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Re: [News] [Rival] Feds Recommend Fast Internet Lanes for Rich People; Judge Defends Freedom of Speech

In comp.os.linux.advocacy, Roy Schestowitz
on Fri, 07 Sep 2007 12:34:10 +0100
> Feds OK Fee for Priority Web Traffic
> ,----[ Quote ]
> | The agency told the Federal Communications Commission, which is reviewing 
> | high-speed Internet practices, that it is opposed to "Net neutrality," the 
> | principle that all Internet sites should be equally accessible to any Web 
> | user.   
> `----
> http://apnews.myway.com/article/20070906/D8RG2J9O0.html

That's one way to spin it.  An alternative fashion is to
allow payment of a fee to expedite traffic for certain
users; presumably the model will be that a website provider
using a certain carrier/provider can pay extra to said
carrier/provider to increase bandwidth from his website
to that carrier/provider's subscribers.

Still another alternative is to have a website on provider
A make arrangements with A, another carrier/provider B, or
both, to expedite bandwidth through B for B's subscribers.

A third is suggested by the story: "...'Net Neutrality',
the principle that all Internet sites should be equally
accessible to any Web user".  The trouble is that "any Web
user" could include such persons as automated bots (who
couldn't care less about visual niceties, generally),
Links/Lynx text-only browsers, Dillo (Designed to be
Idiotic, Light, and Lightning-Optimized?), which is quick
and can show pictures, but can't understand XHTML or
Javascript, IE (which has its own brands of silliness),
Firefox, Amaya (a French effort with some interesting
capabilities), a presumably Symbian native browser used on
mobile phone equipment, and an ad-hoc affair created from
Java's JEditorPane widget (which has some HTML parsing
capabilities but isn't all that capable).  There are also
Braille adapters, I'm given to understand, to allow blind
users to use the Web -- somehow.  Presumably festival can
also be adapted to various uses, in order to speak the
words of a website to a blind user's ear.

Equal access?  Somehow, I doubt it, though one has
to ask regarding which context is meant.

Another, far more ridiculous (and hopefully
illegal!) alternative would be to pay carrier/provider
A, B, or even C to slow down or shut out C's subscribers
entirely, as opposed to simply configuring the website to
block IP addys known to originate from C, or throttle them
through a slow switch.  This is probably the most worrisome
option -- and the article is on record as stating that
'the agency said it will continue to monitor and enforce
any anticompetitive conduct to ensure a competitive
broadband marketplace', so hopefully this won't happen.
But mere hope won't cut it.

Any of these could lead to much madness, of course,
but we do have to characterize the problem correctly,
and I'm frankly not sure which one of these is closest in
that regard.  The trouble is that we already have expedited
bandwidth/payments; DSL and cable are the cheapest and
slowest (unless one counts classical 53k dialup or such
mobile esoterica as AT&T's EDGE network) of a long chain
of possibilities, which may end at OC-768 (39.81312 Gbits/s
of bandwidth goodness -- or about 26,500 DSL lines, if one
assumes 1.5 Mbits/s therefor).  At my rates ($40/month) an
OC-768 will cost about $1474 per hour, though presumably
the optical carrier providers will not charge quite that
much.  Note that OC-3072 is contemplated, which will of
course carry (and presumably cost) 4 times as much.

The justification for the FCC's decision is interesting.
Apparently, Net neutrality runs the risk of "shifting the
entire burden of implementing costly network expansions
and improvements onto consumers", and therefore diminish
or delay network expansion and improvement.

Stay tuned.  There's more madness to come, I'm sure.

> Judge deals blow to Patriot Act
> ,----[ Quote ]
> | A key portion of the Patriot Act is unconstitutional and violates Americans' 
> | free speech rights... 
> `----
> http://news.zdnet.com/2100-9588_22-6206570.html

Yay for the Judicial branch, who still has at least
half a clue.  Of course, "free speech" is going to get a
little strange in the Internet era, if it hasn't already;
the traditional idea of jumping up on a soapbox and
pontificating isn't going to quite cut it.  Give me free
Internet service or give me death?  The only thing we have
to fear is the Internet itself?  We will fight them in the
optical carrier lines, we will fight them in the standards,
we will fight them in the packets, and never surrender?

Welcome to the New World Order.

> Related:
> Is Microsoft no longer a member of ItsOurNet? Trouble in paradise?
> ,----[ Quote ]
> | On the ItsOurNet.org website under "The coalition" section, Microsoft
> | is no longer on the list of: "These organizations support legislation
> | to achieve net neutrality:"
> `----
> http://www.precursorblog.com/node/206

Hmm...."AT&T plays gatekeeper, censors Pearl Jam".


Old news, of course, and not really an Internet issue;
the general bit apparently was a bit of post-performance
editing of a video/audio submission, presumably stored
somewhere on AT&T's website.  However, one does have to
ask who authorized the edits, and when...did Pearl Jam
have anything to say about this as in "Oops, AT&T, please
take this bit out"?  Somehow, I doubt it.

How does this fit into Net Neutrality?

> Forecast for Young, Stevens clouds up
> ,----[ Quote ]
> | Stevens is facing scrutiny from federal investigators for a home remodeling 
> | project, an investigation that dovetailed with a corruption investigation 
> | into state officials.  
> `----
> http://www.adn.com/front/story/9118343p-9034682c.html

It should be noted that the story is discussing Alaska
Senator Ted Stevens and Alaska Representative Don Young.
The obvious question from the FCC's standpoint: are
they subject to vaguely similar charges of corruption?
Especially under the Bush Administration, which has had no
qualms of spying on people without court-issued warrants
and apparently (how to best put it?) gently manipulating
the truth in order to choose to go to war in Iraq?

The DoJ is already dysfunctional, thanks to ex-Attorney
General Alberto Gonzales.  Which department is next?
More to the point, how do we fix it?  Just voting
Democratic in 2008 and instilling a Democratic president
in 2008 is probably not going to be sufficient, especially
since the House and Senate are still looking a bit too
spineless to stand up to Administration charges of "aiding
the terrorists" (though kudos to the GAO for at least
trying to do something that looks like an independent
investigation into the Iraqi "benchmarks").

And if Microsoft's Bill Gates decides to go political
(not necessarily as a Prez candidate, but presumably
as an advocate/lobbyist for software and/or Microsoft),
things will get even more interesting.

Welcome to the New World Order.  Again.

#191, ewill3@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
If your CPU can't stand the heat, get another fan.

Posted via a free Usenet account from http://www.teranews.com

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