Net Neutrality Under Attack Again

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https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-switch/wp/2016/07/27/int...

The current issue: Businesses want to hyper-Target ads, which could be potentially lucrative.
The problem: Regulations require businesses to strictly adhere to privacy policies that prevent this approach to business.
The solution: Cellular carriers are taking the issue to court.
The likely outcome: They will not win, but they might be able to play a long game that is about creating uncertainty regarding the finality of the decision.

"Increasingly, broadband companies are looking to acquire their own online content and sell ads against it, much in the way Google sells ads alongside its search results and Spotify sells ads between songs.'

"The industry's latest attack on the net-neutrality rules is not technically an appeal. Instead, it is a request for the case to be argued again before all of the court's judges. Legal analysts on either side of the issue say the attempt is a long shot, one that may be more about trying to create the impression of uncertainty as the FCC attempts to put its rules into practice."

Fwiw, I'm on the side of privacy. When I talk with people about the issue of net-neutrality, I find that people I know support privacy as well. Is there anyone here who supports businesses as they attempt to acquire more control over the internet? If so, I would like to hear why.

 

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Not comment specifically on the court case referenced but net neutrality in general;

I had thought that I was 100% on side of Net Neutrality until I did more research into it. There are some very valid arguments for companies to set up "fast lane" for their own customers. For one, there are already variation of it for many companies already; most large corporation feed the internet into a few points into their intranet. Also, rules that prohibit the "fast lane" retards technologies and advances that will eventually speed up the internet for all without obligating companies to prohibitive costs.

VBMcGB said:    Is there anyone here who supports businesses as they attempt to acquire more control over the internet? If so, I would like to hear why.

 

It's an interesting question, isn't it?  Businesses, like cell companies, are the ones that we pay to gain access to the Internet.  Without them we wouldn't have Internet at all.  They are trying to earn more money which, in theory, should allow them to improve infrastructure, which would give us better Internet access.  Or line their pockets with more of our hard earned cash, depending on how you like to view things

To truly be free of their 'control' don't we need free Internet access provided by government?

IBM has been advertising their ability to help companies use "dark data" which is essentially personal data on the internet.

minidrag said:   
To truly be free of their 'control' don't we need free Internet access provided by government?
 

  
Good question. Maybe it isn't a matter of "control" as much as a matter of "boundaries"?

I would argue against a strict net neutrality stance. Instead I would argue for standards that guarantees an open Internet and advertised speeds on the service providers network to the open Internet for all traffic.

If service providers and content providers want to make deals that allow the service provider to exceed promises I am all for it.

scrouds said:   I would argue against a strict net neutrality stance. Instead I would argue for standards that guarantees an open Internet and advertised speeds on the service providers network to the open Internet for all traffic.

If service providers and content providers want to make deals that allow the service provider to exceed promises I am all for it.

4G-LTE*
* 1st Gig of data only. 2G speed after you meet your bandwith for the month.

Once a carrier starts providing quick lanes for specific data, they've shown they can identify the traffic contents and they should lose the legal benefit of common carrier status. The businesses involved are trying to have it both ways, quick lanes and keeping common carrier status.

minidrag said:   
To truly be free of their 'control' don't we need free Internet access provided by government?
 

  Please, PLEASE no!

ChinaRider said:   
minidrag said:   
To truly be free of their 'control' don't we need free Internet access provided by government?

  Please, PLEASE no!

  To be clear, I was not asking for this.  Just pointing out the flaw in the argument.

kamalktk said:   
scrouds said:   I would argue against a strict net neutrality stance. Instead I would argue for standards that guarantees an open Internet and advertised speeds on the service providers network to the open Internet for all traffic.

If service providers and content providers want to make deals that allow the service provider to exceed promises I am all for it.

4G-LTE*
* 1st Gig of data only. 2G speed after you meet your bandwith for the month.

Once a carrier starts providing quick lanes for specific data, they've shown they can identify the traffic contents and they should lose the legal benefit of common carrier status. The businesses involved are trying to have it both ways, quick lanes and keeping common carrier status.

  How does this show they are looking at content?  This just shows they are seeing where the data is going / which account it's under.

What is the legal benefit of common carrier status?

minidrag said:   
ChinaRider said:   
minidrag said:   
To truly be free of their 'control' don't we need free Internet access provided by government?

  Please, PLEASE no!

  To be clear, I was not asking for this.  Just pointing out the flaw in the argument.

  Hehe... I know.  Read enough of your posts to have an idea, anyway.

And as much as I say no to government provided internet, I imagine that's one of the reasons South Korea (or whoever it is) has the fastest internet...  But I don't think it's a far stretch to say we would agree that good ol' Uncle Sam couldn't do it efficiently...

scrouds said:   What is the legal benefit of common carrier status?
 

Common carriers are not legally responsible if their transport service is used to carry out illegal activities. For instance you can't sue the post office for delivering a kilo of coke that your kid overdosed on, because the post office is a common carrier and is protected as such.

Napster isn't a thing anymore, but back during the piracy days the RIAA came after the the internet providers, who argued that they had no way of determining what was going through the series of tubes and were thus common carriers. The courts agreed, and the internet providers were granted common carrier status, RIAA couldn't come after the service providers for their part in the piracy.

But giving preference to for example Netflix content coming through the tubes means the internet service providers can determine what content is going through their tubes, they have to know which bits are Netflix bits. And if they can know what the Netflix bits are, then they can know what the Napster bits are... And if they can do that, they should lose common carrier status and become legally responsible for what goes through the tubes (since their common carrier status was based on not knowing what's in the tubes). They don't want that of course, because for example every parent of a kid that kills themselves because of cyber bullying could come after the internet service provider for allowing the bullying (since the service provider can tell what is going through their tubes, legally they would be contributing to the bullying by allowing it to happen and have some responsibility for it).

OK I see what you're getting at.

The thing is, they've always been able to see what goes down the wire. Or the airwaves, as it may be. Unless it's encrypted. But as has been stated they aren't looking at the data to see what it contains. They route the data. I wish I could drop a picture easy. Let's try something simple, the Internet isn't nearly as simple but hey.

You want to go to netflix on your T-Mobile phone.

This is the path it takes normally
Your phone
Tmob1 network
Level 3 communications (it's on the Internet now)
Verizon uunet (still on the Internet)
Netflix

Now let's say T-Mobile signs a deal with Netflix.
Your phone
T-Mobile network
Netflix

It knows to send the data directly to Netflix because, well that's where it's going. Netflix.com.

I hold firm on what i said. As long as they don't block out Hulu, that they will route to where ever on the Internet you request to be routed and deliver that with the speed and latency promised to all regular Internet traffic, I don't see an issue. If they de prioritize certain traffic, slowing or even blocking it then we have a serious issue.

Here's an alternative view with a good beat.
Internet Freedom



kamalktk said:   But giving preference to for example Netflix content coming through the tubes means the internet service providers can determine what content is going through their tubes, they have to know which bits are Netflix bits. And if they can know what the Netflix bits are, then they can know what the Napster bits are... And if they can do that, they should lose common carrier status and become legally responsible for what goes through the tubes (since their common carrier status was based on not knowing what's in the tubes).
 

  I'm not sure that's right.  Determining what SITE you are going to is not the same as seeing the CONTENT.  Napster, Hulu, bit torrent, etc.  Connecting to those sites is completely legal as is downloading public domain data or data you've paid for.  The issue comes in when you are grabbing stuff that isn't legally yours, and to tell if you are doing that, content needs to be examined.

scrouds said:   OK I see what you're getting at.

The thing is, they've always been able to see what goes down the wire. Or the airwaves, as it may be. Unless it's encrypted. But as has been stated they aren't looking at the data to see what it contains. They route the data. I wish I could drop a picture easy. Let's try something simple, the Internet isn't nearly as simple but hey.

You want to go to netflix on your T-Mobile phone.

This is the path it takes normally
Your phone
Tmob1 network
Level 3 communications (it's on the Internet now)
Verizon uunet (still on the Internet)
Netflix

Now let's say T-Mobile signs a deal with Netflix.
Your phone
T-Mobile network
Netflix

It knows to send the data directly to Netflix because, well that's where it's going. Netflix.com.

I hold firm on what i said. As long as they don't block out Hulu, that they will route to where ever on the Internet you request to be routed and deliver that with the speed and latency promised to all regular Internet traffic, I don't see an issue. If they de prioritize certain traffic, slowing or even blocking it then we have a serious issue.

No one is arguing that they aren't capable of seeing what's going down the line (well other than that was the argument they used to get common carrier status, they argued that they were technically capable but willfully not doing so in order to qualify as a common carrier). The simplest explanation of how they can see things is stuff like spam filtering.
scrouds said:   As long as they don't block out Hulu, that they will route to where ever on the Internet you request to be routed and deliver that with the speed and latency promised to all regular Internet traffic, I don't see an issue. If they de prioritize certain traffic, slowing or even blocking it then we have a serious issue.

Unfortunately, we already have this serious issue. I used Netflix as an example because it was already de-prioritized by several isps into paying for the same level of access as other content going through the system (eg Netflix got blackmailed). The "fast lane" was 'the same speed as everything else'. So in the real world we have examples of the companies not paying for an actual "fast lane", but companies having to pay for "same as everyone else". So the problem isn't that the service providers have to provide an acceptable usable minimum and companies can pay for faster, it's that the service providers have shown they will drop service beyond minimum usable unless the companies pay up. Recent history is showing that the service providers wont block Hulu, they will just intentionally not give it enough bandwith to be viewed smoothly by you and I unless Hulu pays them (and Hulu will pass that cost will be passed on to you and I). since no one is going to watch Hulu if it's constantly stuttering and buffering, Hulu has to pay up (and we do by extension).

The problem for you and I is the high speed internet market isn't exactly a free market. We typically have only one or two choices for high speed internet. If those providers start throttling Netflix, you can't start Scroids Internet Co and deliver high speed unfiltered internet, because the barrier to entry is burying cable crisscrossing the entire country. The barrier for wireless is even worse, it's a physics issue where you can't lay new cable. If you do have a smaller provider, they are just reselling the bigger provider (such as Boost Mobile reselling T-Mobile or Virgin Mobile reselling Sprint ). Also, internet providers already lobby against things like locally owned broadband, they don't want competition.

So you and I have a very limited number of options. And the options we do have, have already shown that they will screw you out of Netflix. The "fast lanes" are one of those things that sounds nice in theory, but fail in real world example. The super high barriers to entry for the service provider business results in a what's only a theoretical 'free market', producing an environment where the providers have no incentive to guarantee everyone (both other companies, and you and I) an acceptable performance level because there isn't enough competition. Scroids Internet Co can't ever compete by offering full speed Netflix, no matter how much you'd like to.

Internet service is a case where it may be technically a free market, but various conditions make it work more like a near monopoly. Network neutrality argues that what goes through the tubes should be a free market, and that government regulation is needed to make sure the tubes stay a free market (and your ISP doesn't block Netflix). In a free market you can opt for Scroids Kardashian Free Internet Co. But since the market isn't actually free, if all the providers already are Kardashian Free, you can't offer Scroids All Kardashian Internet Co. Letting the Internet providers free to choose what goes through their tubes how fast means things are less free for Netflix, Hulu, you, and I.

I agree there is an issue, and I will support net neutrality but I don't think it's optimal.



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