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Google Argues Against Net Neutrality 555

Posted by Soulskill
from the here-is-your-internet-connection-but-don't-use-it-for-internet dept.
An anonymous reader sends this quote from an article at Wired: "In a dramatic about-face on a key internet issue yesterday, Google told the FCC (PDF) that the network neutrality rules Google once championed don't give citizens the right to run servers on their home broadband connections, and that the Google Fiber network is perfectly within its rights to prohibit customers from attaching the legal devices of their choice to its network."
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Google Argues Against Net Neutrality

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  • by bonch (38532) * on Tuesday July 30, 2013 @07:55PM (#44429945)

    Google plans to offer its own business-class services on Fiber. Can't have people running their own servers as competition. This company tends to claim support for whatever is politically popular among techies and then quietly go back on it when it affects their bottom line.

    • by homey of my owney (975234) on Tuesday July 30, 2013 @08:03PM (#44430003)
      Evil isn't in the eye of the beholder... It's in the mind of Google.
      • by jdogalt (961241) on Tuesday July 30, 2013 @08:12PM (#44430067) Journal

        Evil isn't in the eye of the beholder... It's in the mind of Google.

        And that is precisely the kind of Free Speech problem that Net Neutrality is trying to solve. If the network operators become the gatekeepers determining which speech can go on their networks, and which can't (outside any government law enforcement agency direction), then... well, it's not good.

        • by MrNaz (730548) on Tuesday July 30, 2013 @08:19PM (#44430117) Homepage

          So Google successfully conned the nerd herds into loving them with ostentatious nerd-friendly marketing in the late 90s and 00s, and now that they have acquired their financial and political power, the draw back the curtain to reveal Microsoft's policies on steroids.

          "Somehow, 'I told you so' just doesn't say it."
          - Will Smith.

          • by Anonymous Coward

            trusted them all this time, all I can say is 'not surprised'.

            While I have an android device, it hasn't got google play/appstore, login, nor data service to it. Won't save me from the NSA's taps/recording, but it does a pretty good job of keeping out commercial tracking.

            How much longer do we have for that to stay true however? Android 4.3's restrictions, google's no-server limitations, etc are all pushing the masses towards sheepitude, and (ignoring the other players for the moment) government is pinching in

            • by BrokenHalo (565198) on Tuesday July 30, 2013 @09:30PM (#44430551)

              While I have an android device, it hasn't got google play/appstore, login, nor data service to it... Android 4.3's restrictions, google's no-server limitations, etc are all pushing the masses towards sheepitude...

              This sounds confused. Just about the only android devices that don't have data service are e-readers, which are pretty safe from any evil impositions. As for Android 4.3, the restrictions are for profiles that *you* impose. If it's a single user device, you don't have to use them. And, of course, if you don't care for the way Google implements Android, there's always the choice of CyanogenMod/AOSP if you don't like the idea of Firefox OS or Linux distros for mobile.

              As for the no-server limitation, it all depends on what you're doing with it. If you are using bandwidth provided at no cost by Google, it's a bit inconsiderate to hog resources with a high-traffic server, making them unavailable to others. If all you're doing is running a little mail server for a handful of users, I doubt if Google could give a fuck.

          • by Jeremiah Cornelius (137) on Tuesday July 30, 2013 @08:45PM (#44430291) Homepage Journal

            I always pointed out on slashdot, just HOW MUCH trust was being put in Google, with how little understanding of their operation as a publicly traded company.

            The fanbois for Google - which have a huge intersection with slashdot readership - nearly always mod-bomb these observations as flamebait or trolling. Contrariness is only rewarded when it chooses a popular target. ;-)

            Google's hand-waving of good will always gets trumped by their desire to control revenue. But like a stage magician, those who want to believe continue their suspension of reality.

            Google's real motivations afford them selling out customers for the value of their "private" information. You can now see, in this one, more obvious way, how principle is secondary to business and profit - through the artificial tiering of "business class" service. There is no "business class" IP.

            • by jeremyp (130771) on Tuesday July 30, 2013 @09:11PM (#44430459) Homepage Journal

              Google's real motivations afford them selling out customers for the value of their "private" information.

              Google does not sell out its customers. If, like me, you have never handed any money over to Google but you have used their apps, Search etc, you are not a customer, you are product. Google's customers are the people who advertise with them.

              • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 30, 2013 @09:26PM (#44430543)

                Google does not sell out its customers

                No? Hows this: We pay them (a lot) for listings on Google Base (shopping.) We take our own product photos, in our own photo lab, usually as some kind of action shot, and we copyright and watermark every one before the jpeg hits the server or is sent along to Google as the product image. Google's latest to us? We're supposed to remove all of these watermarks / sigils so Google can use OUR images to advertise OTHER company's products. We've presently got about 40,000 watermarked images. They gave us two weeks to "remove" the watermarks, as if they were stuck on with bubble gum.

                I think we're going to drop Google Base, actually, over this one. It's an unreliable product that never has worked very well, and certainly no better since they started charging for it. But this last bit about making us remove our marks from our own images...

                Fuck them.

            • by icebike (68054) on Tuesday July 30, 2013 @09:42PM (#44430613)

              I always pointed out on slashdot, just HOW MUCH trust was being put in Google, with how little understanding of their operation as a publicly traded company.

              Oh, climb down before you hurt yourself.

              We ALL know that google makes money selling your demographics in bulk and pushing ads on you.
              There is no secret there. In my day job I manage google advertising for the company I work for, and we get nothing identifiable on those who click my company's ads. (Just like Google's privacy policy says).

              The ads Google pushes into web pages are targeted. We all know that. If I search for Lexus dealers, Lexus ads show up on various web pages. Big deal. I can turn on ad block at any time.

              There is no lack of understanding here. You made that up. We know what they do and how they do it.

              I've never had any of my "private information" leaked, or sold to anyone. I've got unique searchable strings in many of my Google Docs files, emails, etc, and they don't show up on the net.

              As far as this example, this so called net neutrality issue is not even what net neutrality is all about. Further, ALL broadband providers have limitations on offering services (mail, web, game, blogs) on residential connections. Comcast, Roadrunner, AT&T, all of them). There is nothing new here.

              You want to provide a service, buy a business connection.

              • by Jeremiah Cornelius (137) on Tuesday July 30, 2013 @10:54PM (#44431077) Homepage Journal

                Bullshit. You're a pissant.

                There's no reason I can't or shouldn't provide remote access to my files for my use, and those of people I chose, on a host of my choice, on my uplink.

                There's no reason I can't or shouldn't run my personal mail server - as long as I am able to prevent relaying or other abuse.

                This is the purpose and tradition of the best-effort, edge-service, peer-to-peer design of IP packet-switched, interconnected networks. PERIOD.

                Driving me to GMail's business model, or Dropbox's or anybody else's is abuse. Corporations don't acquire special rights through monetising service offerings. DIY for home/limited scale is the point - or you can go back to TV and Radio.

                • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

                  by Anonymous Coward

                  What you are talking about is personal use, usually protected by firewall and credentials.

                  Google is talking about open web servers to the world, open file servers, etc...

                  It's in the agreement you have to sign to get the service.

                  Personal use stuff is not what they are concerned with.

                  • by Bert64 (520050) <bert@sl[ ]dot.fi ... m ['ash' in gap]> on Wednesday July 31, 2013 @06:53AM (#44433117) Homepage

                    That's irrelevant, what they are selling is bandwidth and there should be no restrictions on how you can use the bandwidth that you've paid for. What they want to do is charge you more because you want to use the same bandwidth for a different purpose.

                    • That's irrelevant, what they are selling is bandwidth and there should be no restrictions on how you can use the bandwidth that you've paid for.

                      Technically, this is more about restrictions on the provider than the consumer.
                      Net neutrality is about legally restricting what an ISP can offer you. Remember that you don't have to use their services. Technically.

                      The reality is that internet access has pretty much attained the status of being a utility service. Its (currently) private nature means that we need to have laws to prevent everybody from being fucked over. This does not qualify as the latter.

              • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                by jdogalt (961241)

                As far as this example, this so called net neutrality issue is not even what net neutrality is all about. Further, ALL broadband providers have limitations on offering services (mail, web, game, blogs) on residential connections. Comcast, Roadrunner, AT&T, all of them).

                disclaimer: claimant here: No, you are wrong. Look up TimeWarner's ToS.

            • by mysidia (191772)

              Contrariness is only rewarded when it chooses a popular target. ;-)

              It's not contrarian if the target is so popular....

              Multinational conglomerates, the EU, the United States, Apple, Microsoft, Google, large Financial, Petroleum, Refineries, Fast food companies, Energy Produers, Pharmaceutical, Agricultural, Industrial companies, Film producers, News Organizations, top Actors, Sports coaches/athletes, Media figures, high-ranking Politicians, government Administrators, and well-known Millionaires/Billi

          • by v1 (525388) on Tuesday July 30, 2013 @09:03PM (#44430405) Homepage Journal

            I don't think it was a bait-and-switch. It was simply a change in priorities.

            Google used to be merely a content provider, with things like youtube. They wanted unrestricted flow of their content on other companies' networks.

            But now, they are also a network provider themselves. Naturally the shoe's on the other foot now.

            People seem to forget... Google isn't your best friend, or your nice neighbor lady, or your pal at the bar. Google is a company. Companies don't exist to be nice, they exist to make money for their owners and shareholders. Now, tomorrow, and well into the future. Either they prioritize this goal, or they are driven out of business by other companies that do pursue that goal. Being "nice" doesn't pay off as well as being "ruthless". There are precious few examples to the contrary.

            • by mysidia (191772) on Tuesday July 30, 2013 @09:57PM (#44430673)

              People seem to forget... Google isn't your best friend, or your nice neighbor lady, or your pal at the bar. Google is a company. Companies don't exist to be nice, they exist to make money for their owners and shareholders. Now, tomorrow, and well into the future.

              Exactly. Google was never acting solely on their customers' behalf. Companies act on their customers' behalf only when it benefits them.

              This is why corporate lobbying should be illegal, and companies like Google (and their competitors, and large businesses in all industry) should be barred from articipating in the legislative process.

              I believe my recommendation would be: as soon as the company's book value or annual costs first exceed $5 million; that company and its current executives and legal representatives (due to conflict of interest) should become ineligible to participate formally in political process or a "friend of a court" in any way.

              If you as Google CEO or board member want to go write a friend of the court message -- fine, but resign your post first.

            • by xQx (5744) on Tuesday July 30, 2013 @09:58PM (#44430685)

              This is a very, very common MBA question. The reasoning goes something like: "Directors have a legal obligation to maximize shareholder returns, so to not buy labor at the cheapest rate, and to not be ruthless in your pursuit of profits is not executing your Director's duties. Discuss".

              Post Enron, the answer MBA lecturers are looking for is something like:

              Shareholder return is measured in more than just dollars. Multi-national organisations have great power because they can't be controlled by a single government, and as such have a responsibility to act as good global citizens. Companies and their directors are legally obliged to maximize _long term_ returns, and you are not going to get long-term returns if you don't look after your customers, employees, suppliers and shareholders. This includes ensuring their welfare so everyone can live until tomorrow and loves the company brand and has money to spend on its products.

              In short: Companies need to make money, but to be a global superpower for a sustained period, you need to manage your reputation and act in a way that makes people want to work for you and buy from you in the future.

              On a side note, I reject the premise of this headline. I don't think offering a nobbled residential plan that doesn't allow for you to run a server - allowing Google to drive people onto a more expensive business plan that frees you from these constraints - is an assault to net neutrality. That's akin to charging more for a static IP address. It's just segmenting your market to extract better profits.

              Prioritizing YouTube over bit-torrent or Netflix would be an assault to net neutrality.

              • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                by Anonymous Coward

                I don't think offering a nobbled residential plan that doesn't allow for you to run a server - allowing Google to drive people onto a more expensive business plan that frees you from these constraints - is an assault to net neutrality.

                And you would be wrong.

                "A person engaged in the provision of fixed broadband Internet access service ... shall not block lawful content, applications, services, or non-harmful devices [subject to reasonable network management]" [fcc.gov]

                It would be reasonable, when the network is congested, to prioritize traffic from lighter users; it is totally unreasonable to have a policy like "you should not host any type of server using your Google Fiber connection". I totally support Google's (and all network operato

              • by Chirs (87576) on Wednesday July 31, 2013 @12:56AM (#44431673)

                I don't think offering a nobbled residential plan that doesn't allow for you to run a server - allowing Google to drive people onto a more expensive business plan that frees you from these constraints - is an assault to net neutrality.

                Sure it is. Upstream packets are upstream packets, regardless of whether they're acks to a download stream or data sent in response to a request.

                They can specify an upstream bandwidth without violating net neutrality, but to put arbitrary limits on what data I can send in my upstream packets is definitely violating neutrality.

                • by xQx (5744) on Wednesday July 31, 2013 @02:23AM (#44432047)

                  They can specify an upstream bandwidth without violating net neutrality, but to put arbitrary limits on what data I can send in my upstream packets is definitely violating neutrality.

                  That's true.

                  You've convinced me. It's like the policy that Telstra in Australia once had, where they wanted to charge you extra to have more than one PC access the net behind a NAT device. It's bullsh*t, because they should have the right to limit actual resources, not make arbitrary stereotypical rules.

                  As AC said in reply to my previous post - Arbitrarily blocking "server" traffic is behind both the letter, and (after a quick read of wiki) the intent of the Net Neutrality act.

                  However, we are beginning to see this plan be released in Australia, not just to arbitrarily segment the market, but because a residential plan will no longer get a real-world IP. You will be given a private IP and be one of 300 people sharing a single IPv4 address, masqueraded with carrier-grade NAT.

                  Why? Because when IPv4 address space is worth $20 per IP, putting 300 customers behind one IP address saves $6,000. Putting 30,000 customers behind only 100 IP addresses saves > $500,000.

                  So, the question is, if Google were supporting this arbitrary decision with a technical limitation done for commercial purposes - is it still a net neutrality issue?

                  After all, all "servers" are being treated equally.

              • by FireFury03 (653718) <slashdot&nexusuk,org> on Wednesday July 31, 2013 @03:24AM (#44432323) Homepage

                On a side note, I reject the premise of this headline. I don't think offering a nobbled residential plan that doesn't allow for you to run a server - allowing Google to drive people onto a more expensive business plan that frees you from these constraints - is an assault to net neutrality. That's akin to charging more for a static IP address. It's just segmenting your market to extract better profits.

                I disagree here.

                The static/dynamic IP thing is a difference to the service on a technical level - they have to specifically change the way the service operates in order to offer a static IP - in particular, the routing is probably more complex because they now need to dynamically change the routing for your IP address depending on which equipment your connection appears on when you "dial in" (and yes, ADSL still "dials in" and will appear on an arbitrary trunk at the ISP end); also IPv4 addresses are running pretty short, so there is a real, but non-monetary, cost associated with giving everyone their own IPv4 address instead of handing them out dynamically. So at a technical level, it may well be more costly for the ISP to offer a static IP, so charging more doesn't seem unreasonable here.

                On the other hand, the "you may not run a server" thing is purely a change to the T&Cs - if you pay extra to be allowed to run a server then you're getting *exactly the same service* at a technical level, its just they're relaxing the restrictions. Other than trying to segment the market in order to push the "richer" customers into paying more for the same thing, this serves no purpose - this isn't about the idea that servers may use more bandwidth than clients, if it were they would be concerned about bit torrent, etc. and would be putting in actual traffic management systems to mitigate bandwidth overuse.

                To my mind, Google saying "you may not run servers on your internet connection" isn't any different from AT&T saying "you may not do VoIP over your connection" or TimeWarner saying "you may not watch movies over your internet connection" - this is *exactly* the stuff that net neutrality legislation is supposed to prevent.

                Now, none of this detracts that there may be other reasons why businesses may be better off with a business connection (e.g. better SLAs, etc.); but an ISP shouldn't be able to simply say "you're a business and therefore you must pay us extra" whilst providing exactly the same service as their cheaper home users will get.

            • by Camael (1048726) on Tuesday July 30, 2013 @11:49PM (#44431341)

              Companies don't exist to be nice, they exist to make money for their owners and shareholders.

              And this shabby excuse has been used time and again to justify the many evils companies inflict on the world in their pursuit of profit. Such as Union Carbide's poisoning of India [wikipedia.org].

              There was a time before companies existed, when businesses bore the names of their founders such as Walter & Sons. Often the owners refrained from acts of outright evil because they did not want to taint their name, and their sons and grandsons similarly restrained themselves so as not to soil their grandfather's name. If that was not sufficient deterrent, the fact that they were held personally liable often did.

              With the creation of companies, responsibility became diffused. Bad things were done by 'the company' -except that this was a lie. Companies do not have independent will, their actions are dictated by management who often disappear after collecting their fat bonuses.

              It is too late now to argue companies should nto exist- they do, and are here to stay. But since companies enjoy the status of separate legal entities, they should be judged accordingly. If an individual behaves in an evil manner, I judge them evil, and the same with companies. If an individual commits evil to get rich, I would not excuse his behaviour if his excuse was that his sole aim in life was to get rich. We should also not accept the same excuse for companies. Do evil, be judged evil, no excuses.

              • by v1 (525388)

                If an individual commits evil to get rich, I would not excuse his behaviour if his excuse was that his sole aim in life was to get rich. We should also not accept the same excuse for companies. Do evil, be judged evil, no excuses.

                Evil doesn't matter. Excuses don't matter. Judgement doesn't matter. The world is, on the average, greedy, and always will be. Evil, done properly, will always be more profitable in the short AND long term than doing good. "Doing good" is a P.R. stunt. A cover. An attempt t

              • There's no way to put that genie back in the bottle. Just remember this the next time there's something to vote for. Government regulations aren't arbitrary, and they may well curtail corporate growth, but the government is around to look after our best interests. There's not really any other way to do it.

                We DO judge companies and occasionally declare them in violation of the law, but we haven't figured out what a suitable punishment is. It may well be that we need to impact the holdings of shareholders dir

            • Google only has one real asset: trust. If it doesn't maintain the trust of its users, many of those who happily shared their privatemost search terms will defect at the first opportunity. Google was cognisant of this at one time. Looks like they forgot somewhere along the line.

    • by icebike (68054) on Tuesday July 30, 2013 @08:28PM (#44430175)

      Google plans to offer its own business-class services on Fiber. Can't have people running their own servers as competition. This company tends to claim support for whatever is politically popular among techies and then quietly go back on it when it affects their bottom line.

      Just like Comcast and most other providers.

      You can't run anything that accepts inbound connections. Even SSH is frowned upon.
      Pay up for their business class service and all of the objections disappear.
      The ONLY reason for this prohibition is money grubbing by the carriers. They sold it based on spam, but applied it to everything, even game servers.

    • by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Tuesday July 30, 2013 @08:54PM (#44430339)

      If you want high speed net access, and don't want to pay a lot, you have to play nice with others and share. You can be offered 100mbit or gig to your home, with backhaul to more or less support it, for not too much money. However you can't be offered dedicated bandwidth in that amount unless you want to pay a bunch more. Just how it works. When you start talking dedicated bandwidth, the backhaul goes up massively in requirements and thus cost.

      Well that means users have to keep their usage reasonable and that means no servers that gobble up bandwidth. If everyone plays nice and uses their net as home users normally do, links can be heavily oversubscribed and thus the price can be low. However if users start hammering things, it'll either mean poor service for everyone else or a need for a large increase in cost.

      You can't get everything for nothing. Fast shared networks work only when people share.

      • by citizenr (871508) on Tuesday July 30, 2013 @09:06PM (#44430431) Homepage

        If you want high speed net access, and don't want to pay a lot, you have to play nice with others and share. You can be offered 100mbit or gig to your home, with backhaul to more or less support it, for not too much money. However you can't be offered dedicated bandwidth in that amount unless you want to pay a bunch more. Just how it works.

        ah, so its the same as limited Unlimited offers then? pay for what we advertise, but dont you dare using it?

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by murdocj (543661)

        You are being rational. That's forbidden by the Slashdot Terms of Service.

      • by wisnoskij (1206448) on Tuesday July 30, 2013 @09:41PM (#44430603) Homepage

        "Well that means users have to keep their usage reasonable"
        I think more specifically, non commercial, and no public services.
        Sure, you can torrent a terabyte of movies, but don't open up a website offering terabytes of movies to everyone.

        • by smash (1351)
          Define: reasonable. If i am paying for say, a 100 megabit "unlimited" connection (if this is what is advertised) then it is "reasonable" to assume that I can use it in the manner advertised.
      • An ISP should provide me the ability to send and receive IP packets, routed to and from other IP addresses on the globally route-able internet. Nothing more, nothing less.

        If I'm not allowed to use a connection continuously at it's peak capacity, then write the exact limit in bandwidth terms into the contract. eg no more than X bandwidth Up/Down over period Y.

        Don't like it? Don't run an ISP.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          Don't like it? Don't run an ISP.

          Don't like how ISPs run their business? Plunk down your own money and start one that follows your ethical code.

          How about all ISPs change their policy to allow all open access to anyone with any device they want, but the base cost is $1000 a month? If you insist they have no right to limit you, and you plan to host a backup of Google.com, then that's what you'll pay.

          If you promise not "to use a connection continuously at it's peak capacity", they'll then knock off $500 to show their appreciation. If you prom

      • by FireFury03 (653718) <slashdot&nexusuk,org> on Wednesday July 31, 2013 @03:40AM (#44432379) Homepage

        Well that means users have to keep their usage reasonable and that means no servers that gobble up bandwidth.

        Ah, so small webserver that uses a few megabytes a day to serve photos to my family is banned because it is a server and will gobble the bandwidth, but maxing out the bandwidth 24/7 with movie downloads is ok coz that's a client and therefore bandwidth-light. Gotcha.

        If they care about bandwidth they can institute bandwidth caps and traffic throttling systems; the only reason for differentiating between "servers" and other traffic is to segment the market because people operating servers are often happier to pay more (often because they are a business). None of this is about "fair use" - its all about pushing people onto a more expensive "business" package (which is fundamentally identical to the "home" package, except for the price and a minor tweak to the T&Cs).

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Don't be evil my ass. One of the rules that I have long observed is that when a company says something in its name or slogan then it is a truth they are trying to avoid. So "Quality shoes" aren't. "Honest Bill's" isn't. "Discount Teds" won't. And "service with a smile" will result in a forced smile at best. "The customer comes first" should usually read "the customer's wallet comes first". And so on.

      So when Google comes out with Don't be evil I read it as "Will deny being evil."

      Hooking a server up to y
    • by erice (13380) on Tuesday July 30, 2013 @09:33PM (#44430563) Homepage

      Google plans to offer its own business-class services on Fiber. Can't have people running their own servers as competition. This company tends to claim support for whatever is politically popular among techies and then quietly go back on it when it affects their bottom line.

      Have they gone back, though? Speaking as a strong supporter of personal servers and one who has been running such servers on consumer grade Internet connections for 15 years, this is first time I've heard it suggested that Net Neutrality implied that ISP's needed to allow servers on their consumer Internet offerings.

      Net Neutrality, as I've understood it, means that an ISP must treat the packets to and from the Internet the same. For example: They should not impair packets from Yahoo or give preferential treatment to packets from Google. It means no matter who you are or how much money you have not have to bribe ISP's, as long as you can host a server, your customers will be able to reach it. It does not say that any ISP must always allow their customers to connect servers directly to their network.

      I think that geeks are seeing "Don't be evil" and assuming that this means that if Google is on their side on some issues that Google has to be on their side on all issues.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Cramer (69040)

        EXACTLY. Net Neutrality is all about packet level equality. No matter where they came from, where they're going, are what's in them, every packet gets the same equal and fair passage through the network. Under this plan, it would be "illegal" to prioritize your own (eg) VoIP traffic and/or degrade, or out right block, intentionally or otherwise, any competing service(s).

        This has nothing to do with what you are allowed to do with your internet connection. The terms of which say it's for *your* *personal* u

        • What if I alone use the "server" (I assume in this context that means "open, forwarded port", but I don't really know, which is maybe even scarier) to check my own e-mail from my email server (yes, there's that word again) locally hosted while I'm at work/school/vacation? Or I vpn home from any of said locations to access any of my files/internet, because I'd be crazy to trust the completely unsecured connection at the hotel or coffee shop?

          It's still my own personal use. No one else's. Oh, but they ha
      • If my ISP says I get 1Mbps upstream, it shouldn't matter if those upstream packets are acks to a fast download, or data packets being sent out by a server on my network. Net neutrality says that packets are packets.

    • by smash (1351)
      Pretty much. Define "server". Does my Quake server count? How about my Airport with back to my mac? The ssh port on my router? My home security webcam? There are plenty of legitimate reasons a home user may want to run a "server", especially if they have high bandwidth fiber.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      I feel like this crosses a line that Google has not before. Dropping free services is annoying, but not evil. G+ might have been stupid and copycat, but definitely not evil. Tracking... probably not evil. Caving to NSA? Legally required. But this... this is different.

      • Re:the fine print (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 30, 2013 @08:54PM (#44430337)

        It's trendy now to trash Google about everything but looking at this from a wider perspective this does not bode well for the consumer. As far as network neutrality Google was one of few big corporations actually supporting a free, open Internet. We still have isolated organizations like EFF but the idea of network neutrality is becoming more and more of 'what's a floppy?' kind of thing.

  • Misleading Article (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 30, 2013 @07:58PM (#44429961)

    No they didn't. Nearly every consumer ISP has clauses that state you can't run "business servers" through the residential connections. While that term is broad and hard to enforce, ISP's don't hassle you if your traffic is light or unobtrusive. I've only been notified by Charter about my server when it got a PHP/SQL injection and hosted a virus. As soon as that was cleared up and patched they didn't care about it.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by jdogalt (961241)

      The problem with these "Cover Your Ass" overreaching terms in the fine print is that they are very chilling to the development of home server software. If there was a "right to serve" on the internet, there would be more home server software developed, and in my opinion we would all be better off.

    • by Carewolf (581105) on Tuesday July 30, 2013 @08:02PM (#44429995) Homepage

      No they didn't. Nearly every consumer ISP has clauses that state you can't run "business servers" through the residential connections.

      Well, probably in the US, the rest of the world is not that silly.

      But even accepting that. Nearly every consumer ISP also was against net neutrality because it would disallow them from applying silly rules like that to maximize profit. Google claimed to be FOR net neutrality, well exactly until they became an ISP, and now they appear are against it.

  • If I wish to water some hedges trimmed into offensive shapes or power up a TV containing offensive images, it is NOT within the rights of the respective utility companies to tell me what to do. They can only charge me per unit of consumed resources. It's none of their business what I do with it. If you promise me X amount of mbp/s, then you damn well better deliver on it and 'do no evil' as you claim to.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      That's patently false. Public utilities are well within their rights to prohibit certain uses of their services. My local utility has a prohibition on using electricity for direct, resistive heating. That means no space heaters, no heating strips, and no electric stoves, dryers, or water heaters. It's because the electricity infrastructure is old and was not expanded to keep pace with suburban growth.

      When the grid here was built, there were 800 homes, and now there are 12,000.

      Utilities can enact any restric

    • In San Antonio, we have certain times that we are allowed to use sprinklers to water our lawn and we get charged penalties if we use too much water.

  • by MrEricSir (398214) on Tuesday July 30, 2013 @08:03PM (#44430005) Homepage

    The issue here isn't exactly net neutrality, it's that Google has to have some way of stopping users from sucking up all the bandwidth.

    If the ISPs quit insisting on these fake "unlimited" bandwidth plans, there wouldn't be a need to have weird rules to stop people from running high-bandwidth servers.

    • by jdogalt (961241) on Tuesday July 30, 2013 @08:08PM (#44430043) Journal

      I think it actually is net neutrality (of course, since I'm the complainant). However what you subsequently said is all spot-on. They want to have their cake and eat it too. They want to claim "unlimited bandwidth" in advertising, then not deliver it to the people smart enough to lawfully take advantage of it. In some circles such misleading advertising is known as "fraud".

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by mi (197448)
        The offers are not for "unlimited bandwidth". It is for "unlimited bandwidth without running a server of your own".

        It is not any more "fraudulent", than "all you can eat" buffets imposing a time-limit, for example.

        • by jdogalt (961241)

          you are right. In the sense that if every customer read that deep into the fine print, compared to the BOLD advertising claims alone, then it could not be considered "fraud". However it *can* then be considered a Network Neutrality violation, because a Quake3 server is just as legal a device to connect to the internet as an android tablet.

      • GP is correct, this isn't a "net neutrality" issue. It's a class of service issue. They offered a service with terms that you can't run your own server for a specific amount of money. The don't limit what devices you connect, what sites you access, what protocols you can run, etc. They don't give priority to their own services, or limit access to competitors, etc. You bought "consumer" access, not "provider" access, and the terms say you can't operate a publicly accessible server. If you want to operate a s

    • No, it's Net Neutrality and is very similar to the tiered systems that they were arguing against just 5-6 years ago.

    • If the ISPs quit insisting on these fake "unlimited" bandwidth plans, there wouldn't be a need to have weird rules to stop people from running high-bandwidth servers.

      We built a distributed network that is so self healing it's resistant to nuclear attacks -- Entire cities can disappear and packets get routed around the lost nodes momentarily...

      And what did they do? They built Centralized Data Silos and protocols that exclusively use the antiquated Client / Server architecture despite there being no distinction of client or server at the packet or link level. Perhaps, centralizing the damn data is the bandwidth problem... Yeah, really, that's the problem. Oh, if o

  • For me, the key thrust of net nuetrality is more about the network provider not being able to block or degrade the level of service based on the content being transfered and upon the providers preferences. For me, net neutrality doesn't really come into it with regards to the the amount of traffic I'm moving through the pipe I paid for -- that seems to be the domain of the license attached to the package plan I signed up for.

    In my mind, it would be evil for Google to tell me I can't serve up or consume ce
  • by Anonymous Coward

    It seems Google has its hands in everything: Search, social, advertising, online media, emails, cloud hosting, and now connectivity. At which point should we begin to worry?

  • Troll much? (Score:3, Informative)

    by Nethemas the Great (909900) on Tuesday July 30, 2013 @08:36PM (#44430223)
    A residential service is meant for residential purposes. Your TOS explicitly states this. If you wish to use your internet service for commercial purposes then you pay for commercial service. Implicit with your residential service is a certain expectation of consumption. To use a car analogy, you are buying a tank of gas. Your subscription dictates how much fuel you get. If you're paying for the consumption of a passenger car, why should you expect to get the fuel for a public bus? This isn't a network neutrality issue. This is attempting to freeload and crying when you aren't given what you didn't pay for.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by iggymanz (596061)

      your analogy is flawed. I buy ten gallons of gasoline it doesn't matter whether I put it in car, or bus or chainsaw.

      a "server" may or may not be commercial. if it uses a negligible portion of the bandwidth compared to videos and torrents and games, so what? it doesn't hurt the ISP any.

      • The analogy is very much NOT flawed. You folks just don't get it. It doesn't matter how "FAST" you suck the gas down, it's how "MUCH" you consume. You are paying for the ability to transfer data at 1Gbps, not the right to do it 24/7. If you want to right to do it 24/7 then you need to pony up for an OC3. ISPs are offering bandwidth with the expectation of residential loads on their residential service. The total capacity is built out with the idea that while people in the neighborhood may occasionally
        • Re:Troll much? (Score:4, Informative)

          by iggymanz (596061) on Tuesday July 30, 2013 @09:58PM (#44430687)

          1 Gbps? no, I pay and only get to do 6 Mbit/sec down and 758 kbit/sec up, the fastest rate available. the telecoms can upgrade their gear as they were paid billions by we the taxpayers and we the subscribers to do in the 90s, but they blew the money on a couple other interesting things.

  • by Ryanrule (1657199) on Tuesday July 30, 2013 @08:38PM (#44430233)

    If you have voting shareholders, you are evil. If you do not, you are probably evil.

  • "Servers" are technically difficult to accurately define within the context of a residential broadband connection, but you know what they are when you see them.

    The only solution that would satisfy the hordes of /.ers, apparently, involves treating every customer as a business customer. After which I fully expect /. to explode with wild conspiracy theories around the rising cost of broadband.

    • by iggymanz (596061) on Tuesday July 30, 2013 @08:50PM (#44430311)

      bullshit, typical geek "server" (domain with email and http server, maybe IRC or somesuch) uses negligible amount of the bandwidth of the home user who streams videos and/or plays multiplayer games.

      google can go fuck themselves and die in a fire, I've been running a "server" on my home network since the mid 90s, which accounted for less than 1% of my traffic.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 30, 2013 @08:42PM (#44430269)

    The whole original IDEA was peer to peer networking that could route around damage. Somehow, we've let it become "everything gets routed through a few big players, and they can tell you what packets you can send and receive".

    Sad thing is, this direction has been BLINDINGLY obvious for over a decade, easy. But nobody cared. It's only going to get worse and worse, until the internet is TV 2.0, just like the media companies wanted. And we - the internet using public - sat idly by and let them do it.

  • by pavera (320634) on Tuesday July 30, 2013 @09:49PM (#44430645) Homepage Journal

    Well.. I used to be jealous of the google fiber cities...

    Now I'm happy to live on with my 40mbps/20mbps connection with 16 static IPs and an ISP that happily lets me host servers in my basement...

    (minecraft, git repos, a couple web servers, media server, encrypted voip server for friends and family.... ) All cranking away on a couple old dell servers from ebay...

    seriously I wouldn't go near google fiber with that policy if they paid me to use it, in fact they couldn't pay me enough to use it (well... maybe if they paid me 6-700/mo so I could afford to colo my 2 servers in a cheapo datacenter)

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