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It isn't just eBay. Here's the list of members of a coalition lobbying for net neutrality:

The It's Our Net Coalition is a broad coalition of consumers, grassroots groups and businesses working together to preserve the Internet and Net Neutrality. Members and Supporters Include:

Acopia Networks

Adaptive Marketing LLC

Adobe

Advancedmultimedia.com

Aegon Direct Marketing Services, Inc.

Airespring

Amazon.com

American Association of Law Libraries

American Libraries Association

AnalogZone

AngleBeds.com

Ask.com

Association of Research Libraries

Awow Communications

Bandwidth.com

BE THE MEDIA

Blip.tv

Bloglines

Borsetti & Co.

Business Software Alliance

CALTEL

Cendant

Chemistry.com

Christian Coalition

CinemaNow

CitizenReporter.com

CitySearch

CLASSIFIED Channel

Cogent Communications

CommPartners Holding Company

COMPTEL

Comunicano, Inc.

Consumer Federation of America

Corliant

Cornerstone Brands, Inc.

CPrompt

Creative Commerce

Dagdamor Media

Data Foundry

Dave Pettito Direct

DiMA

Domania

Downstream

Dreamsleep.com

Dresses.com

Eagle's View Press, LLC

EarthLink

eBay

eBrands Commerce Group

Echo Commerce, LLC

Economics & Technology, Inc.

Educause

Elaine P. Dine

ElectionChannel.com

Electronic Retailing Association

Entertainment Publications

Evite.com

Excite

Expedia

Free Press

Free World Dialup

GetSmart

Gifts.com

Google

GotVoice, Inc.

Graceline Canada

Hawthorne Direct

Home Improvement Channel

Home Shopping Network

Hotels.com

Hotwire

HSE24

IAC/InterActiveCorp

Iceland Health Inc.

iFreedom Communications

iNest

InPulse Response

INS

Intel

Interactive Travel Services Association

InterMetro

Internet2

Interval International

Intervox.com

IntraISP

Invens Capital

Isen.com, LLC

IVR Technologies

iWon

J. Arnold & Associates

JohnnyZip

Lafayette Group, Inc.

Law Offices of James Tobin

LendingTree

Lingo, Inc.

Listyourself.net

Livemercial

Match.com

McFadden Associates

MCM Telecom

Media Access Project

Media Partners Worldwide

Mercury Media

Merrick Group

Microcom

Microsoft

Miller & Van Eaton

Multichannel Ventures

MyTalent.com

National Coaltion for History

National Retail Federation

Nationalblinds.com

Neo Computers

NetCoalition

Nobox.com

Objectworld

OR-Live.com

Pac-West

PointOne

PRC

Primus Telecommunications

Product Partners LLC

Public Knowledge

Pulver.com

RealEstate.com

Real Estate Channel

ReserveAmerica

Rifftone.com

S & B Technical Products

Savatar

Savvier

Scrapblog.com

ServiceMagic

Shelcomm

Shoebuy.com

Skype

Skype Journal

Sling Media Inc.

SOHOlutions

Sonus Capital Management

Sony Electronics Inc.

Success in the City

SunRocket

Symantec

Symercy Financial Corp.

TechNet

Techviser

Telekom Austria

Telephia

TELLO

TicketChannel.com

Ticketmaster

Tier1Research

TiVO

TNS

Tonystickets.com

Tranquilitymattress.com

Travelocity

udate.com

USAction

VI Technologies

Vivox

Washington Bureau for ISP Advocacy

WCW Networks

We are the Web

Yahoo!

Financial Supporters include:

Amazon

eBay

Google

IAC

Microsoft

Yahoo!

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  • 2 years later...
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*** Mod's note: Meta-blog thread, merged into an earlier topic. - sN ***

 

By David from Truth, Justice, and the American Way,cross-posted by MetaBlog
 

According to Ars Technica, yesterday the FCC ordered Comcast to stop slowing down the Internet traffic of users who use excessive file-sharing (P2P) software.  Instead, Comcast will slow down the Internet service of all users who use a lot of traffic, regardless of the content.  Other ISP’s will probably follow Comcast’s lead.

Basically, this order means that users who are anonymously sharing software and movies using file-sharing software (the vast majority of which is pirated and illegal) must be treated the same as users who are doing things such as video chat, telecommuting, and other application that rely on real-time communications.  While not all P2P traffic is illegitimate, surely real-time applications should be given a lower priority than file-sharing.  Either way - ISP’s have the right to decide how to best route traffic on their network.  Yet no law was necessary - just another politically-motivate decree from some nameless bureaucrat.

Score yet another victory for anti-corporate hysteria and the egalitarian ideology which is destroying capitalism and the rule of law in the name of “neutrality.”

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Edited by softwareNerd
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I can't stand this net neutrality bs. I'm studying in software design so most people I hang out with are geeks and they won't shut up about that crap. I would assume that most of them would be against this since they plan to make money on their IP, but no. They can't see past their free music.

They steal then complain that companies don't just roll over and continue producing for no compensation like good little slaves. They don't see anything wrong with forcing ISPs to use their resources to be accessories to theft.

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Forgive this rant, but I don't like the way the whole Net Neutrality issue is being framed, either by its supporters or by its detractors, and I have to say something.

I was very frustrated when I found myself having to wait a really long time to download NIN's The Slip -- legally, with the permission of NIN -- using BitTorrent on Comcast. The download did eventually succeed. It was the first time I had used BitTorrent in a year or so; the time before that was to download Fedora Core 6, and that download was not throttled.

I don't use BitTorrent to steal. I don't think it's right that I get "punished" for the crimes of others. I don't think it's right that there is a presumption of guilt regarding the use of BitTorrent.

Someone (in industry or government) apparently does think it's right.

I do not think Comcast is at fault for this. I think the government is at fault -- by allowing a few entertainment companies to bully the ISPs into doing things that ought to be illegal. Indirectly, the government is doing it, simply by allowing it to be done.

I don't think the ISPs should be monitoring all my traffic just so they can see whether I am pirating or not (or what sites I am accessing or what protocols I am using). The ISP should not be able to monitor my traffic at all, without a court order -- and they shouldn't have to. If I pirate stuff, the liability is mine, not theirs.

Should the phone company listen in to all my calls? After all, the phone system is the phone company's property! What if I'm playing copyrighted CDs over the phone to people? Or making threats? Maybe the phone company should be liable for damages. If they fail to listen in, they're apparently supporting that sort of activity. (That's the kind of theory that supports ISP monitoring.)

Do I have the right, when I enter into a contract with an ISP, to see that they hold up their end? Or do their property rights allow them to break the contract without consequence?

Do I have any implied rights when I enter into such a contract, such as the right not to have my data searched without a warrant, or the right to know what the rules are before I am accused of breaking them, or the right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty, or the right to confront my accusers, or the right to compel testimony in my defense? Or do their "property rights" (and the property rights of a few entertainment companies) trump all that? (If the contract states out in the open that you are waiving such a right, then there it is, but otherwise, the assumption should be that they are not waived.)

Net neutrality opponents seem to say, no, you have no rights regarding the Internet at all; you are subject to the whims of those in charge, whether they be the ISPs or a few entertainment companies.

Net neutrality advocates aren't asking the right questions. They think the problem can be cured by more statism, but with the guns pointed the other way.

Net Neutrality is just like that electrical "deregulation" in California that preceded the Enron collapse. There were hundreds of pages of regulations governing the newly "deregulated" electrical grid. Those regulations created problems in California that year, and Enron ended up getting blamed for them.

What's needed is real deregulation and a return to individual rights. The entertainment companies have rights. Comcast has rights. Comcast's customers have rights.

[The above was written in the heat of the moment, as it were, and may have gaps. I revised it a couple of times to try to clarify things.]

Edited by necrovore
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I don't think the ISPs should be monitoring all my traffic just so they can see whether I am pirating or not (or what sites I am accessing or what protocols I am using). The ISP should not be able to monitor my traffic at all, without a court order -- and they shouldn't have to. If I pirate stuff, the liability is mine, not theirs.

Why? Its not your network, they can monitor whatever they like - providing its under the terms you signed up under.

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What's needed is real deregulation and a return to individual rights. The entertainment companies have rights. Comcast has rights. Comcast's customers have rights.

Thats true (although as a customer you only have whatever rights the ISP specified in your contract), but as far as I can tell that's the exact opposite of netneutrality. They're basically trying to nationalize ISPs. Go talk to any proponent of netneutrality, they're all anti-corporate, and anti-capitalists.

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From what I've read on netneutrality, the Internet is basically conceived of as some sort of basic public utility, which is wrong, of course. Early on, however, the idea of "unlimited" bandwidth usage came up and the companies began switching to that mode. I remember when I first got on the Internet around 1989 and was using, I think AT&T, they didn't think much of the Internet usage of their phone lines and were going to charge customers based on downloads, and it would have cost me over $200 per month just to receive email from an Objectivist email discussion forum. Needless to say I switched to an "unlimited" ISP. Now, that "unlimited" usage has become the standard, for the most part, and when the companies want to charge for excessive usage, those who think of the Internet as some sort of "public access" raise holy hell.

The solution is to let capitalism take care of the problem by recognizing property rights across the board. But there is a concerted effort to control the Internet, since it is a bastion of free speech. In other words, there are those who look at pirated stuff on the Internet as an excuse to regulate the Internet. And a lot of people wouldn't be against this because they have been "brainwashed" into thinking of the Internet as a place for software pirates, violations of copyrights, and pornography. The major media played into this from the beginning, as the Internet began to encroach upon their "exclusivity" they had via TV and radio licensing processes (which shouldn't be there anyhow).

So, the battle is for freedom of speech and property rights, and the enemy of man is not going to just roll over and play dead.

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The main reason, as far as I can tell, that people see the internet as a public service is because ISPs are completely monopolized by the local government, which seems to treat them like they are public servants. Generally speaking - well, at least in the Northeast - one company has total control over cable connections in the area, and the local phone company that maintains all the phone lines provides DSL. The only choice you have is between various dial-up providers, who give substandard service anyway.

Once there's more choice between ISPs that provide similar services I doubt we'll hear much complaining from net neutrality supporters since they can just get access from companies that practice it (...until they go out of business because of net neutrality's inherent unprofitably).

Edited by Zaku
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  • 1 year later...

*** Mod's note: Merged with earlier thread. sN ***

 

First, please understand that I am not advocating any form of government regulation or laws, except perhaps that of contracts.

My problem is this. I am an end user. I choose what I wish to see on the internet, not my isp or the sites at the other end. I do. In this sense, the isp is passive. It passes my request for the site and the site's response back. What the isp uses is its private property, but this is the business it has chosen to be in.

Nowhere in the contract that I have seen has the isp declared that it reserves the right to unilaterally do anything to the traffic I initiate. No where does it say that it can choose to treat me differently than any other customer. How then can it legitimately do otherwise.

I am opposed to the attempts to socialize the web. I do believe that the isps who take it upon themselves to treat some of their customers as second class should not do so. This may mean different kinds of contracts, etc. Ray Niles says that treating their customers differently is good business sense. I disagree. Comcast may have violated its contrct with its end user.

I think that not addressing this point in their writings, those fighting the attempt to socialize the web are confusing at least some people.

Edited by softwareNerd
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I agree with you insofar as various ISP's have engaged in bad behavior, and critics of net neutrality have not acknowledged that - in part because the campaigns are funded by short-sighted ISPs.

However, I'm not aware of a contract that I signed which prohibits my ISP from discriminating packets amongst my internet service. I certainly did not get a Quality of Service guarantee from them. To do that, I would have to pay significantly more.

Furthermore, there are many desirable (from a customer perspective) actions which net neutrality would ban. I like the idea of prioritizing my internet phone calls over someone else's bittorrent downloads. There are many things would would be impossible with net neutrality, such as remote surgery over the public internet. With net neutrality, you have to have a dedicated line between any points where a minimum level of service is mission-critical.

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Furthermore, there are many desirable (from a customer perspective) actions which net neutrality would ban. I like the idea of prioritizing my internet phone calls over someone else's bittorrent downloads. There are many things would would be impossible with net neutrality, such as remote surgery over the public internet. With net neutrality, you have to have a dedicated line between any points where a minimum level of service is mission-critical.

Unfortunately, you selected something that benefits you. That doesn't present the principle.

I will say this, in a rational legal context, we would address the courts about our concerns, so would the providers. Eventually, reasonable contracts would emerge. Today, we can expect regulators. In a way, I do not feel sorry for the isps since they do accept the situation and do not support freedom.

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I will say this, in a rational legal context, we would address the courts about our concerns, so would the providers. Eventually, reasonable contracts would emerge.
What are unreasonable contracts? Or do you mean contracts more favorable to you? It's not the courts where you are going to get better contracts, it's the free market. There is no competitive reason why AT&T should allow Hulu traffic to move as quickly as AT&T traffic: you have to give them one. Such as the loss of a customer to an ISP that is "neutral" in the relevant respect.
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What are unreasonable contracts? Or do you mean contracts more favorable to you? It's not the courts where you are going to get better contracts, it's the free market. There is no competitive reason why AT&T should allow Hulu traffic to move as quickly as AT&T traffic: you have to give them one. Such as the loss of a customer to an ISP that is "neutral" in the relevant respect.

In a free society, markets and contract law tend to move in tandem. A free society needs contract law. Free men need to know the rules They can have legitimate disagreements about those rules, courts settle the disagreements. A competitor can offer a better contract, certainly, but if you are in a contract, the court is your protection.

David, do you generally indulge in grautitous insults?

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In a free society, markets and contract law tend to move in tandem. A free society needs contract law.
We have that. If you can show that there is a rule (contract clause) that prohibits the ISP from doing what they are doing, then the courts will order them to comply with the terms of the contract. Otherwise, you're out of luck.
Free men need to know the rules
You are making a claim against another person's property: you need to show that there is a contract clause that prohibits what the ISP is doing.

If you are insulted by someone challenging your approach of violating the property rights of the ISP via spurious contract litigation, then that's too bad for you. I'm insulted that you completely ignored my argument that government regulation of contracts is unnecessary, and that you need to work for the values that you wish to acquire.

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We have that. If you can show that there is a rule (contract clause) that prohibits the ISP from doing what they are doing, then the courts will order them to comply with the terms of the contract. Otherwise, you're out of luck.You are making a claim against another person's property: you need to show that there is a contract clause that prohibits what the ISP is doing.

If you are insulted by someone challenging your approach of violating the property rights of the ISP via spurious contract litigation, then that's too bad for you. I'm insulted that you completely ignored my argument that government regulation of contracts is unnecessary, and that you need to work for the values that you wish to acquire.

I am suggesting that over time, as isp contract would go through the normal legal process that contracts for new sevices go through, the terms and conditions will tend towards a fairness for both parties. These are new services, and the provider has given himself as much leeway as possible, which I am not criticizing.

There is a difference between challenging an approach (which you interpreted as self-serving, incorrectly) and finding a chance to insult with impunity. Benevolence would lead a person to grant a benefit of the doubt until proven otherwise. Why begin with an insult? Why continuing insults? Apparently that is your modus operendi. Insult everyone you can, when ever possible, regardless of the context, what they have explicitly said, regardless of your lack of knowledge of that person.

Further, there is nothing in my statements to support the claim that I want to violate anyone's rights. Rather, my concern, as stated and recognized by other posters is that I only wanted the service I for which I was paying. Others have pointed out that the contract I had did not, in fact, protect me. My misunderstanding.

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  • 8 months later...

*** Mod's note: Merged into earlier topic.   - sn ***
 

I've been trying to understand exactly what net neutrality is, but every explanation is vague. I know it would bring regulation to the internet, but what kind?

Edited by softwareNerd
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I've been trying to understand exactly what net neutrality is, but every explanation is vague. I know it would bring regulation to the internet, but what kind?

The basic idea as I understand it would be to prohibit internet carriers from providing differential levels of service to different customers. Ray Niles wrote an article for the Objective Standard on this issue: "Net Neutrality: Towards a Stupid Internet" which is available for free; you might want to start there.

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I hadn't even heard of net neutrality until I read that article a couple of years ago. I think the title of the movement is confusing because of the word neutrality. Who wouldn't want neutrality, right? That is, until one looks to see what it's all about: an internet neutral to property rights--a "stupid internet."

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I hadn't even heard of net neutrality until I read that article a couple of years ago. I think the title of the movement is confusing because of the word neutrality. Who wouldn't want neutrality, right? That is, until one looks to see what it's all about: an internet neutral to property rights--a "stupid internet."

I really should be more on top of this issue than I am -- I work for Cisco. Creating a smart internet is my job.

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I've been trying to understand exactly what net neutrality is, but every explanation is vague. I know it would bring regulation to the internet, but what kind?

The idea of net neutrality is to ensure that Internet Service Providers don't favoritize access to certain websites.

Let's say AynRand.net is an internet service provider

AynRand.net makes it so that it takes much longer for your to access http://aynrandwasasluttybitch.net/shewasaw...shemustdie.html

AynRand.net can't do that, according to net neutrality. Because it's naughty.

Is it bad for ISPs to favoritise? Ethically, I would say so. I'm not knowledgeable about the issue, and I can't think of a good reason why an honest, productive, reasonable ISP provider would have to cut off access to another website. Which is why it usually doesn't happen. Net neutrality advocates are concerned about fixing something that was never broken in the first place. It's based mostly on "What if's". As far as I remember, AOL is the only ISP guilty of doing such a thing.

Excuse me for not being very articulate, I'm tired

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Is it bad for ISPs to favoritise? Ethically, I would say so.

Turn it around. You have a website which is very important to you, and you are willing to pay a premium price to your internet service provider to get a prioritized connection which makes your site load more quickly. Should you be able to purchase such priority service from an ISP? Net neutrality says no. Would there be anything ethically questionable about an ISP selling different levels of connectivity at different price points? I don't think so. There's an implicit egalitarian premise lurking behind net neutrality which is really indefensible once it is dragged into the light.

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Additionally, all these supporters of net neutrality seem to take for granted that nobody would ever make a neutral ISP anymore if it wasn't mandated. But if there really are so many people who want one, then there's a good market out there for it and money to be made marketing yourself as a neutral net provider. Some kind of bureaucratic red tape making it hard for you to start up such an ISP? Fight to change those red tape laws that stand in the way rather than fighting for making new laws to force the existing ISPs to be neutral.

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The idea of net neutrality is to ensure that Internet Service Providers don't favoritize access to certain websites.

Let's say AynRand.net is an internet service provider

AynRand.net makes it so that it takes much longer for your to access http://aynrandwasasluttybitch.net/shewasaw...shemustdie.html

AynRand.net can't do that, according to net neutrality. Because it's naughty.

Is it bad for ISPs to favoritise? Ethically, I would say so. I'm not knowledgeable about the issue, and I can't think of a good reason why an honest, productive, reasonable ISP provider would have to cut off access to another website. Which is why it usually doesn't happen. Net neutrality advocates are concerned about fixing something that was never broken in the first place. It's based mostly on "What if's". As far as I remember, AOL is the only ISP guilty of doing such a thing.

Excuse me for not being very articulate, I'm tired

That's a relatively narrow view of the topic. Net neutrality would affect more than the traditional internet, like websites; it would essentially regulate the whole spectrum of broadband services, whatever the data provider offers. For instance, Time Warner or Cox may want to increase or prioritize the bandwidth for downloading or streaming movies to their subscribers' set-top boxes; they may want to prioritize certain data for VoIP; or someone may want to offer a premium, prioritized service for gaming. The possibilities are truly endless, and that's why Mr. Niles labeled a 'neutral' internet, a "stupid internet": it is critical for future growth and technology for data providers to be able to prioritize their offerings.

With net neutrality thought about in that larger context it becomes clear that Aol is not the only company guilty of showing favoritism. VoIP providers, in order to prevent dropped calls, must prioritize their packets for their service to be viable; Google (correct me if I'm wrong about the company and the details) just ended or reduced FTP service for their blogs; your ISP limits the amount of data you can download and upload. The fact of the matter is, providers have been prioritizing their services since before the commercial internet even existed. Without that capability, growth would have been retarded long ago.

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