FRIHOST FORUMS SEARCH FAQ TOS BLOGS COMPETITIONS
You are invited to Log in or Register a free Frihost Account!


SAVE THE INTERNET -- Net Neutralty on the line





quex
Another edit: The FCC Strikes Back: National Broadband
Looks like "the little commission that could" had an ace up its sleeve. :D Following the loss of the Net Neutrality case, the FCC has announced plans to open more of the broadband spectrum, and it will redirect funds from the rural telephone campaign to providing broadband (high speed) Internet access to rural and underserved areas of the nation. Also, a push to promote smaller providers and up the competition. Read more at broadband.gov.


FCC Loses Key Ruling on Internet Neutrality via ABC News
Court Favors Comcast in FCC Net Neutrality Ruling via The New York Times




EDIT: THINGS YOU CAN DO
Sign the petition on SaveTheInternet.com (a freepress.net project)
Sign the petition for an open Internet to Congress via MoveOn.org
Sign a petition to the FCC via ColorOfChange.org

Sign up to be a Save the Internet blogger at Freepress.net




I don't usually embiggen and capslock, but this time it's serious.

In a nutshell, Internet providers in the US have just won the right to censor bandwidth to whatever sites or media content they choose. Want to search on Google? Prepare to wait a while, because your provider prefers Yahoo. Like going to that German site with the funny videos? Too bad; it's foreign, so your speed will be reduced to 5 kb/s. Like to download from a p2p network? Tough luck - the only Internet provider in your area may charge extra for connections like that, or not allow them at all. Provider Comcast has already blocked BitTorrent in the past, and is now free to do so again... as can all US Internet providers, to any applications that use what they deem "an outsized amount of network capacity."

VOIP programs like Skype could be in danger. So could MMORPGs. World of Warcraft, anyone? Now you may have to pay not only for your subscription to Blizzard, but a monthly premium to your Internet company to be able to reach the servers. Even YouTube could be restricted. Imagine being able to access only ten video clips a day. Or five. Or even just one.

Don't think this is a US-only problem. The ruling in the states sets the precedent for other companies in other countries to change their rules, too.

And to all you webmasters, what will it mean to you if a major web provider in the US decides to make your projects part of the "second- or third-tier" Internet? What if 50% of the online population suddenly can't reach your content at a reasonable rate of speed, or is denied access unless they pay for special, premium Internet access? What if your site is filtered out of search engine results because it contains foreign text, streaming video, or flash games? All of this and more is perfectly legal under the federal ruling.

Already, there have been casualties. To be fair, this loss of IsoHunt is in conjunction with an MPAA lawsuit... but in the future, torrent engines, torrent files, and their clients could easily be wiped out by providers simply disallowing access to them.

The Internet is, by it's very name, a network. It is a channel for our ideas, our creations, our collaborative efforts with one another. The beauty and the power of the Internet is its openness; the ability of persons all around the world to meet and speak and share in an equal environment. Now companies have the power to block pieces of this network and cut the threads that have connected us all across the miles for these 20+ years. And with the law condoning their actions, they will. All in the name of profits.

Please spread the word. Stop the censorship. Save the Internet.
ocalhoun
Hopefully, ISP's will be prevented from doing anything too restrictive by potential loss of customers.

Not all people have a choice of ISP's, but those who do may likely leave in droves if the ISP, say, restricts youtube.
SonLight
quex, thanks for bringing this serious issue to our attention. Although the decision seems to not be final, and the consequences (for now) of the decision do not necessarily allow arbitrary restrictions of content by an ISP, your warning that things could go that way is appreciated. Here are a couple of quotes from Isohunt.

Quote:
Despite rumors that we are ordered to keyword filter for US, there's only a proposed order, no actual order. Freedom of speech, non-infringing use and technical implementability issues are still being debated in further court briefs. We have not done any keyword filtering and is fighting all we can not to, because we believe search terms are ambiguous by nature, and any requirement to keyword filter is a violation of freedom of speech and amounts to no less than censorship.


Quote:
To protest the possibility we may be required by US law in upcoming injunction to keyword filter for US users, we have redirected isohunt.com to isohunt.hk to demonstrate the similarity to certain other popular search engine also required to censor in China. Requiring any internet search engine to filter broad keyword searches is absurd. The DMCA mandates with reason that copyright notice and takedown requested by copyright holders be done under penalty of perjury with accurate identifcation, with standard practice of URLs, not broad mucking with the dictionary. If you want to join us in protest, share this by tweet, facebook, etc. and write to Congress. Donation to organizations like the EFF will also help.


I love the irony of their moving to Hong Kong. I want to know more about this case, and I certainly agree with their suggestion that we share the message far and wide.
harismushtaq
I think it is a very dificult task to povide a reasonable control. There will be lot of conflicts if this happens. Also would content providers like website hosts be denied access to users of other countries or an overall bandwidth limit etc ?
jwellsy
I think it's basically a green light for gatekeepers to set up whatever kind of schemes they want. It would not surprise me to see at least a two tier internet for content providers. If you want your site to be available through all ISP's, there will probably be a surcharge or tax.
deanhills
Where I am in the Middle East, there is definite control. All sites to do with pornography, nudity, etc are blocked. It sometimes irritates me, as along the lines, inevitably sites get affected that don't really fall in a porn category, but may have had wording in it that disqualified it. Another kind of control for me is at work where we have a really heavy anti-spam blacklisting e-mail server. So much so that quite a large number of my incoming e-mails are captured in a separate "quarantine" e-mail box. It got so bad that eventually we were given access to our quarantine e-mail boxes, to check on our emails that have been quarantined. I now have to check my e-mails in both my regular e-mail box as well as quarantine e-mail box. Quate frustrating.
Magicman
This definitely is a step in the wrong direction. The information is all about freedom of information, and the United States of all countries should protect that freedom. I really hope that even if the FCC cannot enforce net neutrality, then the law of supply should. The more restrictive ISPs will likely loose customers which should inspire them to return to a more neutral state. Hopefully things don't come to that point because that would be a sad day in for the internet.
quex
ocalhoun wrote:
Hopefully, ISP's will be prevented from doing anything too restrictive by potential loss of customers.

Not all people have a choice of ISP's, but those who do may likely leave in droves if the ISP, say, restricts youtube.


As you may know, there are three major companies in the US who provide service for the vast majority of users with broadband connections: AT&T, Comcast, and Verizon. All three have joined forces to lobby against the FCC' open internet policy. My main fear is that these three will also make arrangements between one another to enact a system of "pay-for-access" at the same time. Those who are limited to a single choice of ISP among the three would be automatically affected, as would those whose choices are limited to two out of the three. Those with the option to use other providers, including Quest, Charter, and Cox, would be able to switch... but according to the familiar laws of supply and demand, these and other providers of unrestricted Internet access would suddenly be able to charge a premium for their services, likely equal to the premium enacted by those companies who offer a limited Internet at lower price, and wider access at higher charges. Only those in areas where one or more UNrestricted access providers are competing for business would likely have a cost-effective option. Essentially, a paradigm shift of big enough proportions in the three major companies would raise the prices of unlimited access for the vast majority of users who insist on full access, except in those rare areas where there are many choices of ISP.

harismushtaq wrote:
I think it is a very dificult task to povide a reasonable control. There will be lot of conflicts if this happens. Also would content providers like website hosts be denied access to users of other countries or an overall bandwidth limit etc ?


There will most definitely be conflicts. Software conflicts, especially, when you find out that the new online game you've just paid for isn't allowed to access the 'net through your service provider.

There is a lot of speculation about how bandwidth limitations will affect international access, but the current zeitgeist seems to suggest that one way the ISPs will split up their tiers of access will be between national, continental, and international access. In the case of the US, that would be United States sites as a basic package, North American sites (Canada, USA, Mexico) as a "plus" package, and then some division or whole offering of international access in the higher price ranges. It remains to be determined whether the "location" of a site's origin would be determined by its nation of registration (.de, .jp, .hk, etc) or by the physical address of it's servers.
quex
Magicman wrote:
This definitely is a step in the wrong direction. The information is all about freedom of information, and the United States of all countries should protect that freedom. I really hope that even if the FCC cannot enforce net neutrality, then the law of supply should. The more restrictive ISPs will likely loose customers which should inspire them to return to a more neutral state. Hopefully things don't come to that point because that would be a sad day in for the internet.


Besides the issue of three major ISPs likely joining forces to establish restricted Internet access at the same time, the fact that the physical networks of cable and fiber-optic line laid out across the country are proprietary to each company puts a major limit on the force the law of supply can exert in this case. In many places, the choice is ISP Provider A, or no broadband connection at all. The only other option might be cellular or satellite, and these are still prohibitively expensive for most persons.

I say the only other option, but in truth, there are still dial-up services out there, if you still have a modem and the wires to hook it up... but what would you bet that Americans who have grown accustomed to broadband speeds and always-on access would be willing to return to dial-up?
ocalhoun
quex wrote:
In many places, the choice is ISP Provider A, or no broadband connection at all. The only other option might be cellular or satellite, and these are still prohibitively expensive for most persons.

I say the only other option, but in truth, there are still dial-up services out there, if you still have a modem and the wires to hook it up... but what would you bet that Americans who have grown accustomed to broadband speeds and always-on access would be willing to return to dial-up?


Some rural places have yet to get dial-up. Though that is rare now.

It is common for satellite internet to be the only high-speed option available though.
coolclay
Even non-extremely rural locations like my Dads house that is less than 2 miles outside of the Main st. of the local town. We don't have access to any broadband except satellite. I think it comes down to how old the road is and the telephone system in the area rather than whether its rural or not.

Regardless it would certainly be a loss to internet freedom if this was to actually take place.
sharingeasy
if its realy gonna happen then its 2 bad... and i think its not practicable....

especially in developing countries where internet has just started at peak it will be hard for companies in those countries to implement this.
And will Giant sites who are making millions from internet can let them do so easily?
ocalhoun
sharingeasy wrote:

And will Giant sites who are making millions from internet can let them do so easily?

A good point.

Verizon: We're blocking youtube except for premium members.
YouTube: We're blocking all verizon users.
deanhills
Surely if YouTube is blocked by say Verizon, then someone else can start something that is the equivalent of YouTube, or YouTube can just start cloning itself? I hope so anyway. Initially I thought the greatest threat would have been from Government, under its usual pretext of protecting the Internet and protecting people from hackers, but after this thread I'm not that sure any longer. People have a wonderful way of killing something really good. Like at one time people were able to peg their own claims for mining gold, until someone smart started to buy up all those claims and eventually called all the shots, owned quite a bit of the gold, and started to control prices. So if the Internet is to be saved, then people need to ensure that people like Verizon and AT&T don't have as much power as they have. Otherwise it could get to the stage of calling all the shots. I really hope that will never happen.
quex
ocalhoun wrote:
sharingeasy wrote:

And will Giant sites who are making millions from internet can let them do so easily?

A good point.

Verizon: We're blocking youtube except for premium members.
YouTube: We're blocking all verizon users.


This would be extremely awesome. I'm assuming it can be done, as tech makes everything possible with enough tweaking.... but I wonder if there's a precedent. Do you know of any sites that have blocked ISPs in the past? I remember when certain webmail and sign-up sites were incompatible with AOL users, but that had more to do with proxies I believe...
ocalhoun
quex wrote:
ocalhoun wrote:
sharingeasy wrote:

And will Giant sites who are making millions from internet can let them do so easily?

A good point.

Verizon: We're blocking youtube except for premium members.
YouTube: We're blocking all verizon users.


This would be extremely awesome. I'm assuming it can be done, as tech makes everything possible with enough tweaking.... but I wonder if there's a precedent. Do you know of any sites that have blocked ISPs in the past? I remember when certain webmail and sign-up sites were incompatible with AOL users, but that had more to do with proxies I believe...

China & Google?
quex
deanhills wrote:
Surely if YouTube is blocked by say Verizon, then someone else can start something that is the equivalent of YouTube, or YouTube can just start cloning itself? I hope so anyway. Initially I thought the greatest threat would have been from Government, under its usual pretext of protecting the Internet and protecting people from hackers, but after this thread I'm not that sure any longer. People have a wonderful way of killing something really good. Like at one time people were able to peg their own claims for mining gold, until someone smart started to buy up all those claims and eventually called all the shots, owned quite a bit of the gold, and started to control prices. So if the Internet is to be saved, then people need to ensure that people like Verizon and AT&T don't have as much power as they have. Otherwise it could get to the stage of calling all the shots. I really hope that will never happen.


I think the trouble with YouTube proliferating to get around an ISPs access limits is exactly that they are limits, rather than selective blocking... the ISPs who offer tier Internet will likely offer only a selected collection of sites, rather than choosing a few high-bandwidth sites to block and allowing the rest of the net to remain accessible. That is, if you purchase access to the basic tier, you'll only be able to see Site A, Site B, and Site C, and the content hosted thereupon. Any sites beyond these can make all the clones they want, and you still wouldn't be able to reach them.

Another possible scheme (and one much more likely) would be to enforce degradation of access speeds to such sites. That way, you could still tell your users you're offering the whole Internet, but fail to mention that when you go to YouTube or some other high-bandwidth site that the ISP has selected, the 15MB/s download speed connection you're paying for will be forced to drop to 15kB/s, maximum. This makes such sites technically accessible, but virtually useless. Sneaky.

And on a side note: The situation you mentioned with the gold is actually in effect today in the diamond industry. The DeBeers group runs the world's diamond markets by directly owning two-thirds of the mines on Earth, and keeps hundreds of other mines under its control via contracts. It manipulates the cost of rough diamonds in this way, ensuring that prices remain inflated enough to keep diamonds "rare." In fact, DeBeers has a backstock of rough diamond ore in long-term storage facilities that is equivalent to all of the rough and finished diamonds currently in the possession of individuals, on the market, and in transit. That is, 50% of all diamond ever removed from mines in the history of mankind is being withheld from the market by the DeBeers cartel, right this minute. There are recurring lawsuits against DeBeers for doing this, but the business is so lucrative that the company can simply pay out settlements every time a complainant comes forward. Lawyers and industry insiders alike agree that the cartel is unbreakable, unless there is suddenly some imperative technological advance that requires large diamonds as a component - they look to lasers as a possible outlet.
quex
ocalhoun wrote:
quex wrote:
ocalhoun wrote:
sharingeasy wrote:

And will Giant sites who are making millions from internet can let them do so easily?

A good point.

Verizon: We're blocking youtube except for premium members.
YouTube: We're blocking all verizon users.


This would be extremely awesome. I'm assuming it can be done, as tech makes everything possible with enough tweaking.... but I wonder if there's a precedent. Do you know of any sites that have blocked ISPs in the past? I remember when certain webmail and sign-up sites were incompatible with AOL users, but that had more to do with proxies I believe...

China & Google?


No, that's a search engine blocking access to a certain IP, not an ISP. IE, Google blocking the users of a Chinese Internet access-providing company from reaching their own IP at Google.com.

Is that what Google is doing to China now? ._.
deanhills
quex wrote:
I think the trouble with YouTube proliferating to get around an ISPs access limits is exactly that they are limits, rather than selective blocking... the ISPs who offer tier Internet will likely offer only a selected collection of sites, rather than choosing a few high-bandwidth sites to block and allowing the rest of the net to remain accessible. That is, if you purchase access to the basic tier, you'll only be able to see Site A, Site B, and Site C, and the content hosted thereupon. Any sites beyond these can make all the clones they want, and you still wouldn't be able to reach them.
Looks as though YouTube has found a way then to work its way around the rules, however these rules may again be changing to trip them up. Hopefully YouTube has become so popular in demand that they cannot be limited in any way any longer due to popular demand. On the other hand, maybe people should be fighting the limitations that are being set, as you suggested in your opening posting of this thread.
quex
deanhills wrote:
quex wrote:
I think the trouble with YouTube proliferating to get around an ISPs access limits is exactly that they are limits, rather than selective blocking... the ISPs who offer tier Internet will likely offer only a selected collection of sites, rather than choosing a few high-bandwidth sites to block and allowing the rest of the net to remain accessible. That is, if you purchase access to the basic tier, you'll only be able to see Site A, Site B, and Site C, and the content hosted thereupon. Any sites beyond these can make all the clones they want, and you still wouldn't be able to reach them.
Looks as though YouTube has found a way then to work its way around the rules, however these rules may again be changing to trip them up. Hopefully YouTube has become so popular in demand that they cannot be limited in any way any longer due to popular demand. On the other hand, maybe people should be fighting the limitations that are being set, as you suggested in your opening posting of this thread.


I don't believe limited access has been implemented anywhere in the world yet... even the extremely "limited" access of some school and workplace networks are in fact full access connections with content filters and selected IPs blocked. It is also my understanding that most smaller networks, like library connections that only allow access to catalogs and paid services, are in fact intranets.

Do you know of somewhere that limited Internet has been enacted and YouTube has managed to fight its way in? o.o I am only aware of situations where YouTube has been blocked by national orders, and the blocks have been circumvented by individuals working to get through.
deanhills
quex wrote:
I don't believe limited access has been implemented anywhere in the world yet...
Can you explain what the difference is between "limited access" as we understand below and limited access:
Quote:
even the extremely "limited" access of some school and workplace networks are in fact full access connections with content filters and selected IPs blocked. It is also my understanding that most smaller networks, like library connections that only allow access to catalogs and paid services, are in fact intranets.

To me content filters and blocking selected IPs are limited access. What in your definition would "real" limited access consist off?
Bikerman
quex wrote:
I don't believe limited access has been implemented anywhere in the world yet... even the extremely "limited" access of some school and workplace networks are in fact full access connections with content filters and selected IPs blocked. It is also my understanding that most smaller networks, like library connections that only allow access to catalogs and paid services, are in fact intranets.
Blocking such as occurs in several countries - most notably China, is done at the router backbone level.
It can be likened to a 'national' proxy server (it isn't, but to describe the routing in detail is impossible).
Basically every major internet gateway has a firewall and a proxy server. The firewall can simply block a domain or sub-domain and the proxies can redirect. The government like people to believe that traffic is intercepted and analysed but after looking at 'the Great Firewall of China' a while ago, it is my considered opinion that this is propaganda and they don't really 'watch' traffic. It is technically possible but practically not do-able.
Every now and again banned traffic finds a way through. You have to remember that the internet (or the IP protocol on Arpanet I should say) was developed specifically to route around damage and find a path if it can. This was at the height of the cold-war and the common story on the web is that IP was designed specifically to withstand nuclear first-strikes. Not true, but a nice story. Basically the switching networks at that time were as flakey as hell, so IP HAD to be designed to be robust and resilient, simply to get data from A to B. That means that IP traffic ends up flying every-which-way. A single message of a few packets might go several different ways, with all the packets getting jumbled in time, and end up at the destination having passed through completely different states (or even countries). Hence keeping track of all the router tables is a devil of a job - even with China's estimated 30,000 internet police. Basically the internet backbone routers treat censorship just like any other damage and they try to route around it, using RIP2 or OSPF (routing protocols that send out messages between the backbone routers, basically asking 'what routes do you have in your tables'. The routers continually update each other as new routes from A to B appear, or as a particular route goes down or becomes congested. Trying to visualise the OSPF traffic flying around the backbone is enough to send most network engineers for a nice long sit-down somewhere dark.

Sometimes the Chinese are caught out and the traffic gets through. I did have a bit of knowledge of a project a couple of years ago, where a few people (no names) had a serious go at bringing the firewall system down.
It sort of worked (5 of the main backbone routers were compromised and the routing tables altered to bypass some of the firewalls) but someone made a boo-boo and accidentally set-up a circular route. The routers all went into a frenzy trying to work out a clean route, and the Chinese network engineers sussed what was happening and reset the router passwords.
Shame, it was a jolly good attempt Smile
deanhills
Bikerman wrote:
You have to remember that the internet (or the IP protocol on Arpanet I should say) was developed specifically to route around damage and find a path if it can. This was at the height of the cold-war and the common story on the web is that IP was designed specifically to withstand nuclear first-strikes. Not true, but a nice story. Basically the switching networks at that time were as flakey as hell, so IP HAD to be designed to be robust and resilient, simply to get data from A to B. That means that IP traffic ends up flying every-which-way. A single message of a few packets might go several different ways, with all the packets getting jumbled in time, and end up at the destination having passed through completely different states (or even countries). Hence keeping track of all the router tables is a devil of a job - even with China's estimated 30,000 internet police. Basically the internet backbone routers treat censorship just like any other damage and they try to route around it, using RIP2 or OSPF (routing protocols that send out messages between the backbone routers, basically asking 'what routes do you have in your tables'. The routers continually update each other as new routes from A to B appear, or as a particular route goes down or becomes congested. Trying to visualise the OSPF traffic flying around the backbone is enough to send most network engineers for a nice long sit-down somewhere dark.
Very interesting info, thanks Bikerman. Looks as though this unique design of the Internet, where there will always be a hole to be found in any firewall, could be the saving of the Internet? At least for your savvy computer geeks who knows all the ins and outs of the system.
quex
G*dd*mnitsomuch.

Google is about to let Verizon get away with tiering. Faster access to a wider range of content for those who pay more. I think we might be losing the war. ;_;

EDIT: and also, FreePress.net has started a petition to Google. Please sign it if you agree with net neutrality.
deanhills
quex wrote:
EDIT: and also, FreePress.org has started a petition to Google. Please sign it if you agree with net neutrality.
Thanks for introducing us to the freepress.net quex and most certainly I will be signing the petition.
quex
deanhills wrote:
quex wrote:
EDIT: and also, FreePress.org has started a petition to Google. Please sign it if you agree with net neutrality.
Thanks for introducing us to the freepress.net quex and most certainly I will be signing the petition.


Dernit, I typed .org. I always do that. -_-; Thanks, it is indeed .net.

They have many more activist petitions and volunteer opportunities on the site, by the way.
quex
Aaaaand ColorOfChange.org has got a new petition to Google going, too.

This time it really is .org, I swear. X3
deanhills
@quex: The original .org url worked really fine with me. Perfectly in fact. Smile
quex
deanhills wrote:
@quex: The original .org url worked really fine with me. Perfectly in fact. :)


Huh... I wonder if they just covered all the domain name suffixes, to lock out immitation? Good to know, though! Thanks!
quex
Doggamnit.

Net Neutrality bill dies in Congress: the FCC is our only hope

This pisses me off to an extreme. Evil or Very Mad

Are we going to have to go ahead and TASTE the crap of a tiered Internet before people wake up and fight back? Or is the threat of consumer rebellion alone enough to keep companies from going that route, even though they are now free to do so? I wouldn't bet on it... I think this will be implemented silently in the fine print, and the 'net will never be the same again. ;_;
deanhills
quex wrote:
I think this will be implemented silently in the fine print, and the 'net will never be the same again. ;_;
I totally agree and I'm almost convinced you are right with exactly how it is going to happen. Looks as though that is very fashionable for them to do, silently in the fine print of another Bill with a different name, and when we wake up, as you pointed out, it will be much too late, sort of a dictatorial way of doing it though isn't it? Shocked
Related topics
Reply to topic    Frihost Forum Index -> Lifestyle and News -> Discuss World News

FRIHOST HOME | FAQ | TOS | ABOUT US | CONTACT US | SITE MAP
© 2005-2011 Frihost, forums powered by phpBB.