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 Net Neutrality 
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Post Net Neutrality
Zoast from theshizz.org wrote:
http://www.google.com/help/netneutrality.html
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/conte...6060702108.html

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 How does this threat to Internet freedom affect you?

    * Google users—Another search engine could pay dominant Internet providers like AT&T to guarantee the competing search engine opens faster than Google on your computer.
    * Innovators with the "next big idea"—Startups and entrepreneurs will be muscled out of the marketplace by big corporations that pay Internet providers for dominant placing on the Web. The little guy will be left in the "slow lane" with inferior Internet service, unable to compete.
    * Ipod listeners—A company like Comcast could slow access to iTunes, steering you to a higher-priced music service that it owned.
    * Political groups—Political organizing could be slowed by a handful of dominant Internet providers who ask advocacy groups to pay "protection money" for their websites and online features to work correctly.
    * Nonprofits—A charity's website could open at snail-speed, and online contributions could grind to a halt, if nonprofits can't pay dominant Internet providers for access to "the fast lane" of Internet service.
    * Online purchasers—Companies could pay Internet providers to guarantee their online sales process faster than competitors with lower prices—distorting your choice as a consumer.
    * Small businesses and tele-commuters—When Internet companies like AT&T favor their own services, you won't be able to choose more affordable providers for online video, teleconferencing, Internet phone calls, and software that connects your home computer to your office.
    * Parents and retirees—Your choices as a consumer could be controlled by your Internet provider, steering you to their preferred services for online banking, health care information, sending photos, planning vacations, etc.
    * Bloggers—Costs will skyrocket to post and share video and audio clips—silencing citizen journalists and putting more power in the hands of a few corporate-owned media outlets.

Blocking Innovation

The threat to an open internet isn't just speculation -- we've seen what happens when the Internet's gatekeepers get too much control. These companies, even, have said as much about their plans to discriminate online. According to the Washington Post:

    "William L. Smith, chief technology officer for Atlanta-based BellSouth Corp., told reporters and analysts that an Internet service provider such as his firm should be able, for example, to charge Yahoo Inc. for the opportunity to have its search site load faster than that of Google Inc."

Such corporate control of the Web would reduce your choices and stifle the spread of innovative and independent ideas that we've come to expect online. It would throw the digital revolution into reverse. Internet gatekeepers are already discriminating against Web sites and services they don't like:

    * In 2004, North Carolina ISP Madison River blocked their DSL customers from using any rival Web-based phone service.

    * In 2005, Canada's telephone giant Telus blocked customers from visiting a Web site sympathetic to the Telecommunications Workers Union during a contentious labor dispute.

    * Shaw, a major Canadian cable, internet, and telephone service company, intentionally downgrades the "quality and reliability" of competing Internet-phone services that their customers might choose -- driving customers to their own phone services not through better services, but by rigging the marketplace.

    * In April, Time Warner's AOL blocked all emails that mentioned www.dearaol.com -- an advocacy campaign opposing the company's pay-to-send e-mail scheme.

This is just the beginning. Cable and telco giants want to eliminate the Internet's open road in favor of a tollway that protects their status quo while stifling new ideas and innovation. If they get their way, they'll shut down the free flow of information and dictate how you use the Internet.



Sign the f**king petition against the law at http://www.savetheinternet.com/

It also automatically sends a letter to your congressman and senators.

Now, I'm no liberal, but passing this law is taking far too fascist a stance for what our society needs.[/quote]

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Thu Jun 08, 2006 11:49 pm
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Technically a pro-"net neutrality" law is more fascist, as it involves more government control over people. But if the internet has operated under net neutrality for this long, I don't mind since it seems to be working pretty well.

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Fri Jun 09, 2006 12:11 am
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Post Re: Net Neutrality
IBBIAZ wrote:
Now, I'm no liberal,


God forbid.

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Fri Jun 09, 2006 12:13 am
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online petitions never work.

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Fri Jun 09, 2006 12:21 am
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Post Re: Net Neutrality
Prophet wrote:
IBBIAZ wrote:
Now, I'm no liberal,


God forbid.



No, I'm just saying that because liberal can be considered less fascist than conservative and I think it's too far.


EDIT: Just realized that made me sound like I was saying I'm conservative. Hell no. They're both full of s**t.

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Last edited by Kidd Cabbage on Fri Jun 09, 2006 1:16 am, edited 2 times in total.



Fri Jun 09, 2006 12:36 am
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Paragon wrote:
Technically a pro-"net neutrality" law is more fascist, as it involves more government control over people.



Well, right now, the internet is run by the people who use the internet. if this law gets passed, then the power gets handed over to the phone companies who can give priority to websites that pay them the most money. And what happens to little Joe-Whatshisfuck's starting website about Megaman? Nothing - bigger, more visited websites get priority over him.

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Fri Jun 09, 2006 12:50 am
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Those phone companies are providing a service. If you're not willing or able to pay the cost of using that service, why should you get access to it?

It's analogous to dialup vs. broadband. Broadband is more expensive to run and more valueable to the consumer (supply/demand)--therefore, the companies charge a higher price. If you can't or won't pay that higher price, you don't get to use their broadband connections. If you only have fifty cents on hand, you can't buy a $1 bottle of soda. If my time at a factory is worth $8 per hour to me, and the factory owner can't afford to pay me that $8, he doesn't get my labor. Et cetera.

But beyond all that, companies don't make a profit by pissing their customers off and excluding them.

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Fri Jun 09, 2006 1:19 am
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The Google link wrote:
That bill, and one that may come up for a key vote in the Senate in the next few weeks, would give the big phone and cable companies the power to pick and choose what you will be able to see and do on the Internet.



This is what net neutrality is about - not who can access the internet and who can't.[/quote]

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Fri Jun 09, 2006 1:22 am
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Saying that an ISP should have to show every website is like saying a newspaper should have to print every article someone hands them.

Go ahead and sell out essential freedoms in the name of "fairness." The concept of the "faceless corporation" makes it easier to pretend that all corporations don't consist of people, and that those people don't have the right to use their property as they wish.

Edit: Edited for clarity.


Fri Jun 09, 2006 1:27 am
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Heh, you're putting the internet on the same communicative level as a newspaper? I don't think that's going to work.

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Fri Jun 09, 2006 1:37 am
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Grand wrote:
Heh, you're putting the internet on the same communicative level as a newspaper? I don't think that's going to work.


An ISP and a Newspaper are both commercial enterprises that sell information to people. Seems like a valid metaphor to me.


Fri Jun 09, 2006 1:43 am
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But with the way the internet is making itself as one of the main forms of communication, you don't want people standing in your way to get to what you want to see or giving bribing companies higher priority because they're making deals. The ISP is there to give you access to the internet - not select websites that they want you to see.

It's not so much a newspaper, as that only picks a select few articles and newspapers lose money if they have shitty ones - it's like Verizon saying that you can't call certain numbers because they're on AT&T plans.

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Fri Jun 09, 2006 1:45 am
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Omniverse wrote:
An ISP and a Newspaper are both commercial enterprises that sell information to people. Seems like a valid metaphor to me.

An Internet Service Provider provides internet service to their customers. Unbelievabe, I know, but bear with me here. Should an ISP decide that they want to allow access to specific sites and services, that's up to them and we as the consumer have the choice to stay with them or find another provider whose services are more agreeable to us. That's the business/consumer relationship.

However, laws influenced by those whom we are already paying money to in order to use their phone lines and passed by the federal government restricting access to the things we already have are unnecessary and pretty damn upsetting. What has the government got to do with this? They have no place in this business model.

Meanwhile, a newspaper is, well, a newspaper. I still don't see the comparison there.

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Fri Jun 09, 2006 2:06 am
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Written word + pictures = newspaper

written word + pictures + audio and video = internet

They're both information mediums.

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Fri Jun 09, 2006 2:09 am
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thick + red + liquid = blood

thick + red + liquid = ketchup

The ways that a newspaper and an ISP are similar are as relevant to this discussion as the above. That's my point, dudes. Sorry.

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I love blootchup

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Fri Jun 09, 2006 2:35 am
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The Internet as it is benefits everyone, especially communications giants. This notion of the poor little corporations who are hurting because they can't rape consumers every way they can think of is just laughable.

I realize that in a free market, not everyone gets what they want, and sometimes even the big guy has to be protected from the shapeless greedy mob of public consumption. However, this is not one of those times. Do you have any idea how badly the Internet would suck if f**king Comcast gets to decide whether you can access certain information? Of course, they aren't stupid, so they aren't going to do anything that pisses off a majority of their customers, but your head is in the sand if you think they're above severing access to content that they don't want people to know about or limiting access to a minority of their customers whose ideas or values they perceive as a threat.

We're entering an age when he who controls information controls the sheep. I can't believe anyone would willingly give up their access to publicly available content so that a few businesses can have their way. Doing so would be incredibly dangerous. These past few years have demonstrated how easy it is for the masses to be led to almost any conclusion imaginable by corporations and government in bed with each other for so long that the spawn of Rupert Murdoch and Karl Rove have no doubt already begun hatching and planning the next grand disinformation campaign.

And please don't hide behind the philosophical ideals of the free market. I don't care if the subtleties involved with supporting enterprise while restricting unchecked corporate greed make your head explode. Too much is at stake here. The Internet is our last bastion of defense against a trend towards total Orwellian information lockdown. Don't allow your representatives to sell it away.

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I get the impression from you folks that nobody here is actually in favor of this law, but you're just playing devil's advocate for the sake of discussion. Or you're uninformed, I dunno. What'll it hurt you to sign the petition, really? Go ahead. That's all this topic is about.

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Fri Jun 09, 2006 5:04 am
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Oh well. Life goes on. Stupidly.

Quote:
The U.S. House of Representatives definitively rejected the concept of Net neutrality on Thursday, dealing a bitter blow to Internet companies like Amazon.com, eBay and Google that had engaged in a last-minute lobbying campaign to support it.

By a 269-152 vote that fell largely along party lines, the House Republican leadership mustered enough votes to reject a Democrat-backed amendment that would have enshrined stiff Net neutrality regulations into federal law and prevented broadband providers from treating some Internet sites differently from others.

link.

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I think people get leery about the Gubbmint getting their hands on our precious Internet, but I think Markey's ammendment is a fair and correct way to go. I'm just afraid that Congress throwing it out is not a good sign.

I'm generally leery about any decision that directly benefits large companies at the expense of consumer choice. I can't find a link to the votes, but every representative is up for (re)-election in November. If you're able to vote, I highly suggest that you do so, and vote out anyone who took a stance on this issue that goes against your own opinion. Remember, USA isn't run as a Democracy, but a republic - and they are our representatives elected to think and decide for us.

All info on the Net should be consumable by all participants, and not up to the ISPs as to what's "premium" or "basic" Internet access. This will make the Internet more like Cable TV, where only the people with access to sponsorship and lots of money can be seen or heard. This would be horrible.

Vote for DoomBot in November!

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Fri Jun 09, 2006 1:23 pm
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You guys need to realize that if any ISP gets caught actively blocking or firewalling content that is counteractive to their interests, it would blow up over the news like an atom bomb and that ISP would be viewed as Gestapo.

You guys are taking a very ass-backwards look at this issue. You make it sound as if the goverment is voting on a bill to explicitly allow ISPs to extort and distort. That's really not the case. The bill they threw out was one that would explicitly mandate a governmental grip around the throats of the ISPs, forcing them to treat all websites exactly equal. This would have affected ISPs that offer a family-friendly mode that filters out pornography and offensive sites from the young kids in the family.

The fact that the federal government has backed down from forcing regulations on service providers seems to me like an extremely unusual case of the Feds DEcentralizing power. We should be glad for that. Both sides of the aisle seem to favor sloughing more power off the states to themselves and turning Washington into Rome, and we should probably be grateful when they DON'T force their way into an issue. Ultimately I find the concept of ISPs controlling content far less creepy than the concept of the federal goverment regulating the internet.


Fri Jun 09, 2006 1:42 pm
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the KRIS wrote:
You guys need to realize that if any ISP gets caught actively blocking or firewalling content that is counteractive to their interests, it would blow up over the news like an atom bomb and that ISP would be viewed as Gestapo.

No, you're forgetting that news companies no longer have balls. I'm not speaking for the "liberal media" here, I'm speaking as a person who feels very left in the dark by media corporations.

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This would have affected ISPs that offer a family-friendly mode that filters out pornography and offensive sites from the young kids in the family.

So, those interests are more important? If I want to filter out pornography, I'll be happy to download software from my ISP with that capability. This issue isn't about making the job of the ISP easier so that their customers benefit, it's about forcing the customer to relinquish what little control we have left over what we want to access and how.

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The fact that the federal government has backed down from forcing regulations on service providers seems to me like an extremely unusual case of the Feds DEcentralizing power. We should be glad for that.

The concept of Net Neutrality has deregulation at its heart, Kris. That the federal government is allowing such an international, multi-language system to suddenly be controlled by America's media companies if they want to for those who live within its borders is about as typically an in-bed-with-big-business resource-regalatory decision as could have been made. Point and cry "liberal!" if you'd like, but Shinesparked is right; Anyone who would willingly give up their access to free information just to keep Comcast or ATT from throwing a hissy fit clearly have their priorities out of wack.

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the KRIS wrote:
You guys need to realize that if any ISP gets caught actively blocking or firewalling content that is counteractive to their interests, it would blow up over the news like an atom bomb and that ISP would be viewed as Gestapo.

This sort of stuff doesn't happen overnight, and it certainly isn't as crudely executed as in something like 1984. If, say, Comcast were now to block access to any representative's website who supported net neutrality, you're right, people would be up in arms. I don't think it would be that simple, or that quick. I'm talking about a slow, gradual campaign of things like slowing traffic to sites that they disapprove of, rolling in fees to access information not part of the Comcast conglomeration, or even charging competitors staggering fees for doing business over their network. As people allow that, they'll start adding more and more restrictions, filtering more and more content. This is a process that would take years.

Basically, if net neutrality is completely abandoned, we run the risk of going from "you pay ISP's to give you access to the Internet" to "you pay ISP's to give you access to portions of the Internet, filtered to their liking". By the time these filters are in place, the public will likely have accepted the fact that these corporations are controlling their informational intake, much as they've already accepted the fact that television progamming and newspapers are filtered. The notion of a "free" Internet will be one only us cranky old fogies in our cyber rocking chairs will remember.

I'm guessing that the bill blocking net neutrality passed so overwhelming in the House for two reasons:

1) Our legislative branch has fallen under the beck and call of corporate lobbyists. I don't think anyone would disagree with this.

2) Representatives understand that consumers are generally unaware that the information they receive daily is filtered, often with heavy bias, so they figure that there will be no ill consequences to giving consumers the middle finger on this issue, at least until they're long out of office.

This battle may seem fairly minor, but information is a very powerful tool, and as Internet access becomes more universal, control over that access is more power than I wish a small handful of corporations to have. Eliminating net neutrality may be a tipping point, even if the full ramifications take years or even decades to materialize. I'm disappointed that Congress is unaware of, or doesn't seem to care about, the long-term dangers of allowing private companies to restrict the flow of information across the Internet.

the KRIS wrote:
Ultimately I find the concept of ISPs controlling content far less creepy than the concept of the federal goverment regulating the internet.

I'm certainly not for the government filtering content, either! But legislating net neutrality, even if it is technically a "regulation" upon the Internet, simply guarantees that no one is filtering the content except the end user. That's a government regulation I can live with. Remember that some government regulations -- clean water standards, for example -- are a good thing. Most people are too uninformed and apathetic to take irresponsible corporations to task, which is why we must rely upon our elected officials to do so. That's kind of the whole point of a republic, really.

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Sat Jun 10, 2006 5:03 am
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Damn, I've got nothing new to add. Grand and Shiney said it all. Carry on, gentlemen.

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Sat Jun 10, 2006 10:11 am
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*cracks knuckles* Time to give The Kris some backup.

Shinesparked wrote:
This sort of stuff doesn't happen overnight, and it certainly isn't as crudely executed as in something like 1984. If, say, Comcast were now to block access to any representative's website who supported net neutrality, you're right, people would be up in arms. I don't think it would be that simple, or that quick. I'm talking about a slow, gradual campaign of things like slowing traffic to sites that they disapprove of, rolling in fees to access information not part of the Comcast conglomeration, or even charging competitors staggering fees for doing business over their network. As people allow that, they'll start adding more and more restrictions, filtering more and more content. This is a process that would take years.


I think you underestimate the media. Have you seen the crap they'll use to make news when their isn't any? Something like this would still cause a media frenzy.


Shinesparked wrote:
Basically, if net neutrality is completely abandoned, we run the risk of going from "you pay ISP's to give you access to the Internet" to "you pay ISP's to give you access to portions of the Internet, filtered to their liking". By the time these filters are in place, the public will likely have accepted the fact that these corporations are controlling their informational intake, much as they've already accepted the fact that television progamming and newspapers are filtered. The notion of a "free" Internet will be one only us cranky old fogies in our cyber rocking chairs will remember.


How is free defined here? Seems like you want to be able to use resources that you were in no way responsibile for creating or maintaining on your terms and not on the terms of the people who own said resources.


Shinesparked wrote:
I'm guessing that the bill blocking net neutrality passed so overwhelming in the House for two reasons:

1) Our legislative branch has fallen under the beck and call of corporate lobbyists. I don't think anyone would disagree with this.


This argument is only semi-valid. Corporations were lobbying on this bill from both sides, so you could claim this whether it passed or not.

Shinesparked wrote:
2) Representatives understand that consumers are generally unaware that the information they receive daily is filtered, often with heavy bias, so they figure that there will be no ill consequences to giving consumers the middle finger on this issue, at least until they're long out of office.


I hate to sound like Rush, but this is a typically liberal response to an issue. The belief that the population of the U.S. is ignorant and that only the enlightened liberals can save them from themselves. Sounds like you're giving the middle finger to most of the U.S. population.

Far as I'm concerned, if someone chooses to be uneducated (and yes, it IS a choice), then it's their fault if they choose to sign up for services without reading the service agreement. However, I think you'll find that more people are aware of issues like this than you think.

Shinesparked wrote:
This battle may seem fairly minor, but information is a very powerful tool, and as Internet access becomes more universal, control over that access is more power than I wish a small handful of corporations to have. Eliminating net neutrality may be a tipping point, even if the full ramifications take years or even decades to materialize. I'm disappointed that Congress is unaware of, or doesn't seem to care about, the long-term dangers of allowing private companies to restrict the flow of information across the Internet.


In the long term, people want information, and there's money to be had in providing it. ISPs can't exert too much control over the internet without another form of information distribution taking its place. Believe it or not, there are massive information networks that cover the entire country that are completely seperate from the Internet.

It's simple supply and demand economics.

Shinesparked wrote:
I'm certainly not for the government filtering content, either! But legislating net neutrality, even if it is technically a "regulation" upon the Internet, simply guarantees that no one is filtering the content except the end user. That's a government regulation I can live with. Remember that some government regulations -- clean water standards, for example -- are a good thing. Most people are too uninformed and apathetic to take irresponsible corporations to task, which is why we must rely upon our elected officials to do so. That's kind of the whole point of a republic, really.


"Most people are too uninformed and apathetic to take irresponsible corporations to task." And we see a return to the concept of the enlightened liberal saving people from themselves. Do you even realize how elitist and arrogant that is? You basically are saying "People can't regulate their own lives; I need to do it for them." Rather despotic for someone touting freedom.

The fundamental problem with Net Neutrality is that Comcast, and AT&T, and Bell, and etc. own the connection to the internet that you are paying for the use of. As such, you don't have any right to dictate the nature of the service they offer using that connection. Just like I have no right to use the government to force the local Food Lion to carry products that I personally would like but they don't offer.

Maybe you don't like not being able to access the entire internet with AT&T. That's the wonderful thing about freedom; YOU DON'T HAVE TO USE THEIR SERVICE. Use another ISP that advertises complete internet access; they'll exist for sure if ISPs try to exert too much control over their internet access. Supply and demand.


Sat Jun 10, 2006 1:37 pm
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Quote:
The fundamental problem with Net Neutrality is that Comcast, and AT&T, and Bell, and etc. own the connection to the internet that you are paying for the use of. As such, you don't have any right to dictate the nature of the service they offer using that connection. Just like I have no right to use the government to force the local Food Lion to carry products that I personally would like but they don't offer.

Maybe you don't like not being able to access the entire internet with AT&T. That's the wonderful thing about freedom; YOU DON'T HAVE TO USE THEIR SERVICE. Use another ISP that advertises complete internet access; they'll exist for sure if ISPs try to exert too much control over their internet access. Supply and demand.


it's not the same. that's the problem with all the analogies you guys use to defend this. We're not paying these companies for content, we're paying them for bandwith. We create the content. It is not the same as going to a store and there not being a food you like. It's like renting a stall at a Farmer's Market and then after paying for a certain size stall, being told that since you're selling watermelon, you have to pay an extra fee.

that's why this is dangerous, because it gives control of content to these companies. Rather than simply deny access, which won't happen, they'll simply create a tiered system of content on each of their networks. All the sites that they own and their affiliates get the fastest access. Anyone not in their little group, or anyone who doesn't pay them, doesn't get the access. So you end up with content that won't be as accessible on some networks.

that's what people are trying to avoid.


Sat Jun 10, 2006 2:01 pm
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politics and the internet dont mix...

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alchemist wrote:
it's not the same. that's the problem with all the analogies you guys use to defend this. We're not paying these companies for content, we're paying them for bandwith. We create the content. It is not the same as going to a store and there not being a food you like. It's like renting a stall at a Farmer's Market and then after paying for a certain size stall, being told that since you're selling watermelon, you have to pay an extra fee.

that's why this is dangerous, because it gives control of content to these companies. Rather than simply deny access, which won't happen, they'll simply create a tiered system of content on each of their networks. All the sites that they own and their affiliates get the fastest access. Anyone not in their little group, or anyone who doesn't pay them, doesn't get the access. So you end up with content that won't be as accessible on some networks.

that's what people are trying to avoid.


You're paying for whatever service they choose to offer, whether it's the entire Internet or not. Whether you're paying them for bandwidth depends on whether that's what they choose to offer you. You have the right to decline and use another service.

On your metaphor, if a Farmer's Market wants to charge extra for "watermelon stalls", isn't that their right? As far as I know, this wouldn't be against the law, although it would be silly.

You still avoided my original point, which is that, since they own the connection to the Internet that you are paying to use, they have the right to distribute whatever information over that connection that they want. What right do you have to dictate what information someone offers over their connection to the Internet? Isn't dictating this a blatant violation of the first amendment, and more importantly, basic property rights?

If I print out an article I found on the Internet and handed it to people, am I then violating Net Neutrality? Exactly how much of the Internet does someone have to provide before they are considered an ISP and provide the entire thing, at their own expense? What arbitrary number is being set here?


Sat Jun 10, 2006 2:09 pm
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It's not your main point but just to be clear, not everyone has a choice for ISPs. Not nearly everyone can just switch around because they don't like the behavior of their ISP.

As to content control, i'm not sure what name I'm gonna get called for this but here goes. The existance of a completely free(not in price) and neutral information medium is more important than the company's right to control content through their pipes. Their interests should take a backseat to the greater good in this case.

this whole thing comes down to these companies wanting a piece of the action. They are getting paid, and paid well, for their service, which is as a provider of bandwith. But they see people using that to make money which they can't touch so they want a way to tax those people making money.

the arbitrary number they must provide is 100%. they aren't doing this crap at their expense either, they make a crapload of money off of it. They just want some of the money everyone else is making too. They don't provide it either, that's a false statement. They allow access to it and if allowed, they will limit access beyond the simple payment of badwith because they want more money.

At the end, this isn't some intellectual argument about content control and free thought. It's about greed. And no one cares a good goddamn whether or not people who can't appease that greed get a chance to be a part of the internet.

Nothing good can come of this.

(i'm not sure if this makes me a damn liberal or a commie pinko leftist.)


Sat Jun 10, 2006 2:46 pm
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alchemist wrote:
(i'm not sure if this makes me a damn liberal or a commie pinko leftist.)



Nah, man. I wholly agree and hell, I think Rush is a pretty cool guy.

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Sat Jun 10, 2006 3:21 pm
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