kane_magus: (The_Sims_Medieval)
Net Neutrality is the concept that all data that travels across the Internet is to be treated equally, regardless of the content of that data and regardless of source. No more, no less. It's a simple concept, despite what opponents of it may try to claim.

Personally, I feel that this concept is one that needs to be codified into law. Right now, it is merely a non-legal, de facto standard. A suggestion, at best, which is increasingly in danger of being ignored by big corporations that would like to see it disappear.

However, if and when it is made into law, it needs to be done so directly, with no bullshit. No exceptions, no loopholes, and no multi-thousand pages worth of equivocation on the issue.

I do not think that Verizon and Google, or any other big company with a potential interest in seeing this concept wither and die, should be making "suggestions" or "proposals" to the government about this. We have already seen what happens when the regulated are allowed to write the laws pertaining to their own regulation (or, more accurately, the lack thereof).

And, lastly, I think that anyone claiming that any attempt at legalization and enforcement of Net Neutrality will somehow lead to total government control and censorship of the Internet (and there are apparently quite a few out there who believe this, unfortunately) is absolutely nothing more than a retarded, ludicrous, raving lunatic.

Date: 2010-08-12 05:54 pm (UTC)From: [identity profile] hikarugenji.livejournal.com
When I was in college, Napster was at its height. At our school, Napster was using over 99% of the available bandwidth. Speeds for doing things other than Napster were routinely less than 1k/sec. Finally the school blocked Napster. I was downloading something at the moment they blocked it, and my download speed went from .2k/sec to 80 mb/sec.

It's that experience that makes me uneasy at saying that providers should not have any right to block or restrict anything, no matter what. Technically this would also mean that a DDoS attack cannot be stopped by internet providers.

Date: 2010-08-12 06:49 pm (UTC)From: [identity profile] kane-magus.livejournal.com
Okay, I will allow an exception for obviously malicious things such as DDoS attacks, since in that case it's not necessarily the specific content of the data that is being discriminated against, but the sheer amount of it.

However, while I am also mostly okay with a school (or a business) blocking something from its own internal network, I don't equate this with a general ISP doing the same sort of thing (http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2008/09/comcast-disclos/)*. The first is acceptable to me and would be like me blocking it from other computers on my own home network. The second is not.

* - There are valid, legal uses for bittorrent and other P2P, after all, hard as that may be for some to believe.

Date: 2010-08-12 07:07 pm (UTC)From: [identity profile] hikarugenji.livejournal.com
Well, it depends on exactly what is being restricted and how -- I would not want to be paying the same amount as someone who is torrenting 24/7 if they are directly causing a slowdown in my speed. And I don't think it would be fair to me if the ISP had no way to deal with that issue. (I'm sure some of the net neutrality suggestions have a way to deal with that)

Date: 2010-08-12 07:31 pm (UTC)From: [identity profile] kane-magus.livejournal.com
If the guy doing the 24/7 torrenting is paying for the bandwidth to do 24/7 torrenting, then he should have the same right to his bandwidth as you do to yours. (Getting into what exactly it is that he may be torrenting is a completely separate issue, and I'm totally behind him getting shut down on those grounds). If the ISP cannot actually provide the full bandwidth that they are selling to people, then they shouldn't be selling what they cannot provide.

Date: 2010-08-12 08:25 pm (UTC)From: [identity profile] hikarugenji.livejournal.com
Well, I would agree that if they are charging both of us the same rate and advertising unlimited access with no pre-stated conditions, there shouldn't be any capping. But I think that has more to do with false advertising than any special "net neutrality" law.

I think ISPs should have the right to have an advertised cap or to set different rates based on usage. From what I've read of net neutrality, some advocates don't even seem to think that ISPs should be able to do this. I can kind of see their points in favor of not allowing it, but I do think the ISPs need to have *some* way to deal with the potential excessive traffic of p2p/BT.

(Although actually from what I've seen, in some circles BT is being replaced by direct download via mediafire/megaupload/etc.)

Date: 2010-08-12 08:58 pm (UTC)From: [identity profile] kane-magus.livejournal.com
I think ISPs should have the right to have an advertised cap or to set different rates based on usage.

I agree. If they say upfront that you have X amount of bandwidth when you sign the contract with them, and then you go over that, they should have every right to block you, or charge you more, or whatever. That's not discriminating against data content, just data amount. But when ISPs are just saying "pay X for unlimited Internet" and then start throttling stuff because they feel people are using too much bandwidth, or the "wrong" kind of bandwidth, to suit them (or that they are physically unable to provide), that's different. As you said, that would probably fall more under the province of false advertising than net neutrality.

It would be kind of like if someone was selling "unlimited" apples (all you can eat!) and after paying the guy I tried to get three apples, but then it turns out I could only got one apple, due to some other guy having taken nine, when the provider only had ten apples to begin with. And then, in response to me complaining about him not having the apples he claimed to have, the seller goes over and takes two apples away from the guy who took nine.

Date: 2010-08-14 04:25 pm (UTC)From: [identity profile] kitten-faust.livejournal.com
What if the infrastructure was, well, structured to prevent that sort of thing from happening? (I know, big if, since current pipes seem to be all about bandwidth sharing and estimated use of "average" users and such.)

Date: 2010-08-12 07:07 pm (UTC)From: [identity profile] tokoz.livejournal.com
That's local end-user control, though, not broad governmental control. My uni had a shaper, too, to prioritize bandwidth amongst its users. Allowing the end user to prioritize or block sites is something totally different from regulating the entire internets.

afaik, the phone companies weren't allowed to prioritize certain callers above others, and in this scenario, I think the internet providers are more like the phone companies than any other body of existing law.

Date: 2010-08-12 07:08 pm (UTC)From: [identity profile] hikarugenji.livejournal.com
Net neutrality isn't something just for the government, though -- some of the NN proponents are saying that even ISPs shouldn't be allowed to control the data.

Date: 2010-08-12 08:37 pm (UTC)From: [identity profile] kane-magus.livejournal.com
Well, it's kind of a given that it would apply to ISPs, or at least that's how I see it anyway. That's the whole point: to prevent ISPs from unfairly limiting, or giving preferential treatment to, the data that they serve, based on the content of it. The government isn't an Internet provider, after all. They wouldn't be (or at least shouldn't be) stepping in and taking direct control of the Internet, they would just be setting forth regulations that would control what the ISPs can and cannot do with the data that they deal with. And, in my opinion, the only things those regulations should be dealing with, that is if they do it right and don't let lobbyists write it for them, is preventing discrimination of data based on content. Nothing more, and nothing less.

Not to be one of the so-called "looking for a solution to a problem that isn't there" alarmist guys, but I wouldn't want to be trying to use Bing, when Verizon is giving preferential treatment to Google sites and possibly also hampering Microsoft sites, for example. It may not have happened yet, but the possibility is very real, perhaps even likely. Though I kind of doubt that Verizon and/or Google themselves would actually do it, given the intense microscope they are under, but what would stop a smaller "mom and pop" ISP (assuming such things even exist anymore) from throttling Pizza Hut and Papa Johns because they have a deal with Dominos or Joe Random's Pizza Parlor, or because they're giving more bandwidth to traffic to/from Joe Random's Pizza, traffic to your personal website is suffering, all of which would be far less likely to be caught? And if it was caught, the way things stand now, there's not a whole lot that could be done about it, aside from switching ISPs. And in many areas, one of the big dogs is the only, singular option, if one wants broadband, so if they do pull some crap, there's really not much that can be done to stop them right now. Things like that is what Net Neutrality is intended to prevent, and if there was enough teeth behind it, to punish.

The government shouldn't be regulating what a school or a business can do with their private internal networks either. I guess there are more hardline Net Neutrality proponents (perhaps college kids who want to use Napster, for instance) who would disagree with that, but I think that would be crossing the line. And if they did try to sneak in some sort of crap about censoring certain kinds of speech on the Internet into a Net Neutrality legislation, as the wingnuts fear would happen, then yeah, that should be rightfully booed all the way to hell and struck down by the courts in the inevitable lawsuits.

- And I don't really see how they could do that, even if they wanted to, unless they made it into a public utility like electricity or something, and even then...


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