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Google Fiber Partially Reverses Server Ban 169

Posted by timothy
from the read-write-tops-read-only dept.
Lirodon writes "After being called out by the Electronic Frontier Foundation for banning the loosely-defined use of "servers" on its Fiber service, Google appears to have changed its tune, and now allows 'personal, non-commercial use of servers that complies with this AUP is acceptable, including using virtual private networks (VPN) to access services in your home and using hardware or applications that include server capabilities for uses like multi-player gaming, video-conferencing, and home security.'"
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Google Fiber Partially Reverses Server Ban

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  • i got a question (Score:4, Interesting)

    by etash (1907284) on Tuesday October 15, 2013 @08:55AM (#45131109)
    but does google offer google fiber for businesses for those who want to host their own servers ? Or the only service they offer is for home users ?
  • by C0C0C0 (688434) on Tuesday October 15, 2013 @09:06AM (#45131191)
    Of course, I'm glad to see the policy nixed (like I'll ever get Google fiber), but I think it's rare we give companies props for reversing decisions we've nuked them for. So, go Google. Way not to be evil.
    • It's more than them not being evil. Their original stance is exactly the same as most ISPs: no servers on home accounts. While these are rarely enforced, allowing most game (i.e. Minecraft) servers and the like, it is still the policy of any ISP I've dealt with. Google has done a good thing by allowing these personal use servers. Sadly, they're not likely to reduce the amount of traffic sniffing.
    • Lets move away from the silly evil / not evil. It's a good motto, it's good to try to not be evil, but in judging the actions of people or companies, declaring whether things are good or evil is simplistic and useless. It's clear that google fiber is better than most of the options that currently exist for most people, but it's clear that it's not perfect compared to how good it could be while still making a healthy profit. I think that's about as simple a statement as one can make.
  • All this means is that they've implemented the infrastructure needed to intercept and decode your traffic.

    • Not exactly. While I'm not saying they don't, this does not prove they do.

      Something as simple as looking at their logs to see you've been transferring several TB per month is enough to tell them something is going on.

      Ideally, this would be the extent of the cotrols - low volume stuff that people typically use wouldn't register (or wouldn't seem extraordinary) and they'd quickly spot some smartass trying to run an ISP.

  • I feel like if the founding fathers had been born when I was, they would have known that "freedom to listen" on port 80 is just as important as "freedom of speech."

    What difference does it make if I'm using a home connection to promote my political ideas? The exceptions listed do nothing to benefit freedom of speech. You pay for home internet, and then they want to ding you again to serve up your ideas on Port 80. Why don't they just give you a NAT'ed address and be done with it forever.

    • by Yer Mom (78107)

      Why don't they just give you a NAT'ed address and be done with it forever.

      This is probably one of the reasons for server ban clauses these days — if they do decide to go to carrier-grade NAT rather than, say, actually getting IPv6 working, then they can dismiss complaints of breakage with "you shouldn't have been running a server anyway"...

    • Why don't they just give you a NAT'ed address and be done with it forever.

      Which is what my ISP did. And they're damned proud of it, too. Even have a webpage dedicated to telling people how awesome and safe this whole NATing thing is. A big problem is that the tier 1 techs have no idea what that even means. I reckon they have to have some incentive to resolve issues themselves as opposed to escalating tickets because they fight tooth and nail to hold onto your issue, even if they're not authorized to resolve

    • The problem with your argument is that port 80 is not required to serve up a webpage, merely a default. You can easily host on another port.
      • by Yebyen (59663)

        OK sure. Take a random sample of 100 people on the street and see how many make it back to your webpage when you tell them to visit "spire dot net colon 9000"

        Impediments such as this placed in the way of free speech are in fact prior restraint on free speech. I suppose you think it's OK to have mandatory voter IDs too?

        • Adding a port number to a URL is like dialing an extension on a phone. Sure its not 100% convenient, 'direct dial' is preferred, but its not a civil rights violation. The 'workaround' is incredibly trivial and adds no burden. I wont address the rest of your comment as it is irrelevant to the point.
  • by RichMan (8097) on Tuesday October 15, 2013 @09:35AM (#45131417)

    Any provider that bans "servers" is not providing internet access. They are providing media consumption access. They should be forced to very clearly differentiate that as a type of service provided.

    Internet access is unconstainted IP packets. Both TCP and UDP and whatever other protocol you want.

    • by Sockatume (732728)

      Believe it or not there are shades of grey between "completely unfettered use of the connection" and "I am ter conumar", and properly discussing this issue would probably benefit from understanding the kinds of distinctions involved.

    • There isn't much demand for Internet access at home, apart from the edge cases that inhabit Slashdot.
    • Any provider that bans "servers" is not providing internet access. They are providing media consumption access.

      And this is all the MAFIAA is willing to allow. The tiny portion of Internet users who believe any other use is even possible, let alone useful, would fit comfortably on the campus of your average US land-grant university.

    • by Kjella (173770)

      Internet access is unconstainted IP packets. Both TCP and UDP and whatever other protocol you want.

      Since pretty much all residental connections I know of block outgoing port 25 I don't think most of the world has "internet access" the way you define internet access. Good luck in your quest to redefine it.

      • by swillden (191260)

        Internet access is unconstainted IP packets. Both TCP and UDP and whatever other protocol you want.

        Since pretty much all residental connections I know of block outgoing port 25

        Google Fiber doesn't.

        • by cbhacking (979169)

          CenturyLink does by default but you can get them to allow it. Clear allows it. I think the GP is a bit... confused, and thinks that Comcast = "pretty much all residential connections". No, thank you!

    • by Luthair (847766)

      I disagree. They definitely provide the user with unrestricted access to the Internet, however they don't claim to provide the Internet with access to the user.

      Look up the dictionary definition of access then explain which definition you're trying to use to justify your statement.

  • by GodfatherofSoul (174979) on Tuesday October 15, 2013 @11:34AM (#45132705)

    If you can't run servers on it? I can't imagine using even a fraction of that unless I'm running some kinds of servers out of my house.

    • by fallen1 (230220)

      Porn. Massive amounts of all-I-can-possibly-see (until I go blind from it) porn downloaded or streamed at glorious speeds. ;-)

    • by cgt (1976654)
      I believe the point is that you don't have to worry about bandwidth (or latency).
  • If you were ever interested in running for city council or mayor, this may be your year [dslreports.com].

    Two weeks after OP balked at Google Fiber they approved it, only to have Google withdraw the offer. OP will now be the island of "no gigabit" in a sea of Internet.

  • These are all potential applications that could be enabled by Home Server Applications. These require good security. But "Why can't we make secure apps?". And yes you can do all this now. It is just not as easy as it could be.

    a) Why can't I have my own "facebook" Why do my pictures have to be uploaded to a webserver with dubious terms of use that are subject to modification at any time. My own server would allow access only to my friends and totally controll my content among that group.
    b) Google Drive, with

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