Author Topic: Net Neutrality  (Read 444 times)

Offline MaxAstro

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Net Neutrality
« on: July 12, 2017, 08:29:23 PM »
I'm normally not at all a political person, and not one to plug things like this. But freedom of internet is an issue that's very important to me, and I would argue everyone here. If you haven't yet, please take a couple minutes to check out these sites and (if you are in the US) add your voice to the crowd. Monetizing the internet in the way that a repeal of Net Neutrality would is bad for everyone.  :(

https://netneutrality.internetassociation.org/action/
https://www.battleforthenet.com/?org=fp

Offline x4000

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Re: Net Neutrality
« Reply #1 on: July 12, 2017, 08:44:02 PM »
Yep, I sent in mine.
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Offline madcow

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Re: Net Neutrality
« Reply #2 on: July 12, 2017, 08:53:12 PM »
I thought Congress has already voted to kill net neutrality and the President had already signed it into law. Was that something else, or is this a hope to reverse that?

Offline Aklyon

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Re: Net Neutrality
« Reply #3 on: July 12, 2017, 10:52:43 PM »
I thought Congress has already voted to kill net neutrality and the President had already signed it into law. Was that something else, or is this a hope to reverse that?
That was broadband privacy rules. Net Neutrality is in effect (even if they're probably avoiding doing anything with it considering the current dingo of an fcc chairman we got instead of wheeler), currently.

Offline z99-_

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Re: Net Neutrality
« Reply #4 on: July 13, 2017, 09:46:47 PM »
I don't support anything until I've read up on both sides of an issue, which you haven't provided. :-\

The second advocacy website you linked to said net neutrality prohibits internet providers from blocking websites - is this the reason there's so much messed up stuff on the net? Because the 'fetish' forums and websites that glamorize killing, kidnapping, torture, cuddly hug , pedophilia aren't technically breaking laws, and the ISPs are forbidden from intervening? If that's the case, I don't think there's any negative consequence that could outweigh the positive of preventing the masses from accessing such trash.

Offline Misery

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Re: Net Neutrality
« Reply #5 on: July 14, 2017, 05:46:25 AM »
I don't support anything until I've read up on both sides of an issue, which you haven't provided. :-\

The second advocacy website you linked to said net neutrality prohibits internet providers from blocking websites - is this the reason there's so much messed up stuff on the net? Because the 'fetish' forums and websites that glamorize killing, kidnapping, torture, cuddly hug , pedophilia aren't technically breaking laws, and the ISPs are forbidden from intervening? If that's the case, I don't think there's any negative consequence that could outweigh the positive of preventing the masses from accessing such trash.

Destroying neutrality though, wont stop the dark stuff.  Criminals will always find a way around.  As always, the Net cannot be truly enforced, as legal matters go.  It's like trying to stop further crimes by arresting a giant mutant sheep the size of Texas that constantly shifts into a variety of 12-dimensional shapes while summoning meteors.   

No, this is about what it'll do to LEGITIMATE sites, the ones that must obey the rules.  Particularly those that are smaller, that aren't the "giants" of their particular type.  For example, I buy a lot of things online, but usually from smaller specialty stores, which often involve shipments from China or Japan, because of course it does.   I'm not buying off of Amazon here.  But if neutrality were to fall, chances are, the foul darkness that is Comcast (in my case since that's the ISP I'm stuck with) would quickly put a stop to that (and would likely cause plenty of smaller companies to collapse entirely), and I wouldn't have much of a choice (which would actually mean not even being able to FIND what I want, not without paying some massive fee).  They would do this likely not by outright blocking sites, but by charging you a big fee to access those without some direct corporate link to the ISP itself (in other words, sites that are PAYING the ISP stupid amounts of money simply to get them to NOT do that. And of course these would then be STUFFED with ads, because money).  Stopping this is the point of neutrality to begin with.  The amount of possible negatives is utterly massive.  Even sites like this very forum could potentially be affected or even destroyed, depending on who is hosting the forum in question, and whether or not they can afford to pay the ISP.

These companies are greed incarnate. Just like most giant corporate entities.  And greed is the one and ONLY driving force behind their desire to shatter this.  Trust me, policing the Net is *not* something they're interested in, when it comes to this.  That doesn't give them money, you see.  It'd be a monstrous cost to them. Not that they could manage it anyway.

If you want more info on it though, just go to YouTube.  There's been boatloads of videos that explain this stuff well.   




And yes, even I sent one in, for this.   I don't normally follow issues like this, because screw it.  But this one is the exception.
« Last Edit: July 14, 2017, 05:50:04 AM by Misery »

Offline eRe4s3r

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Re: Net Neutrality
« Reply #6 on: July 14, 2017, 11:31:36 AM »
Far as I understand, the real problem is that ISP's are allowed to be a monopoly in the US, and if you have that situation, NET neutrality is probably more like a band-aid anyway... in the end, routing agreements override it behind the public perception anyway....

Net Neutrality also has nothing to do with illegal or grey-area contents on the web
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Offline x4000

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Re: Net Neutrality
« Reply #7 on: July 14, 2017, 11:55:03 AM »
My thoughts:

1. Censorship or dealing with illegal activity is the role of governments, not ISPs.

2. Net neutrality just means that your ISP can't start blocking up one site versus another.  Either slowing it or making it inaccessible.  Pretty much end of story.  The ramifications of that are pretty significant, though.

---

Let's talk about roads.  Ignoring toll roads (which everyone loves /s), all public roads are available for anyone to go on at any time, leading them to any eventual destination.  Mazda owners don't get a special lane, and you don't get put in a bumpy lane with lots of nails because you're headed to Target instead of Walmart.

Private roads are like private parts of the internet: you can't go into any company's intranet and do whatever, just like you can't go on their private roads.  It's trespassing in both cases.

(Toll roads don't really have an analogue per se, because they're a way of the government getting funding for a specific road and then getting people who use it to pay for it over a period of time.  So hence the ignoring of that one.)

---

Back to the internet.  Let's address the concerns in a Q&A format, even though these aren't really Q's in all cases.

Q: I don't think scat porn should be easily accessible, or child porn or whatever.

A: Cool.  That has nothing to do with this debate.  Get the FBI, or Interpol, or whoever else on that.  We're talking about the roads here, and "road owners."  If someone is doing something illegal in a house (server), then go to the HOUSE and arrest them.  There are already laws about all this.  Could they do with better or worse enforcement?  Again, that's a completely separate topic.

Q: Aren't there already "backdoor deals" for things like Netflix?

A: I don't know, maybe.  But probably not, to be honest.  It's not supposed to be.  They have a conduit into the central backbone that they pay for on their end.  Then on OUR end, as consumers, we have our own smaller conduits that we pay for (to our ISP) to get either Netflix content or whatever else we please.

Q: What's the business about throttling sites?

A: If Netflix is slower or faster today is supposed to be either the fault of Netflix, or our general connection speed, or our proximity to the nearest Netflix provider.  Aka, these are factors relating to things like how much Netflix pays for its bandwidth (which is between it and its ISP), how much you pay for your ISP (between you and your ISP), and general physical things like the speed of light (seriously) and where Netflix puts up data centers.

There's this whole section in the middle that is public transport that is the "backbone" of the internet, and none of that is supposed to be preferential toward or against Netflix.  For that matter, your own small conduit into the backbone isn't supposed to prefer Netflix or not prefer it.  It's just data.

Q: Why the fuss if backdoor deals can already possibly be done?

A: Because look at cable TV.  They can literally pick and choose what to give you.  They can create "packages."  You want sports?  That's extra money, please.  Etc.  Right now that's illegal on the internet: your ISP can't charge you for access to Netflix.  They might charge you for data usage, sure, but that data could be from Netflix, Youtube, or anywhere else.  How much data you use is separate from where you get it from.

Without net neutrality, ISPs can get up to all sorts of hijinks in terms of making certain sites slower or inaccessible.  Some you might see, such as "hi consumer, you must now buy the social package to get access to facebook, and facebook gets none of that money by the way," and others you might not see , such as "hi new Netflix competitor, looks like you've got a promising business there, you'd better pay us X amount of extra money or we'll make sure that your data is always transmitted at half the speed that Netflix's is -- to everyone -- making them think you just can't manage your junk."

Q: I like to research both sides of an issue before making a decision.

A: Not a question, I know.  And I 10000% agree with that sentiment.  This is a super strange issue in that there is literally NO REASONABLE OTHER SIDE for consumers.  Comcast and whatnot want to be able to charge various other parties (companies and individuals) more money for things they already provide at a given price. 

There are a lot of polarizing issues in the world, like abortion or gun control or whatever, and you can see the rationale behind both sides even if you vehemently disagree with whichever side: if you take the premise of the side you disagree with as true, then you would probably agree with them, but the premise is disagreed-on.

Net neutrality is not like that.  The other side is Comcast and friends going "we want to be unfettered in our ability to think up new ways to make money without providing new services."  That is demonstrably bad for everyone except ISPs.  It's not good for businesses, consumers, or anyone except ISPs and the people they pay off.

The lobbyists against net neutrality have done a super good job of confusing the issue and making it sound like a polarizing issue that people should take sides on.  But really this isn't about over-regulation or whatever.  It's more of a "we want to hang onto the rules that say you can't poop in the pool and then charge people to clean it up as a way to make money."
« Last Edit: July 14, 2017, 11:56:46 AM by x4000 »
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Offline keith.lamothe

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Re: Net Neutrality
« Reply #8 on: July 14, 2017, 12:52:25 PM »
Maybe the discussion would make more sense if we say to the ISPs "Ok, you can remove the laws that forbid ISPs from charging extra for specific sites, if we can remove the laws that forbid consumers from slashing the tires of ISP decision-makers".

I'm sure a mutually agreeable balance could be worked out under those conditions.
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Offline Toranth

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Re: Net Neutrality
« Reply #9 on: July 14, 2017, 12:57:06 PM »
This is a super strange issue in that there is literally NO REASONABLE OTHER SIDE for consumers.
Just to mention that this isn't *quite* right - there is an "other side" that has reasonable points.  They're just overwhelmed by the downsides.  The two 'good' points I've seen against Net Neutrality are:
1)  Under strict NN, ISPs would be blocked from standard QoS behaviors - throttling torrent, VoIP, or streaming traffic in favor of Web or I'm, for example.
2)  Under strict NN, while peering it becomes very difficult to punish 'bad' peers.  Right now, when a peering agreement is unequal, the upstream provider will usually throttle traffic from the misbehaving lesser, before moving to the more drastic step of depeering.

Some of the original NN suggestions were this strict - and under those rules, the internet would break just as badly as it would under a completely unregulated environment.  More recent versions, however, have become more practical. 
Really, the government should just give up and declare internet access a utility like telephone service.  Then we wouldn't need to deal with this coming up every few years.

Offline Draco18s

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Re: Net Neutrality
« Reply #10 on: July 14, 2017, 05:43:11 PM »
Really, the government should just give up and declare internet access a utility like telephone service.

Uh.

That's exactly what we did in 2015 by making the internet a Title II communication service.

The thing going on right now is to "roll back to Title I" in "the interests of internet freedom."

The reasons ISPs want to go back to Title I is because Title II restricts what they're allowed to do, and they don't want restrictions on what they can do.  They want all the protections of Title II (such as not being liable for the content sent over their wires (*cough*, DMCA, *cough*)) but they don't want any of the limitations that come with it.
« Last Edit: July 14, 2017, 05:45:42 PM by Draco18s »

Offline Toranth

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Re: Net Neutrality
« Reply #11 on: July 14, 2017, 07:53:46 PM »
Really, the government should just give up and declare internet access a utility like telephone service.
Uh.
That's exactly what we did in 2015 by making the internet a Title II communication service.
The thing going on right now is to "roll back to Title I" in "the interests of internet freedom."
The reasons ISPs want to go back to Title I is because Title II restricts what they're allowed to do, and they don't want restrictions on what they can do.  They want all the protections of Title II (such as not being liable for the content sent over their wires (*cough*, DMCA, *cough*)) but they don't want any of the limitations that come with it.
Not quite.  What's going on now is an attempt to reclassify how ISPs are treated under the "Common Carrier" regulations.  By being (re-)reclassified as "Information Services" rather than common carriers, ISPs are changed from having to obey both Title I and Title II regulations to just Title I.  No one disagrees that they currently qualify as a telecommunications service, though, which is what puts them under the FCC.
A public utility is a different category of beast entirely, and has a whole rack of different laws that apply.  It would take an act of Congress to reclassify internet access as a public utility, although your state can do a lot of what needs to be done there (if Congress doesn't interfere).  Internet as a public utility may still be under the FCC, but it wouldn't be just a telecommunication service anymore.

But until something more permanent is done, we'll be stuck reliving this 5-member politically appointed FCC commissioner voting crisis every few years.  2002, 2004, 2007, 2011, 2015, 2017...

Offline x4000

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Re: Net Neutrality
« Reply #12 on: July 14, 2017, 08:57:35 PM »
Good points on the QoS stuff, Toranth.  That part is not an easy technical problem.
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Offline Cyborg

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Re: Net Neutrality
« Reply #13 on: July 18, 2017, 10:13:58 PM »
I find it predictable and amusing that some people in the gaming community allegedly don't like politics but are instantly passionate about anyone affecting their Internet.

"People living and dying over healthcare, the environment, who gives a crap? But goddamnit, we need our Netflix!"

Depressing.
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Offline Draco18s

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Re: Net Neutrality
« Reply #14 on: July 19, 2017, 08:47:30 AM »
"People living and dying over healthcare, the environment, who gives a crap? But goddamnit, we need our Netflix!"

You're assuming I haven't also been calling my representatives about healthcare.
(I just don't talk about it on the internet)