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Net Neutrality

PostPosted: Tue Jan 21, 2014 10:42 am
by AbnerDoon
It's all over the news and my Facebook news feed, and I was interested in getting the reaction of this community to it.

The DC Circuit Appeals Court recently struck down elements of a 2010 FCC order. These elements, popularly referred to as Net Neutrality, in essence required ISPs to treat all data going over their Internet tubes and dump trucks as equal, and forbade them from giving preference to one person or corporation over another.

I've been astonished with the universal horror that this news has been greeted with. Everything from posts on Facebook to news articles are unanimous that this is going to end the Internet as we know it.
A much more neutral Wired article on the decision.

I'm a libertarian myself, and am not the most knowledgeable on the history of ISPs engaging in this type of behavior before the rules were put in place. However, as a general principle, I dislike anything that involves more government intrusion and regulation. The last place that I want to allow any kind of government oversight at all is the Internet. I personally feel the dangers from allowing government more power to regulate the Internet greatly outweighs those of a free-market approach to regulating potential abuse by ISPs.
Reason.TV, a libertarian group, on Net Neutrality.

What do you guys think?

Re: Net Neutrality

PostPosted: Tue Jan 21, 2014 4:24 pm
by fashizzlepop
It's not regulating the internet as much as it's regulating the internet companies in america that have had most of their foundation subsidized by the government in the first place.

The court ruled that they didn't have grounds to regulate that under those specific provisions that the FCC tried to use, but said that they most likely *do* have authority so they should try using other provisions.

Re: Net Neutrality

PostPosted: Sun Jan 26, 2014 1:04 am
by thetan
In my opinion, Fred Wilson, A famous VC summed it up best by describing what tech company pitches will be like in 2 years time without net neutrality. ... r-two.html

Re: Net Neutrality

PostPosted: Sun Jan 26, 2014 5:29 pm
by fashizzlepop
thetan wrote:In my opinion, Fred Wilson, A famous VC summed it up best by describing what tech company pitches will be like in 2 years time without net neutrality. ... r-two.html

Unfortunately he frames that in a doom and gloom situation instead of giving the facts of the ruling.

Re: Net Neutrality

PostPosted: Sun Jan 26, 2014 9:33 pm
by zdarkkangel
I am new here, but I'm curious about the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) that was used against the founder. I checked out the website link and was surprised by this section:

"While other courts, finding the "reasonable expectations" standard to be an overly broad reading that restricts access and is at odds with the Internet's intended purpose of providing the “open and free exchange of information," urge us to adopt the reasoning that computer use is “without authorization” only if the use is not “in any way related to [its] intended function.” "

Would this section not be violated by those seeking to end net neutrality since they are looking to profit by manipulating access to the content viewable by their subscribers? That by allowing clients to pay them a price that would in essence make their content viewable to those using the ISP, while making subscribers in turn have to pay more to access content that the ISP chooses not to allow access to normally.

This would be like allowing the content from FOX news viewable due to the network paying the ISP where as the subscribers that wish to view content from MSNBC or other sites would have to pay extra for it as it would be normally blocked otherwise.

Since Verizon, Time Warner, AT&T and others are seeking to end net neutrality to gain profits through manipulation of access. It would gain income from both marketers and subscribers which would make the death of net neutrality attractive to those providing the majority of internet access globally.

There are some that are fighting this and believe in the wording in the CFAA law - " ...the Internet's intended purpose of providing the “open and free exchange of information,"... " Now, if net neutrality can be saved with this outdated law, then that would be great. But if they shoot this law down and nullify it through a legal action, would that not also make a retrial possible, since the sentencing of the founder was based on a law that is contestable by ISP corporations who wish to capture and manipulate the rules that govern the internet for profit. If the Internet's true purpose is to provide open and free exchange of information, then any ruling to restrict it should be forbidden.

On another note, if one does not wish to have their information accessible to the internet, one has only to remove the connection to it. There are many options available in protecting one's personal data - encryption, scrambling, firewalls, etc. To be ignorant of these options is negligence. Ignorance is no excuse for abuse or neglect - thus the unauthorized access of data is thus authorized due to the negligence of the one protecting it. If freedom of exchanging data or information is the purpose of the internet, then all information vulnerable to access is technically available.

True, this also hits a bump in the internet highway since there are those individuals that seek to access that data with intentions that are not moralistically right and/or purely profitable. This kind of damaging usage is what gets most hacking headlines and upsets the status quo. Technically, if a hacker has the skills to target and gain access to credit card data of thousands, one would think (s)he/they would have the ambition of actually profiting from their skills legally rather than illegally. The hackers intelligence is not in question, the moral issues and pure laziness are, for those that resort to hurting people with less technical skills than those which the hackers perpetuating the attack possess.

Really, targeting "Target" customers to gain data on credit cards? I ask of the Hacking community in general. Please try something more challenging, worthy of their individual technical skills and gain more satisfaction in the long run by targeting something more menacing than a bunch of bargain hunting customers - i.e.: families, students, grandparents, etc. It's not Target that suffers ultimately, it's a corporation... it has protections even if it goes bankrupt. But those customers don't have anyone bailing them out in the short term. Hackers have skills that are worthy of respect, seek out positions and places that can employ that skill with higher motives and a steady paycheck. (Though stock options are always lucrative also.)

But I digress, what I want to know is if this CFAA law could be used to stop the attack on net neutrality... it would be nice to toss something in the way of the corporations seeking to kill it. Can it be done?