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Author Topic: Network Neutrality  (Read 3850 times)

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Offline VekseidTopic starter

Network Neutrality
« on: April 13, 2017, 01:53:33 AM »
On a tangential note, I wrote a post about the recent rollback of privacy protections by Congress, along with what it means, and some advice. Please direct discussion of such to that topic. Thank you. : )



Network Neutrality is likely going to be a major topic soon, and something you are likely to hear about from many parties. This is no longer a subject I can afford to ignore.

While I bring this up because of the situation in the United States, it is helpful to understand this principle no matter where you are, as this debate has been properly settled in only a few countries.

Net Neutrality is a concept that ensures:

As an Internet server operator, I pay the same amount to send you the same amount of data, no matter what ISP you use. I do not have to make thousands of individual deals with individual ISPs, just for you to reach my site.
As an Internet consumer, you pay the same amount to retrieve the same amount of data, no matter what peers your service of choice uses to send you this data. You don't have to know what peering even is, much less which one connects you to my sites.
Thus, my datacenter operator can't block individual consumers without cause.
Nor can your ISP block websites without cause.

In an ideal situation, a given bit of data cannot be prioritized over another. This started to break down with the rise of bittorrent, and no longer quite applies.
Accordingly, Google and others discuss prioritizing non-streamed/torrented data in general. Although it makes up a minority of traffic, it has a much greater impact when a small amount of data is disrupted.
This is generally accepted, with some gripes. What brings this debate to the fore is the measures some ISPs have taken recently:

1) Throttling traffic from some websites - namely Youtube and Netflix - unless the ISP is paid an additional premium.
2) Completely blocking some forms of traffic externally, such as Comcast's interference with torrenting.
3) Promoting their own content for free, currently being called 'zero rating'.

This last has drawn some attention, because it begins to resemble the 'walled gardens' of the Internet's early, failed competitors. It gets a little bit too close to censorship for some tastes.

So far, Network Neutrality has had a powerful, leveling effect on the Internet's development. It does not require much effort to have a voice under Network Neutrality. A relatively tiny investment can reach any other Internet user, if they wish to listen.

There were many private competitors to the Internet during the 80's and early 90's. AoL, CompuServe, and Prodigy being the most well-known of these. The Internet - a US Government project - ate everything it did not simply crush.

Because none of them could compete with the unrestrained output of the rest of the planet.

This level playing field is why the Internet succeeded where every single private attempt failed.



What will the repeal of Network Neutrality in the United States mean?

Repealing neutrality opens the door to many tactics that block groups from reaching each other. Once any ISP can block any website unless it or its customers pay an additional fee, the fear is when this will happen, not if. Youtube and Netflix are already the first victims.

There are deeper concerns regarding political censorship:

Comcast owns NBC. If you are a Comcast customer, eventually, access to NBC services get 'zero-rated', while you have to use your limited bandwidth allotment for other services.

Fox News will cost you after your bandwidth is up, but MSNBC is still free!

AT&T is trying to buy Time Warner. Which includes CNN.

Verizon bought Yahoo. Which includes Tumblr.

I'm sure after Sumner Redstone dies his heirs will make some deals regarding the future of Viacom and CBS.

...this sort of writing has been on the wall for years, now. Given the above, I figured that Republicans would make the wise choice, accordingly.

That does not seem to be happening.



This is a freedom of speech issue. Network Neutrality helps guarantee it, by forcing Internet providers to be neutral parties.

Revoking it opens the door for ISPs to use moral or political guidelines in determining what sort of sites they allow access to, and for what price. I cannot be certain that, if there is no pushback on this, my sites will not eventually be impacted. Whether through increased costs or censorship.

For those inside the United States, there are things you can do. Two charities that help with the Network Neutrality fight are:

The Electronic Frontier Foundation is probably the most famous group lobbying for digital rights in the modern age.
Free Press is a smaller organization, more focused on Network Neutrality itself as well as other factors arising from media consolidation.

Once resolutions about this start showing up in Congress - most likely to legislate a way out of Title II - you are going to hear a lot more about this. At this point it would be a good idea to contact your representatives:

Call your representative or visit them in person. If you call, remember to keep it to a single statement - that you support Network Neutrality.
Do the same with your senators.

Whether you approve of them or not, Indivisible Guide has some solid insight into how to best communicate with your representatives.



Thank you for reading, everyone.
« Last Edit: April 13, 2017, 02:01:27 AM by Vekseid »

Offline Missy

Re: Network Neutrality
« Reply #1 on: April 13, 2017, 03:18:11 AM »
So basically it will be like the way my phone gets 10GB of internet a month then slows everything to a irritatingly pointless crawl, except with everything all the time.

Offline Hunter

Re: Network Neutrality
« Reply #2 on: April 13, 2017, 04:18:14 AM »
I expect that the big media companies are pushing quite hard behind the scenes to make net neutrality go away.    As I understand it (and correct me if I'm wrong), there's big money in the sale and resale of information concerning internet activity.    Not just shopping habits, but simple browsing as well (which is one the reasons I steer people away from Google Chrome as they keep track of everything you do while using it).

As for myself, I suspect that it's going to push my already limited internet use in an even more restrictive manner.   I don't use social media (though I do use Amazon, Netflix, and Hulu) as well as maintain only one email address (as opposed to several in the past).  If you've got any sort of privacy concerns....yeah.

Online Laughing Hyena

Re: Network Neutrality
« Reply #3 on: April 13, 2017, 06:43:12 AM »
Talking to all real life people whom will listen to me as well. Family, friends, acquaintances at the local bar I go to for weekly dinners.

Online Lustful Bride

Re: Network Neutrality
« Reply #4 on: April 13, 2017, 07:05:35 AM »
Talking to all real life people whom will listen to me as well. Family, friends, acquaintances at the local bar I go to for weekly dinners.

This is very important, Most people I feel don't really know or understand how Net Neutrality works and why its good for the people.

Offline Serephino

Re: Network Neutrality
« Reply #5 on: April 13, 2017, 07:36:33 AM »
Congress people contacted. 

Offline Aeval

Re: Network Neutrality
« Reply #6 on: April 13, 2017, 10:58:13 AM »
Thank you, Veks, for enlightening and updating us. I had no idea what this was or what it means, now I do. I am contacting my Senators and Representatives on a weekly basis, something I have NEVER done before. Their web addresses are on my desk top for easy access. These times call for it. This is now added to my list as well as sharing this with my family and friends.

Offline Daltin

Re: Network Neutrality
« Reply #7 on: April 13, 2017, 11:58:33 AM »
Why does this all sound like Communist China, except, instead of Gov. controlling your life, we have corporations do it?

Offline Vaulera

Re: Network Neutrality
« Reply #8 on: April 13, 2017, 01:11:45 PM »
I'm really not too knowledgeable about these sorts of things (though I've seen some things about Net neutrality before). What does this sort of thing mean for those of us who live outside the United States, and what, if anything can we do to help?

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Re: Network Neutrality
« Reply #9 on: April 13, 2017, 02:37:34 PM »
WTF is Trump and Congress trying to do to the US? Jesus.

Offline VekseidTopic starter

Re: Network Neutrality
« Reply #10 on: April 13, 2017, 03:18:11 PM »
I'm really not too knowledgeable about these sorts of things (though I've seen some things about Net neutrality before). What does this sort of thing mean for those of us who live outside the United States, and what, if anything can we do to help?

The exact situation depends on where you are.

Pretty much everywhere, it's a good idea to know what it is, and what its effects are. To be able to explain neutrality when people bring it up. Either in general discussion, or when it becomes a political topic again.

Because it will. No matter where you live.

And when it does, you can contact your member of parliament or other representative. Or support parties that have Network Neutrality as a part of their platform.

In the Anglosphere, The Register and Ars Technica cover US/UK/EU/Australia/New Zealand/Canada tech news, though it is tech focused and a lot of it may be rather meaningless to you. The Drupal drama on the front page of the Reg doesn't exactly affect your life, except in the most vaguely tangential of ways, for example.

So basically it will be like the way my phone gets 10GB of internet a month then slows everything to a irritatingly pointless crawl, except with everything all the time.

Well, what Comcast is doing is giving you a terabyte, and then you pay extra for overage. As more people cut cords and Comcast has to adapt to this reality, this seems to be the plan they have setup. Watching TV - especially at 4K - is going to eat through that fast.

Thus, Elliquiy isn't exactly a bandwidth target here. The concern is getting blocked outright based on some censorship policy.

Why does this all sound like Communist China, except, instead of Gov. controlling your life, we have corporations do it?

Thus we fight this now, so that this cannot happen.

Offline Thufir Hawat

Re: Network Neutrality
« Reply #11 on: April 13, 2017, 03:35:55 PM »
Why does this all sound like Communist China, except, instead of Gov. controlling your life, we have corporations do it?
Because it's what it is.
Except the communist government does have at least some interest in your well-being. Corporations don't have the restrictions of having to do governance.

Online stormwyrm

Re: Network Neutrality
« Reply #12 on: April 13, 2017, 05:13:46 PM »
ISPs attempting to extort extra fees from other websites for preferential access is nothing short of double dipping. I have worked in the ISP business in the past and know a bit of how it works. Netflix paid their ISPs for a certain amount of bandwidth to access the Internet and likewise you paid your ISP for the same thing. If your ISP and Netflix’s are not the same, their ISP and yours have peering and transit agreements with each other or any ISPs in between that pay for the traffic that flows between their networks. At every point, someone got paid their due. Thus, your ISP, which has no direct relationship with Netflix, shouldn’t then be able to go to Netflix and say: “Nice video streaming website you have there. Shame if our subscribers were throttled trying to access it.” Network neutrality rules are the only thing that prevents them from doing that.

Offline DarkAngel111

Re: Network Neutrality
« Reply #13 on: April 14, 2017, 08:31:10 AM »
So I am based in Pakistan and there is already censorship here, I have already had to use VPNs to access a lot of sites, I have to hop onto my neighbors Internet to use Bluemoon and the neighbor's internet won't run Elliquiy as efficiently as mine does.

I take it this is a related issue....

Offline NejraTu

Re: Network Neutrality
« Reply #14 on: April 14, 2017, 04:52:21 PM »
I'm really not too knowledgeable about these sorts of things (though I've seen some things about Net neutrality before). What does this sort of thing mean for those of us who live outside the United States, and what, if anything can we do to help?

Vekseid's reply is on point, but I have one add I feel the need to stress:

Regardless of where you live, contact your government/official representatives to urge them to fight for the continued integrity of net neutrality.

The U.S. does waaaay too much business outside the U.S. not to pay attention to other world leaders. It's a historical fact that pressures from beyond the U.S.'s borders can effect our governance. Be specific. Be persistent. Be ready to "vote" with your wallet. (i.e. stop supporting business that even discuss this as an option. Money talks and little impacts add up when done collectively so spread the word too!)


Which brings me to this comment:

WTF is Trump and Congress trying to do to the US? Jesus.

Make money, limit free information/trade,  plus control the flow of money & information... if I had to distill it into 3 general categories.

Ultimately though, money is the power of the U.S. government, not the president, not congress, not even the people... There is more to look at as a U.S. citizen than this one issue, but if you haven't started anywhere, this is a great place to begin the learning process, to change the way you look at the news you're "given," and to figure out how you can best do something about it.

--

Thank you, Vekseid, for making this public service announcement and doing it so thoroughly yet succinctly.
Thank you, stormwyrm, for the clarification on "peers" and how that relates, I was going to look that up because the term was new to me.

Cheers,
Tu


Offline VekseidTopic starter

Re: Network Neutrality
« Reply #15 on: April 14, 2017, 05:14:13 PM »
So I am based in Pakistan and there is already censorship here, I have already had to use VPNs to access a lot of sites, I have to hop onto my neighbors Internet to use Bluemoon and the neighbor's internet won't run Elliquiy as efficiently as mine does.

I take it this is a related issue....

Rather odd that one would get blocked and not the other. Have you tried using Google DNS? That might get around some of the censorship.

Offline DarkAngel111

Re: Network Neutrality
« Reply #16 on: April 15, 2017, 03:25:30 AM »
Rather odd that one would get blocked and not the other. Have you tried using Google DNS? That might get around some of the censorship.

E works easily enough Bluemoon does not, for some reason it shows I am banned on there. whenever I log in. However works fine on the other internet. Already it checked there it wasn't an IP problem, right now I get around by using VPNs

Offline VekseidTopic starter

Re: Network Neutrality
« Reply #17 on: April 15, 2017, 03:52:00 AM »
E works easily enough Bluemoon does not, for some reason it shows I am banned on there. whenever I log in. However works fine on the other internet. Already it checked there it wasn't an IP problem, right now I get around by using VPNs

Oh. I'd suggest pming Darkangel76 about it. Happens from time to time. : /

Offline DarkAngel111

Re: Network Neutrality
« Reply #18 on: April 15, 2017, 04:03:09 AM »
oh I did, the issue was not with my IP address.
Its some kind of blocking tried to get it resolved still happens. but Its okay I have found a way around haha. But yeah that kind of censorship does suck.

Online Blythe

Re: Network Neutrality
« Reply #19 on: November 21, 2017, 03:00:02 PM »
While I'm aware this topic is a few months old, this popped up on one of my feeds and felt relevant to the topic, given recent info I read about the FCC. I find that The Oatmeal can really talk about things in a way that is very open and understandable (with some rather pithy sarcasm/humor), and since it was about Net Neutrality, I wanted to share, given that the fight for Net Neutrality is certainly not over:

http://theoatmeal.com/blog/net_neutrality
« Last Edit: November 21, 2017, 03:09:01 PM by Blythe »

Offline beanhollow

Re: Network Neutrality
« Reply #20 on: November 23, 2017, 11:05:29 PM »
I have also found an article popping up on my news feed discussing the Net Neutrality situation/possible changes.

I really need to thank you Blythe because the article you posted lightened my mood from the nasty wordy article I had looked over.

Also! Happy Thanksgiving everyone! *Throws a pile of leaves up in the air before falling back and making a leaf-angel*
I hope everyone got to eat a lot of yummy food!  :-)

Offline Oreo

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Re: Network Neutrality
« Reply #21 on: November 27, 2017, 04:29:07 AM »
The vote on this proposal is on December 14...ACT NOW!

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Re: Network Neutrality
« Reply #22 on: November 27, 2017, 09:29:09 AM »
The vote on this proposal is on December 14...ACT NOW!

I seriously hope it doesn't pass. Not sure how it will affect me being in Canada, but I have many friends in the US that it would affect.

Offline ThatRPGuy

Re: Network Neutrality
« Reply #23 on: November 27, 2017, 01:01:20 PM »
I just want whoever made that news box ad to know that it is working. I started at it for a solid twenty seconds before it sunk in that no, the news box doesn't do java or any other language those animated or interactive ads are encoded in, and I was looking at the ad. Well played.

That said, hope everyone is ready to vote!

Offline Blank

Re: Network Neutrality
« Reply #24 on: December 01, 2017, 12:35:20 PM »
Here are some other means to have your voice be heard.

Make an informal complaint by calling the FCC

Emails of memebers of FCC:
Ajit Pai, Chairman
Ajit.Pai@fcc.gov

Mignon Clyburn, Commissioner
Mignon.Clyburn@fcc.gov

Michael O'Rielly, Commissioner
Mike.O'Rielly@fcc.gov

Brendan Carr, Commissioner
Brendan.Carr@fcc.gov

Jessica Rosenworcel, Commissioner
Jessica.Rosenworcel@fcc.gov

Comment on Restoring Internet Freedom also known as www.gofccyourself.com