[RTC List] Net-neutrality sold out by 74 Democrats in Congress

Travis Finch tf at velotech.net
Sun Jun 6 22:49:55 PDT 2010

Since the internet is becoming a "required service," does that mean  
companies should no longer have the right to enforce what travels  
across their networks?  Obviously, companies would want to provide  
the best experience to their customers to keep them happy and keep  
them paying, or risk losing them to competition.  If that means some  
people can't use BitTorrent or some other service so that the  
majority of subscribers can enjoy their internet experience, what is  
the issue?  I recently switched from AT&T Wireless to Verizon  
Wireless because I wasn't allowed to tether to the phone.  AT&T did  
this because they want me to use the phone for "light" internet  
traffic, not bigger desktop or laptop downloads.  If I pay more for a  
dedicated wireless modem, they are happy to oblige.  It really comes  
down to a network management issue.  Now, don't get me wrong, I feel  
like I should be able to do whatever I want with my phone, but I  
agreed to AT&T's terms, so I either live with it, or take my money  

I realize that BitTorrent is not a DoS attack, but it congests  
networks in the same way.  Blocking or throttling BitTorrent  
indiscriminately is not the same as content blocking.  Providers  
don't care what the BitTorrent is being used for, they care that the  
floods of packets are crippling their networks and degrading the  
customer experience.  Would it be better if the providers dive into  
every packet that crosses their networks to determine who it's from  
or to and if it's a good packet or a bad packet?  I think there are  
bigger privacy implications there.  I don't think consumers would be  
very happy if they found out every packet was being parsed and  
analyzed to determine its legitimacy.  I don't think internet service  
providers want to become any more involved than they have to, I know  
I don't; it doesn't make good business sense.  Scarier still is ACTA,  
which could potentially force service providers to be cyber police.

If AT&T, Verizon, and St. Joe's hospital all conspired to only allow  
calls to St. Joe's hospital, I would think anyone who might want to  
call another hospital wouldn't want service from AT&T or Verizon.   
Again, it would be bad business.  Why did you dump Dish?  Because it  
didn't have what you wanted at a price you were willing to pay.  I  
would like to see a citation from Sean, if possible, on the AT&T  
video blocking and Verizon text blocking.

I found this interesting study regarding Google's bandwidth usage and  
costs: http://www.netcompetition.org/ 
study_of_google_internet_usage_costs2.pdf  I think it brings to light  
what is at the heart of the whole net neutrality debate, and  
coincidentally, parallels my highway analogy.  The site itself offers  
opinions from both viewpoints.  Here is a link to some of DMV's  
commercial fees: http://www.dmv.ca.gov/vr/fees/weight_over.htm

Company X has every right to charge Google for the privilege of  
traversing its network, though more likely, Company X would be  
approaching Foo instead to ask for more money, which Foo would then  
pass on to Google.  Trying to invoice Google directly would just  
complicate things.

I won't delve too deeply into the Jim Crow issue, but here are some  
links with examples of various state laws:
One would be hard-pressed to not be viewed as racist or  
discriminatory if the law required one to be so.  The "racist  
business owners" didn't make the laws.

I think in a way, the USDA stickers do stop consumers from doing  
research.  It doesn't "prevent" them from doing the research, per-se,  
but the consumer feels "safe" enough to not look any further.   
Personally, if I see something with "USDA Organic" on it, I just  
throw it into my shopping cart without a second thought, but really,  
I should be doing more research.  Think of all the tainted hamburger  
that has made people sick over the years that probably had USDA  
stickers on it.  I for one, buy locally, where I can go and see the  
happy cow or chicken grazing in the field and actually speak to the  
person who will butcher that animal, and even tour the facilities if  
I choose.

On Jun 6, 2010, at 7:47 PM, Seer Snively wrote:

> Seer Reply below:
> On 6/6/2010 2:51 PM, Travis Finch wrote:
>> If you buy 1Mbps from me, I have any right I grant myself within  
>> the bounds of my Terms of Service (ToS) to alter, throttle, or  
>> block traffic.  If my terms of service say you can't harm my  
>> network, and you agree to that when you purchase my service, what  
>> is the issue?  If my ToS said you can't look at pictures of teddy  
>> bears, and I block all pictures of teddy bears, and you agreed to  
>> be bound by that when you subscribe, you don't really have any  
>> wiggle room.  Should I allow you to launch Denial of Service  
>> attacks against my other customers or other networks just because  
>> you paid for the service?  Many internet providers have sections  
>> in their ToS prohibiting resale of the service, such as in coffee  
>> shops and motels, or to your neighbor, yet people tempt fate and  
>> do it anyway.  I take the stance that I don't care what you do  
>> with your service as long as it doesn't harm my network or impact  
>> other people.  What it really comes down to is people not reading  
>> the fine print, and then whining to the government because they  
>> weren't responsible consumers.  The new cell phone "bill shock"  
>> legislation being thrown around is a perfect example.
> The problem with the above is that the Internet is becoming a  
> required service, like phone lines are.  If there is only 1 choice,  
> and it "blocks teddy bears", then you have no choice but to try to  
> subvert their rules.
> Notice the two examples I used in my first post:  Using BitTorrent  
> to download Linux (or any other software) and blocking Planned  
> Parenthood.  These are not a DoS, which anyone would agree is  
> something that should be shut down in the least restrictive way by  
> the ISP as soon as they detect it (like blocking the port the DoS  
> is using, etc)  BitTorrent is a wonderful innovation, and blocking  
> it or throttling it because you don't like it is akin to blocking  
> content.
> What would you think of this:  St Joe's hospital makes a deal with  
> AT&T and Verizon so that calls can't be made to any other hospital  
> in Humboldt County.  I mean, that's just business making money,  
> right?  *NO*.  We wouldn't stand for a common carrier like that to  
> make side deals and limit what phone numbers we can connect to.  If  
> we did allow that, what use would telephones ever be?
> Do you see where your logic, taken to where it would inevitability  
> lead, goes horribly wrong?  Sean McLaughlin has already shown some  
> example of just such filtering based on content ("AT&T filtering  
> video streams to block political statements, Verizon blocking text  
> messages from some advocacy groups and not others").  How would  
> innovation exist if you could never get your content seen to start  
> with?
>> The Internet works because of oversubscription; that is the beauty  
>> of a switched network.  If every person had a dedicated 1Gbps  
>> fiber line to their home, and they were only sending emails to the  
>> grandkids, we would have terabit fiber pipes to neighborhoods that  
>> sat mostly unused, not to mention the sizes required for backhaul  
>> links.  BitTorrent is not a capacity issue, it's a network  
>> processing issue.  It takes less processing horsepower to move one  
>> 1500 byte FTP packet down a wire than it does to move ten 150 byte  
>> BitTorrent packets down that same wire over the same equipment.   
>> Why?  Because each packet has a header that needs to be processed  
>> and routed or switched.  I have seen access points brought to  
>> their knees by BitTorrent that were nowhere near capacity.
> I understand that over-subscription is standard, and that can  
> continue.  But if more people start using more network services,  
> you'll have to drop the ratio.   Also, Cisco does make routers and  
> switches that can processes every packet that goes through their  
> backplane.
>> Google has gotten a largely free ride since its inception.  Why do  
>> you think they have $20 billion sitting in the bank to buy up  
>> every little startup that catches their eye?  The people whose  
>> networks Google's traffic traverses are finally coming to this  
>> realization and this has Google scared.  Why do you think Google  
>> is lobbying so hard for net neutrality?
> Do you have any idea how much Google pays in bandwidth and  
> connectivity each month?  I didn't think so.
> How about this setup.  Google has many ISP's, but let's say that  
> when I traceroute, it goes like this (by pseudo-company)
>         Google --> Company Foo -> Company X -> Company Bar -> Me
> Google is paying money to Foo, I am paying Bar.  Company X has  
> _no_right_ to charge Google anything.  Do you agree with that?  Foo  
> and Bar both of business relationships with X, but X doesn't have  
> any relationship to Google or Me at all.  They have no right to  
> charge me, tax me, or anything else.  If some law got passed that  
> makes it possible for X to charge either Me or Google, the  
> internet, as it is now, is over.  Fun while it lasted.
>>   Of course, none of this has actually happened yet, so we are  
>> crafting legislation based on speculation, which is foolish.  If I  
>> drive a freight truck on the government-owned road, I have to pay  
>> a bigger fee than the people who drive smaller vehicles because of  
>> the impact it has on the roads.
> [citation needed]  Only thru gas taxes may this be true, which will  
> change as more buses and freight trucks go electric, etc.
>>   Further still, I have to pay different fees and taxes based on  
>> what I transport in that truck.  How is this any different you  
>> might ask?  The difference is, those fees and taxes are MANDATED,  
>> if I don't pay them, I get fined or go to jail.  If the roads were  
>> privately owned, I could drive on a different road or try to  
>> negotiate a better deal.
> If this was how the internet was created, we would never have  
> YouTube.  We'd never have "All Your Base".  We most likely wouldn't  
> have blogs, or MP3 players.
> If this was how roads were, I'd hate to be an ambulance driver.
>> Businesses denied service to blacks for decades because the Jim  
>> Crow laws (government-mandated discrimination) required "separate  
>> but equal accommodations."  So I would be forced to build twice as  
>> many lunch counters in my diner if I wanted to serve blacks, or I  
>> could just not serve them at all and not have to worry about it.
> Buzzt!  Sorry, that is now what happened.  "Separate but equal"  
> _justified_ two railroad cars, but never mandated it.  It was  
> racists business owners that mandated it.
>> This is the same thing happening with the new health care laws;  
>> companies will spend less on fines if they don't offer health  
>> insurance than if they continue to offer what is now government- 
>> mandated.
> Well, at least it's incentive.  Right now, you don't have to offer  
> health insurance _and_ not get fined.  Soon, it'll be either/or.
>> Since BitTorrent -is- the innovation, should we just stop and say  
>> we're done developing new peer-to-peer and transport  
>> technologies?  TCP/IP is decades old and hugely flawed in many  
>> ways; when the DoD designs something, it's not really designed for  
>> public use or to be future-proof, it's designed to last forever  
>> under current conditions.  If the industry decided BitTorrent was  
>> bad (just like Betamax or HD-DVD,) someone would come up with  
>> something better.
> Um, okay.  I agree with all this, and I never said anything like  
> it.  You may have noticed, we are upgrading IP.
> Also, "industry" had nothing to do with BitTorrent.
>> I agree having some government regulation can be a good thing, but  
>> look at how many "FDA Approved" drugs have killed people over the  
>> years.  Just because meat is "USDA Choice" doesn't mean I should  
>> eat it, or even feed it to my dog.  These government "stamps of  
>> approval" are used by companies as marketing tools, since too many  
>> naive consumers trust the government wholeheartedly.  If consumers  
>> were more responsible, and did their own research, they would see  
>> that "Brand X" drug has killed people, or "Brand Y" meats aren't  
>> fit for human consumption, without any involvement from the  
>> government.
> Having a USDA sticker on meat doesn't _stop_ the consumer from  
> doing research.  It does give lots of valuable information to the  
> consumer, though.  Let me put it this way: If there was a choice  
> between USDA beef and cheaper, non-USDA inspected beef, would you  
> buy it?
>> It's rather timely (and unfortunate) how this discussion coincides  
>> with the Gulf oil spill.  Do you think people in the Gulf are  
>> going to stop buying gas from BP?
> I did.
> Thanks for reading this far.  All two of you.  Hi Patrick!
> Share the day,
> Seer

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