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FCC Backs Net Neutrality, Chairman's Full Speech Posted 270

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the but-can-they-be-trusted dept.
ArmyofGnomes writes "FCC chairman Julius Genachowski delivered Monday on President Obama's promise to back 'net neutrality' — but he went much further than merely seeking to expand rules that prohibit ISPs from filtering or blocking net traffic by proposing that they cover all broadband connections, including data connections for smartphones. Genachowski stated: 'I understand the Internet is a dynamic network and that technology continues to grow and evolve. I recognize that if we were to create unduly detailed rules that attempted to address every possible assault on openness, such rules would become outdated quickly. But the fact that the Internet is evolving rapidly does not mean we can, or should, abandon the underlying values fostered by an open network, or the important goal of setting rules of the road to protect the free and open Internet. ... In view of these challenges and opportunities, and because it is vital that the Internet continue to be an engine of innovation, economic growth, competition and democratic engagement, I believe the FCC must be a smart cop on the beat preserving a free and open Internet.'"
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FCC Backs Net Neutrality, Chairman's Full Speech Posted

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  • analysis please (Score:3, Interesting)

    by poetmatt (793785) on Monday September 21, 2009 @02:43PM (#29494603) Journal

    for the folks who have read this in detail, can anyone spot any omissions or areas that they might have failed to cover in their ideas? Does it open anything up to exploitation?

    It sounded good to me but for some reason I got a vibe of "they'll use this to exclude things not covered" in some way. I'm thinking about the promises of "up to" as one thing that's not touched upon, or the forcing of people to purchase certain bundles by financial incentive (such as being cheaper for internet + cable than naked internet - aka comcast again).

    • Server vs. client (Score:5, Informative)

      by suso (153703) * on Monday September 21, 2009 @02:44PM (#29494633) Homepage Journal

      As a web hosting provider, I feel that they've left an important part of it out, the server side. At what point does net neutrality apply to me? They need to define this before they make any laws. Otherwise rules could be applied to things that they shouldn't.

      • Re:Server vs. client (Score:5, Interesting)

        by ArhcAngel (247594) on Monday September 21, 2009 @02:47PM (#29494685)

        I'm curious how services like ESPN 360 will be affected being that they are the content provider and not the ISP. They are still blocking content to you unless you are on the "right" ISP.

        • by Zontar_Thing_From_Ve (949321) on Monday September 21, 2009 @02:56PM (#29494843)

          I'm curious how services like ESPN 360 will be affected being that they are the content provider and not the ISP. They are still blocking content to you unless you are on the "right" ISP.

          That is a great question and a very good example for US people in particular. My guess is ESPN 360 won't be covered. Companies create website all the time with restricted access where only employees are allowed in. I'm sure that ESPN 360 would be seen the same way. If the website creator wishes to restrict access, even on an ISP basis, that is their right to do so. If ESPN 360 doesn't want to let me in, it's hard for me to argue that my rights are violated. If ESPN 360 wants to let me in but my ISP deliberately slowed down the connection, that's another thing.

          • Re:Server vs. client (Score:4, Interesting)

            by blackraven14250 (902843) * on Monday September 21, 2009 @03:38PM (#29495371)
            I agree with this. The issue is over the connection between you and point b, not whether point b wants to cater to you.
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by icebike (68054)

            ". If the website creator wishes to restrict access, even on an ISP basis, that is their right to do so."

            No, they don't. That is illegal restraint of trade. We have laws in this country against that. Ford can not tell you that you are not permitted to shop at AutoZone for your Ford Certified parts.

            ESPN limits ISPs based on the ISP's decisions on bandwidth allocation, not because they don't want your dollars.

            This will make it so ESPN will not have to engage in this practice. Besides: todate, no one has c

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              I was under the impression that some websites like ESPN360.com and Disneyconnection.com carged fees. The ISPs that paid the fees (like Verzion) get access and those that don't pay (like Comcast) don't get access.

              And I agree with another poster this is restraint of trade. As a free person I should be able to whip-out my credit card and pay the disneyconnection, but I don't even have that option.

      • by MrMista_B (891430) on Monday September 21, 2009 @02:53PM (#29494787)

        I live in Canada.

        Does this mean, if this passes, that I'll be able to watch services such as Hulu, which are otherwise blocked to ISP's outside the USA?

        • by Chyeld (713439) <.moc.liamg. .ta. .dleyhc.> on Monday September 21, 2009 @02:57PM (#29494849)

          No, because that isn't a case of net neutrality but a case of copyright silliness.

          Net Neutrality (proper net neutrality) means that Hulu should Hulu ever be 'allowed' to service Canada, you won't have to worry about still not being able to access it because Hulu chose not to pay grift to the five telcom/ISP companies between Hulu's hosting provider and you.

          • by poetmatt (793785)

            Actually, he is making a good point. Depending on how they define the "network discrimination" things such as copyright could be considered as network discrimination.

            This is exactly what I was concerned of in my post, but also on a good level, that it sounds like interpretation will say a lot.

            • copyright could be considered as network discrimination.

              Leaving the door wide open for the rules to be challenged in court.

              FCC, tread lightly.

            • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

              by strstr (539330)

              You're all off base; net neutrality is in regards to how the data being transferred over the Internet itself is handled (the pipes) and what ISPs are allowed to do with it. As a user (computer connected to the internet) you have control of to whom and what is sent, what connections are allowed; we want to keep this open and unrestricted with net neutrality.

              • by poetmatt (793785) on Monday September 21, 2009 @03:39PM (#29495381) Journal

                You and I understand that concept. However, how they interpret it, as said, matters.

                Degradation of things due to copyright is something that the RIAA does when they put bad/false seeders on a torrent to make it look popular and track people/make it harder to download. So the question of is what they are doing net neutrality, etc, blurs these ideas quite a bit.

                • by Smidge204 (605297)

                  They are pretty specific about "lawful content" so presumably if transfer of the content is prohibited by any other law (copyright) then the neutrality rules wouldn't apply.

                  Seems kind of weak to me. ISPs can screw you over first and make a half-assed attempt to determining if it was legal content or not afterwards... if they get called on it at all.
                  =Smidge=

                  • by poetmatt (793785)

                    I think section 230 will make an issue of that - in that how does an ISP know what is lawful content/why should they even care? etc.

                    Meanwhile, if there is service degradation for what is considered unlawful content, that would be a violation of other codes. I don't remember the exact term but it's something akin to the "no tapping of internet lines" type stuff.

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by Chyeld (713439)

              If they attempted to call it that, they'd have a revolt in less than 20 seconds. Every 'pay' site out there would be guilty of "net discrimination" then. The only difference between Hulu and them is that 'someone else' is paying for your membership to Hulu.

        • by Hatta (162192) * on Monday September 21, 2009 @03:23PM (#29495201) Journal

          It's not your ISP (or Hulu's ISP) that is prohibiting you from viewing Hulu. It's Hulu themselves (at the behest of content creators). That's not a network neutrality issue.

        • No, it would mean nothing like that at all.

          It would be similar to common-carrier telephone rules. Telephone providers are not allowed, for example, to prevent or degrade calls their customers make to the phone number of a competing telephone provider or a telephone consumer complaint hotline. They must give all calls the same prioritization and quality of service (with a few exceptions, such as a call to an emergency number).

          Nothing in common-carrier law, however, means that the person at the other end must accept your call or do what you ask if they do. The server is the person receiving the phone call in our scenario, not the phone company. It is not required to accept your connection or do anything in particular with it if it does, and it may determine authorization to use any given service by any (otherwise legal) criteria. Its owner may choose to serve the public at large, it may choose to serve only those who pay, it may choose to serve only those who concurrently subscribe to a different service like a magazine or pay TV provider, or it may serve only residents of a certain country. These restrictions can generally be sidestepped, of course, but it doesn't violate net neutrality for them to attempt to implement them, any more than it violates common carrier law for me not to answer unexpected calls from 800 numbers.

          All net neutrality ensures is that if that computer at the other end does wish to accept your connection, your ISP (the telephone company, in our analogy), cannot interfere with them doing so based upon whose server it is or misuse network restrictions to favor one person's data over another's.

      • Re:Server vs. client (Score:5, Informative)

        by DragonWriter (970822) on Monday September 21, 2009 @02:55PM (#29494823)

        As a web hosting provider, I feel that they've left an important part of it out, the server side. At what point does net neutrality apply to me?

        Network neutrality principles apply to the people providing the pipes. Both "servers" and "clients" are users, not providers, in the context of the network neutrality rules, and so are not the subjects of them, just the intended beneficiaries. While the new speech adds two new principles, and discusses extending application of the principles into providing mobile internet as well as traditional providers, there is no indication of any change of focus.

        They need to define this before they make any laws.

        Congress makes laws. The FCC, within the area of regulatory authority granted by Congress, makes regulations.

        • by plague3106 (71849)

          Congress makes laws. The FCC, within the area of regulatory authority granted by Congress, makes regulations.

          Ignoring the sementics, what exactly is the difference?

          • Ignoring the sementics, what exactly is the difference?

            The difference between laws and regulations is similar to the difference between the Constitution and regular laws. That is, regular laws by Congress are valid only within the area of authority granted Congress by the Constitution, must be adopted by the procedures established in the Constitution, and must not conflict with Constitution.

            The same is true if you replace "Congress" with "regulatory agency", "Constitution" and Constitution with "laws passed

        • Re:Server vs. client (Score:5, Informative)

          by debrain (29228) on Monday September 21, 2009 @04:21PM (#29495979) Journal

          Congress makes laws. The FCC, within the area of regulatory authority granted by Congress, makes regulations.

          Sir - As a matter of clarification, Congress makes U.S. federal legislation; While Congress can create laws, it is not the only way to create laws, and it is not able to make certain laws (e.g. unconstitutional or extraterritorial laws).

          Legislation and regulation are both sources of primary law [northwestern.edu], which primary law both lawyers and laymen professionally and colloquially refer to as "the law".

          Thus, insofar as the FCC has regulatory authority granted by Congress, it is able to create laws.

          (It is noteworthy that not all laws are created equal; where legislative statues irreconcilably contradict regulations, for example, the law of the statute will generally govern.)

      • by richmaine (128733) on Monday September 21, 2009 @04:32PM (#29496127)

        The server market is competitive - very much so (as I presume you are well aware). That makes the situation very much different. Most of the reason why we need net neutrality rules is the lack of competitiveness in the ISP market. If the market were really competitive, to the extent that Joe Blow customer (such as me) could realistically tell his ISP to go jump in a lake, then we wouldn't need net neutrality rules. Market competition would indeed do the job.

        If I tell my ISP to go jump, I'm back to dialup... or I suppose I could get Satellite, but that's pretty worthless for anything interactive. It is clear that I'm far from alone and am closer to typical in this.

        Market competition doesn't work when there is a small group that controls the market and there are substantial barriers to entry by others. That is really the crux of the whole matter, and the part that the big players who do control most of the ISP market would like to distract people from. It does make a difference - a huge one.

    • Re:analysis please (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Shakrai (717556) on Monday September 21, 2009 @02:46PM (#29494665) Journal

      Does it open anything up to exploitation?

      Everything the Government does is open to exploitation. It's the regulatory equivalent of playing whack-a-mole. The question is will these purposed regulations do more good than harm.

      • Re: (Score:2, Redundant)

        by polar red (215081)

        I rather rely on government regulation than the 'self-regulation'-scam the industries are brainwashing america with for the last 3 decades.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Shakrai (717556)

          The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence my friend. It's no mistake that the most liberal/regulated/taxed states are the ones that are hurting the most right now. Here in NYS we've been hemorrhaging jobs and young people for the last two decades because businesses have been taxed and regulated to death.

          It'd be nice to find a middle ground between the two extremes but our political system doesn't seem to be structured to lead to that result most of the time. More's the pity.

    • Re:analysis please (Score:4, Interesting)

      by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Monday September 21, 2009 @02:53PM (#29494777) Homepage Journal

      for the folks who have read this in detail, can anyone spot any omissions or areas that they might have failed to cover in their ideas? Does it open anything up to exploitation?

      The speech harped quite a bit (as much as it repeated itself on anything) about the need to protect legal uses of the internet, and explicitly says that illegal activity on the internet must be stopped. If you were to be paranoid (I tried to maintain a healthy dose of skepticism while reading the transcript but the last paragraph gave me a woody... that's a Debian woody, to you) then you might consider this a pledge to cooperate with law enforcement agencies, and to compel ISPs in the same direction. I don't know if I'm that paranoid, but ask me again tomorrow.

    • We still have to be watchful of the RIAA and MPAA redefining what constitutes "legal" vs "illegal" activity. Not only do we have to keep an eye on what they're trying to push through Congress, but we also need to watch hat they're pushing into shoos as well now.
      • by JWW (79176)

        Gonna blow my mod points with this, but to me that means that if my PC and another users PC are sending "data" between each other and we encrypt that data to the point where it can't be discerned what the data is, the the ISPs on both ends should do NOTHING to stop that communication.

        As long as we take away the ability to determine what is legal/illegal via encryption, net neutrality means that any encrypted data must be allowed on the wire. And if they make encrypting network transmissions illegal they'll

    • by MikeURL (890801)
      The exception for reasonable network management is a loophole you could drive a convoy through--and they will.

      The FCC will forever be playing catch-up as the ISPs continually bitch and moan that they have to throttle this or that service as part of good network managment. Then the FCC wlll say "stop that" they'll say "OK" and then just go on to find a slightly different way to achieve the exact same result. Rinse and repeat.

      If the FCC really wanted to get tough they would have simply said that there
  • by BJ_Covert_Action (1499847) on Monday September 21, 2009 @02:45PM (#29494643) Homepage Journal
    It is exciting to see a political figure take a stance on something important that makes sense for once. I thought a man with enough backbone to fight for net neutrality publicly would certainly have a moustache but a quick google search proved my assumption wrong.

    Perhaps he had some facial hair in a past life or something...
    • by SplashMyBandit (1543257) on Monday September 21, 2009 @03:16PM (#29495111)
      I second that. It's pleasing (and shocking, yes, since it's uncommon) to hear someone with authority actually understand that the long-term benefits of an open internet outweigh the commercial concerns of the carriers. Let's hope the FCC Chairman isn't replaced with a flunky as a result of this outstanding decision.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by jollyreaper (513215)

      It is exciting to see a political figure take a stance on something important that makes sense for once. I thought a man with enough backbone to fight for net neutrality publicly would certainly have a moustache but a quick google search proved my assumption wrong.

      It actually leaves me stunned. "They always fuck this stuff up. How is he fucking this up? I'm rereading. There has to be a fuckup in here somewhere."

      It's like minding a retarded three-year with an affinity for eating animal droppings and one day he doesn't immediately run for the dog poo. Wait, did aliens abduct him and replace him with a clone almost indistinguishable but for the unexpected bit about not being a drooling window-licker and if so, can we make sure they never bring back the original?

  • priority (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Lord Ender (156273) on Monday September 21, 2009 @02:45PM (#29494653) Homepage

    Some protocols want high bandwidth, while others want low latency. I see no problem prioritizing like this. Anything beyond this is a slippery slope, though.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      First two things come to mind:

      How do you determine which protocols get which rates? The ISPs? A government board?
      What happens when protocols are unidentifiable (i.e. encrypted data). Does it instantly get dropped into the slowest speed?

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by dgatwood (11270)

        Any client that requires isochronous behavior (consistent flow of data at a constant bitrate) should make its intentions clear by requesting a bandwidth reservation.

        RSVP [wikipedia.org]

        All such clients should specify the Type Of Service [wikipedia.org] field value as well.

        • Re:priority (Score:5, Insightful)

          by natehoy (1608657) on Monday September 21, 2009 @03:23PM (#29495191) Journal

          Trouble is that many (for example) BitTorrent clients will specify a high-priority ToS so they can get more upload and download bandwidth. In fact, given the choice, ANY software vendor is going to choose a ToS that gives them the lowest latency and highest bandwidth possible.

          So, in order to determine which packets are P2P or other "latency tolerant bandwidth hogs", ISPs started implementing deep packet inspection, where they actually went into the contents of the payload to determine what was there. If it smelled P2P-ish, it was reassigned a "proper" ToS (or in the case of Comcast, merely dropped for a while, which is what started the whole neutrality brouhaha).

          I think most people, even a lot of P2P users, would be OK with traffic prioritization if it was implemented properly - eg, if it was implemented so it saturated your allocated pipe most of the time, but differentiated your VoIP packets from your P2P ones and made sure your VoIP line worked even when you were running P2P. I, for one, would welcome that sort of prioritization. Even if it meant that during peak periods my P2P dropped considerably in speed due to overall network traffic, as long as I knew my ISP would do some upgrades within a reasonable time period to handle the traffic.

          Unfortunately, Comcast's solution was too draconian, and by denying P2P traffic altogether they went too far and soured public opinion on any kind of rational Quality-of-Service (QoS) prioritization and traffic shaping.

          • by dgatwood (11270)

            No, a legitimate software vendor would never lie and claim that bulk P2P traffic requires low jitter communication. In fact, even an illegitimate vendor would have to be an idiot to do that because doing so would on the average slow down communication, not speed it up. You can only maintain low jitter (VoIP-grade) traffic by the equivalent of time slicing. That means that even when there's no other traffic, you only get a certain percentage of the time, period. The net result is that during the 90% of t

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by shentino (1139071)

      I would not mind if ISPs used the DoD prescribed Traffic Class/TOS/Priority mechanism as it was originally designed.

      I also would not mind if TV/voice packets got the higher priorities.

      In fact, I'd rather it be done that way.

      • I'd prefer if the high priorities went to voice/game/TV (in that order). The number of latency-sensitive games out there are legion.

    • by poetmatt (793785)

      I thought this issue was who defines which protocol deserves better latency and/or bandwidth?

      So far every example I've seen involves treating bittorrent and gaming as low priority/noncritical simply because they are upload/latency using (which costs the providers more due to upstream agreements) instead of what really uses the most bandwidth (streaming sites).

    • Re:priority (Score:5, Insightful)

      by MightyMartian (840721) on Monday September 21, 2009 @02:57PM (#29494857) Journal

      I don't know of anybody who has argued against using QoS for what it was intended for, and that is management of networks to assure stability and reasonable delivery of bandwidth. If that's all the Teloos and other big network companies had been on about, I don't think there would be anything to talk about at all.

      But these guys have been using, or at least considering, QoS and other technologies in an attempt to leverage their own servies or the services of those willing to basically pay an extortion fee. One can envision scenarios in which those who do not ante up being dropped down the pole, or maybe even dropped off. Since these companies have been going around intentionally confusing the two issues, one can only presume that that, to one degree or another, is their intent.

      But the whole argument has always been disingenous. They bitch about Google and other content providers somehow basically taking advantage of their networks, but with the content providers, there is little or no point for those networks. If there's no content out there, then the Internet is little more than a collection of protocols. They want to have their cake and eat it too; get the consumer to pay for the Internet connection, and then get the content providers to pay to be visible, or at least visible in some meaningful way, on their network.

      I'm glad the US government is finally making it clear that this behavior is unacceptable. And why shouldn't the US government? At the end of the day, one way or the other, the US taxpayer has basically underwritten much of the networks in question. The Telcos, in particular, are very quick to forget last mile and right of ways, which have been a big fat invaluable gift to them.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by drinkypoo (153816)

        I'd like to see a law which prohibits granting any more monopolies on right of way &c. Any time someone wants to run a cable, they should be forced to put in enough space for two more people to run cables right next to theirs. If they don't like it, they can go find someone else who wants to run a cable in the same place, or they can go wireless. Hopefully they'd end up going wireless more often than not, and that's where we need to do research, so that we can truly cover the 'last mile'.

        • I think the problem is that cable and telephone companies already have cables in the ground. They run at a marginal cost, whereas a startup would literally have to re-lay all of the cable before it could service the same area, which would lead them to providing service at a much higher cost, to they wouldn't be able to compete. Your idea would've been applicable at the moment we started laying cables all around the place, not after.
        • by dissy (172727)

          A much better way is to have a utility dedicated to maintaining a conduit system and/or the poles.
          This way only one entity would ever need granted right-of-way.

          This utility would not be allowed to use its conduits on its own. They would be rented out to anyone, big phone co's and mom&pop ISPs alike. Also only the utilities employees will be allowed to maintain the conduits, to prevent our current anti-competitive wire cutting problem.

          We already mostly maintain a sewer system of conduits currently, an

      • Re:priority (Score:5, Insightful)

        by RyoShin (610051) <.tukaro. .at. .gmail.com.> on Monday September 21, 2009 @03:35PM (#29495331) Homepage Journal

        They want to have their cake and eat it too; get the consumer to pay for the Internet connection, and then get the content providers to pay to be visible, or at least visible in some meaningful way, on their network.

        It just struck me: ISPs are trying to follow the American cellphone model.

        While I'm sure our European counterparts[1] have learned about it by now, a brief explanation: In America, we pay to both send and receive. It's not just that our text charges are insane, but most plans charge you both for sending and receiving a text message (in some cases, even if you don't read it you still get charged for receiving a text.) Many plans do the same for phone calls.

        ISPs are trying to do something similar. While both ends already pay for their connection, ISPs are trying to make the content providers pay double. "You have access to our network, but if you want access to our clients you must pay again." It's relatively the same kind of double-dipping, which, if not curbed now, will extend to end users as well. "What's that? You want to use Pandora? Well, we offer our own 'free' music service, RealRhapsody NapsterTunes, but if you really want to use Pandora we can let you access it for an extra $1/hour."

        [1] I say European because my understanding is that this kind of bullshit doesn't happen commonly in Europe

        • We can sit and wait, now that both systems are in use, and see which one survives. Just keep the status quo until one dies out, and you have your answer.
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by MightyMartian (840721)

            The problem is that no one in North America is implementing a European-style cell billing system. Since there's no regularatory pressure to set things up in favor of a consumer-friendly model, as far as the wireless providers are concerned, it would be ridiculous for any party to implement it.

            I don't know whether the North American cell market is in a stalemate situation (nobody is willing to make the leap of faith and go the European route) or whether there is some more nefarious kind of collusion. For s

            • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

              by RzUpAnmsCwrds (262647)

              The problem is that no one in North America is implementing a European-style cell billing system.

              No, the problem is that the US doesn't distinguish between landline numbers and mobile numbers. We pay to receive instead of having the caller pay out the rear for the privilege of calling a mobile phone.

              Go actually compare rates in North America and Europe. You'll find that European providers offer lower-priced options, and that there are more prepaid options as well. But in the price categories that most peopl

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Hatta (162192) *

      QoS is fine. Network neutrality only means that you throttle all high bandwidth applications the same way, regardless of who is using them.

    • What about ones which can be either? Interactive ssh versus file transfer.

      What I'd love would be if we could let users prioritize their own traffic (with sensible defaults for those who don't know what an internet is), and give them N GB high priority traffic per month and uncapped low priority.

      Of course, there are tons of problems with this, but there are times I would willingly prioritize myself down (up/download I intend to leave overnight, 4 GB differential full system backup).

      Never mind that with the w

  • It's nice to have a chair that seems sincerely interested in consumer interests for once. But you know the telcoms will fight it, and they basically own Congress--so I don't hold out much hope. The FCC can be easily overridden by Congress at any time.
    • by dkleinsc (563838) on Monday September 21, 2009 @02:50PM (#29494723) Homepage

      But you know the telcoms will fight it, and they basically own Congress--so I don't hold out much hope.

      The telcos don't own Congress. That's preposterous. Congress is owned by the health insurance companies, the financial companies, the military contracting companies, and the big agribusiness companies. The telcos are at most a minority owner with about 5% control.

    • by polar red (215081)

      I ain't worried by the telcos. they're not really affected by what traffic passes their lines. it's the RIAA and the likes I'm worried about.

  • by syrinx (106469) on Monday September 21, 2009 @02:47PM (#29494683) Homepage

    FCC chairman Julius Genachowski

    Gesundheit!

  • by countertrolling (1585477) on Monday September 21, 2009 @02:52PM (#29494769) Journal

    In other words, they can still filter content. The ISPs' role should be nothing more than a dumb pipe. That is what we must demand. Let the police, with a PROPER warrant, handle the legalities.

    • by DragonWriter (970822) on Monday September 21, 2009 @03:09PM (#29495025)

      In other words, they can still filter content.

      The DMCA notice/counternotice model presents a way for dealing with potentially illegal content that doesn't involve filtering. All the speech says is that the openness principles exist to assure freedom for legal content. There is nothing to say that the rules will permit filtering by ISPs as a means of dealing with potentially illegal content.

    • by Entropius (188861) on Monday September 21, 2009 @03:16PM (#29495113)

      Exactly: the problem is "who determines what is lawful?" What if it's a bunch of encrypted bits that they suspect of being unlawful? Figuring out whether those bits consist of kiddie porn or (worse) the new Hollywood movie isn't my ISP's job. Even if I'm not breaking the law, I don't want my ISP wasting resources figuring out if everyone else is either.

      Just forward the bits.

    • by oneiros27 (46144) on Monday September 21, 2009 @03:18PM (#29495139) Homepage

      The CAN-SPAM act makes spam legal, so long as it complies with the act.

      Do you want to get into the details of legal spam vs. illegal spam?

      What we should be doing is requiring the telecommunications companies to declare themselves as "Common Carrier" or not. If they are, then they get protections under the law but can't discriminate. If they aren't, they can filter, but lose some of their legal protection.

      So, ISPs could offer "family safe filtering" or the like, but to do so, they have to declare that they're not a "Common Carrier".

      Disclaimer: I used to work for a small (3k user) ISP, and still hold stock in the company that bought it out. I'm also an elected official, and know that passing even the most mundane of laws takes months, and even then likely doesn't plan for every possibility.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Ambvai (1106941)

        Do they lose common carrier status If they OFFER "family safe filtering" or if they FORCE some kind of filtering?

  • by wiredog (43288) on Monday September 21, 2009 @02:54PM (#29494803) Journal

    So is Verizon. And all the other wireless providers.

    Cable companies too.

    In fact, I can't think of any provider that won't object.

    • So is Verizon. And all the other wireless providers.

      Cable companies too.

      No change.

      The FCC announced its network neutrality principles first in 2005 (this speech adds two new principles -- non-discrimination and transparency -- to the original four.) Major providers have complained since then. They'll keep complaining now. So what?

    • by natehoy (1608657)

      No, the carriers are all going to respond in the way they already have. Monthly caps with significant overage charges, and an excuse of "excessive users" when their network capacity is overloaded and people can't use the network anywhere near reasonable speeds.

      In other words, no changes...

       

  • by bertoelcon (1557907) <.berto.el.con. .at. .gmail.com.> on Monday September 21, 2009 @03:03PM (#29494939)
    This story needs that tag or a similar one.
  • by HangingChad (677530) on Monday September 21, 2009 @03:05PM (#29494959) Homepage

    It's almost like there are qualified, knowledgeable adults making policy decisions these days. Quite a difference from the days policy was dictated by partisan fund raisers who's qualifications were decided by how much money they could raise, right Brownie? Sometimes during the dark days it was like our government was being run by Romper Room.

  • A few points (Score:3, Insightful)

    by onyxruby (118189) <onyxruby@@@comcast...net> on Monday September 21, 2009 @03:10PM (#29495035)
    First, the principals here have needed to be made law for several years now and congratulations on moving society forward.
    1. Society should not be controlled by the pipe, the pipe is a service, we are not the service. The tail should not wag the dog.
    2. The rules call for "legal content" to be unfiltered, thats a hole big enough to drive a semi through.
    3. The rules need to have an enforcement mechanism with teeth or they will become meaningless.
    4. Reasonable management is being opened up for guidance by the very firms that would be managed. Reasonable management will become a hole big enough to pilot a supertanker through without careful vigilance.

    Celebrate that the principals of network neutrality are finally getting airtime and understand that now is the time for increased scrutiny lest we give legal reasons to block the very things that they are trying to open.

  • there has been an awful lot of nonsense about how this outfit must be protected, and that outfit has to serve all its competitors, and the wireless joint doesn't have to talk to anybody. data is data, transmit corridors are transmit corridors, and the name on the company's door should not get into it. the same rules for all would be a wonderful thing all the way around. regulate all or deregulate all, but do it at the same time all the other rules for an open network are promulgated. it's overdue to end

  • +5 Insightful

  • by Temujin_12 (832986) on Monday September 21, 2009 @03:26PM (#29495215)

    I think the title would have been a lot funnier if it were: "FCC Backs Net Neutrality, Chairman's Full Speech Available on Pay-Per-View"

  • by BlueBoxSW.com (745855) on Monday September 21, 2009 @03:27PM (#29495241) Homepage

    Every time this issue gets brought up on air, those jackasses (Dennis in particular) cover the story like "net neutrality" means is some socialist takover of the internet.

    They think it means that ATT will have to build it and then give it all away for free.

    If they REALLY understood it, they would realize the ground rules for building the internet are one of the greatest successes of CAPITALISM in the past 50 years.

    It encourages innovation, calculated risks, and investment towards long-term gains by corporations.

    But, without net neutrality rules in place, there's nothing to stop your ISP from directing you to BING.com when you typed GOOGLE.com, because Microsoft threw some promotional money at them, and that's a massive problem.

    • Nothing to stop them except all their customers leaving.
    • screw their customers, because that allows for natural selection of successful businesses/management. What do I mean? I have this theory which I've yet to see fully dis-confirmed, that company's create their own competition. What do I mean by that? If you are a company, and you are providing good quality products or services, with good customer service, at reasonable rates, then (as long as you are of a large enough size to not just be clobbered by outspending by the competition), you could be a 'monopoly'

    • by Idiomatick (976696) on Monday September 21, 2009 @05:42PM (#29496999)
      People confuse free market capitalism with no government interference capitalism.

      The first one the dems completely agree with, even the NDP in Canada agree with. It means that the government exerts its power and control to create as much fair competition as possible creating a marketplace that is very efficient, using the best capitalism has to offer.

      The second is people failing to understand capitalism and government interaction and assume free means free from government control. The far right sometimes mistakenly regards any form of government control over the market as socialism. If we actually allowed this to happen then the economy would collapse in weeks. The biggest company would buy all the others and then have near unlimited wealth, buy off all the politicians and run the country like a slave state all working without rest to create a giant pile of gold for our glorious CEO.

      Same thing happens with the internet and if they don't get it for the economy they won't ever understand the principles on the internet.
  • by 2obvious4u (871996) on Monday September 21, 2009 @03:28PM (#29495249)
    I guess as a slashdot reader I'm supposed to be for "net neutrality" however I trust profit grabbing companies more than I trust the FCC. If I don't like the way a company is routing their traffic I can at least switch companies. If the FCC gets involved and they do something stupid there is no alternative. The worst case for a business blocking/routing traffic is that someone else creates a competing ISP.
    • by blueg3 (192743) on Monday September 21, 2009 @03:44PM (#29495445)

      In many, if not most, parts of the US, you can't switch companies, because there's no competition. The worst case for an ISP not routing traffic the way you want is that nobody creates a competing ISP, because there isn't sufficient economic benefit, and you're stuck with whatever your current ISP feels like. The best case with the FCC is that people convince their political representatives to change the FCC regulations.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by guyminuslife (1349809)

        Or, even better, sometimes you can switch companies. To another company that does the same exact thing. Meet the new boss, same as the old boss. Gotta love the "free market."

        I'm expecting someone to come out of the woodwork and tell me that, "No, no, eventually someone will decide that they can get more customers by starting up a company that supports net neutrality---and the consumers will flock to them!" Suuuuure. I'm imagining how their conversations with potential investors would go, "Hey, we need to sp

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by blueg3 (192743)

          Or, even better, sometimes you can switch companies. To another company that does the same exact thing. Meet the new boss, same as the old boss. Gotta love the "free market."

          Usually these companies don't seem to be fond of standardization, though. So really you're not likely to switch to a company that does the exact same thing... just basically the same thing with different details!

    • by whoever57 (658626) on Monday September 21, 2009 @04:06PM (#29495741) Journal

      I guess as a slashdot reader I'm supposed to be for "net neutrality" however I trust profit grabbing companies more than I trust the FCC. If I don't like the way a company is routing their traffic I can at least switch companies

      Yes, you are correct, there is an almost limitless choice of dial-up ISPs.

      In the real world, for most residential customers, there is a duopoly of broadband (Cable/DSL) ISPs, and there is no efective choice.

    • by rocr69 (1246738) on Monday September 21, 2009 @04:27PM (#29496059)

      I guess as a slashdot reader I'm supposed to be for "net neutrality" however I trust profit grabbing companies more than I trust the FCC. If I don't like the way a company is routing their traffic I can at least switch companies. If the FCC gets involved and they do something stupid there is no alternative. The worst case for a business blocking/routing traffic is that someone else creates a competing ISP.

      The profiteers took the government's money, our money, while demanding competitive considerations (ie monopolies) and promised us all super fast, super cheap internet would be here three years ago. They're lying whores that can't be trusted to even act in their own interests let alone ours.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by DragonWriter (970822)

      I guess as a slashdot reader I'm supposed to be for "net neutrality" however I trust profit grabbing companies more than I trust the FCC.

      You don't have to trust the FCC to think the FCC should use network neutrality principles as a basis for the exercise of its existing rulemaking authority, anymore than you have to trust the FCC to think that the FCC should not use network neutrality principles as a basis for the exercise of its existing rulemaking authority.

  • Isn't this a blatant example of violating "net neutrality" that's been going on for awhile now? AT&T customers can use this site while comcast's can't (been on both sides of that fence and it wasn't 360 that made the decision for me).

    I use it, but it bothers me that AT&T is engaging in payola to bring me that service.

  • Upon what legal basis does the FCC regulate the Internet? What law did Congress pass giving the FCC authority to regulate the Internet? Net neutrality is not something that should grow out of FCC regulations, it should result from a law passed by Congress.
    I have some reservations about the Constitutionality of the Federal government regulating the Internet, but those are a matter of interpretation and their is an argument to made that the federal government does have the Constitutional authority to do so.

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