Tuesday, August 10, 2010
Net Neutrality is a very important issue.
If you’re not familiar with the term, here’s how Wikipedia
“Internet neutrality is a principle proposed for user access networks participating in the Internet that advocates NO restrictions by Internet Service Providers and governments on content, sites, platforms, on the kinds of equipment that may be attached, and no restrictions on the modes of communication allowed.
The principle states that if a given user pays for a certain level of Internet access, and another user pays for the same level of access, then the two users should be able to connect to each other at the subscribed level of access.”
Net Neutrality is all about safeguarding your freedom to choose what sites you visit, without being restricted or hindered. You should have the ability to check out both CNN and MSN, you should be able to watch videos on YouTube, and Vimeo. That sounds fair.
But what if for instance, and this is JUST an example, CNN were to strike a deal with an internet service provider and say hey, if we pay you some extra money, would you provide higher bandwidth to CNN sites and lower bandwidth to our competitors?
That right there, is no longer net neutrality. And that is what we the people are fighting against.
I for one, want to make sure that I get equal access to all sites. I don’t want my ISP or the government or any other company, institution, or organization, diverting my access to bandwidth in a way that manipulates my internet travels.
I don’t want websites run by people with money, who are willing to pay for diverting bandwidth, to be favored and more accessible than others. That goes against everything the internet stands for today, and against everything I believe in.
Regulation of such things falls to the FCC, and until now, they haven’t gotten anything concrete down as far as laws. This leaves the door wide open for anyone to take advantage of the lack of regulations/enforcement going on.
It would appear that Google and Verizon may be doing just that. The two companies have come up with a "joint policy proposal" or a set of rules they are willing to adhere to.
Why is this a problem? Well, let’s see..
The first point made in this proposal, is that wired ISPs will be prohibited from blocking any lawful traffic, and will allow customers to connect all legal devices. Note the word WIRED.
Yup, they want all the regulation to only pertain to wired networks, meaning NO wireless network regulation whatsoever. None. Are you fucking kidding me?!?! How is excluding wireless networks from regulation in any way net neutrality?? That is some seriously heavy bullshit. Off the charts on the poop-o-meter.
Next we have a nice little exception in the form of ‘other services’. So basically an ISP can slap a new name on some new 'service' (3D for instance) which would still be allowed to use internet content, but since it’s got a new name which makes it distinguishable from the normal internet, it won’t fall under the scrutiny of any regulations. As a bonus the ISPs can now charge you for the new services too. They’re intentionally creating loop holes the size of the Milky Way galaxy. Poo-meter still off the charts.
This one kinda made me laugh, they are actually suggesting that the FCC be able to enforce the consumer protection and non discrimination rules (how nice of them), but are then adding that the FCC would NOT be allowed to instate any additional rules in the matter, nor would it have any power regarding conflict resolutions. Should any conflicts arise, they would be brokered using nongovernmental processes. This would leave the FCC able to dish out a max fine of $2 million, which let's not forget, is nothing for someone like Google for instance.
These are not all the points in the proposal, they are just the ones that I found most troubling. And again this deal between Google and Verizon has nothing to do with the FCC for now, but clearly they are very much pushing for the FCC to adopt this proposal as the new legislation.
This makes me sad. I love Google. Why must all corporations turn Evil? Why??
Anyway, for a summary of what’s going on and what it all means, watch this vid by Reese Laysen
on twitter). He is one of the founders of the IPower
network, which has been instrumental in keeping net neutrality alive.
Here are a couple of links to petitions you can sign to help stop the madness, and keep the internet accessibleSaveTheInternet petition towards GoogleMoveOn.org petition towards Google
And for more details check out this very cool article on the subject at Engadget