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The Internet

Cloudflare Might Be Exploring a Way To Slow Down FCC Chairman Ajit Pai's Home Internet Speeds (twitter.com) 308

Late Wednesday night, TechCrunch reporter Josh Constine pleaded to tech billionaires to purchase local ISPs near FCC chairman Ajit Pai's home and slow down his Internet speeds. One of the responders to that tweet was Matthew Prince, co-founder and chief executive of Cloudflare, who said: I could do this in a different, but equally effective, way. Sent note to our GC to see if we can without breaking any laws. In a statement to Slashdot, Mr. Prince said: Probably the easiest thing would be to slow down requests from the FCC's IP ranges. Or put up an interstitial whenever someone from those IPs visits a site behind us. I think it's less likely we'd do it across the board ourselves, more likely we'd implement it as an option our customers could opt in to. Basically taking this a step further.
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Cloudflare Might Be Exploring a Way To Slow Down FCC Chairman Ajit Pai's Home Internet Speeds

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  • by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Thursday November 23, 2017 @09:12AM (#55610121)

    Buy up all ISPs in his area and simply refuse service to him. Since it's not based on race, gender, ethnicity, sexual preference or anything it should be no problem to deny him service.

    • by sinij ( 911942 ) on Thursday November 23, 2017 @09:16AM (#55610137)
      In Ajit's case FCC chairman is clearly a disability, and thus a protected status.
      • A disability he can immediately cure by stepping down.

    • by svanheulen ( 901014 ) on Thursday November 23, 2017 @09:24AM (#55610185)
      "Buy up all ISPs in his area..." Soooo... just Comcast then?
    • Sorry, but the phone company is still a utility and can't deny service.
      • by StormReaver ( 59959 ) on Thursday November 23, 2017 @09:36AM (#55610239)

        Sorry, but the phone company is still a utility and can't deny service.

        They don't have to deny service. Just QoS him down to 300 baud. They can say that his circuit is overloaded, but they won't fix it. By Pai's own rules, that is perfectly fair. And since he won't have a choice of ISP's (which, by his own words, is thriving competition), he's stuck at a permanent 300 baud.

      • then he can surf the internets and download with a 56k modem
        remember those???, it would take a full minute for a website like slashdot to load 15 years ago, today the new version would probably take 5 minutes on a 56k
        • The Slowloris protection would probably kick you off first.

        • I just did a .webarchive of the site right now, and the file is 3209323 bytes.

          A quick search told me a 56kbps modem downloaded at about 6800 bytes per second.

          That means Slashdot would take ~472 seconds to load (7 minutes and 52 seconds).

          If something like Slashdot takes 3.2MB of data, imagine the size of the websites Ajit Pai is visiting (ex: New York Times, CNN, whatever).

      • Yeah, kinda. The phone company can't deny him phone service. They don't have to offer Internet service.
    • His house is in Arlington, VA [washingtonexaminer.com] which has numerous ISPs [yelp.com] including Cox and Verizon. So, crowdfunding, then?

      • Maybe buying him would be cheaper.

        • by gtall ( 79522 )

          Too late, he's already been bought. Wait and see which telecom he is hired by after he leaves office...services rendered ought to get him a very nice salary and perks.

          • by DewDude ( 537374 )
            He's actually already Verizon property; he worked for them before Verizon bought the FCC seat and stuck him there.
  • Excelent (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 23, 2017 @09:14AM (#55610129)

    Just wait until he makes this legal, and then do it.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      On this wonderful Thanksgiving day, I just want to give a shout out to APK and his HOSTS file generator!

      Net neutrality does not scare me as I know this tool will just tunnel a way to my internet destinations using only fast lanes, since it runs in kernel mode on the IP stack.

      APK for AG! Who is with me?

    • by DewDude ( 537374 )
      I'm of the opinion if the big guys are so hell-bent on breaking the internet; then just disconnect them from it. See how the Comcasts and Verizons respond when they suddenly can't get connectivity outside of their network because the transit providers are no longer required to. The agree to peering if they agree to conditions that include neutrality. They start to break conditions, you break peering.
      • by billn ( 5184 )

        You'll know what direction we're headed, for sure, when Netflix starts buying ISPs.

  • Plan "B" (Score:5, Funny)

    by boudie2 ( 1134233 ) on Thursday November 23, 2017 @09:20AM (#55610161)
    The old reliable - flaming bag of dog shit on his doorstep.
  • by sinij ( 911942 ) on Thursday November 23, 2017 @09:21AM (#55610175)
    I like my Internet free, but recent article in The Atlantic [theatlantic.com] made me second-guess this.

    Key idea is as follows:

    A public darling during the Obama years, when net neutrality won out, the tech industry has effectively become Big Tech, an aggressor industry along the lines of pharmaceuticals, oil, or tobacco. It’s true that one set of giant internet companies, like Comcast and Verizon, can’t currently mess with what people read, watch, and explore online. But another faction of giant internet companies can and do exert that power and control. Google, Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix, and others manage access to most of the content created and delivered via broadband and wireless networks.

    • by Comboman ( 895500 ) on Thursday November 23, 2017 @09:45AM (#55610275)
      If Google abuses their dominant position in web search to promote (or hide) certain sites, that's definitely a problem and the FTC should look into it; but at least I have the option of using Bing or DuckDuckGo. Google's dominance is not a true monopoly. If I live in area were Comcast is the only option and they are promoting or blocking certain sites, I have not recourse because they are a physical monopoly and need to be regulated as such.
      • by sinij ( 911942 )
        We are not quite there yet, but what are you going to do when businesses start operating on one of these platforms? Sure, you can try avoid using Google, unless your small-business email is run by them. Or what about Facebook, already I heard that Starbucks uses it to schedule shifts.

        I think this particular problem is only going to get worse.
    • This has nothing to do with net neutrality. If anything, eliminating net neutrality would cast their dominant position in concrete, with google et al being able to afford "priority lanes" for their content while emerging new contenders and other sources for information would be struggling against slower and worse service.

    • Key idea is stupid. Not having net neutrality makes that problem worse, not better.

    • You are confusing the ISPs (the connection, which is at risk if NN is overturned) and the content providers (which have nothing to do with NN as far as I understand it).

      I can only conclude that your are a troll paid by Comcast, Verizon, AT&T, etc.

  • by RedK ( 112790 ) on Thursday November 23, 2017 @09:23AM (#55610181)
    I for one will enjoy the civil suit that follows. Of course we know this is just a bunch of kids throwing a tantrum. Nevermind the fact that they are of adult age.
    • Of course we know this is just a bunch of kids throwing a tantrum. Nevermind the fact that they are of adult age.

      And hopefully, having no usable Internet access will cause them to grow up and reinstate Net Neutrality.

    • by OzPeter ( 195038 ) on Thursday November 23, 2017 @09:45AM (#55610273)

      I for one will enjoy the civil suit that follows. Of course we know this is just a bunch of kids throwing a tantrum. Nevermind the fact that they are of adult age.

      I prefer to think of it as an experiment in demonstrating access in a post-net-neutrality world to a fixed sample sized demographic in order to obtain sociological impact data to the proposed rule changes.

    • by Luthair ( 847766 )

      They're just shaping traffic...

      This is actually the reverse of what a lot of companies do - politicians and other officials are often (even if they aren't aware) have their accounts filtered out of normal channels and preferentially treated with kid gloves.

    • by Khyber ( 864651 )

      "I for one will enjoy the civil suit that follows."

      Over what? Pai doesn't have a fucking contract for anything with CloudFlare, they're under ZERO obligation to send anything to him for any fucking reason. It's their CDN, and he has no contract so they can freely refuse him access.

    • No, it's legally protected speech. They have grievances with a public official.

  • He can find many ways to avoid this - ask the ISP to change the IP address and keep it secret, use a neighbour WiFi, use mobile internet...
    Throttle the net for all FCC offices. This will be much easier to do, much harder to avoid and much more effective.
  • by Luthair ( 847766 ) on Thursday November 23, 2017 @10:26AM (#55610459)
    Companies can choose not to do business with someone, what if Google, Netflix, etc. all terminated his services. Attempts to get around it could be prosecuted under the computer fraud and abuse act ;)
    • I like that, actually. Internet banishment (or at least from the major services we now think of as critical to the Internet) as a punishment for inflicting damage on the Internet.

      Google would certainly have the ability to identify his connections and block Google Docs, GMail, and search. Netflix requires an account. You'd still have to get Microsoft online before you'd be able to hurt him significantly.

      On the other hand, I suspect those corporations don't want to be seen taking personalized retaliatory a

    • Facebook could get interesting. Considering that more and more companies use Facebook as a convenient way to sign in to save themselves the hassle to verify who they're dealing with and offload it to FB, that would make it quite a bit tricky to use a lot of webpages.

      And even if it doesn't mean shutout, it at least means creating a new account.

    • by sinij ( 911942 )
      You are cheering for this now, because it aligns with your values. However, such "weapon" should never be used or it will get used again, and maybe turned against you. What if FB, for example, start banning Ajax developers from their platform. They probably know that much about you. Say Zuck decided to do forceful deprecation of Ajax, like Jobs tried to do with Flash. I am sure someone out there can make a compelling argument how the web would be better if all Ajax developers were banned from everywhere, an
      • by PPH ( 736903 )

        However, such "weapon" should never be used or it will get used again

        This, exactly.

        Absent some sort of regulations prohibiting such use of course. We could write these regulations. And call them something like ...

        .... net neutrality.

      • by Luthair ( 847766 )
        It wasn't meant be entirely serious, I think the bigger issue is that Comcast & al could do it to the FCC commissioner overturning the decision. I feel like there is probably a law against it, though it might not be a 'threat' or blackmail if the company didn't say anything ahead of time and didn't tie reversing it to policy changes.
    • If I want to sell advertising on my websites I have to sell to Google. There just isn't anyone else who offers anything like Google's service and value unless I want to sell porn or malware. If I wanted to buy advertising on the internet, I advertise on Google or Facebook. No one else can reach my target audience.
  • Unless Ajit Pai has a penchant for pornography he isn't likely to notice. Actually given how many times I've gone to sites hosted on Cloudfare to be met with the Error 502 message would he even notice any difference?
  • As a protest, the minute this law is passed, all content providers should choose an ISP and reduce/delay/congest access from said provider for a given week. Then roll to the next ISP the following week until the law is repealed or Pai gets fired. This would be the perfect example as to the consequences of this law and if I am not mistaken, the right to protest is a form of speech so it would be perfectly legal.

    I would think if there is enough noise the politicians will remember how the got into power. Rammi

  • Better yet, have the speeds vary widely over time...

    7:02pm, 5Mb download speed
    7:04pm, 0.2Mb download speed
    7:45pm, 8Mb download speed
    7:47pm, 0.003Mb download speed ...and so on. Drive his corrupt ass crazy, and make sure you fuck with his phone.

    And better than that would be to make him a walking dead zone, so that the minute he walks into a Starbucks, everybody's speed drops to a crawl. He leaves, the speed goes back up.

    Make him like Typhoid Mary for bandwidth- a mobile dead zone that no one wants to be near

    • by mark-t ( 151149 )
      I like this... Especially your second suggestion. But is there a way to do it that's legal, but only without net neutrality?
      • I like this... Especially your second suggestion. But is there a way to do it that's legal, but only without net neutrality?

        Not to worry- I think the mega-corps are working on it. That way they can flip a switch and make anyone they don't like an instant pariah. It'll take implanting locator chips into every living human being, but I'm sure they're working on that too.

        • by mark-t ( 151149 )
          More realistically, I think it would involve just tracking his mobile device, which would likely achieve the same ends for most practical purposes, but I'm not sure if even *THAT* is legal without his permission, let alone implementing the effects described above.
  • Far better would be for billionaires to invest into SpaceX or 1-web and then push to get the sats going, with cheap 1 GB connections.
    Another would be to invest into Googles Fiber, and continue stringing that. At that point, whenever an ISP introduces differential, simply announce that you will start building in those areas starting with their most profitable locations. They will QUICKLY stop it.
  • This is not over yet! Sadly, we need to keep saying the same thing to the same people, who want to ignore the overwhelming, bipartisan public support for net neutrality [mozilla.org]. Weigh in directly with the FCC with this form [fcc.gov], type 17-108 in the "Proceeding(s)" box, then fill in the rest of the required information.

    This is a battle between the interests of consumers (citizens) and the interests of large ISPs (corporations). It is also crucial to us as citizens to have the free speech protections provided by strong

  • Easy (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sexconker ( 1179573 ) on Thursday November 23, 2017 @12:41PM (#55611157)

    A simple, guaranteed fix to turn this around would be to shut the internet down for 24 hours. I recommend Thanksgiving evening to Black Friday evening.

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