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Here Comes The Network Neutrality Squad!
Kind of like the neighborhood watch, but geekier...
by Karl Bode 01:59PM Wednesday Nov 07 2007
While incumbent lobbyists recently scuttled any efforts to pass network neutrality laws, the mere threat of such laws has been useful. Complaints about neutrality infractions these days quickly make headlines, be they legitimate infractions or not (see stories about Verizon blocking pro-choice IMs, Verizon DNS Redirection, AT&T stifling artist political speech, or Comcast's traffic shaping).

Companies, fearful of new laws, are sometimes quick to change their ways once their behavior becomes headline fodder and pressure is applied. With that idea in mind, a group of prominent Internet personalities (including Slashdot's Keith Dawson, TCP/IP co-creator Vint Cerf, security expert Bruce Schneier and more) have created the "Network Neutrality Squad" (NNSquad). Creator Lauren Weinstein explains at his blog:
quote:
Recent events such as Comcast's lack of candor regarding their secretive disruption of BitTorrent protocols, and Verizon's altering of domain name lookup results to favor their own advertising pages, are but tip-of-the-iceberg examples of how easily Internet operations can be altered in ways that may not be immediately obvious, but that still can have dramatic, distorting, and in some cases far-reaching negative consequences for the Internet's users.

The project's focus includes detection, analysis, and incident reporting of any anticompetitive, discriminatory, or other restrictive actions on the part of Internet service Providers (ISPs) or affiliated entities, such as the blocking or disruptive manipulation of applications, protocols, transmissions, or bandwidth; or other similar behaviors not specifically requested by their customers.
It sounds like a neighborhood watch mailing list for network neutrality. Note that not all of the main members are for neutrality regulation (like Carnegie Mellon's Dave Farber), and the list is open to ISPs and all assorted PR mechanisms. Apparently the panel of experts will analyze submitted neutrality violations in order to weed out the bogus ones (of which we've seen many) -- then apply pressure to ISPs to correct the infraction.

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SilverSurfer1

join:2007-08-19

2 edits

1 recommendation

Let's call a spade a spade here

The pre-emptive actions of so called network traffic shaping as executed by the various offending providers in the headlines can hardly be considered merely just an "infraction." More like censorship, throttling and blocking which is part and parcel of the need for NN law in the first place. Let's not gloss over/sugar coat the matter for fear of offending any telco/cable dittoheads.
openbox9
Premium
join:2004-01-26
Germany
kudos:2

Re: Let's call a spade a spade here

said by SilverSurfer1:

The pre-emptive actions of so called network traffic shaping as executed by the various offending providers in the headlines can hardly be considered merely just an "infraction."
You're right. I wouldn't even call it an infraction.

S_engineer
Premium
join:2007-05-16
Chicago, IL

Re: Let's call a spade a spade here

But he is right about calling a spade a spade. Like it of not, the Internet is not just a privilege or luxury anymore, it never really has been. It is woven throughout our very existence; throughout all forms of government to banking to commerce. This makes it a utility!
Once you grasp that concept, then you should be able understand the need for regulatory panels from the federal level to the PUC level.
You don't see electric companies cherry picking which neighborhoods they want to serve, why is this tolerated at the telecommunication level?

Now lets see the angry backlash...
--
Where have the adults gone?
openbox9
Premium
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Germany
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Re: Let's call a spade a spade here

said by S_engineer:

But he is right about calling a spade a spade. Like it of not, the Internet is not just a privilege or luxury anymore, it never really has been.
Wow, and to think that society has managed to survive so long without the Internet. Add on the numerous people that I know that live without this integral "utility" and I'm simply amazed. Seriously, until the Internet becomes a necessity to sustain life, I have a hard time getting on the regulation bandwagon.
said by S_engineer:

Now lets see the angry backlash...
No anger, just adult conversation and display of personal opinion.
patcat88

join:2002-04-05
Jamaica, NY
kudos:1

Re: Let's call a spade a spade here

said by openbox9:

Add on the numerous people that I know that live without this integral "utility" and I'm simply amazed. Seriously, until the Internet becomes a necessity to sustain life, I have a hard time getting on the regulation bandwagon.
Lets take away your electricity, gas, water and sewage. I'll give you a flint axe to go find wood for your campfire, a bucket as a toilet, and a map to a river or stream near by for water? Still think its not a necessary thing?
openbox9
Premium
join:2004-01-26
Germany
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Re: Let's call a spade a spade here

Umm, we're discussing access to the Internet

nekkidtruth
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Re: Let's call a spade a spade here

said by openbox9:

Umm, we're discussing access to the Internet
Um no, you were replying to the claim that the Internet is a utility. All the utilities we have today were not at some point in time, and people lived several hundreds if not thousands of years without these "basic utilities" we have today.

The fact remains that the Internet is well on it's way to becoming a utility/basic need in life. Some people believe this to already be the case, I agree.
--
Weeeeeee
openbox9
Premium
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Re: Let's call a spade a spade here

said by nekkidtruth:

Um no, you were replying to the claim that the Internet is a utility. All the utilities we have today were not at some point in time, and people lived several hundreds if not thousands of years without these "basic utilities" we have today.
Did you read patcat88's response? He discussed everything but the Internet.
said by nekkidtruth:

The fact remains that the Internet is well on it's way to becoming a utility/basic need in life. Some people believe this to already be the case, I agree.
Great. In another decade or so, I may agree. My point was that until it's a main pillar in sustaining life, I don't believe it should be regulated as a utility.
matrix3D

join:2006-09-27
Middletown, CT
While a car is not considered a utility, by your argument we should have stuck with a horse and buggy since we could "do without" cars before that. Times change and the basic necessities of those times also change.
openbox9
Premium
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Re: Let's call a spade a spade here

said by matrix3D:

While a car is not considered a utility, by your argument we should have stuck with a horse and buggy since we could "do without" cars before that. Times change and the basic necessities of those times also change.
I did not say "do without". Of course basic necessities change as we mature as a civilization, I just don't think internet access counts as one of those basic necessities....yet.

RainWind7

join:2000-10-20
Van Wert, OH

Re: Let's call a spade a spade here

said by openbox9:

said by matrix3D:

While a car is not considered a utility, by your argument we should have stuck with a horse and buggy since we could "do without" cars before that. Times change and the basic necessities of those times also change.
I did not say "do without". Of course basic necessities change as we mature as a civilization, I just don't think internet access counts as one of those basic necessities....yet.
Perhaps for you it isn't, but for many it is. I grew up in a very rural area where it wasn't uncommon to see Amish people. They live just fine without utilities. Just because some people live without something doesn't mean that for others it isn't a necessity.

I do all my banking and shopping on the internet. I leave my house to go to work, to grocery shop, to take my fiancee out, and to go to the YMCA. For everything else I use the internet. All my bills are paid online. All my non-food shopping is done online. I even rent my movies online.

Fiddling with my connection is much akin to deciding that at 6:00 PM power to my stove will be shut off.

When someone pays for an internet connection it should be just like power and water. No filtering or fiddling with the service. If the ISP doesn't like bittorrent traffic and heavy use then they shouldn't offer a 7meg connection. 768k is fine for most people. Maybe companies should offer slow, cheap internet marketed towards casual users rather than trying to get everyone to subscribe to the highest speed. When anyone tries to get on the slow package the sales reps try to talk them up to the faster one.

ISPs should charge more for high speed connections or introduce fast capped connections with reasonable caps tailored to casual users. If heavy users are doing so much damage to their network they need to change the way they do business. Offering a cheap fast product and then complaining that people use it is silly.
openbox9
Premium
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Germany
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Re: Let's call a spade a spade here

said by RainWind7:

I grew up in a very rural area where it wasn't uncommon to see Amish people. They live just fine without utilities.
You're preaching to the choir...I grew up in southeast IA.
said by RainWind7:

I do all my banking and shopping on the internet. I leave my house to go to work, to grocery shop, to take my fiancee out, and to go to the YMCA. For everything else I use the internet. All my bills are paid online. All my non-food shopping is done online. I even rent my movies online.
How many of those activities require a regulated internet connection? None. Dial-up works just fine for everything you mentioned and dial-up access has survived for decades without regulation. I'm not saying the dial-up access is the answer, but I am saying the regulation isn't necessarily the answer either.
said by RainWind7:

When someone pays for an internet connection it should be just like power and water. No filtering or fiddling with the service.
Be careful what you wish for. Power and water are metered services. Personally, I believe that's a viable option to "control", not regulate, the explosion of internet use.
said by RainWind7:

If the ISP doesn't like bittorrent traffic and heavy use then they shouldn't offer a 7meg connection. 768k is fine for most people.

...

ISPs should charge more for high speed connections or introduce fast capped connections with reasonable caps tailored to casual users.
Sounds good to me, but that's heresy around forums like this.
said by RainWind7:

If heavy users are doing so much damage to their network they need to change the way they do business.
I agree, and that's exactly what we're seeing. The problem is, some users aren't happy with the new business model.

dig it

@att-inc.com
that should be 'a shovel for a toilet'. a bucket goes only so far...

battleop

join:2005-09-28
00000
"You don't see electric companies cherry picking which neighborhoods"

Yea and you don't see them facing any competition what so ever. They don't have much of a risk either. They can write off their costs for decades if they want.

Broadband is still a luxury just like cable tv.
nasadude

join:2001-10-05
Rockville, MD
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS
said by openbox9:

You're right. I wouldn't even call it an infraction.
that's because you subscribe to the "if an incumbent telco does it, it can't be wrong" school of thought. so of course you wouldn't consider any of those things infractions.
openbox9
Premium
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Re: Let's call a spade a spade here

I don't subscribe to the "if an incumbent telco does it, it can't be wrong" philosophy, but I do subscribe to the belief that managing finite resources is a must for maintaining enjoyment of the finite resource.

Yauch

join:2005-06-24

Re: Let's call a spade a spade here

said by 82.7% of the DSLR readers :

But like I read in a forum somewhere they they can just like flip a switch and stuff. The resources aren't finite cause if they wanted bandwidth more they could just liek do it.
nasadude

join:2001-10-05
Rockville, MD
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS
said by openbox9:

I don't subscribe to the "if an incumbent telco does it, it can't be wrong" philosophy, but I do subscribe to the belief that managing finite resources is a must for maintaining enjoyment of the finite resource.
well, you certainly buy into the telco framing about the network - their goal is to create bandwidth scarcity so they can pretend it is a much more limited resource than it actually is.

I would be willing bet that if the incumbents start charging web sites and applications for "speedier" delivery over non-paying ones, they are not going to go out on a capital spending binge to add capacity. As a matter of fact, failing to add capacity simply enhances their business model - as bandwidth demand grows providers can simply claim they can't keep up, they need more money for upgrades and raise rates.

I'll keep saying it: the easiest (and maybe cheapest) way to solve a bandwidth crunch is to add more bandwidth.

most of what I read indicates that bandwidth costs are low. how much does a large cableco have to spend for traffic management/shaping/interfering/snooping/whatever equipment?

regardless, the telcos and cablecos will milk consumers for billions of dollars until stopped by the government or a miracle occurs and competition develops (although the govt stopping this anytime soon would be a minor miracle)
openbox9
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Re: Let's call a spade a spade here

said by nasadude:

well, you certainly buy into the telco framing about the network - their goal is to create bandwidth scarcity so they can pretend it is a much more limited resource than it actually is.
Even though excess capacity may be available at certain points in networks, and adding additional capacity to those points might not cost that much in comparison to building out the initial infrastructure, network capacity is still finite. Besides, I don't think any of the major carriers are seriously complaining about bandwidth issues on their core backbones, the concern is further down the path.
said by nasadude:

I would be willing bet that if the incumbents start charging web sites and applications for "speedier" delivery over non-paying ones, they are not going to go out on a capital spending binge to add capacity.
You're foolish to think that increased SLAs and revenue won't drive capital investments in infrastructure.
said by nasadude:

I'll keep saying it: the easiest (and maybe cheapest) way to solve a bandwidth crunch is to add more bandwidth.
Easiest...obviously. Cheapest...debatable.
said by nasadude:

most of what I read indicates that bandwidth costs are low. how much does a large cableco have to spend for traffic management/shaping/interfering/snooping/whatever equipment?
I've read those non-fact based posts around here also.
said by nasadude:

regardless, the telcos and cablecos will milk consumers for billions of dollars until stopped by the government or a miracle occurs and competition develops (although the govt stopping this anytime soon would be a minor miracle)
Because government intervention has a great track record for saving citizens money

RARPSL

join:1999-12-08
Suffern, NY
said by openbox9:

I don't subscribe to the "if an incumbent telco does it, it can't be wrong" philosophy, but I do subscribe to the belief that managing finite resources is a must for maintaining enjoyment of the finite resource.
It is finite ONLY because the Connectivity Provider (Telco or Cable) is unwilling to spend the money to increase the resources when the demand approaches/exceeds what they are currently willing/able to provide. IOW: The "Finite Resources" are a product of an Artificial not a Real Scarcity.
openbox9
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Re: Let's call a spade a spade here

Resources will always be finite. ISPs are investing a lot of money (Verizon =$18B, AT&T=$5B, cablecos=????) for "last mile" connectivity. Additionally, ISPs are continually investing money in their backbones to increase capacity. Explain the "artificial" scarcity to me.

FFH5
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NNSoreheads - Network Neutrality Soreheads

They need a different name. The NNSquad needs to be renamed to the NNSoreheads - a group of people who want to use the Network Neutrality issues to re-institute regulatory regimes that have been dismantled over the last 10 years and that they sorely miss. In other words, they want big government to replace big business and bring back the good old days - at least what they consider to be the good old days.
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ieolus
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Re: NNSoreheads - Network Neutrality Soreheads

Don't quit your day job.

PS. If this *is* your day job, find another.
--
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DLL error

@dsl.net

Re: NNSoreheads - Network Neutrality Soreheads

does this job pay well????
SilverSurfer1

join:2007-08-19

Let's not offend any dittoheads

said by FFH5:

They need a different name. The NNSquad needs to be renamed to the NNSoreheads - a group of people who want to use the Network Neutrality issues to re-institute regulatory regimes that have been dismantled over the last 10 years and that they sorely miss. In other words, they want big government to replace big business and bring back the good old days - at least what they consider to be the good old days.
...case in point.

pnh102
Reptiles Are Cuddly And Pretty
Premium
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Mount Airy, MD

1 recommendation

Re: NNSoreheads - Network Neutrality Soreheads

said by FFH5:

They need a different name.
The Justice Friends?

The International Justice League of Super Acquaintances?

Captain Planet and the Planeteers?
--
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TScheisskopf
World News Trust

join:2005-02-13
Belvidere, NJ
You are so correct! Ghod forbid that anyone would have the temerity to stand up for the users, who simply shovel great gouts of money at the providers!

If you excuse me, it is time for me to go pray at my altar to Corporations and their executives, who all enjoy Divine Infallibility.

FFH5
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Re: NNSoreheads - Network Neutrality Soreheads

said by TScheisskopf:

If you excuse me, it is time for me to go pray at my altar to Corporations and their executives, who all enjoy Divine Infallibility.
Don't forget to leave your donation!!

backness

join:2005-07-08
K2P OW2

Re: NNSoreheads - Network Neutrality Soreheads

you are a silly, silly man...

I would like to see the day that Comcast opens up their version of DSLR and you can't access the real thing anymore because Comcast believes that you should be on their site. And since you'll be on their network you'll have no recourse.
openbox9
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2 recommendations

Re: NNSoreheads - Network Neutrality Soreheads

said by backness:

I would like to see the day that Comcast opens up their version of DSLR and you can't access the real thing anymore because Comcast believes that you should be on their site.
So would I...because I don't believe it will happen.
nasadude

join:2001-10-05
Rockville, MD
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS

Re: NNSoreheads - Network Neutrality Soreheads

said by openbox9:

So would I...because I don't believe it will happen.
why would you like to see it happen?

backness wants to see it happen so the lack of an open network will be obvious even to someone who doesn't think incumbent telcos can do anything wrong.
openbox9
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Re: NNSoreheads - Network Neutrality Soreheads

said by nasadude:

said by openbox9:

So would I...because I don't believe it will happen.
why would you like to see it happen?
Because I don't believe that it will happen. Do you realize how quickly Comcast would fall on its knees? Say what you will about "megacorp" management teams, but Comcast's management would have to want to be fired to retry AOL.

gaforces
United We Stand, Divided We Fall

join:2002-04-07
Santa Cruz, CA

1 edit
said by FFH5:

They need a different name. The NNSquad needs to be renamed to the NNSoreheads - a group of people who want to use the Network Neutrality issues to re-institute regulatory regimes that have been dismantled over the last 10 years and that they sorely miss. In other words, they want big government to replace big business and bring back the good old days - at least what they consider to be the good old days.
What regulatory regimes and how do ye know they miss them?
And whats so good about them?
--
‘Do ye, quieting in your bosoms your strong hearts,
Who of many good things have had your fill even to surfeit,
With what is moderate nourish your mighty desire; for neither will
We yield, nor shall you have all else as you wish.’
Solon

factcheck

@cox.net
Big government behind door #1 or big business behind door #3?

Talk about a crap choice...

Extremism always fails... Your deregulate everything, let big business run amok stance has just as many problems as the regulate everything stance.

WaxPhoto
I AM SAM
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Great Idea.

Love the graphic too lol.

LilYoda
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Re: Great Idea.

I would have preferred to see a pic of "mystery men"


tad2020

join:2007-07-17
Orange, CA

SMTP blocking

I'd just like to point out that many ISP block their users' access to any SMTP server than their own. And even more ISPs block their users from receiving connections on most of the common ports, like 80.

This makes my work a lot harder as I have to figure out what ISP my employee has (they rarely know this), track down the TOS and tell they that they won't be able to do email from home cause their provider sucks.

RARPSL

join:1999-12-08
Suffern, NY

Re: SMTP blocking

said by tad2020:

I'd just like to point out that many ISP block their users' access to any SMTP server than their own.
They only block access to other's SMTP Servers ON PORT 25 (which I acknowledge does help to control some zombie email traffic being send from other ISP's SMTP Servers). If the other ISP used the CORRECT RFC DEFINED MSA [Mail Submission Agent] port (587) in addition to the legacy use of port 25 there would be no problem since port 587 is not blocked - only port 25.

BTW: I have no problem with ISPx blocking outgoing (ie: to other ISP's SMTP Servers) Port25 connection attempts SO LONG AS ISPx's SMTP Servers are accessible on Port 587 (or some other non-Port25 Port) in addition to Port 25. IOW: If you force your customers to use a non-Port25 connection to send via some other ISP's SMTP Server I feel you are being hypocritical if you do not provide a non-Port25 Port for YOUR customers to use when they are getting connectivity via some other ISP.

said by tad2020:

This makes my work a lot harder as I have to figure out what ISP my employee has (they rarely know this), track down the TOS and tell they that they won't be able to do email from home cause their provider sucks.
Get on the case of your ISP and ask why they do not support Port 587 (or SMTP-via-SLL Port 485) on your company's SMTP Server (which would allow your employee to connect to your SMTP Server from home - and securely if using SSL).