If you don't believe me, listen to Mythbuster Adam Savage.
Here's where the anti-SOPA blackout started:
If you don't believe me, listen to Mythbuster Adam Savage.
Here's where the anti-SOPA blackout started:
Posted at 07:08 AM in Advertising, Censorship, Communication, Competition, Consolidation, Content, Copyright, Corruption, Current Affairs, Distributed Participation, Economics, Education, Government, History, Hosting, Innovation, International acces, Internet Access, Internet freedom, Internet History, Piracy, Politics, Principles | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
MythBuster Adam Savage wrote for Popular Mechanics 20 December 2011, SOPA Could Destroy the Internet as We Know It
Right now Congress is considering two bills—the Protect IP Act, and the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA)—that would be laughable if they weren't in fact real. Honestly, if a friend wrote these into a piece of fiction about government oversight gone amok, I'd have to tell them that they were too one-dimensional, too obviously anticonstitutional.He goes on to correctly compare SOPA and PIPA unfavorably to the already bad Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) of 1998. You remember, the DMCA that big copyright holders used to sue pre-teen video and audio "pirates" and to take down websites on suspicion. Savage cites a case where somebody with no copyright still got YouTube vidoes taken down under DMCA. Yes, SOPA and PIPA are even worse.
Make no mistake: These bills aren't simply unconstitutional, they are anticonstitutional. They would allow for the wholesale elimination of entire websites, domain names, and chunks of the DNS (the underlying structure of the whole Internet), based on nothing more than the "good faith" assertion by a single party that the website is infringing on a copyright of the complainant. The accused doesn't even have to be aware that the complaint has been made.
I'm not kidding.
If you like YouTube, twitter, facebook, blogs, etc., it's time to speak up. Call your Senators and House members. Send them email. Write them paper letters. Petition them. Show up at their offices. Petition the White House to veto it if Congress passes it, and any other bills like it. Right now we still have the Internet to organize these things.
Posted at 11:48 AM in Censorship, Content, Copyright, Corruption, Distributed Participation, Government, History, Internet freedom, Internet History, Net Neutrality, Piracy, Principles, Radio, Television | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
Technorati Tags: Adam Savage, blogs, Congress, corruption, DMCA, DNS, domain, facebook, House, Internet freedom, MPAA, Mythbusters, net neutrality, petition, PIPA, Protect IP Act, RIAA, Sentate, SOPA, Stop Online Piracy Act, twitters, website, White House, YouTube
Today, a group of 83 prominent Internet inventors and engineers sent an open letter to members of the United States Congress, stating their opposition to the SOPA and PIPA Internet blacklist bills that are under consideration in the House and Senate respectively.The signatories are people such as Vint Cerf you may have heard of even if you know nothing about the technical details of Internet, and many other people who helped produce the network you are using now. I know many of them, and they are right. If you want a free and open Internet, call or write your Senators and Congress members today, and tell them to vote against PIPA and SOPA.
The full text of the letter is appended below.
We, the undersigned, have played various parts in building a network called the Internet. We wrote and debugged the software; we defined the standards and protocols that talk over that network. Many of us invented parts of it. We're just a little proud of the social and economic benefits that our project, the Internet, has brought with it.
Last year, many of us wrote to you and your colleagues to warn about the proposed "COICA" copyright and censorship legislation. Today, we are writing again to reiterate our concerns about the SOPA and PIPA derivatives of last year's bill, that are under consideration in the House and Senate. In many respects, these proposals are worse than the one we were alarmed to read last year.
If enacted, either of these bills will create an environment of tremendous fear and uncertainty for technological innovation, and seriously harm the credibility of the United States in its role as a steward of key Internet infrastructure. Regardless of recent amendments to SOPA, both bills will risk fragmenting the Internet's global domain name system (DNS) and have other capricious technical consequences. In exchange for this, such legislation would engender censorship that will simultaneously be circumvented by deliberate infringers while hampering innocent parties' right and ability to communicate and express themselves online.
All censorship schemes impact speech beyond the category they were intended to restrict, but these bills are particularly egregious in that regard because they cause entire domains to vanish from the Web, not just infringing pages or files. Worse, an incredible range of useful, law-abiding sites can be blacklisted under these proposals. In fact, it seems that this has already begun to happen under the nascent DHS/ICE seizures program.
Censorship of Internet infrastructure will inevitably cause network errors and security problems. This is true in China, Iran and other countries that censor the network today; it will be just as true of American censorship. It is also true regardless of whether censorship is implemented via the DNS, proxies, firewalls, or any other method. Types of network errors and insecurity that we wrestle with today will become more widespread, and will affect sites other than those blacklisted by the American government.
The current bills -- SOPA explicitly and PIPA implicitly -- also threaten engineers who build Internet systems or offer services that are not readily and automatically compliant with censorship actions by the U.S. government. When we designed the Internet the first time, our priorities were reliability, robustness and minimizing central points of failure or control. We are alarmed that Congress is so close to mandating censorship-compliance as a design requirement for new Internet innovations. This can only damage the security of the network, and give authoritarian governments more power over what their citizens can read and publish.
The US government has regularly claimed that it supports a free and open Internet, both domestically and abroad. We cannot have a free and open Internet unless its naming and routing systems sit above the political concerns and objectives of any one government or industry. To date, the leading role the US has played in this infrastructure has been fairly uncontroversial because America is seen as a trustworthy arbiter and a neutral bastion of free expression. If the US begins to use its central position in the network for censorship that advances its political and economic agenda, the consequences will be far-reaching and destructive.
Senators, Congressmen, we believe the Internet is too important and too valuable to be endangered in this way, and implore you to put these bills aside.
- Vint Cerf, co-designer of TCP/IP, one of the "fathers of the Internet", signing as private citizen
- Paul Vixie, author of BIND, the most widely-used DNS server software, and President of the Internet Systems Consortium
- Tony Li, co-author of BGP (the protocol used to arrange Internet routing); chair of the IRTF's Routing Research Group; a Cisco Fellow; and architect for many of the systems that have actually been used to build the Internet
- Steven Bellovin, invented the DNS cache contamination attack; co-authored the first book on Internet security; recipient of the 2007 NIST/NSA National Computer Systems Security Award and member of the DHS Science and Technology Advisory Committee
- Jim Gettys, editor of the HTTP/1.1 protocol standards, which we use to do everything on the Web
- Dave Kristol, co-author, RFCs 2109, 2965 (Web cookies); contributor, RFC 2616 (HTTP/1.1)
- Steve Deering, Ph.D., invented the IP multicast feature of the Internet; lead designer of IPv6 (version 6 of the Internet Protocol)
- David Ulevitch, David Ulevitch, CEO of OpenDNS, which offers alternative DNS services for enhanced security.
- Elizabeth Feinler, director of the Network Information Center (NIC) at SRI International, administered the Internet Name Space from 1970 until 1989 and developed the naming conventions for the internet top level domains (TLDs) of .mil, .gov, .com, .org, etc. under contracts to DoD
- Robert W. Taylor, founded and funded the beginning of the ARPAnet; founded and managed the Xerox PARC Computer Science Lab which designed and built the first networked personal computer (Alto), the Ethernet, the first internet protocol and internet, and desktop publishing
- Fred Baker, former IETF chair, has written about 50 RFCs and contributed to about 150 more, regarding widely used Internet technology
- Dan Kaminsky, Chief Scientist, DKH
- Esther Dyson, EDventure; founding chairman, ICANN; former chairman, EFF; active investor in many start-ups that support commerce, news and advertising on the Internet; director, Sunlight Foundation
- Walt Daniels, IBM’s contributor to MIME, the mechanism used to add attachments to emails
- Nathaniel Borenstein, Chief Scientist, Mimecast; one of the two authors of the MIME protocol, and has worked on many other software systems and protocols, mostly related to e-mail and payments
- Simon Higgs, designed the role of the stealth DNS server that protects a.root-servers.net; worked on all versions of Draft Postel for creating new TLDs and addressed trademark issues with a complimentary Internet Draft; ran the shared-TLD mailing list back in 1995 which defined the domain name registry/registrar relationship; was a root server operator for the Open Root Server Consortium; founded coupons.com in 1994
- John Bartas, was the technical lead on the first commercial IP/TCP software for IBM PCs in 1985-1987 at The Wollongong Group. As part of that work, developed the first tunneling RFC, rfc-1088
- Nathan Eisenberg, Atlas Networks Senior System Administrator; manager of 25K sq. ft. of data centers which provide services to Starbucks, Oracle, and local state
- Dave Crocker, author of Internet standards including email, DKIM anti-abuse, electronic data interchange and facsimile, developer of CSNet and MCI national email services, former IETF Area Director for network management, DNS and standards, recipient of IEEE Internet Award for contributions to email, and serial entrepreneur
- Craig Partridge, architect of how email is routed through the Internet; designed the world's fastest router in the mid 1990s
- Doug Moeller, Chief Technology Officer at Autonet Mobile
- John Todd, Lead Designer/Maintainer - Freenum Project (DNS-based, free telephony/chat pointer system), http://freenum.org/
- Alia Atlas, designed software in a core router (Avici) and has various RFCs around resiliency, MPLS, and ICMP
- Kelly Kane, shared web hosting network operator
- Robert Rodgers, distinguished engineer, Juniper Networks
- Anthony Lauck, helped design and standardize routing protocols and local area network protocols and served on the Internet Architecture Board
- Ramaswamy Aditya, built various networks and web/mail content and application hosting providers including AS10368 (DNAI) which is now part of AS6079 (RCN); did network engineering and peering for that provider; did network engineering for AS25 (UC Berkeley); currently does network engineering for AS177-179 and others (UMich)
- Blake Pfankuch, Connecting Point of Greeley, Network Engineer
- Jon Loeliger, has implemented OSPF, one of the main routing protocols used to determine IP packet delivery; at other companies, has helped design and build the actual computers used to implement core routers or storage delivery systems; at another company, installed network services (T-1 lines and ISP service) into Hotels and Airports across the country
- Jim Deleskie, internetMCI Sr. Network Engineer, Teleglobe Principal Network Architect
- David Barrett, Founder and CEO, Expensify
- Mikki Barry, VP Engineering of InterCon Systems Corp., creators of the first commercial applications software for the Macintosh platform and the first commercial Internet Service Provider in Japan
- Peter Rubenstein,helped to design and build the AOL backbone network, ATDN.
- David Farber, distinguished Professor CMU; Principal in development of CSNET, NSFNET, NREN, GIGABIT TESTBED, and the first operational distributed computer system; EFF board member
- Bradford Chatterjee, Network Engineer, helped design and operate the backbone network for a nationwide ISP serving about 450,000 users
- Gary E. Miller Network Engineer specializing in eCommerce
- Jon Callas, worked on a number of Internet security standards including OpenPGP, ZRTP, DKIM, Signed Syslog, SPKI, and others; also participated in other standards for applications and network routing
- John Kemp, Principal Software Architect, Nokia; helped build the distributed authorization protocol OAuth and its predecessors; former member of the W3C Technical Architecture Group
- Christian Huitema, worked on building the Internet in France and Europe in the 80’s, and authored many Internet standards related to IPv6, RTP, and SIP; a former member of the Internet Architecture Board
- Steve Goldstein, Program Officer for International Networking Coordination at the National Science Foundation 1989-2003, initiated several projects that spread Internet and advanced Internet capabilities globally
- David Newman, 20 years' experience in performance testing of Internet
infrastructure; author of three RFCs on measurement techniques (two on firewall performance, one on test traffic contents)
- Justin Krejci, helped build and run the two biggest and most successful municipal wifi networks located in Minneapolis, MN and Riverside, CA; building and running a new FTTH network in Minneapolis
- Christopher Liljenstolpe, was the chief architect for AS3561 (at the time about 30% of the Internet backbone by traffic), and AS1221 (Australia's main Internet infrastructure)
- Joe Hamelin, co-founder of Seattle Internet Exchange (http://www.seattleix.net) in 1997, and former peering engineer for Amazon in 2001
- John Adams, operations engineer at Twitter, signing as a private citizen
- David M. Miller, CTO / Exec VP for DNS Made Easy (IP Anycast Managed Enterprise DNS provider)
- Seth Breidbart, helped build the Pluribus IMP/TIP for the ARPANET
- Timothy McGinnis, co-chair of the African Network Information Center Policy Development Working Group, and active in various IETF Working Groups
- Richard Kulawiec, 30 years designing/operating academic/commercial/ISP systems and networks
- Larry Stewart, built the Etherphone at Xerox, the first telephone system working over a local area network; designed early e-commerce systems for the Internet at Open Market
- John Pettitt, Internet commerce pioneer, online since 1983, CEO Free Range Content Inc.; founder/CTO CyberSource & Beyond.com; created online fraud protection software that processes over 2 billion transaction a year
- Brandon Ross, Chief Network Architect and CEO of Network Utility Force LLC
- Chris Boyd, runs a green hosting company and supports EFF-Austin as a board member
- Dr. Richard Clayton, designer of Turnpike, widely used Windows-based Internet access suite; prominent Computer Security researcher at Cambridge University
- Robert Bonomi, designed, built, and implemented, the Internet presence for a number of large corporations
- Owen DeLong, member of the ARIN Advisory Council who has spent more than a decade developing better IP addressing policies for the internet in North America and around the world
- Baudouin Schombe, blog design and content trainer
- Lyndon Nerenberg, Creator of IMAP Binary extension (RFC 3516)
- John Gilmore, co-designed BOOTP (RFC 951), which became DHCP, the way you get an IP address when you plug into an Ethernet or get on a WiFi access point; current EFF board member
- John Bond, Systems Engineer at RIPE NCC maintaining AS25152 (k.root-servers.net.) and AS197000 (f.in-addr-servers.arpa. ,f.ip6-servers.arpa.); signing as a private citizen
- Stephen Farrell, co-author on about 15 RFCs
- Samuel Moats, senior systems engineer for the Department of Defense; helps build and defend the networks that deliver data to Defense Department users
- John Vittal, created the first full email client and the email standards still in use today
- Ryan Rawdon, built out and maintains the network infrastructure for a rapidly growing company in our country's bustling advertising industry; was on the technical operations team for one of our country's largest residential ISPs
- Brian Haberman, has been involved in the design of IPv6, IGMP/MLD, and NTP within the IETF for nearly 15 years
- Eric Tykwinski, Network Engineer working for a small ISP based in the Philadelphia region; currently maintains the network as well as the DNS and server infrastructure
- Noel Chiappa, has been working on the lowest level stuff (the IP protocol level) since 1977; name on the 'Birth of the Internet' plaque at Stanford); actively helping to develop new 'plumbing' at that level
- Robert M. Hinden, worked on the gateways in the early Internet, author of many of the core IPv6 specifications, active in the IETF since the first IETF meeting, author of 37 RFCs, and current Internet Society Board of Trustee member
- Alexander McKenzie, former member of the Network Working Group and participated in the design of the first ARPAnet Host protocols; was the manager of the ARPAnet Network Operation Center that kept the network running in the early 1970s; was a charter member of the International Network Working Group that developed the ideas used in TCP and IP
- Keith Moore, was on the Internet Engineering Steering Group from 1996-2000, as one of two Area Directors for applications; wrote or co-wrote technical specification RFCs associated with email, WWW, and IPv6 transition
- Guy Almes, led the connection of universities in Texas to the NSFnet during the late 1980s; served as Chief Engineer of Internet2 in the late 1990s
- David Mercer, formerly of The River Internet, provided service to more of Arizona than any local or national ISP
- Paul Timmins, designed and runs the multi-state network of a medium sized telephone and internet company in the Midwest
- Stephen L. Casner, led the working group that designed the Real-time Transport Protocol that carries the voice signals in VoIP systems
- Tim Rutherford, DNS and network administrator at C4
- Mike Alexander, helped implement (on the Michigan Terminal System at the University of Michigan) one of the first EMail systems to be connected to the Internet (and to its predecessors such as Bitnet, Mailnet, and UUCP); helped with the basic work to connect MTS to the Internet; implemented various IP related drivers on early Macintosh systems: one allowed TCP/IP connections over ISDN lines and another made a TCP connection look like a serial port
- John Klensin, Ph.D., early and ongoing role in the design of Internet applications and coordination and administrative policies
- L. Jean Camp, former Senior Member of the Technical Staff at Sandia National Laboratories, focusing on computer security; eight years at Harvard's Kennedy School; tenured Professor at Indiana Unviersity's School of Informatics with research addressing security in society.
- Louis Pouzin, designed and implemented the first computer network using datagrams (CYCLADES), from which TCP/IP was derived
- Carl Page, helped found eGroups, the biggest social network
of its day, 14 million users at the point of sale to Yahoo for around $430,000,000, at which point it became Yahoo Groups
- Phil Lapsley, co-author of the Internet Network News Transfer Protocol (NNTP), RFC 977, and developer of the NNTP reference implementation
- Jack Haverty (MSEE, BSEE MIT 1970), Principal Investigator for several DARPA projects including the first Internet development and operation; Corporate Network Architect for BBN; Founding member of the IAB/ICCB; Internet Architect and Corporate Founding Member of W3C for Oracle Corporation
- Glenn Ricart, Managed the original (FIX) Internet interconnection point
Posted at 09:18 AM in Censorship, Communication, Competition, Content, Copyright, Corruption, Distributed Participation, Economics, Education, Filtering, Government, History, Internet Access, Internet freedom, Internet History, Law, Net Neutrality, Politics, Principles, Public Policy, Public Safety, Regulation, Research, Rural Access, Throttling | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
Scott Bradner almost gets it about the opposition to net neutrality in Eyes in their ankles: The congressional view of network neutrality:
Posted at 12:59 PM in Censorship, Communication, Competition, Consolidation, Content, Corruption, Distributed Participation, Filtering, Government, International acces, Internet Access, Internet freedom, Net Neutrality, Politics, Press, Public Policy, Regulation, Rural Access, Stifling | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
Technorati Tags: civil rights, civil rights, corruption, Egypt, free Internet, free press, free speech, free trade, Internet freedom, lobbyist, net neutrality, plutocrat, politician, reactionary, revolution, Scott Bradner, Tunisian, unions, Wisconsin
Imagine that when we started Apple we set things up so that we could charge purchasers of our computers by the number of bits they use. The personal computer revolution would have been delayed a decade or more. If I had to pay for each bit I used on my 6502 microprocessor, I would not have been able to build my own computers anyway.He also details examples of how difficult it was to start a new service the way the telephone system used to be, how radio used to all be freely receivable, and how cable TV is mis-regulated. He summarizes his case:
I frequently speak to different types of audiences all over the country. When I'm asked my feeling on Net Neutrality I tell the open truth. When I was first asked to "sign on" with some good people interested in Net Neutrality my initial thought was that the economic system works better with tiered pricing for various customers. On the other hand, I'm a founder of the EFF and I care a lot about individuals and their own importance. Finally, the thought hit me that every time and in every way that the telecommunications careers have had power or control, we the people wind up getting screwed. Every audience that I speak this statement and phrase to bursts into applause.Then he asks for all that not to happen to the Internet:
We have very few government agencies that the populace views as looking out for them, the people. The FCC is one of these agencies that is still wearing a white hat. Not only is current action on Net Neutrality one of the most important times ever for the FCC, it's probably the most momentous and watched action of any government agency in memorable times in terms of setting our perception of whether the government represents the wealthy powers or the average citizen, of whether the government is good or is bad. This decision is important far beyond the domain of the FCC itself.Ain't that the truth.
Posted at 12:09 PM in Broadband, Cable, Censorship, Communication, Competition, Devices, Distributed Participation, DSL, Economics, Government, Innovation, Internet Access, Internet freedom, Internet History, Internet Speed, Net Neutrality, Principles, Public Policy, Radio, Regulation, Rural Access, Stakeholders, Telephone, Television, Video | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
Posted at 02:26 PM in Broadband, Cable, Capacity, Censorship, Communication, Competition, Content, Copyright, Devices, Distributed Participation, DSL, Internet Access, Internet freedom, Net Neutrality, Opportunity, Packet Shaping, Public Policy, Regulation, Stakeholders, Throttling, Wireless Internet | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
Technorati Tags: Broadband, applications, Austin, broadband, Cable, Capacity, Censorship, Communication, Competition, competition, Content, content, Devices, devices, Distributed Participation, DSL, eyeballs, FCC, Filtering, FTTH, Government, Innovation, International acces, Internet Access, Internet freedom, Internet freedom, Monopoly, NANOG, Net Neutrality, net neutrality, nondiscrimination, NPRM, Opportunity, Packet Shaping, Principles, Public Policy, Regulation, services, Stakeholders, Texas, transparency, users, wired, wireless , Wireless Internet | Permalink Technorati Tags: access
Question from a provider: VoIP traffic prioritization from essentially our own service?
Moderator: One thing that won't be allowed is prioritizing your own service over someone else's similar service; that's almost the whole point. FCC person: This is contemplated in the document. Existing services wouldn't have to be reworked rapidly. Seeking input. Reasons to be concerned. Monopoly over last mile has a position to differentially treat such a service. This is one of the core concerns.
Q: Giving the same priority to somebody else's similar VoIP service is essentially creating a trust relationship; how much traffic will the other service provider send?
Posted at 12:48 PM in Broadband, Cable, Capacity, Censorship, Communication, Competition, Content, Devices, Distributed Participation, DSL, Filtering, FTTH, Government, Innovation, International acces, Internet Access, Internet freedom, Monopoly, Net Neutrality, Opportunity, Packet Shaping, Principles, Public Policy, Regulation, Stakeholders, Wireless Internet | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
Technorati Tags: access, applications, Austin, broadband, competition, content, devices, eyeballs, FCC, Internet freedom, NANOG, net neutrality, nondiscrimination, NPRM, services, Texas, transparency, users, wired, wireless
A huge number of comments have been received already, by Jan 15 deadline. More comments are solicited. See also openinternet.gov.
The general idea is to take six proposed principles and turn them into rules that are enforceable and not unreasonable:
The first four principles have been around for several years. The last two, nondiscrimination and transparency, are the same as the ones Scott Bradner's petition recommended back in June 2009. Back then I mentioned as I always do that the FCC could also stop talking about consumers and talk about participants. Interestingly, their slide at this talk did not use the word "consumer", so maybe they've gotten to that point, too.
Proposed Rules: 6 Principles
- Access to Content
- Access to Applications and Services
- Connect Devices to the Internet
- Access to Competition
The FCC is also making a distinction between broadband and Internet. There are existing rules regarding "managed" vs. "specialized services" for broadband Internet access, but for net neutrality in general, maybe different rules are needed.
Posted at 11:47 AM in Applications, Broadband, Cable, Censorship, Communication, Competition, Content, Copyright, Devices, Distributed Participation, DSL, Filtering, Government, Innovation, Internet Access, Internet freedom, Net Neutrality, Principles, Privacy, Public Policy, Regulation, Stakeholders, Wireless Internet | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
Technorati Tags: access, applications, Austin, broadband, competition, content, devices, eyeballs, FCC, Internet freedom, NANOG, net neutrality, nondiscrimination, NPRM, services, Texas, transparency, users, wired, wireless
But, to be Chicago kind of candid, whatcha gonna do about it?When did the U.S. lurch so far to the right that jetissoning the Fourth Amendment is considered running to the center?
Today, the freshman senator from Illinois voted in favor of the FISA bill that provides retroactive legal protection to cooperating telecom companies that helped the feds eavesdrop on overseas calls. Up until a few weeks ago -- let's see, that would be shortly after the last primaries settled the Democratic nomination and terminated what's-her-name's once frontrunning campaign -- Obama adamantly opposed the bill. "Unequivocally" was the word his people used.
— Nomination in hand, Obama stiffs the Dem left on FISA vote, Andrew Malcolm, L.A. Times, 9 July 2008
The "compromise" the bill was supposed to represent is nonexistent;
Permitting long distance service to be given away is not in the public interest.In other words, if the telcos couldn't make money off of it, nobody should.
A usually reliable source says:
The ACTA petition was the first time that the FCC confronted VoIP as a policy issue. The FCC, however, never acted on the ACTA petition, and ACTA, the moving party, no longer exists. The question presented by the ACTA petition was whether the FCC had regulatory authority to regulate VoIP Internet software used by individuals to do telephony with each other, with no service provider in the middle.It's interesting that the same telcos that now rail against regulation were happy to try to use it back in 1995 when it suit their purposes.
— VoIP: ACTA Petition, Cybertelecom
So ATCA failed to control VoIP via FCC regulation. But they can use volume charging to eliminate both VoIP and video they don't provide themselves.
The duopoly's claims of a few people using too much traffic are a smokescreen. The real issue is control: they want to control what passes through "their" networks so they can profit by as much of it as possible. I have no objection to telcos and cablecos making a profit. I do object to them squelching everybody else to do so. On the Internet you can connect any two tin cans, unless the duopoly can cut your string.
Some people use the Internet simply to check e-mail and look up phone numbers. Others are online all day, downloading big video and music files.The article names Time Warner, Comcast, and AT&T as the three prospective byte chargers.
For years, both kinds of Web surfers have paid the same price for access. But now three of the country’s largest Internet service providers are threatening to clamp down on their most active subscribers by placing monthly limits on their online activity.
— Charging by the Byte to Curb Internet Traffic, By BRIAN STELTER, New York Times, Published: June 15, 2008
I can remember when all the European PTTs charged by the byte. That held the Internet in Europe back by at least four years. The article rightly points out byte charging would interfere with all sorts of business plans. It would also inhibit political speech.
Isn't it lovely when the duopoly that controls U.S. Internet access considers participation a leak that needs to be fixed?
For the music business, the failure of net neutrality presents several big problems. Musicians are at the vanguard of digital distribution of music files, video files, and other space-gobbling content. Traffic throttling will almost certainly result in placing severe limitations on the amount and kind of content musicians can put out there — and it’s pretty likely that musicians will then be forced into partnering with businesses that have fewer limits and greater access, no doubt for a fee, to get their gear online. Another issue is that, as covered recently in this column, we are seeing a whole new universe of music-related business models, and we need to see some predictability in terms of licensing methods and how artists and copyright owners get paid. One of the most compelling proposals is that P2P music sharing should be rendered commercially viable and copyright-legal by the imposition of a blanket license that would be paid at the gate (i,e., through the ISPs). Institutionalized throttling would take this plan out at the knees.This observation comes from Canada, where current attempts by some to pass legislation similar to the U.S. Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA) has suddenly gotten noticed as a path to something music lovers have seen before:
Another problem is that record labels, distributors and retail chains who are already in desperate jeopardy can’t compete with ISPs and cellular providers who, having launched their own music stores, have all the incentive in the world to steer music consumers to their own services rather than open the pipe for folks to shop elsewhere.
— Net Neutrality, By Allison Outhit, Need to Know, June 2008
McKie is referring to proposed changes modelled on the American Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), which call for a much heavier-handed approach to interpreting what kind of content uses are protected by copyright. At the same time a Canadian DMCA would accord “safe harbour” status to service providers to shelter them from a potential onslaught of copyright litigation provided they act quickly to block infringing and illegal actions on their networks. A Canadian DMCA could impact net neutrality by putting police power in the hands of the networks, while providing ISPs with strong incentives to prefer privately-negotiated content distribution deals over the chaos of user-generated traffic. The bottom line is that musicians have come to rely on the net as their number one go-to distribution and marketing tool. The net got that way by being neutral to all comers. Whether you were a platinum seller on Universal, or a couple of unknown basement-dwellers, your video had an equal chance of going viral. Without net neutrality, all the good pipe will get eaten up by whoever has the power to make the deal. Which sounds a lot like the payola days all over again.Yep, that's what we'll get if we don't have net neutrality: payola for the duopoly.
Rupert Murdoch AP Photograph
Despite having had no success at preventative or forensic oversight of the FCC, Congress is going to give it another go:
However, the looser ownership rules the FCC passed in December - over an outcry from many interest groups - has stirred criticism from many in Congress, suggesting that Murdoch's Newsday bid faces the first stirrings of a backlash.We'll see if the Senate or Democrats have a spine this time.
The commerce committee in the Senate yesterday approved a "resolution of disapproval" measure that would overturn the new ownership rules, creating more of a hurdle for Murdoch.
Senator Byron Dorgan, the measure's leading sponsor, said: "We really do literally have five or six major corporations in this country that determine for the most part what Americans see, hear and read every day. I don't think that's healthy for our country."
Dorgan is backed by 25 senators, including Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, and is confident it will pass the Senate. A similar bill has been proposed in the House.
— Murdoch's Newsday bid faces hurdle, Elana Schor, guardian.co.uk, Friday April 25 2008
Meanwhile, the entire mainstream press, except the New York Times, ignores that the president of the United States admits he personally authorized war crimes. Except for ABC, which broke the story, but then couldn't be bothered to mention it during a "debate" it hosted between the remaining Democratic presidential candidates.
If every other major paper in NYC (and 3 out of the top 10 in the U.S.) is controled by Murdoch, how long before the NYTimes falls prey, too? With net neutrality we can still know about stories like this. Without it?
Comcast, AT&T, Time Warner Cable, and cable research company CableLabs were all invited to participate several weeks ago, but declined, Martin said. The commission again reached out to Comcast after the announcement this week that it would develop a P2P bill of rights with Pando Networks, but they again sent their regrets, he said.You may recall at the previous hearing, at Harvard, FCC chair Kevin Martin couldn't hear the difference between participant and consumer, while Comcast hired shills off the street to take up seats so people with things to say couldn't. Now the duopoly is painting the FCC as unduly critical of themselves, and the press is going along with that, including the hometown Silicon Valley newspaper, the San Jose Mercury News, which should know better:
— ISPs Give FCC Cold Shoulder at Internet Hearing, by Chloe Albanesius, PCMag.com, 04.17.08
Technorati Tags: AT&T, BitTorrent, Bob Metcalfe, CableLabs, Comcast, FCC, Internet freedom, Internet meltdown, Kevin Martin, net neutrality, P2P, Pando Networks, San Jose Mercury News, Time Warner, video
Now some of you are concerned with that unrelenting pesky competition. You know, the new technologies; the Internets and satellite radio and television. The problem is there are too many people in this country that take the notion of creativity and invention too damn seriously. Just when one technology is centralized, conglomerated, monopolized, along come new technologies and delivery systems to threaten the good work born of deregulation. Just when we were getting close to a national playlist for our music, satellite technology is threatening to provide music that people actually want to hear. Just when we were close to a national news media, providing a general consensus on what the truth is, along comes the Internets that allow its users a choice on the kinds of news it watches. And the You Tube. My God we’ve got to stop them. Recently when we were about to enjoy our great national pastime of ‘tearing apart a presidential candidate with relentless repetition of ugly things his friend said’, You Tube provided the candidates reasoned response and millions watched and responded positively.He had a fine time lampooning that the news media do all the time. And then he got serious:
Well you here at NAB have the power to stop this dangerous technology. The question is, how? I respectfully suggest that you do what others have done when facing the competition of new technologies. Get compromising information on your enemy and expose them in a sex scandal. Or call them a racist, or better yet a traitor. That not only undermines your competitor, but provides the public with fantastic entertainment.
— The Power and Responsibility of our Nation’s Broadcasters, By Tim Robbins, The following is my opening keynote speech for the National Association of Broadcasters Show in Las Vegas, which I delivered Monday night. 14 April 2008
The Toronto Star has learned that John Sweeney, Bell's senior vice-president of carrier services, sent a letter to the independent ISPs last Friday acknowledging that Bell has implemented bandwidth management from 4:30 p.m. to 2 a.m. for its wholesale customers. Sweeney admitted that peer-to-peer applications will not work as fast during this period, but argued that "a majority of end users will experience an increased level of satisfaction."It seems Bell Canada has handed net neutrality advocates proof of their concerns , and that the public is watching. This article isn't some emotional scare piece, either.
While much of the initial commentary has focused on the implications for consumer rights, that discussion misses the more important aspect of this story, namely that Bell's plans undermine the Internet's competitive landscape by raising three concerns.
— Bell throttles its Internet competitors, Michael Geist, The Star, Apr 01, 2008 04:30 AM
A group of uninvited young monks at the Jokhang Temple, one of the most sacred in Tibet and a top tourist stop in central Lhasa, stormed into a briefing by a temple administrator.This may be an extreme, but it is what controled media lead to.
"About 30 young monks burst into the official briefing, shouting: 'Don't believe them. They are tricking you. They are telling lies'," USA Today Beijing-based reporter Callum MacLeod said by telephone from Lhasa.
— Monks burst in on Tibet news briefing, By John Ruwitch, Reuters, Thu Mar 27, 2008 2:59pm GMT
Do we want the Internet to go the way of newspapers, radio, and TV, and even the postal service, with 90+% of content provided by half a dozen big corporations and only op-eds and heavily selected and edited letters permitted from the great unwashed? Hey, they've got that in China, and there most of the population believes that Tibetans are barbarian recipients of superior Chinese culture, so Chinese troops are totally justified in squashing any ungrateful opposition. We could return to depending on the traditional media in the U.S.; after all, they only helped lie us into a war of choice in Iraq, costing $2 billion a week that we could be using to deal with education, health care, and preserving the natural world. Or we can fight for Internet freedom.
Posted at 10:42 AM in Censorship, Communication, Consolidation, Distributed Participation, History, Internet freedom, Internet History, Net Neutrality, Postal Service | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)
Technorati Tags: China, creation care, education, global warming, health care, Internet freedom, Iraq, media consolidation, net neutraliity, newspapers, postal service, radio, social control, Tibet, TV
Fox Television said it won't pay its part of a $91,000 indecency fine levied recently by the Federal Communications Commission for a 2003 episode of a reality TV show that featured strippers and whipped cream.Fox lifted the wording from a 2007 court ruling, apparently about a different show. Oh, right: that one.
Fox said in a statement that it won't pay the fine imposed against five of its stations because it believes the FCC's decision that the show in question was indecent was "arbitrary and capricious, inconsistent with precedent, and patently unconstitutional." The network said it will appeal the FCC's decision and proposed fine on behalf of 13 stations....
— Fox TV Refuses to Pay Indecency Fine by FCC, By Amy Schatz, Wall Street Journal, 24 March 2008
Maybe if the FCC would get back to actually dealing impartially with real matters of public policy, it might garner public and Congressional support.
In the end, it turns out it's all about the emails.The blogger goes on to point out that almost all of the recent fearmongering, which has been about telephone calls, is just plain wrong. Duh! Half the fearmongers don't understand what they're talking about (e.g.,
— Spying Fight about Emails, Not Phone Calls, DOJ Reveals, By Ryan Singel ThreatLevel, Wired, March 04, 2008 | 4:47:36 PMCategories: NSA
Posted at 09:23 AM in Censorship, Corruption, Distributed Participation, Espionage, Filtering, Government, Internet freedom, Postal Service, Research, Wiretapping | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
Technorati Tags: AT&T, checks and balances, Congress, Constitution, DARPA, dissident opinions, DOJ, email, fearmongering, file transfer, FISA, illegal, Kenneth Wainstein, McConnell, NSA, oversight, Poindexter, recipient, Saxby Chambliss, TIA, Total Information Awareness, unitary executive, web search, wiretapping
So that's that. Register your domain name through a U.S. company and your business goes kaput if the U.S. Treasury Department decides it doesn't like you. It doesn't matter if you're based in Spain, your servers are in the Bahamas, your customers are mostly European, and you've broken no laws. No warning. Just kaput.This blogger bases his opinion on a NYTimes story:
— Just Kaput, Kevin Drum, Political Animal, 4 March 2008
“We have requested information from the company via subpoena,” Jeffrey Lerner, a spokesman for Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, said Tuesday.So far it's just a subpoena. We'll see if it turns into a full-fledged lawsuit. And maybe Comcast could start cooperating with its own customers....
Comcast said it was co-operating with the AG's office.
— New York subpoenas Comcast on traffic shaping, Associated Press, February 26, 2008 at 4:08 PM EST
PS: Why did the New York Times pick up this story only a day after the Canadian Globe and Mail?
(i) access, use, send, receive, or offer lawful content, applications, or services over broadband networks, including the Internet;Let's see, if "consumers" can send their own content, applications, and service, they're not really consumers in the traditional sense, now are they?
This is all very nice, in that Markey and Pickering apparently get it about what Internet freedom is about. However, why does this bill have no teeth, unlike Markey's bill of last year or the Snowe-Durgan bill before that?
Posted at 09:49 AM in Censorship, Competition, Consolidation, Content, Copyright, Corruption, Distributed Participation, Duopoly, Government, Innovation, Internet Access, Internet freedom, Net Neutrality, Public Policy, Regulation, Stifling | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
Technorati Tags: AT&T, BitTorrent, Chip Pickering, Comcast, commerce, competition, Cox, duopoly, Ed Markey, free speech, Internet freedom, Internet Freedom Preservation Act of 2008, monopoly, NARAL, net neutrality, participation, Snow-Durgan, Tim Wu
This is ironically exactly the mechanism used by the Great Firewall of China. When China does it, we call it "censorship".She points to a paper that details that the Great Firewall of China uses exactly the same forged TCP Reset method that Comcast uses, and how to work around such damage:
— Re: [IP] Comcast FCC filing shows gap between hype, bandwidth, Jean Camp, Interesting People, 14 Feb 2008
Posted at 10:41 AM in Censorship, Competition, Content, Corruption, Distributed Participation, Government, International acces, Internet freedom, Net Neutrality, Stifling | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
Aswin Navin by David Shankbone
Rep. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee's subcommittee on telecommunications and the Internet, plans to introduce a bill today calling for an Internet policy that would prohibit network operators from unreasonably interfering with consumers' right to access and use content over broadband networks. The bill also calls for the FCC to hold eight meetings around the nation to assess whether there is enough competition among network providers and whether consumers' rights are being upheld.Markey gets it. Too bad the FCC doesn't.
"Our goal is to ensure that the next generation of Internet innovators will have the same opportunity, the same unfettered access to Internet content, services and applications that fostered the developers of Yahoo, Netscape and Google," Markey said in a written statement yesterday.
— Comcast Defends Role As Internet Traffic Cop By Cecilia Kang, Washington Post Staff Writer, Wednesday, February 13, 2008; Page D01
Meanwhile, part of Comcast's defense is:
The RIAA does not support this approach in the US, opting instead to back the tradeoffs of the DMCA. That law allows ISPs a "safe harbor" for the content passing through their networks so long as they respond to takedown notices and legal requests in a timely fashion.This puts RIAA on the same side as Verizon, leaving AT&T out there alone. Well, except for much of the U.S. government.
— RIAA chief: We don't see a need for mandatory ISP filtering, By Nate Anderson, ars technica, Published: January 30, 2008 - 11:00PM CT
We see substantial increases in the volume of traffic. Generally we see that as a good thing. We have more customers paying for more services we provide.He's specifically responding to requests from Hollywood to police copyright. Tauke lists at least three good reasons not to:
—Tom Tauke, executive vice president for public affairs, Verizon, quoted in Verizon Rejects Hollywood’s Call to Aid Piracy Fight, By Saul Hansell, Bits, New York Times, February 5, 2008, 3:56 pm
Anything we do has to balance the need of copyright protection with the desire of customers for privacy.
There is, nonetheless, a downside.
EDUCAUSE, the association whose mission is to advance higher education by promoting the intelligent use of information technology, today proposed bringing the federal government, state governments, and the private sector together as part of a new approach to making high-speed Internet services available across the country.Back in the 1980s, in the time of standalone dialup Bulletin Board Systems (BBSes), the National Science Foundation (NSF) deployed a nationwide backbone network called NSFNet that eventually ran at the blazing fast for the times speed of 1.55Mbps. NSF also promoted development of NSFNet regional networks, many of which eventually figured in the commercialization of Internet that took off in 1991 when former dialup network UUNET started selling Internet connectivity and former personnel of an NSFNet regional formed PSINet and also started selling Internet connectivity.
The group, whose membership includes information technology officials from more than 2,200 colleges, universities, and other educational organizations, said that a new "universal broadband fund" would be necessary so that "Big Broadband" — services of 100 mbps — could be made widely available.
— EDUCAUSE Proposes New Approach to Broadband Development, Wendy Wigen, Peter B. Deblois, EDUCAUSE, 29 Jan 2008
Nowadays, when the fastest most people can get as so-called broadband is 1-3Mbps DSL from telcos or maybe 3-5Mbps from cablecos, maybe it's time to do it again. Is this a plan that would work?
Posted at 10:57 AM in Broadband, Censorship, Competition, Copyright, Duopoly, FTTH, Government, Internet Access, Internet History, Internet Speed, Net Neutrality | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
“The real question is what to do about industry,” McConnell told me. “Ninety-five per cent of this is a private-sector problem.” He claimed that cyber-theft accounted for as much as a hundred billion dollars in annual losses to the American economy. “The real problem is the perpetrator who doesn’t care about stealing—he just wants to destroy.” The plan will propose restrictions that are certain to be unpopular. In order for cyberspace to be policed, Internet activity will have to be closely monitored. Ed Giorgio, who is working with McConnell on the plan, said that would mean giving government the authority to examine the content of any e-mail, file transfer, or Web search. “Google has records that could help in a cyber-investigation,” he said. Giorgio warned me, “We have a saying in this business: ‘Privacy and security are a zero-sum game.’ ”Bruce Schneier has already demolished the "privacy vs. security" canard: it's really liberty vs. control.
— The Spymaster, by Lawrence Wright, The New Yorker, 21 January 2008
It figures that it would be Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell pushing monitoring the whole Internet, since he's one of the key figures behind retroactive telecom immunity for illegal warrantless wiretapping. That was a bad idea, and this is also a bad idea.
But it's also why AT&T may have good reason to believe there'd be no liability for filtering the entire Internet.
Technorati Tags: AT&T, Bruce Schneier, Internet filtering, liberty vs. control, Mike McConnell, monitoring the Internet, policing cyberspace, privacy vs. security, warrantless wiretapping, zero-sum game
by Diana Walker
Chances are that as you read this article, it is passing over part of AT&T's network. That matters, because last week AT&T announced that it is seriously considering plans to examine all the traffic it carries for potential violations of U.S. intellectual property laws. The prospect of AT&T, already accused of spying on our telephone calls, now scanning every e-mail and download for outlawed content is way too totalitarian for my tastes. But the bizarre twist is that the proposal is such a bad idea that it would be not just a disservice to the public but probably a disaster for AT&T itself. If I were a shareholder, I'd want to know one thing: Has AT&T, after 122 years in business, simply lost its mind?Come now; what did you think they were up to?
No one knows exactly what AT&T is proposing to build. But if the company means what it says, we're looking at the beginnings of a private police state. That may sound like hyperbole, but what else do you call a system designed to monitor millions of people's Internet consumption? That's not just Orwellian; that's Orwell.
— Has AT&T Lost Its Mind?A baffling proposal to filter the Internet. By Tim Wu, Slate, Posted Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2008, at 10:15 AM ET
Posted at 07:32 AM in Censorship, Competition, Consolidation, Content, Copyright, Corruption, Duopoly, History, Internet Access, Internet freedom, Law, Net Neutrality, Politics | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
Throughout 2005 and 2006, a large underground debate raged regarding the future of the Internet. More recently referred to as “network neutrality,” the issue has become a tug of war with cable companies on the one hand and consumers and Internet service providers on the other. Yet despite important legislative proposals and Supreme Court decisions throughout 2005, the issue was almost completely ignored in the headlines until 2006.1 And, except for occasional coverage on CNBC’s Kudlow & Kramer, mainstream television remains hands-off to this day (June 2006).2This is the first I've heard that "Internet service providers" other than cable companies are on the side of consumers. Doubtless AT&T will be gratified to hear that version. Oh, wait: later the same writeup refers to "cable supporters like the AT&T-sponsored Hands Off the Internet website." Also, what's this about free access?
Most coverage of the issue framed it as an argument over regulation—but the term “regulation” in this case is somewhat misleading. Groups advocating for “net neutrality” are not promoting regulation of internet content. What they want is a legal mandate forcing cable companies to allow internet service providers (ISPs) free access to their cable lines (called a “common carriage” agreement). This was the model used for dial-up internet, and it is the way content providers want to keep it. They also want to make sure that cable companies cannot screen or interrupt internet content without a court order.
— #1 Future of Internet Debate Ignored by Media, Top 25 Censored news stories of 2007 Project Censored, The News That Didn't Make The News Sonoma State University, 2007
Never mind net neutrality, I want my privacy. As in packet privacy. The telcos say they need to sell non-neutral routing of traffic to recover the cost of building broadband networks. Moving from the Internet, where a packet-is-a-packet, to something that looks suspiciously like the 20th century telephone network requires remarrying the content and connectivity that TCP/IP divorced. It requires deep packet inspection. It requires looking at the content of communication.Despite Berninger's phrasing, packet privacy isn't something separate from net neutrality: it's one of the key features of it. The point is that net neutrality isn't just about pricing policies or technical means of content routing: it's about privacy. And privacy is an issue that everybody understands. Stifling, throttling, or disconnecting without announced limits, censoring, wiretapping, and espionage: these are all violations of packet privacy.
AT&tT does not plan to roll out two physical pipes to every end point in order to sell Google enhanced access. The new telco plan calls for content-based routing to separate traffic into media and destination specific VPNs (Virtual Private Networks). Laws exist to address the substantial privacy threats created by the fact telephone companies know Mr. Smith called Mr. Jones, but the privacy risks associated with “content routing” replacing “end point routing” enter an different realm.
— Forget Neutrality — Keep Packets Private, by Daniel Berninger, GigaOm, Sunday, January 14, 2007 at 8:30 PM PT
Technorati Tags: AT&T, censoring, consumer privacy, deep packet inspection, disconnecting, espionage, Internet freedom, net neutrality, packet privacy, stifling, TCP/IP, telephone network, throttling, wiretapping
The same person to bust Comcast's blocking of BitTorrent traffic was called upon to test Cox's system, and sure enough, he concluded with "conclusive proof" that eDonkey was getting the same treatment.
First Comcast, Now Cox Busted 'Managing' Traffic by Jason Lee Miller, Webpronews.com, Mon, 11/19/2007 - 10:51.
We asked regular user Robb Topolski, who was the first to discover Comcast's traffic shaping practices, to take a look at Cox connectivity a little more closely.The main difference between Comcast and Cox is that Cox says it's doing it, for the good of the user, of course. Still, which users exactly asked for their ISP to fake TCP packets? And how long before Cox trips up some business users, Like Comcast stifling Lotus Notes?
According to Topolski, Cox is in fact using traffic shaping to degrade p2p traffic. In analyzing a user log, he has concluded that Cox is using traffic shaping hardware to send forged TCP/IP packets with the RST (reset) flag set -- with the goal of disrupting eDonkey traffic. He's been unable to tell precisely what hardware Cox is using, but he notes that the technique being used is very similar to Comcast's treatment of BitTorrent.
— Cox Also Disrupting P2P Traffic, Using the same forged packet method as Comcast, by Karl, BroadbandReports.com, 03:35PM Thursday Nov 15 2007
Remember YouTube's content filtering system? AT&T is mulling setting one up across its whole network. BusinessWeek's reporting AT&T's in talks with NBC Universal and Disney to possibly use content-recognition tech developed by Vobile—a company they've all invested in—to block pirated material from being sent to and fro along its network.Perhaps Disney, NBC, and AT&T have forgotten that Disney has made pirates very popular.
— firstname.lastname@example.org Net Neuterality: AT&T Considering Scary, Content-Recognizing Anti-Piracy Filter for Entire Network, Gizmodo, by Matt Buchanan, 8 Nov 2007
Meanwhile, it's one thing for YouTube to do content filtering. It's quite another for AT&T, as one of the duopoly of Internet access in most of the U.S., to do the same. You know, the same AT&T that censored Pearl Jam and other bands for expressing political views.
I wonder how big a backlash there will be when AT&T's customers discover more false positives than fingerprints?
In a stinging rebuke, the Second Circuit ruled that the FCC had not produced "any evidence that suggests that a fleeting expletive is harmful."Apparently the current U.S. administration doesn't believe in someone having to prove "market failure" when it comes to words.
— Free Speech Under Attack in DC - Part III Center for Creative Voices in Media Blog, 1 Nov 2007
Today, the presidents of NARAL Pro-Choice America and the Christian Coalition co-authored a Washington Post op-ed calling on Congress to address the censorship policies of phone companies like Verizon and AT&T. Last month, Verizon arbitrarily banned text messages from NARAL, deeming the lawful political speech too "controversial and unsavory" to send.Most of the U.S. political spectrum seems to be against censorship by telcos and cablecos. The next question is whether this opposition will have any effect, or will the telcos get the FCC to lay off anyway, or will telco and cableco political contributions and lobbying convince Congress to turn a blind eye.
"We are on opposite sides of almost every issue," wrote NARAL President Nancy Keenan and Christian Coalition President Roberta Combs. "But when it comes to the fundamental right of citizens to participate in the political process, we're united -- and very worried. Whatever your political views -- conservative or liberal, Republican or Democrat, pro-choice or pro-life -- it shouldn't be up to Verizon to determine whether you receive the information you requested."
— Groups Fight Cell Censorship, Unstrung, 17 October 2007
Rupert Murdoch's MySpace has been caught in another act of alternative media censorship after it was revealed that bulletin posts containing links to Prison Planet.com were being hijacked and forwarded to MySpace's home page. MySpace has placed Prison Planet on a list of blocked websites supposedly reserved for spam, phishing scams or virus trojans.Prison Planet says it's certain this is deliberate, because it observed it going on for more than two weeks and multiple people have observed it. However, it doesn't give any evidence that MySpace is blocking this particular site because it's anti-war, nor of any other anti-war sites being blocked by MySpace. Nor for that matter that Rupert Murdoch had anything directly to do with it.
— MySpace Censors Anti-War Websites, Prison Planet blocked as the model for government regulated Internet 2 gets a dry run, Paul Joseph Watson, Prison Planet, Tuesday, September 25, 2007
Now I wouldn't be surpised if MySpace or some other social networking site took it upon itself to block anti-war sites, but I don't see this case proven, and it's the only one (the article mentioned InfoWars, but that's a Prison Planet affiliate). For that matter, is being against the Iraq war even controversial anymore?
Saying it had the right to block “controversial or unsavory” text messages, Verizon Wireless last week rejected a request from Naral Pro-Choice America, the abortion rights group, to make Verizon’s mobile network available for a text-message program.Is the Internet a public network, or isn't it? If it is, I don't see why any ISP should be blocking messages based on content. (Spam is a different matter: spam is unsolicited.) There are various opinions as to what laws, if any, cover text messages. But the main point isn't even legal. If the telco-provided network isn't a public network, it's not the Internet.
But the company reversed course this morning, saying it had made a mistake.
“The decision to not allow text messaging on an important, though sensitive, public policy issue was incorrect, and we have fixed the process that led to this isolated incident,” Jeffrey Nelson, a company spokesman, said in a statement.
“It was an incorrect interpretation of a dusty internal policy,” Mr. Nelson said. “That policy, developed before text messaging protections such as spam filters adequately protected customers from unwanted messages, was designed to ward against communications such as anonymous hate messaging and adult materials sent to children.”
Mr. Nelson noted that text messaging is “harnessed by organizations and individuals communicating their diverse opinions about issues and topics” and said Verizon has “great respect for this free flow of ideas.”
— Verizon Reverses Itself on Abortion Rights Messages, By Adam Liptak, New York Times, September 27, 2007
Suppose the telcos and cablecos get everything they want.
To buy a BBQ grill on eBay, you'll have to pay for the eBay channel. This is above whatever you pay the seller for the grill or eBay for your membership. You'll have to pay your local Internet access company just to let you get to eBay to participate in the auction. Oh, maybe you'll be able to get there anyway, but your access may be so slow that you'll pay for the eBay channel out of frustration.
If you want to buy a book from Amazon, you'll have to pay for the Amazon channel. For search you'll need the Yahoo channel or the ask.com channel or the google channel. Assuming your favorite search engine is even offered as a channel. Many smaller services probably won't be.
Maybe it won't be quite this bad.
Posted at 09:25 AM in Censorship, Communication, Competition, Content, Distributed Participation, Duopoly, Government, Internet Access, Internet freedom, Internet Speed, IPTV, Law, Net Neutrality, Public Policy, Regulation, Throttling | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
Technorati Tags: ask.com, AT&T, cable TV, Craigslist, eBay, Facebook, Google, Internet access, Internet freedom, Internet radio, Internet speed, MySpace, net neutrality, participation, politics, postal rates, SavetheInternet.com, Time Warner, toll road, Verizon, Yahoo!, YouTube
Now the second part of the issue was under the president's program, the terrorist surveillance program, the private sector had assisted us. Because if you're going to get access you've got to have a partner and they were being sued. Now if you play out the suits at the value they're claimed, it would bankrupt these companies. So my position was we have to provide liability protection to these private sector entities.Ryan Singel points out in Wired's Threat Level blog that this is even though the same McConnell signed a sworn declaration in April saying to reveal that NSA and Verizon had such a relationship "would cause exceptionally grave harm to the national security."
— Transcript: Debate on the foreign intelligence surveillance act, By Chris Roberts, ©El Paso Times, Article Launched: 08/22/2007 01:05:57 AM MDT
Posted at 09:51 AM in Broadband, Censorship, Communication, Competition, Content, Current Affairs, Duopoly, Espionage, Government, Internet Access, Politics, Regulation, Telephone, Wiretapping | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
"The Internet is the new Afghanistan," [New York police commissioner Raymond] Kelly said, as he released a New York Police Department (NYPD) report on the home-grown threat of attacks by Islamist extremists. "It is the de facto training ground. It's an area of concern."
The report found that the challenge for Western authorities was to identify, pre-empt and prevent home-grown threats, which was difficult because many of those who might undertake an attack often commit no crimes along the path to extremism.
The report identified the four stages to radicalization as pre-radicalization, self-identification, indoctrination, and jihadization, and said the Internet drove and enabled the process.
— Internet is "the new Afghanistan": NY police commissioner, By Michelle Nichols and Edith Honan, Reuters, Wed Aug 15, 3:51 PM ET
Nevermind that this makes about as much sense as saying "the telephone is the new Afghanistan" or "talking is the new Afghanistan". Of course the Internet enables that process! The Internet enables every communication process.
Let's look beyond communication and information to what people think they know because of those things:
As the information age deepens, a globe–circling realm of the mind is being created — the “noosphere” that Pierre Teilhard de Chardin identified 80 years ago. This will increasingly affect the nature of grand strategy and diplomacy. Traditional realpolitik, which ultimately relies on hard (principally military) power, will give way to the rise of noöpolitik (or noöspolitik), which relies on soft (principally ideational) power. This paper reiterates the authors’ views as initially stated in 1999, then adds an update for inclusion in a forthcoming handbook on public diplomacy. One key finding is that non–state actors — unfortunately, especially Al Qaeda and its affiliates — are using the Internet and other new media to practice noöpolitik more effectively than are state actors, such as the U.S. government. Whose story wins — the essence of noöpolitik — is at stake in the worldwide war of ideas.This sounds almost like what the NYPD is saying.
— The promise of noöpolitik, by David Ronfeldt and John Arquilla, First Monday, volume 12, number 8 (August 2007)
Technorati Tags: ACLU, censorship, Chet Richards, communication, demonstrators, diplomacy, grand strategy, jihadist, John Arquilla, John R. Boyd, New York City, noosphere, NYPD, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, protestors, radicalization, Raymond Kelly, realpolitik, Republican National Convention
Also coming to light, is the fact that Stickler's nomination to head the mine administration was twice rejected by congress and rejected when republicans were still in charge. Rejected reportedly by senators who were concerned about Stickler's safety record when he operated mines. After his nomination was twice rejected by the Senate, President Bush gave Richard Stickler the mine safety job with a recess appointment. That's a presidential appointment made when congress is not in session.Dead people in mines. Dead people in Hurricane Katrina. Postal rate hikes for small publications. Wireless spectrum handed over to a few big companies. And of course massive consolidation of first mile Internet ISPs in the hands of companies that aren't delivering on their promises and that indulge in repeated political censorship while cooperating with the government in wiretapping.
Finally, congressional investigations and hearings are now expected to look at a key provision of federal mining law, one which requires the U.S. Government to be the main communicator when an accident occurs. ABC News now notes it took the mine safety administration two days to take public control of the Crandall Canyon Mine. ABC also adds, "Others were irate that [mine owner Bob] Murray was allowed to publicly predict success and contradict MSHA itself while agency officials quietly looked on."
— Federal mine safety official's credentials questioned, Chris Vanocur, ABC 4 News, Last Update: 8/20 2007 8:00 pm
The stakes going forward are even higher, including economic competitiveness, control of information, and political discourse and with it the survival of a political system.
At least the traditional media finally noticed the problem with the appointment of the Mine and Health Safety Administrator. Imagine if we had more proactive investigative media that might have actually noticed his appointment when it happened. And imagine if we had none, which is a very real possibility with continuing media consolidation and increasing control over the Internet by a very small number of companies.
Posted at 12:03 PM in Censorship, Communication, Competition, Current Affairs, Distributed Participation, Duopoly, Government, Internet Access, Postal Service, Press, Television, Wireless Internet | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
Technorati Tags: 700Mhz, AT&T, Bellsouth, censorship, competitiveness, Crandall Canyon Mine, FCC, George W. Bush, Katrina, Michael Brown, Mine and Health Safety Administrator, political commissars, political discourse, political ideology, Richard Stickler, wireless spectrum
And now you do what they told ya,
now you're under control
FCC Commissioner Michael Copps, fire-breathing advocate of network neutrality regulation and opponent of media consolidation, has taken a stand on AT&T's now infamous censorship of Pearl Jam front man Eddie Vedder's anti-Bush remarks at Lollapalooza. In an interview with OpenLeft.com's Matt Stoller, Copps supported the idea that there's a link between AT&T's deletion of Vedder's political comments from a webcast of the concert and the network neutrality fight that's brewing in the halls of Congress.And it's good that Copps sees the connection between this episode and media consolidation. Copps talks a good talk, but will he do more than "grudgingly accept" this sort of thing, like he did the bogus 700Mhz auction rules? Will he vote against, and will he persuade other commissioners to do the same? And can someone persuade Congress to change the FCC's tune? It's all very well to rage against the machine, but who's going to change it?
"Events like this are connected to the larger issue of network neutrality, so it is very very important," Copps said in response to a question about whether or not AT&T's censorship of Vedder has any implications for network neutrality. He went on to say, "So when something like the episode occurs with Pearl Jam that you're referencing that ought to concern all of us... because if you can do it for one group, you can do it to any group and say 'Well, it's not intentional,' and things like that. But nobody should have that power to do that and then be able to exercise distributive control over the distribution and control over the content too.
— FCC Commissioner: Pearl Jam censorship linked to net neutrality fight, By Jon Stokes, ars technica, Published: August 17, 2007 - 01:56PM
Or can we get some Internet access competition? Then we could have Internet freedom.
Technorati Tags: AT&T, censorship, content, Copps, distribution, Eddie Vedder, FCC, Flaming Lips, Internet access, Internet freedom, John Butler Trio, net neutrality, Pearl Jam, Rage Against the Machine
AT&T's “content monitor” hit the mute button during part of Pearl Jam’s “Blue Room” Live Lollapalooza Webcast sponsored by the telecom, depriving viewers of some anti-George Bush lyrics—and handing live ammunition to “net neutrality” proponents in the form of an almost perfect example of what they predict will happen if a few companies are allowed to control the broadband pipeline.Their followup gets even better:
— AT&T Silences Pearl Jam; Gives 'Net Neutrality' Proponents Ammunition, Staci D. Kramer, PaidContent.org, 08.09.07, 7:45 PM ET
AT&T spokesman Michael Coe said that the silencing was a mistake and that the company was working with the vendor that produces the webcasts to avoid future misunderstandings. He said AT&T was working to secure the rights to post the entire song - part of a sing-along with the audience - on the Blue Room site.While the lumbering dinosaur was working on that, Pearl Jam already had the uncensored version on their site.
— AT&T Errs in Edit of Anti-Bush Lyrics, By MICHELLE ROBERTS, Forbes, 08.10.07, 10:59 AM ET
And it just keeps getting better.
Technorati Tags: Animal Farm, AT&T, Bonnaroo, BP Amoco, censorship, Eddie Vedder, FCC, First Amendment, Flaming Lips, free speech, George Bush, George Orwell, Internet freedom, Iraq, John Butler Trio, liberty, Lollapalooza, Mike McCready, net neutrality, Pearl Jam, profanity, Rage Against the Machine, regulation, Tom Morello
The Federal Communications Commission is seeking to shut the door on a plan by a group of Silicon Valley entrepreneurs to offer free wireless broadband Internet service everywhere in the U.S., the chief executive of the group said Wednesday.Why would the FCC object to that?
M2Z Networks Inc. issued a statement Wednesday in which it said it would take the FCC to court in an attempt to force the agency to conduct a thorough analysis of the plan before it determined whether it would back it or not.
The company has proposed taking 25 megahertz of spectrum that is currently vacant and using it to build a wireless broadband Internet network to provide free service to 95% of Americans within a decade.
— UPDATE: FCC Opposes Silicon Valley VCs' Free-Broadband Plan, (Updates with comment from Rep. Anna Eshoo, D-Cal., in the fifth paragraph.) By Corey Boles, Dow Jones, August 15, 2007: 05:14 PM EST
After concluding our Sunday night show at Lollapalooza, fans informed us that portions of that performance were missing and may have been censored by AT&T during the "Blue Room" Live Lollapalooza Webcast.So, "a mistake".
When asked about the missing performance, AT&T informed Lollapalooza that portions of the show were in fact missing from the webcast, and that their content monitor had made a mistake in cutting them.
— LOLLAPALOOZA WEBCAST: SPONSORED/CENSORED BY AT&T? News, PearlJam.com, 7 August 2007
But it gets better.
(1) the 25 institutions of higher education participating in programs under this title, which have received during the previous calendar year the highest number of written notices fromm copyright owners, or persons authorized to act on behalf of copyright holders, alleging infringement of copyright by users of the institution's information technology systems, where such notices identify with specificity the works alleged to the infringed, or a representative list of works alleged to be infringed, the date and time of the alleged infringing conduct together with information sufficient to identify the infringing user, and information sufficient to contact the copyright owner or its authorized representative; andSo universities are supposed to keep lists of allegations against their students (or staff or faculty) and those lists can be used to determine their funding. Allegations, mind you, not convictions. This is once again the entertainment industry tail wagging the dog, in this case higher education. Hm, I suppose that's a bad analogy, since the entertainment industry seems to only understand the big head, not the long tail....
— Text of Amendments, SA 2314, Congressional Record -- Senate, 17 July 2007
And as if to demonstrate Republicans have no monopoly on horribly bad ideas, this amendment is proposed by the Senate Majority Leader, Democrat Harry Reid. Is the Internet really that hard to understand?
Haven't we seen this TV sitcom before? It's the one in which politicians try to clean up the airwaves in the name of protecting children.Even though parents are concerned about violence on TV, the WSJ notes that there isn't exactly a groundswell of demand for political interference:
—FCC TV, Wall Street Journal, May 2007
"The report cites studies showing that parents in the U.S. are deeply concerned about violence on TV. That may be true, but it's difficult to square with another of the report's findings, which is that nearly 70% of children have a TV in their bedroom. Either mom and dad aren't as concerned about the issue as policy makers and special-interest groups would like, or they have things in better perspective."Is this the only conservative voice against FCC censorship of whatever it chooses to call violence?
— FCC TV, Center for Creative Voices in Media Blog, 23 May 2007