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)
Tags: banana republic, blackout, censorship, Congress, craigslist, google, Internet, lobbying, MPAA, PIPA, reddit, RIAA, SOPA, wikipedia
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)
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)
Tags: censorship, COICA, competition, content, copyright, economy, engineers, freedom of speech, Internet, Internet freedom, net neutrality, PIPA, security, SOPA, throttling
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)
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
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)
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)
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)
Tags: access, applications, Austin, broadband, competition, content, devices, eyeballs, FCC, Internet freedom, NANOG, net neutrality, nondiscrimination, NPRM, services, Texas, transparency, users, wired, wireless
But the reality is that nowadays, one can choose between a game costing £40 that will last weeks, or a £10 CD with two great tracks and eight dud ones. I think a lot of people are choosing the game - and downloading the two tracks. That's real discretion in spending. It's hurting the music industry, sure. But let's not cloud the argument with false claims about downloads.Or keep making such claims and keep electing Pirate Party members the the EU Parliament. Either way such claims have a limited life span.
But what if they do get their wish, net neutrality is consigned to the dustbin, and they do build their new services, but nobody uses them? If the networks that are built are the ones that are publicly discussed, that is a likely prospect. What service providers publicly promise to do, if they are given complete control of their networks, is to build special facilities for streaming movies. But there are two fatal defects to that promise. One is that movies are unlikely to offer all that much revenue. The other is that delivering movies in real-time streaming mode is the wrong solution, expensive and unnecessary. If service providers are to derive significant revenues and profits by exploiting freedom from net neutrality limitations, they will need to engage in much more intrusive control of traffic than just provision of special channels for streaming movies.Why is that?
— The delusions of net neutrality, Andrew Odlyzko, School of Mathematics, University of Minnesota Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.dtc.umn.edu/odlyzko Revised version, August 17, 2008
But video, and more generally content (defined as material prepared by professionals for wide distribution, such as movies, music, newscasts, and so on), is not king, and has never been king. While content has frequently dominated in terms of volume of traffic, connectivity has almost universally been valued much more highly and brought much higher revenues. Movies cannot be counted on to bring in anywhere near as much in revenues as voice services do today.The Internet isn't about Sarnoff's Law (broadcast content like TV, radio, and newspapers) or even about Metcalfe's Law (1-n connectivity, like telephone or VoIP): it's about Reed's law, 2n-n connectivity, such as blogs, P2P, and facebook). That's my interpretation; Odlyzko probably wouldn't agree.
Anyway, that video content such as movies is king is one of the primary delusions Odlyzko addresses in this paper. The other is that movies need to be streamed in realtime. It is mysterious why people continue to believe that in the face of the massive evidence BitTorrent and other P2P services that deliver big content in chunks faster than realtime. I can only attribute this second delusion to a bellhead mindset that still thinks in terms of telephone, which was realtime because nobody knew any other way to do it back in the analog-copper-wire-connection day.
As Odlyzko sums it up:
The general conclusion is that the story presented by service providers, that they need to block net neutrality in order to be able to afford to construct special features in their networks for streaming movies, is simply not credible. If lack of net neutrality requirements is to be exploited, it will have to be done through other, much more intrusive means.So why let the duopoly force a policy on everyone else that won't even work to the advantage of the duopoly?
One way to get net neutrality would be to let the duopoly have its way, and wait for it to implode. However, given that for streaming video to have any chance of succeeding, the duopoly would have to clamp down on everything else to eliminate any competition, I shudder to think what this would mean. The Internet as a source of real news and opinion would go away. Given that the vestigial traditional news media in the U.S. (TV, radio, newspapers) provide so little news, there's a very good chance that most people in the U.S. wouldn't even know how bad they had it as the country sped its slide into parochialism and irrelevance. How many people even know now that the U.S. has slid from #1 to #23 or whatever the latest number is in broadband uptake? If the duopoly is given its head, even fewer would know.
If we let King Kong Telco and T Rex Cableco battle it out to be Movie King of the Internet, where does that leave poor Fay Wray Public?
FCC, FTC, Congress, executive, and courts, not to mention the public, should all read Odlyzko's paper, and should all refuse the duopoly's demand for special privileges that won't even produce profits for the duopoly. Then all of above should legislate, enforce, and maintain net neutrality so we will all profit and benefit. Yes, even the duopoly can win with this.
At least one lawmaker is already crying foul over Friday's expected Federal Communications Commission's censure of Comcast for faking internet traffic to limit its customers' peer-to-peer file sharing.This is rather like crying foul because courts regulate contracts. I wonder how the free market would operate without them? The Internet free market in applications and services wouldn't operate very well without net neutrality.
Republican minority leader Rep. John Boehner said the FCC would be "essentially regulating the internet."
— Lawmaker Cries Foul Ahead of FCC Net-Neutrality Decision, By David Kravets, ThreatLevel, July 31, 2008 | 7:02:45 PM
I don't recall Boehner crying foul when Congress voted to regulate the Internet to require ISPs to hand over every bit (every email, phone call, web page, video, etc.) to the NSA and to legalize them having already done it when it was illegal. No free market talk from him then. Guess he didn't think the Fourth Amendment was worth crying over, unlike Anna Nicole Smith.
And back in 1995, it was the duopoly ISPs demanding regulation from the FCC, because they wanted to squelch VoIP.
Now they want to squelch everybody else's P2P and especially online video, except what they get a cut of. They think they can get away with it if the FCC stays out of the way, so now they are against regulation.
Their principles flip-flop kind of like Boehner's, don't they? Bunch of cry babies.
Remember how Comcast this week told us that 1) the FCC's "Internet policy statement" (PDF) had no legal force and 2) that the agency might not have the authority to enact such rules even if it wanted to? Those theories will soon be put to the test, as Republican FCC Chairman Kevin Martin now says he wants to rule against Comcast in the dispute over the company's P2P upload throttling. Score one huge, precedent-setting win for net neutrality backers.Oh, wait:
Martin stands up for "principles"
Martin broke the news Thursday evening by way of the Associated Press, telling them that "the Commission has adopted a set of principles that protects consumers' access to the Internet. We found that Comcast's actions in this instance violated our principles."
— Comcast loses: FCC head slams company's P2P filtering, By Nate Anderson, ars technica, | Published: July 11, 2008 - 01:30AM CT
The decision could be an historic one, but not for its actual effect on Comcast. The cable company has already announced plans to transition away from the current throttling regime to something that looks more at overall bandwidth use rather than particular applications. Trials in Pennsylvania are currently underway on the new system, set to be deployed by year's end. Martin's order would therefore not require the company to do anything new, but it would have to provide more detail about past and future practices.Lots of sound and fury signifying...?
I'd say it's a bit too early to say Scott Cleland was wrong when he said enforcement of the FCC's net neutrality principles was "preposterous".
The Los Angeles Times on Wednesday announced plans to cut 250 positions across the company, including 150 positions in editorial, in a new effort to bring expenses into line with declining revenue. In a further cost-cutting step, the newspaper will reduce the number of pages it publishes each week by 15%.One reason for these cuts is the housing downturn in California: fewer real estate ads. But there are deeper reasons:
"You all know the paradox we find ourselves in," Times Editor Russ Stanton said in a memo to the staff. "Thanks to the Internet, we have more readers for our great journalism than at any time in our history. But also thanks to the Internet, our advertisers have more choices, and we have less money."
— Los Angeles Times to cut 250 jobs, including 150 from news staff, By Michael A. Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer, July 3, 2008
Announcements of hundreds of reductions were issued only last week by dailies in Boston, San Jose, Detroit and elsewhere. Among Tribune newspapers, the Baltimore Sun said it would cut about 100 positions by early August and the Hartford Courant announced plans to cut about 50 newsroom positions. The New York Times and the Washington Post both instituted layoffs or buyouts to reduce their staffs this year.Sure, it's happening everywhere. But the L.A. Times is one of the best sources of journalism around. Why did somebody find it worthwhile to buy it out just to load it up with debt and force layoffs?
Besides the changes in the newspaper industry, Tribune carries the burden of about $1 billion in annual payments on its debt, much of which it took on to finance the $8.2-billion buyout.
Whether this newspaper was targetted or not, the handwriting is on the wall for fishwraps. They'll either adapt to the Internet or die. I suspect many of them will die. That means we'll lose many of our traditional sources of real reporting. Fortunately, some new sources are arising, such as Talking Points Memo, which bit into the Justice Department scandals and hung on like a bulldog. Yet blogs like that thus far have a tiny fraction of the resources of big newspapers like the L.A. Times, the New York Times, and the Washington Post. There's going to be a time of unsettlement of the fishwrap plains while the new shops in cyberspace put down roots into the old country.
And we won't have ready access to either the remaining existing newspapers worldwide or to the new online sources of reporting unless we have a free Internet. Yet another reason that net neutrality is important.
Yet another reason not to let the telcos get away with retroactive immunity. Remember, the telcos currently paying off Congress are the same companies that want to squelch net neutrality. If they can get away with handing over every bit to the NSA yesterday, why would they stop at squelching your P2P today?
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.
Al Gore's home office.
Barack Obama's speech that same night has network logos and chyrons, but at least it is complete. However, when Al Gore endorsed Obama on 17 June, the networks all cut away immediately after Gore finished talking, because only the endorsement was news, and they weren't interested in what the candidate himself might have to say. But Gore sent out email to supporters earlier that day, and numerous blogs posted it (Huffington Post, DailyKos, Washington Post, etc.). And Obama's campaign streamed the whole event live, so nobody had to watch network logos, chyrons, commercials, or talking heads, and they could see all of both speeches. Although, oddly, neither the Gore nor the Obama speech seems to be on YouTube yet.
Political campaigns can use the Internet to bypass the traditional media.
On the internet, computers say hi with a special type of packet, called “SYN”. A conversation between devices typically requires just one short SYN packet exchange, before moving on to larger messages containing real data. And most of the traffic cops on the internet – routers, firewalls and load balancers – are designed to mostly handle those larger messages. So a flood of SYN packets, just like a room full of hyperactive screaming toddlers, can cause all sorts of problems.The plot thickens from there. Well worth reading. I bet the legal proceedings will be even more interesting.
That’s what happened to us. Another device on the internet flooded one of our servers with an overdose of SYN packets, and it shut down – bringing the rest of Revision3 with it. In webspeak it’s called a Denial of Service attack – aka DoS – and it happens when one machine overwhelms another with too many packets, or messages, too quickly. The receiving machine attempts to deal with all that traffic, but in the end just gives up.
A bit of address translation, and we’d discovered our nemesis. But instead of some shadowy underground criminal syndicate, the packets were coming from right in our home state of California. In fact, we traced the vast majority of those packets to a public company called Artistdirect (ARTD.OB). Once we were able to get their internet provider on the line, they verified that yes, indeed, that internet address belonged to a subsidiary of Artist Direct, called MediaDefender.
— Inside the Attack that Crippled Revision3, by Jim Louderback in Polemics, on May 29th, 2008 at 07:49 am
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?
At a Senate Commerce Committee hearing entitled "The Future of the Internet" on Tuesday, Democratic politicians argued for passage of a law designed to prohibit broadband operators from creating a "fast lane" for certain Internet content and applications. Their stance drew familiar criticism from the cable industry, their Republican counterparts, and FCC Chairman Kevin Martin, who said there's no demonstrated need for new rules, at this point.Some of the senators seemed to think the Comcast debacle indicated there was need for legislation:
— Net neutrality battle returns to the U.S. Senate, by Anne Broache, C|Net News.com, 22 April 2008
"To whatever degree people were alleging that this was a solution in search of a problem, it has found its problem," said Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.). "We have an obligation to try and guarantee that the same freedom and the same creativity that was able to bring us to where we are today continues, going forward."
Kerry is one of the backers of a bill called the Internet Freedom Preservation Act, chiefly sponsored by North Dakota Democrat Byron Dorgan and Maine Republican Olympia Snowe, which resurfaced at the beginning of 2007 but has gotten little attention since. A similar measure failed in a divided Commerce Committee and in the House of Representatives nearly two years ago.
Unsurprisingly, Martin says he doesn't need a law to enforce, because he can make it up as he goes along:
Posted at 11:08 AM in Consolidation, Content, Corruption, Distributed Participation, Duopoly, Government, Internet freedom, Law, Net Neutrality, Regulation, Stifling | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
Tags: BitTorrent, Comcast, FCC, Internet freedom, John Kerry, Kevin Martin, laws, net neutrality, Senate, stifling, Ted Stevens, unitary executive
NFL Network is filing a complaint with the Federal Communications Commission against cable TV giant Comcast in the latest legal wrangling between the two.The NFL Channel and the Amazon Channel. Whatever the duopoly thinks it can milk for extra revenue by putting it on a premium channel, that's what they'll do.
The network announced Thursday it had served Comcast with the required 10-day notice of its intent to file a complaint. NFL Network is accusing the nation's largest cable operator of discriminatory and anticompetitive treatment in violation of the Cable Act of 1992.
The two sides have been feuding over Comcast's decision to place NFL Network on a premium sports tier that customers must pay extra to receive. NFL Network sued Comcast in October 2006 over the move.
— NFL Network filing complaint with FCC against Comcast AP, 17 April 2008
Defenders of the duopoly may claim they're doing it to protect copyright, but note that in this case the content provider doesn't even want 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
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
We hate when things are taken from us (so we rage at censorship), but we also love to get new things. And the providers are chomping at the bit to offer them to us: new high-bandwidth treats like superfast high-definition video and quick movie downloads. They can make it sound great: newer, bigger, faster, better! But the new fast lanes they propose will be theirs to control and exploit and sell access to, without the level playing field that common carriage built into today’s network.Yep, and the cablecos and telcos have not been shy about saying that's what they want to do.
They won’t be blocking anything per se — we’ll never know what we’re not getting — they’ll just be leapfrogging today’s technology with a new, higher-bandwidth network where they get to be the gatekeepers and toll collectors. The superlative new video on offer will be available from (surprise, surprise) them, or companies who’ve paid them for the privilege of access to their customers. If this model sounds familiar, that’s because it is. It’s how cable TV operates.
— Beware the New New Thing, By DAMIAN KULASH Jr., Op-Ed Contributor, New York Times, Published: April 5, 2008
Here's the new analogy:
Tags: cable TV, common carriage, Damian Kulash, duopoly, ground rules, guitar companies, Internet freedom, IPTV, Jr., net neutrality, novelty, OK Go
(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)
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)
Tags: Andrew Cuomo, AT&T, BitTorrent, censorship, Comcast, distributed participation, false advertising, FCC, Great Firewall of China, Hollywood, Jean Camp, TCP Reset, TCP RST, Verizon
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:
Tags: bandwidth, BitTorrent, censorship, Comcast, content, FCC, Internet freedom, Markey, net neutrality, stiifling
“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.
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)
Tags: AT&T, capitalism, competition, consolidation, corruption, filtering, free press, information access, media consolidation, monopoly, net neutrality, Orwell, RIAA, Tim Wu, Time Warner
The petitions assume that the FCC's policy of network neutrality principles have the legal and binding effect of formal FCC rules or law and that they trump all existing law and rules. This is preposterous.Indeed, it is preposterous to think that the FCC ever meant to enforce its net neutrality "Policy Statement" of August 2005. Even if it did, the very way the four "principles" in that statement are worded, every one in terms of consumers, excludes the very existence of participatory services such as BitTorrent.
— The Common Sense Case Why Network Management Trumps Net Neutrality, Scott Cleland, Precursor Blog, 15 Jan 2008
Cleland's blog goes to great lengths to spell out what he considers common sense (which means he knows he doesn't actually have a legal argument). Don't be surprised if his items get parrotted by other anti-Internet-freedom blogs. And don't be surprised if the FCC rules in favor of Comcast, even though any competent network engineer can tell you that there are ways to do network management that don't involve faking reset packets, a technique that would be considered malicious denial of service if it came from any entity other than an ISP, not to mention Comcast's BitTorrent stifling seems closer to the fraudulent promise of unlimited service that got Verizon fined by New York State.
[Clarified:] It's not about network management. It's about a few corporations and their political allies trying to stifle net neutrality and Internet freedom against the best interests of everyone else, including their own customers.
Posted at 12:57 PM in Applications, Competition, Content, Corruption, Devices, Distributed Participation, Duopoly, Internet freedom, Net Neutrality, Stifling | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
Tags: applications, competition, consumers, content, control, devices, duopoly, FCC, Internet freedom, net neutrality, principles
"See-bare-espace... it is everting."Long version:
—Odile Richards, Spook Country by William Gibson, 2007
Top Ten Predictions for 2008He picks up on some of many signs of users' discontent, such as Facebook's Beacon fiasco:
1. The Users Revolt. As advertisers focus in on social networking sites, users revolt against this trend, and power shifts in the worlds of Social Networking from owner to user, on issues ranging from Second Life rules and Facebook privacy to Cellphone Billing. Users will gain new leverage.
— My Top Ten Predictions for 2008, Mark Anderson, Strategic News Service Blog, 22 December 2007
Tags: beacon, content, cyberspace, everting, facebook, google, inside out, inverting, Mark Anderson, net neutrality, Odile Richards, offline, online, phone, Spook Country, users revolt, virtual, web, William Gibson
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
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 principles of PlusNet's network management policiesInterestingly, this list does not cite video as the most-favored application, instead it lists VoIP and gaming, which are participatory services. However, scan down to their table of types of traffic, and VoIP and gaming are Titanium, while video-on-demand is the highest level, Platinum.
— Traffic Prioritisation, PlusNet, accessed 26 Nov 2007
- To make sure that time-critical applications like VoIP and gaming are always prioritised
- To protect interactive applications like web-browsing and VPN from non-time sensitive download traffic
- To flex the network under demand to cope with normal peaks and troughs from day to day and month to month
- To flex the network more gracefully than other ISPs in the event of unusual demands in traffic or disaster situations such as a network failure
- To provide a service relative to the amount each customer pays in terms of usage and experience
- Provides a 'quality of service' effect, meaning multiple applications running on the same line interact with each other effectively, and use of high demand protocols like Peer-to-Peer doesn't swamp time-sensitive traffic such as online gaming or a VoIP call.
The commission, under Mr Martin, has turned US media policy into mere political theatre, while technology marches on apace, revolutionising media markets without any serious input from the regulators in the public debate about the implications.Well, the first step would be to ensure that people get to look at it, for example that they are able to view the Financial Times. Economic models would be good, too. Some traditional news media seem to be developing those.
Big Media control of the airwaves is simply not the threat to democracy and choice that it once was (in the days before cable or, for that matter, bloggers and MySpace). This is yesterday’s battle. It is time to move on to the tougher challenge: how to ensure that quality news survives the YouTube era.
— New rules for yesterday’s problem, Editorial, Financial Times, Published: November 14 2007 19:15 | Last updated: November 14 2007 19:15
But it is not clear how one troubled industry (newspapers) can be helped by grafting it on to another one (the broadcast media), when both have essentially the same problem: the internet is stealing their advertising revenues.Well, the New York Times has discovered can make more money by advertising if they don't charge for articles. And that didn't involve merging with a TV station. With real ISP competition, somebody would also develop a real first-mile ISP business plan.
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.
— email@example.com 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?
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?
The Federal Communications Commission is responding to critics’ complaints that the agency isn’t giving them enough time to examine the scientific studies prepared for the agency’s media ownership review.Various groups complained, so the FCC made an extension:
The FCC’s Media Bureau today extended the deadline for comment by three weeks, citing the request of Free Press, Consumers Union and the Consumer Federation of America.
Nearing the end of its examination of media ownership rules, the FCC on July 31 released 10 studies of various issues of media consolidation and indicated they could help form the basis of any rule changes. The studies included examinations of the impact of consolidation on news content, opinion, advertising and programming and also looked at minority ownership trends.
FCC Extends Deadline for Comments on Media Ownership Studies, By Ira Teinowitz, TV Week, September 28, 2007
The FCC said comments that were to have been filed by Oct. 1 now may be filed through Oct. 22, with responses now due by Nov. 1.That's right: three more weeks to study an issue that will affect news, politics, government, and, well, basically everything for the indefinite future. Or, to be more specific, to study studies picked by the FCC.
Some observers are relatively confident of concessions, apparently not taking into account that some previous concessions have already fallen by the wayside:
Tags: AT&T, BBC, Bellsouth, Consumer Federation of America, Consumers Union, DSL, FCC, Free Press, Jonathan Adelstein, Kevin Martin, media consolidation, Michael Copps
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
Every song and album on Amazon MP3 is available exclusively in the MP3 format without digital rights management (DRM) software. This means that Amazon MP3 customers are free to enjoy their music downloads using any hardware device, including PCs, Macs™, iPods™, Zunes™, Zens™, iPhones™, RAZRs™, and BlackBerrys™; organize their music using any music management application such as iTunes™ or Windows Media Player™; and burn songs to CDs.Interesting how they didn't mention Linux or Unix or any other free software platform.
— Amazon.com Launches Public Beta of Amazon MP3, a Digital Music Store Offering Customers Earth’s Biggest Selection of a la Carte DRM-Free MP3 Music Downloads, Amazon.com, BusinessWire, 25 Sep 2007
PS: Seen on BoingBoing.
AT&T Inc. has joined Hollywood studios and recording companies in trying to keep pirated films, music and other content off its network — the first major carrier of Internet traffic to do so.Get ready for the Amazon Channel or settle for Internet Base Service.
Posted at 11:38 AM in Content, Copyright, Distributed Participation, Duopoly, Film, Government, Internet freedom, Music, Net Neutrality, Piracy, Radio, Regulation, Video | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
Tags: Amazon, AT&T, content protection, Digital Rights Management, DRM, Godot, Hollywood, Internet freedom, market failure, MPAA, net neutrality, SavetheInternet.com
Hey, this version doesn't include Amazon or Craig's List. So sorry; guess they didn't pay for access.
PS: Seen on BoingBoing.
In addition to opening the entire site to all readers, The Times will also make available its archives from 1987 to the present without charge, as well as those from 1851 to 1922, which are in the public domain. There will be charges for some material from the period 1923 to 1986, and some will be free.This is why it's a bad idea to let the telcos and cablecos determine what we can see or do on the web. Nobody can predict what will work best, especially for deriving revenue.
The Times said the project had met expectations, drawing 227,000 paying subscribers — out of 787,000 over all — and generating about $10 million a year in revenue.
“But our projections for growth on that paid subscriber base were low, compared to the growth of online advertising,” said Vivian L. Schiller, senior vice president and general manager of the site, NYTimes.com.
What changed, The Times said, was that many more readers started coming to the site from search engines and links on other sites instead of coming directly to NYTimes.com. These indirect readers, unable to get access to articles behind the pay wall and less likely to pay subscription fees than the more loyal direct users, were seen as opportunities for more page views and increased advertising revenue.
“What wasn’t anticipated was the explosion in how much of our traffic would be generated by Google, by Yahoo and some others,” Ms. Schiller said.
— Times to Stop Charging for Parts of Its Web Site, By RICHARD PÉREZ-PEÑA, New York Times, September 18, 2007
Hm, this would also mean that the duopoly's insistence on TV as the future of Internet revenue could be just as wrong for them as it is for the rest of us.
PS: Seen on BoingBoing.
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)
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)
Tags: AT&T, Bellsouth, broadband, censorship, competition, espionage, George W. Bush, Mike McConnell, NSA, Pearl Jam, Russians, Verizon, wiretapping
Last week, Mr. Malamud began using advanced computer scanning technology to copy decisions, which have been available only in law libraries or via subscription from the Thomson West unit of the Canadian publishing conglomerate Thomson, and LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier, based in London.Markoff refers to Malamud as a gadfly. Hey, Socrates was a gadfly, too. Not bad company.
The two companies control the bulk of the nearly $5 billion legal publishing market. (A third, but niche, player is the Commerce Clearing House division of Wolters Kluwer).
He has placed the first batch of 1,000 pages of court decisions from the 1880s online at the public.resource.org site. He obtained the documents from a used Thomson microfiche, he said.
— A Quest to Get More Court Rulings Online, and Free, By JOHN MARKOFF, New York Times, Published: August 20, 2007
Now what happens if the Internet first mile access duopoly decides to give Thomson and LexisNexis and Wolters Kluwer high-speed high-quality transit and deprioritizes the Internet Archive?
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.
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
Look who Google is up against -- all the largest Internet service providers in the U.S. Google will not win this even if they win the auction, because the telcos and cable companies are far more skilled and cunning when it comes to lobbying and controlling politicians than Google can ever hope to be. The telcos have spent more than a century at this game and Google hasn't even been in it for a decade. And Google's pockets are no deeper than those of the other potential bidders.Cringely is missing the point about who Google is up against. These outfits have not been the largest ISPs for more than a century. They've been telephone companies for more than a century. And being around for a long time isn't necessarily a sure win. Look at the Vatican; it's been around for two thousand years, and it's managed to lose most of its traditional heartland of Europe. Sure, Google is fragile, in some senses even more fragile than Microsoft, as Cringely points out. But even Microsoft is losing market share from IE to an open source browser, Firefox. Google, as a proponent of open source that actually understands it, has a fair chance here. The incumbent duopoly telcos aren't really in the Internet business; Google is.
— Is Google on Crack?: Eric Schmidt bets the ranch on wireless spectrum, Robert X. Cringely, Pulpit, 27 July 2007
Maybe Cringely's right that Google alone couldn't win the auction. But Google and Sprint possibly could. Sure, Sprint is a phone company, too. But that doesn't mean it's going to side with the rest if it scents profit. Maybe with a little help from Apple.
Let's hope that's what Google is really up to, rather than expecting to get Martin to change the rules and then wait for AT&T to deliver another striped bass.
I also don't think Cringely is taking into account the stakes here.
Posted at 09:35 AM in Communication, Competition, Content, Copyright, Duopoly, Government, History, Internet Access, Net Neutrality, Politics, Postal Service, Press, Public Policy, Radio, Regulation, Telephone, Television, VoIP, Wireless Internet | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
Tags: AT&T, China, content, copyright, duopoly, FCC, France, Google, India, Kevin Martin, Minitel, Russia, Sprint, Verizon
But he does not stop there. He worries about America's money-saturated politics. He lambasts television for infantilising the electorate.That last would appear to be the sort of trivialized, perhaps even infantilized, reaction Gore is lamenting. The big advantage of the Internet is you get not just a few zealots at extreme ends of an arbitrary spectrum: you get all the shadings and colors and depth you can absorb. And you can weave your own strands in this home-made tapestry.
He sometimes comes across as eccentric—as when he lambasts television for killing public discourse, then celebrates the internet as its potential saviour. A few minutes online, reading the zealots on either the right or the left, should have been enough to explode that illusion.
— Gore in the balance, From The Economist print edition, May 31st 2007
Posted at 09:55 AM in Books, Communication, Competition, Content, Distributed Participation, Duopoly, Government, Internet Access, IPTV, Law, Net Neutrality, Politics, Regulation, Television, Video | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
Tags: Al Gore, Assault on Reason, discourse, Economist, Internet, law, market, Mexico, reason, Republic, television
Under the new proposal, to be implemented by remand to the CRJs, SoundExchange has offered to cap the $500 per channel minimum fee at $50,000 per year for webcasters who agree to provide more detailed reporting of the music that they play and work to stop users from engaging in "streamripping" turning Internet radio performances into a digital music library.Alan Wexelblat explains that part about "streamripping":
— SoundExchange Confirms Minimum Fee Offer: Reminds Commercial Webcasters of Obligations to Pay New Royalty Rates, Press Release, SoundExchange, 13 July 2007
So it's that simple. Become our agents in preventing people from recording Web radio streams or face the financial axe.
— When is a Reprieve Not a Reprieve, by Alan Wexelblat , Copyfight, July 19, 2007
Posted at 09:59 AM in Competition, Content, Distributed Participation, Duopoly, Innovation, Internet Access, Internet Speed, Net Neutrality, Radio, Regulation | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
Tags: competition, content providers, DiMA, duopoly, Internet radio, Markey, net neutrality, SoundExchange
More specifically, for every one percentage point increase in broadband penetration in a state, employment is projected to increase by 0.2 to 0.3 percent per year.Of course, this is like saying every state in medieval Germany that had a printing press produced employment in the printing industry. There are economic and social effects far beyond mere employment. What should be done?
— The Effects of Broadband Deployment on Output and Employment: A Cross-sectional Analysis of U.S. Data, By Robert Crandall, William Lehr and Robert Litan, Brookings Institution, 2007
The paper has a few recommendations:
The surest route to lower prices is provided by increasing competition in the delivery of broadband services.
Posted at 10:54 AM in Broadband, Communication, Competition, Content, Distributed Participation, Duopoly, Government, Innovation, Internet Access, Internet Speed, Net Neutrality, Opportunity, Public Policy, Regulation, Television | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
Tags: broadband, Brookings Institution, employment, Internet speed, jobs, net neutrality, opportunity, P2P, YouTube
While there are factors outside of the labels' control -- from the rise of the Internet to the popularity of video games and DVDs -- many in the industry see the last seven years as a series of botched opportunities. And among the biggest, they say, was the labels' failure to address online piracy at the beginning by making peace with the first file-sharing service, Napster. "They left billions and billions of dollars on the table by suing Napster -- that was the moment that the labels killed themselves," says Jeff Kwatinetz, CEO of management company the Firm. "The record business had an unbelievable opportunity there. They were all using the same service. It was as if everybody was listening to the same radio station. Then Napster shut down, and all those 30 or 40 million people went to other [file-sharing services]."How close were they?
— The Record Industry's Decline, Record sales are tanking, and there's no hope in sight: How it all went wrong, by Brian Hiatt and Evan Serpick, Rolling Stone, Posted Jun 19, 2007 2:29 PM
On the one side are traditional media - phone and cable companies, the carriers - in rare agreement. They do not want to be regulated, and they want to preserve the profitability potential that protects their network upgrades. They are therefore joined by some hardware tech firms. On the other side is what might be called the internet-industrial complex - consisting of idealistic net community folks, small start-ups, large Silicon Valley corporations pretending to be both - and Hollywood, in another strange bed fellowship.Note "internet-industrial complex", in analogy to Eisenhower's phrase, "military-industrial complex". Yet the cablecos and telcos are said to be "in rare agreement" when actually they have long been acting on the same side on this issue; after all, it's in both their (short-term) interests to keep the number of players down. With no competition, there's no real market, and thus no real competition (which long-term means they won't be competitive with their international competitors,
The US Congress is in the middle; by the latest count six bills are pending, and while none is likely to be passed for now, the process itself has been a boon.
— A third way for net neutrality, By Eli Noam, Financial Times, 29 August 2006
Tags: AT&T, Comcast, competition, content, controversy, debate, duopoly, HBO, net neutrality, participants, providers, Time Warner, users, Vonage
AT&T Inc. has joined Hollywood studios and recording companies in trying to keep pirated films, music and other content off its network — the first major carrier of Internet traffic to do so.Now it's for Internet video. Which is what "James W. Cicconi, an AT&T senior vice president," meant by "exciting and interesting content." Nevermind participatory customer-generated content, or that customers might not want AT&T monitoring their content.
As AT&T has begun selling pay-television services, the company has realized that its interests are more closely aligned with Hollywood, Cicconi said in an interview Tuesday. The company's top leaders recently decided to help Hollywood protect the digital copyrights to that content.
"We do recognize that a lot of our future business depends on exciting and interesting content," he said.
— AT&T to target pirated content, It joins Hollywood in trying to keep bootleg material off its network. By James S. Granelli, L.A. Times, June 13, 2007