population. I agree the solution is not more government regulation, but to kill these geographical monopolies.

Re:Network Neutrality != good (1)

griffjon (14945) | more than 6 years ago | (#21269401)

...Which, technically, is also government regulation, just regulation that's been underutilized in the past few decades. While I'm not exactly a fan of "Big Government;" it does have some usefulness in providing a "fair" and open playing field, which is what net neutrality is about. We all rejoiced when the FCC struck down exclusive cable contracts in apartment buildings (http://politics.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=07/10/29/2152212), which is an important step at loosening local cable monopolies. Perhaps it could be a good thing?

Re:Network Neutrality != good (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21269245)

It's not an open market if the 'owners' of teh tubes were given control of them by the government in the first place.

Re:Network Neutrality != good (5, Informative)

MonGuSE (798397) | more than 6 years ago | (#21269377)

Network Neutrality doesn't really mean government regulation at all. It just means that all packets have as much right to the road as any others. If you try to block your competitors packets you get slapped, if you try to use anticompetitive practices you get slapped, if you act in a monopolistic manner you get slapped. However you are free to do whatever else you please beyond that. If you want to charge ridiculous amounts to all of your customers fairly you can, if you want to drop all of your peering agreements feel free, if you don't want to invest in your infrastructure and continue wringing every last dime out of your existing infrastructure go ahead... What we need to be regulated better is public rights of way and who has access to them until wireless is mature enough to handle broadband in large deployments.

How does Google find access to pipes that don't exist? There are basically 3 or 4 major players that everyone relies on and you can't just lay new pipe on rights of way that you don't own. Then there is the matter of incumbent telecoms and cable co's and their regional monopolies. If you want high speed internet you deal with 3 companies, Time Warner, Comcast or AT&T. There is nothing stopping time warner sticking up a roadblock to Google, Yahoo and MSN and say go here instead. In fact they already do that to a degree by taking over your browser settings with their client software. They have a portal that is steadily growing in size and services that is being supported by their near monopolies in what 40% of households in the US? Most of the US population isn't dense enough to attract a lot of competition because of the cost of laying cable. Ironically a lot of that cable laying is subsidized by tax payer money but is granted for sole use to one company. In a couple of years if we don't stand our ground on network neutrality we will have a cell phone esque market place for our internet services where we have to pay 10cents a search and 5 cents a dns lookup and 25cents an email and yadda....

Right now the major players are sitting on their pipes wringing as much money as they can out of them and doing the minimum amount of upgrades necessary to maintain the status quo. That is why the telecom companies are having bandwidth issues. The rest of the world is eventually going to surpass our pipes and offer a ton of dynamic content that we can't access because the infrastructure in the US can't handle it. Just like the cell phone industry is leaps and bounds ahead of the US industry in the rest of the world. Same in the console market and hand helds. I could go on but I digress.

Re:Network Neutrality != good (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21271293)

> Most of the US population isn't dense enough

I must disagree on this.

Re:Network Neutrality != good (1)

volkris (694) | more than 6 years ago | (#21271419)

Network Neutrality doesn't really mean government regulation at all. It just means that all packets have as much right to the road as any others.
...and where do those rights come from? How are they made affective?

Government regulation bringing them into existence and then giving them the force to affect the ISPs.

Yes it means government regulation, from inception to implication.

Re:Network Neutrality != good (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21271587)

> How are they made affective?

Just a bit o' lovin' is all they need.

Re:Network Neutrality != good (1)

HFShadow (530449) | more than 6 years ago | (#21271561)

What we need to be regulated better is public rights of way and who has access to them until wireless is mature enough to handle broadband in large deployments.
What does wireless have to do with any of this? It's not some godsend that's going to solve all these issues and create world peace.

If you want high speed internet you deal with 3 companies, Time Warner, Comcast or AT&T.
I'm not even an American but I can name several more companies such as Speakeasy, Verizon, Roadrunner etc. Besides that, who says this is an issue specific to broadband?

There is nothing stopping time warner sticking up a roadblock to Google, Yahoo and MSN and say go here instead. In fact they already do that to a degree by taking over your browser settings with their client software.
Yes, there is something wrong with that. Client software is very different from traffic shaping.

Most of the US population isn't dense enough to attract a lot of competition because of the cost of laying cable.
Wtf? They are shaping existing traffic, this means they are shaping users who already have broadband.

Right now the major players are sitting on their pipes wringing as much money as they can out of them and doing the minimum amount of upgrades necessary to maintain the status quo. That is why the telecom companies are having bandwidth issues. The rest of the world is eventually going to surpass our pipes and offer a ton of dynamic content that we can't access because the infrastructure in the US can't handle it.
Correct, but your reasoning is wrong. All the major players do minimum upgrades because they like money and network upgrades cost the money.

ISP's need to either raise their rates, make less profit or stop whining. Network neutrality is a must, recently up here one of our major ISP's (Telus) blocked access to a union website. Is that something you deem as acceptable?

Re:Network Neutrality != good (4, Interesting)

kebes (861706) | more than 6 years ago | (#21269503)

it really means government regulation
I agree that the government should keep its regulating to a minimum. The free market can often find optimal solutions to a variety of problems. However, there are two important things to keep in mind with regard to communication infrastructure: (1) It is already regulated; (2) It involves numerous layers of monopoly, hence it will never be a pure free market.

One of the important things to remember is that communication infrastructure requires using a limited public resource (e.g. burying cables on public property or even easements on private property, or using the limited bandwidth of wireless spectra ...). So no matter what, some kind of regulation is required. Moreover, some kind of government monopoly grant will be required (it is ludicrous to have hundreds of companies lay independent cable infrastructures, or compete for bands by building bigger and bigger transmitters).

So, given that government involvement (and moreover, the creation of various forms of monopoly) is inevitable, the question cannot be "do we want the government involved?" but rather "what do we want government involvement to be?"

The incumbent communication companies are, basically, abusing the monopoly status that was granted to them. That monopoly status was granted with an implied (and only occasionally codified) ethos: namely that this would create widespread access to the resource for the citizenry. Things like prioritizing traffic and double-charging people for access are explicitly contrary to the intention with which the monopolies were granted. Hence, it is totally reasonable to ask that government amend the agreement with these companies, so that they actually deliver the service they were supposed to deliver.

Put otherwise: why should government keep giving monopolies to companies that are not acting in ways that benefit the citizens?

Re:Network Neutrality != good (1)

theantipop (803016) | more than 6 years ago | (#21270029)

I always wonder this about the difference between our communications industry and those in other countries where broadband and reasonable cellular phone service is common. What are they doing so different that eliminates these issues and opens up cheap methods of prolific service?

Re:Network Neutrality != good (1)

epee1221 (873140) | more than 6 years ago | (#21269639)

If Network Neutrality is legalized, it really means government regulation. The Internet regulated by the FTC/FCC, and we know how wonderful that won't be.
Slightly better than an Internet regulated by AT&T.

Re:Network Neutrality != good (1)

vertinox (846076) | more than 6 years ago | (#21269709)

Do we really think open market operations won't solve the issue?

The problem is that telecommunications in an inherit monopoly with no free market involved.

The only true free market solution would be to allow a complete free market in which eventually all the telecommunications would merge due to market pressure resulting in one big monopoly which at that point would dictate whatever they felt like as the service and price thus ending the free market.

So the paradox is that we can't reduce regulation as it is now without destroying the free market.

The only way we could get a sustained free market is actually use temporary government regulation to break up the current monopolies and pass a permanent law that says no telco company can ever merge with another one and force line providers out of the content providing business.

Yes... That sounds like the total opposite of a free market, but your going to have to break the bone to set it right to eventually get back to the 90s style of internet ISPs in which the phone company owned the line but didn't provide the service and the free market let ISPs flourish.

I remember a time in which prices of dial up dropped and speeds improved because there was competition between mom and pop 56K ISPs. Now what do we have... Verizon, ATT, and Comcast and chances are you may only have one of them in your area if you want broad band.

If the govenrment came in a said, "OK, you can own the lines but you can't sell internet service" and then forced the telcoms to lease their lines to a slew of competitors we would see a compitition.

I would go as far as to say we need another baby bell break up. Heck.... It was the only way to real spur a free market with Ma Bell.

Re:Network Neutrality != good (1)

OldeTimeGeek (725417) | more than 6 years ago | (#21270687)

If the govenrment came in a said, "OK, you can own the lines but you can't sell internet service" and then forced the telcoms to lease their lines to a slew of competitors we would see a compitition.

And then Comcast, Verizon and AT&T would just split off their ISP business to create separate companies and the situation would be the same. Without a tariff change from the FCC to create a pricing structure favoring no one, the big ISPs will always get better pricing from the telcos - which they would pass on (partially) to their customers.

Re:Network Neutrality != good (1)

BlueMerle (1161489) | more than 6 years ago | (#21269765)

If Network Neutrality is legalized, it really means government regulation. The Internet regulated by the FTC/FCC, and we know how wonderful that won't be. Do we really think open market operations won't solve the issue? I mean if some ISP's are going to be double charging Google for access, I'm willing to bet Google can easily figure out a way around them.
If Net Neutrality isn't legalized, it means that ISP's will regulate traffic based entirely on their whims. Give me government regulation over that any day!!

Re:Network Neutrality != good (1)

DragonTHC (208439) | more than 6 years ago | (#21269845)

what about when "some ISP's" are going to block ssh access on your account and tell you that you can only have ssh access through a business account which costs double what you're paying? What about when "some ISP's" are actively blocking bit torrent on their whole network and tells you that "if the file you want is legitimate, you can download it from a website"? does it matter to them that you want to help seed the torrent for the new OpenSuSE 10.3 DVD? (using your bandwidth is not allowed under their Acceptable Use Policy). "some ISP's" want you to surf the web, check your email, and play online games. That's it.

Under such a system where they could actually restrict your access to anything else the Internet has to offer, well, that's like AOL. While I agree that the FCC is really not an agency we want on our Internet, the free market will undoubtedly destroy itself after hurting the consumer beyond repair. Net Neutrality is good for business. In the U.S.'s current climate of deregulation and monopolization, we need something there to protect the consumer.

All Packets Are Equal. Don't ransom for your packets. Hey AT&T, no double dipping! Hey Comcast, no blocking means no blocking and no delaying indefinitely!

Re:Network Neutrality != good (1)

rucs_hack (784150) | more than 6 years ago | (#21270033)

Under such a system where they could actually restrict your access to anything else the Internet has to offer, well, that's like AOL

As much as I hate to come in on the side of AOL you are talking rubbish.
AOL have their own software for connecting to the net, true, but once connected you can use any browser or protocol you want without problems.

I know this because until about eight months ago I was stuck with an AOL contract where I moved to. No linux net access was a pain, but that was the only problem. As much as I didn't like their client, the service was reliable, the connection rarely dropped, and tbh I was more or less happy with it. Bittorrent worked perfectly, and at a nice speed. Ok I changed to another ISP the first day I could, but that was because I prefer not to have to use their client, and I wanted linux net acess, not because AOL were restricting what I could do when connected.

Re:Network Neutrality != good (1)

aplusjimages (939458) | more than 6 years ago | (#21270063)

Sadly I don't think the people would do anything to change it or if they did it would be decades from now. The users would experience the suckiness of the new net and would say apathetically "I guess I'm stuck with it this way." I agree that it would suck to have the gov't get involved, and I'm hoping net neutrality tries some grass roots methods before going the Uncle Sam route, but I have a feeling the only way to stop big companies, like these, is to go the route of legislation.

Re:Network Neutrality != good (1)

volkris (694) | more than 6 years ago | (#21271447)

You're absolutely right, and if consumers don't care enough about the issue to make it a significant market force then why involve regulation anyway?

Wish I had mod points; it's a shame your point of view isn't more prominent on these sites.

This could work MUCH better than legislation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21269231)

They could do this without govt legislation that won't get things right, or might protect the status quo, or be the wedge that lets govt impose content control.

Report, publisize and let the end users make a fuss when their service is compromized. They can also tout open ISPs and let market forces do the jobs. Sounds like a win-win and much better than waiting for a govt solution that will end up being a pandora's box of unwanted laws that will surely come with any neutrality legislation.

Re:This could work MUCH better than legislation (1)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 6 years ago | (#21270915)

Except they (the government) wont let this stand, just like they wont accept us plebs taking border control into our own hands.

expand their mandate (4, Informative)

FLoWCTRL (20442) | more than 6 years ago | (#21269333)

The formation of this group is an excellent idea.

Once they start finding and pressuring individual ISPs found guilty of "non-neutral" behavior, it will create incentive for customers to leave that ISP and go to a competitor. Sometimes there won't be a competitor, such as in many rural areas.

The logical progression is to encourage consumers to form their own local groups and move to community-owned Internet access [google.ca]. This new NNSquad should expand their mandate to provide resources that help and encourage communities to achieve network independence.

Call it the Millisecondmen! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21269383)

They can sit on lawnchairs, protecting the BGPs.

When ever I hear ... (1)

zehaeva (1136559) | more than 6 years ago | (#21269533)

... the word "Squad" like this it makes me think of the Gestapo and Vigilantly groups rather than honest organizations.

Saw some Evangelical Christians once with T-Shirts once that had "God Squad" written on them, brought to mind the same thing.

Too vague! (0)

SiliconEntity (448450) | more than 6 years ago | (#21269537)

I don't think you can neatly separate out "good" and "bad" behaviors like this.

What if one customer "requests" that another customer's internet performance be hindered? Is that OK or not? Suppose the request comes about by the first customer hogging more than his share of bandwidth? Is that OK or not? Suppose an ISP provides special low latency connections optimized for VOIP? Is that OK or not? Suppose they slow down large downloads? Is that OK or not?

There are a million gray areas and it's only going to get worse as the net becomes more complex and more integrated into our lives. When the world is covered with a grid of network nodes every meter, when we are online 100% of the time everywhere we go, we are going to need a network infrastructure which is flexible and smart. It's absurd to imagine a bunch of graybeard holdovers from the 1980s delivering rulings saying that somebody violated the rules because he gave this packet priority over that one.

Luckily I doubt this effort is going to go anywhere. Nobody cares what these guys think. The net has moved beyond them.

Re:Too vague! (1)

jav1231 (539129) | more than 6 years ago | (#21269673)

Suppose the request comes about by the first customer hogging more than his share of bandwidth?
How can he? If he buys 1.5Mbps down and 512Kpbs up how can he take more than that? Right now ISP's are saying if he takes his 1.5Mbps he's taking more than his share. I say no, he's taking what he paid for.

Off Topic but what is with FairTax.org ? (0, Offtopic)

justthinkit (954982) | more than 6 years ago | (#21270151)

--
Support the Fair Tax. http://fairtax.org/ [fairtax.org]
Promote peace, kill more bad guys.


From FairTax.org:

What is the FairTax plan?

The FairTax plan is a comprehensive proposal that replaces all federal income and payroll based taxes with an integrated approach including a progressive national retail sales tax, a prebate to ensure no American pays federal taxes on spending up to the poverty level, dollar-for-dollar federal revenue neutrality, and, through companion legislation, the repeal of the 16th Amendment.
The 16th Amendment was never ratified, not enough states voted in favor. America: Freedom To Fascism [imdb.com] covered this, and more.

Re:Too vague! (2, Insightful)

Urza9814 (883915) | more than 6 years ago | (#21269711)

If one user's activity degrades the quality of another's connection, then the ISP is selling a product that they don't actually have. I should be able to use all the bandwidth that I pay for.

Re:Too vague! (3, Insightful)

kebes (861706) | more than 6 years ago | (#21269873)

I don't think you can neatly separate out "good" and "bad" behaviors like this.
Well, one metric could at least be that ISPs don't violate the contracts they have with customers. I.e.: they are not committing fraud. Fraud is "bad." Your hypotheticals are not nearly as gray as you make them out to be.

What if one customer "requests" that another customer's internet performance be hindered? Is that OK or not?
Not OK. Why should one customer be able to influence another customer's service?

Suppose the request comes about by the first customer hogging more than his share of bandwidth? Is that OK or not?
"More than his share"? The available bandwidth is stipulated in the contract you sign for the service. The ISP has to honor that contract and deliver that bandwidth. The customer is allowed to use the bandwidth they paid for (yes, even saturate it). For the ISP to do otherwise is fraud. If the ISP enters multiple contracts and it cannot fulfill them all (over-subscribes) that is fraud on the part of the ISP.

Suppose an ISP provides special low latency connections optimized for VOIP? Is that OK or not?
Sure, that's OK, as long as it doesn't degrade the performance of other customers.

Suppose they slow down large downloads? Is that OK or not?
No, that's not OK. (Unless the contract the customer signed explicitly said that this would happen.)


When the world is covered with a grid of network nodes every meter, when we are online 100% of the time everywhere we go, we are going to need a network infrastructure which is flexible and smart.
This vision of ubiquitous connectivity isn't going to happen if we allow the telecoms to make the rules: they will charge so much for every little service that it will be far too expensive to maintain the connectivity you mention. As for "infrastructure which is flexible and smart"--I believe that's part of what network neutrality is about. One of the issues with allowing ISPs to filter content based on type (and especially based on origin/destination) is that such a system inherently becomes inflexible. Moreover it isn't smart, because people will fight against the traffic shaping rules if they don't conform to the way people want to use the net (e.g. people will start encrypting everything or spoofing origin IP or hiding one kind of traffic inside another).

An "arms race" between the infrastructure and the users is neither flexible nor efficient. It is wasteful and frustrating. The genius of the Internet was that it was a simple system that would blindly pass packets to their destination. It was this generality and equality that allowed a whole slew of new applications to evolve. The point is that we can't imagine, today, what the next "killer app" of the net is going to be... but traffic shaping inherently says "these are the services that are important"--which means anything currently unimagined will remain unimplemented forever.

Re:Too vague! (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 6 years ago | (#21270097)

The point is that we can't imagine, today, what the next "killer app" of the net is going to be... but traffic shaping inherently says "these are the services that are important"--which means anything currently unimagined will remain unimplemented forever.

To put it in political terms so that our Congresscritters might better understand:

A Free State (open Internet): one in which everything is permitted except that which is forbidden.

A Totalitarian State (walled Internet): one in which everything is forbidden except that which is permitted.

I know which I'd rather be in / use.

Personally, I think we need to come up with a better term than "Network Neutrality". It has too many socio-political connotations that I think may blur its understanding among those not well versed in the technology. I think something along the lines of "Get Your Sticky Paws Off My Packets, You Damn Dirty ISP" would get the point across much more efficiently.

Re:Too vague! (1)

Abcd1234 (188840) | more than 6 years ago | (#21270123)

I don't think you can neatly separate out "good" and "bad" behaviors like this.

Yes. Yes you can. The question is this: is the traffic shaping being done based on the source or destination of the data? If the answer is yes, it's "bad".

After that, we're talking about shaping or blocking specific services, and that needs to be handled on a case-by-case basis. If they're flat out blocking legitimate services, or shaping them as to make them unusable, I would argue that's "bad". However, if they are simply shaping to improve service performance (for example, providing low latency for VoIP while sacrificing latency for bulk transfers), I would argue that's "good".

Honestly, what "gray areas" can you identify?

Website Quality (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21269573)

Their website (nnsquad.org [nnsquad.org]) is awful. I know it's probably up there to be clean and simple, maybe even temporary, but it's hard to read and involves too much scrolling.

Divulging information about "blocking or disruptive manipulation of applications, protocols, transmissions, or bandwidth; or other similar behaviors not specifically requested by their customers." on a forum is flaky and tacky. Am I supposed to use the forum's search facilities to see if my information is already on their? Get real.

It's a nice idea, and one I'll keep an eye on, even submit information to, but make it usable and readble first.

I'm so glad for this (1)

Seismologist (617169) | more than 6 years ago | (#21269741)

I'm so glad that there are "users" (of the internets?) looking out for me. That is one less thing for me to take of my worry list, however the following still remain:

1. Global warming impacts

2. Poverty in my country

3. Iraq war

...

4. Profit?

Re:I'm so glad for this (1)

cthulu_mt (1124113) | more than 6 years ago | (#21270399)


2. Poverty in my country
You should move to the US. Here the impoverished live like kings compared to people in any other part of the world.

Defence of Free Thought (2, Interesting)

spleen_blender (949762) | more than 6 years ago | (#21269823)

I wonder if the big telecoms realize how badly they will be entrenched in cyber-guerrilla warfare with people like you and me if they somehow pull off grasping control of the net. It would be nice and a hell of a lot of fun to have a fully morally justifiable reason to engage in offensive action against the people trying to control information. I just imagine a Thermopylae style engagement between the two sides, and it sends shivers down my spine when I think about what we are actually trying to defend.

Boradband and its meaning (-1, Offtopic)

DarkOx (621550) | more than 6 years ago | (#21269825)


Can we please, this is slashdot after all understand the meaning of broadband! Broadband is not in anyway related to the number of bits you can move in a given time. Its the opposite of baseband. Broadband uses a range of frequencies in the spectrum to transmit data, while base band uses an emf pulse. Think of how a telephone cooperates as a compared to a telegraph.

Ethernet on copper wire is baseband for example, where as your cable modem is broadband because its actually modulating a carrier frequency. If you mean how the communications device works say broadband if you want to talk about the amount of data that it can transmit, lets call it highspeed, lowspeed, or just talk in mbits/sec shall we?

Re:Boradband and its meaning (1)

Abcd1234 (188840) | more than 6 years ago | (#21270163)

Broadband is not in anyway related to the number of bits you can move in a given time. Its the opposite of baseband.

To you, maybe. To most of the world, the word is being used correctly.

Maybe you just need to deal with the idea that words may have *gasp* multiple meanings which may vary based on context! I know, shocking isn't it...

Re:Boradband and its meaning (1)

galoise (977950) | more than 6 years ago | (#21270427)

so according to you any moving of data modulating frequencies is broadband, disregarding the actual width of the spectrum available (wich in turn determines the amount of data that can be transmitted)? you realize that that is absurd, don't you?

Where's the tools......? (4, Insightful)

russ1337 (938915) | more than 6 years ago | (#21269895)

Its all great running around banging the drum and asking users to 'join the war on non-neutrality' but it's all for nothing if you cannot DETECT non-neutrality in the first place.

I recall some discussion a while ago here on /. where someone was writing an application to detect non-neutrality... but it went quiet very quickly. Now the way I see it is that the list contains people that have the skills, or know the people who could write an application that could aid in the DETECTION of unfair practices from the ISP's.

The application could be used by the volunteers, and test the various protocols to various hosts (Skype, Google, youtube, TPB) and between the users themselves with various traffic (p2p, ping, tcp/ip, udp etc...) and see if any 'delay' occurs specific to one type of traffic. If it contained an automated reporting tool (OMG Tinfoil hat!!), then the aggregators could see trends across the various providers and not rely solely on one or two users. Of course you're entering a war of cat and mouse....

Before we can go accusing ISP's on non-neutrality, we need the tools to detect unfair play in the first place... anyone know of any?

Network neutrality is actually redundant (1)

Jimmy_B (129296) | more than 6 years ago | (#21270089)

There are two issues which network neutrality avoids, which are only loosely related. Suppose ISP A calls up site S and says "your site's traffic will get low priority unless you pay us". Now, you might think that if site S wants fast Internet access, they should pay for it. The thing is, site S is already paying for fast access - to ISP B, which is ISP A's competitor. The first consequence of network neutrality is that you can't try to bill your competitors' customers. (In this case, ISP B would probably have grounds to sue.)

The second issue is false advertising. Customer C sees that an ISP is advertising x MB/s connections for y dollars, says "great, I'll be able to download z really fast!", and signs up. Then he finds out that he can't download z as fast as he thought, because BitTorrent/sftp/whatever is blocked or throttled. This is why people are angry at Comcast - it's not just that they throttle BitTorrent, it's that they lie and say they don't.

Network neutrality is actually a redundant rule, to ban things which already unlawful for different reasons.

Re:Network neutrality is actually redundant (1)

pavon (30274) | more than 6 years ago | (#21270259)

Customer C sees that an ISP is advertising x MB/s connections for y dollars
Show me a single ISP that says that. The all advertise up to X MB/s and it is rare for any of them to actually reach that speed on a consistent basis. I have never seen a consumer grade ISP actually advertise a minimum guaranteed bandwidth, and there is no reason (legally or competitively) for them to do so. As long as you can get X MB/s in some situations you have no legal recourse against throttling, and potentially no recourse at all if there is only broadband provider.

and yet that redundancy is apparently necessary. (1)

plasmacutter (901737) | more than 6 years ago | (#21270449)

from the fifth amendment "nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law"

look at the events detailed in my sig. I guess microsoft is now "due process of law".

H.R. 1201 is supposed to require labeling and help prevent this, but it shouldn't be necessary if judges weren't deliberately ignoring the fifth amendment.

redundant laws have to be passed because if not, self interested parties will simply imply the original broader law did not apply to them. NOTE: there is a minimum wealth requirement of 100 million dollars to license this 99% effective legal tactic, thus the reason why the DMCA still stands.

Focus on anti-competitive practices (1)

killbill! (154539) | more than 6 years ago | (#21270207)

ISPs claim they need to end Net Neutrality because third-party websites (and pirate networks) are abusing their bandwidth. Don't let them fool us.

Conversely, some people have tried to use the free speech angle in order to defeat ISPs. I believe it is a mistake. Politicians read a letter about ISPs harming free speech, think "raging liberal", and promptly ignore it. That's counter-productive.

The ISPs' assault on Net Neutrality is not about costs. It is not about free speech. It is all about anti-competitive practices. ISPs don't want to let you download videos from iTunes or YouTube, because they have their own VOD services to prop up.

To save Net Neutrality, please focus on the anti-competitive angle in your letters to your Congressperson and Senators.

Re:Focus on anti-competitive practices (1)

Shadowplay00 (1042912) | more than 6 years ago | (#21270899)

I like how you have politicians equating free speech with "raging liberal". It's funny because it's true

I hope their tactics are better than their html. (1)

CFD339 (795926) | more than 6 years ago | (#21270345)

That web site is.....well.....It should be called "The Glorious People's Revolutionary Website for Network Neutrality".

Natural Monopoly (2, Informative)

blitzkrieg3 (995849) | more than 6 years ago | (#21270727)

Have you guys heard of the term Natural Monopoly? [wikipedia.org] The telcom infrastructure is a classic example. I know everyone here on slashdot likes to think less regulation solves everything, but some cases require it. There is NO free market solution to this problem because there will never be enough competition, so we need the government to step in and protect the consumer. Otherwise, the monopolies (telcos) are free to go on limiting capacity, price gouging, and (just now) implementing packet filtering if they don't start getting kickbacks.

Jews? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21270837)

Putting a bunch of Jews in charge of protecting from censorship? Isn't that a bit like letting the fox guard the henhouse?

bitc%4 (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21271163)

NIGGER ASSOCIATION contaminated while

Cool man- hey... (1)

LM741N (258038) | more than 6 years ago | (#21271309)

are they gonna ride around in a psychedelic painted heavily armed RV? filled with routers and other crap?
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