Not just harder. Infinitely more dangerous. Probably the scariest implications for NN being gutted are those around loss of anonymity through the Internet. ISPs who are allowed to sell users' browsing history, data packets, personal info with zero legal implications --> that anonymity suddenly comes with a price. And anything that comes with a price can be sold.
A reporter's sources must be able to be anonymous in many instances where release of information about corruption creates political instability, endangers the reporter, endangers the source, endangers the truth from being revealed. These "rollbacks" of regulations make it orders of magnitude easier for any entity in a corporation or organization to track down people who attempt to expose their illegal actions / skirting of laws. Corporations have every incentive to suppress information that hurts their stock price. Corrupt local officials governments have every incentive to suppress individuals who threaten their "job security". Corrupt PACs have every incentive to drown out that one tiny voice that speaks the truth.
A government that endorses suppression cannot promote safety, stability, or prosperity of its people.
EDIT: Yes, I am also referring to the loss of Broadband Privacy rules as they have implications in the rollback of net neutrality: https://www.theverge.com/2017/3/29/15100620/congress-fcc-isp...
Loss of broadband privacy: Yes, your data can and will be sold
Loss of net neutrality: How much of it and for how much?
The way I understand it is that ISPs can sell anonymized data from groups of users. Like: people who visit news.ycombinator.com generally also visit stackoverflow. I also don't know how an ISP would get your actual internet history if the website uses HTTPS.
Yes, I am a strong supporter of NN and I was appaled when the EU diluted it, but this reply is directed at your 'ISPs who are allowed to sell users' browsing history' part.
The regulations being overturned here are ones that have only recently taken effect, and non-anonymized, non-aggregate selling of ISP data is still outlawed by the Cable Communications Act of 1984, which protects subscriber privacy is 47USC § 551.
Put simply, neither the most recent executive order, nor a reversal on Net Neutrality overturns that law on the federal register.
Of course, if Congress were to draft a bill that does so, the current fears would be well justified.
Legally, I can't think of a case where it's been tested that didn't lean the government's way, so who knows?
Repealing the Obama rule does mean that you can't opt out of data collection or sale. It does not mean that your individual browsing records are available to anyone with enough cash. Moreover, much of the rules Trump's executive order overturn had either very recently taken effect, or not yet taken effect.
There may be much theoretical damage from overturning the regulations, but the practical effect here will be minimal, and limited because of the other laws that already exist to prevent exactly the doomsday scenario many are predicting.
I'm not saying that Trump isn't after your privacy rights, but the surest test of that will be whether or not he goes after or seeks to circumvent the 1984 protections I referenced earlier.
I think it is truly insane.
I do agree. There are somethings you can do to mitigate things. But at some point you have to be you (e.g., FB, etc.) and as small and minor as such digital breadcrumbs might seem, they add up.
I don't know anyone who would fault me for not being on Facebook (yes I know this has a strong selection bias). Only time was at a convenience store, looking a bit puzzled I had to scan my ID-card in some device (to buy cigarettes), the guy explained this was announced on Facebook, I (completely neutral, matter-of-factly, already having complied with the ID-device thing) replied I don't have an account on Facebook which he took as a cue to start some anti-privacy diatribe at me. My guess he was probably having a bad day, possibly from other people giving him a much harder time about the ID thing. I finished the transaction, excused myself because I (really) had to catch a bus, and wished him a very nice day.
My point is, when I look around, it seems like Facebook is going the way of the cigarettes. The majority of people (that I know) know of at least one or two scandalous things that are deeply wrong about the way Facebook treats privacy and manipulates its users. Of those people, a good chunk hate it, really want to quit, but feel they can't due to social pressure or addiction. Just like cigarettes. Others make excuses about convenience, little vices, relaxing. Just like cigarettes.
I don't know how many of you are old enough to remember that you could smoke in trains, bars, in restaurants while people were still eating 2 metres next to you. As late as the early 90s. And only after those bans people started to dare to ask if you could maybe smoke outside, in home situations, even if they're the guests and it's your home (I was younger and inconsiderater).
If you don't remember you maybe also don't remember how thoroughly ingrained the social act of smoking was in society. Only a few decades ago, nobody could imagine where we are today. Smoking was just so normal, even if you didn't really, you would occasionally, your friends would offer, people just liked it too much, were addicted too much.
The almost-entirely-non-smoking-everywhere society we have today was seen as an impossibility. We could never get there, we couldn't change or impose, people wanted it too much. And it was a hard transition before it got momentum, but it did in the end. I personally, as a smoker, welcomed these bans, because I figured it would make it easier for me to quit (hint: if you're addicted, you still have to quit by yourself. those bans maybe helped me the first 5% of quitting).
The point is, it may seem impossible to imagine a way out of this anti-privacy swamp. But it's not too late. Just remember the cigarettes and how far we got. DON'T let anyone tell you it's useless to refrain from using surveillance tech X just because "you're going to be tracked any way because P, Q and R" (being your phone, CCTV and the NSA). The fight is NOT lost, not at all. It's just getting started, now that people are slowly realizing they don't actually really want this, they are mostly made to want this, and more and more people want it to stop, and it would help if only everybody else would stop shoving it in their face.
Just because it seems impossible now doesn't mean we should roll over, curl up and stop voicing your dissent, ever.
Then maybe our kids (or other people's kids--who didn't ask for this either) can grow up in a society where they're not quite as pervasively tracked and surveilled as our generation.
If it helps maybe to imagine the next impossible thing, imagine everybody securely wiping the exabytes of private data they've collected on us so far. I really can't see that happening either and it kind of gives me hope in a weird "wishing on a star" kind of way, because other important things used to seem just as impossible.
 I've quit since. It's hard. Very hard. Unfathomably harder for some people than others. I will never judge an addict in my life.
47 U.S. Code § 551 (c)(1)
Except as provided in paragraph (2), a cable operator shall not disclose personally identifiable information concerning any subscriber without the prior written or electronic consent of the subscriber concerned
So this section of the law, though another might, does not support your statement that "that they could sell that (which is false)".
Your statement is too strong. It's not outlawed. There is a relatively easy avenue for ISPs to sell this type of data, and it's written into the law, and not some sort of weird loophole. It is voluntary that they have not pursued it on their part.
What the bill stripping Broadband Privacy rules does is make it nearly impossible for the law to set a precedent for what should be considered illegal to sell when it comes to users' data. What may have happened if broadband privacy rules were enacted as intended here[https://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/28/technology/fcc-tightens-p...]
... someday somebody who didn't "opt out" would have discovered their [medical, financial, insert whatever] data had been sold to their detriment. Lawsuit. Legal scrutiny. Precedent == Baseline for what is acceptable and what is not for people who don't opt out.
Now, with no consumer privacy rights by default on broadband, and no neutral delivery system (net neutrality), and with provisions the GOP inserted into the Broadband Privacy rollback explicitly to make it harder to sue entities who sell your data, the default situation is already stacked badly against the average person.
Your ISP can (and likely does) monitor your DNS queries, which (as far as I know) are not encrypted.
Personally I think the net neutrality stuff is a tad overblown. I'd vote for maintaining it, but I've never been particularly convinced by the whole "surveillance state/beyond-orwellian/ISP censoring your speech" arguments that get thrown around on HN, among other places.
I think the problems with ISPs are more practical: they overcharge, provide shitty service, have no incentive to upgrade their infrastructure, and clearly collude with one another. Therefore they need to be regulated.
Agreed. Though I would prefer that we do whatever we can to identify and implement mechanisms to increase competition. I want new ISP options, and several of them, rather than just marginally better behavior from the one or two ISPs I have in my neighborhood. I'd prefer regulation that increases competition (even if that hurts the incumbents) rather than regulation that assumes the incumbents are fixed and therefore just manages how they conduct their business. The prior is designed to create new ISP options, the latter tends to serve to decrease the incidence rate of new options.
I've always been a voracious Internet consumer. For all of its faults, I really enjoyed the regulatory framework of the Communications Act of 1996 that allowed competitive ISPs to lease physical wires.
> Your ISP can (and likely does) monitor your DNS queries, which (as far as I know) are not encrypted.
HTTPS does expose the domain name in plain-text through SNI. Yes, DNS is not encrypted.
Until the world switches to DNSCrypt, DNS-over-HTTPS, or DNS-over-TLS and while most Internet users are using ISP provided DNS resolvers, recent research shows it is possible to narrow down what pages the user browsed based on their DNS queries.
Like say I run hackernews — couldn't I just cross-reference my own logs with that "anonymized" data and get a pretty good idea of what a specific users' traffic was?
Based on some of the tools Uber has used to pinpoint specific users like, government officials, it doesn't seem too far beyond the realm of possibility.
The ISP could monitor your DNS requests or the SNI in the TLS handshake.
Why shouldn't there be similar provisions to protect my browsing history?
Charge users extra fees for "premium service" unless they agree to let the ISP their traffic.
If they want to determine your political leanings your browsing history is enough.
With a fee, this requirement could then be waived.
Dystopian but technically possible.
Gogo didn't require installing a root cert, but they DID issue forged certificates to MitM connections to *.google.com (and others).
Also, remember "Superfish"? Their root cert was pre-installed by Lenovo.
"On October 27, 2016, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) issued a proposed rule that seeks to expand its regulatory jurisdiction, create a two-tiered privacy regime for different types of Internet companies, and impose data restrictions on Internet service providers. These types of regulations have traditionally been under the jurisdiction of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), which already has in place a regulatory regime to protect consumers. Full implementation of this proposed rule would have, among other things, given consumers a false sense of protection and privacy. As a bipartisan group of representatives stated in a 2016 letter to the FCC in response to its notice of proposed rulemaking:
-We had hoped the FCC would focus on those protections that have traditionally guarded consumers from unfair or deceptive data practices by ISPs and the other companies in the Internet services market. But, based on the [FCC’s] Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, we remain increasingly concerned that the Commission intends to go well beyond such a framework and ill-serve consumers who seek and expect consistency in how their personal data is protected. If different rules apply to the online practices of only selected entities, consumers may wrongly assume that the new rules apply to all of their activities in the Internet. But when they discover otherwise, the inconsistent treatment of consumer data could actually undermine consumers’ confidence in their use of the Internet due to uncertainty regarding the protections that apply to their online activities.-
In response to these actions, the House and Senate introduced legislation in March to disapprove of this proposed FCC rule. The House version of this legislation, H.J.Res.86, was introduced by Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R – TN) on March 8, 2017. The measure seeks to block the proposed FCC rule. On March 28, 2017, the House passed the Senate version, S.J.Res.34, with my support, and the measure now heads to the president’s desk for signature. Again, it must be noted that recent actions in Congress have not changed the status quo in terms of privacy-protection standards for consumers."
That's what they attest. And the Washington Post had a good editorial (which I'm currently at pains to find) explaining how, under Commissioner Wheeler, the FCC pushed for broadband privacy rules, but ran roughshod over the FTC in the process. While it was a win in the sense that a legal gap was closed (more on that in a minute), it wasn't good in that it weakened the definitions between the FTC and FCC, which bother have governance roles to play. While it might sound like needless bureaucracy, firm and clear rules are the underpinnings of strong court rulings, which are essential to good governance.
Except, now that gap still exists. While it's claimed that the FTC will now fill in the gap, the problem is that it couldn't effectively in the first place. WP explains:
"Can't the FTC go after Internet providers with its rules?
At the moment, not really. The reason has to do with the FCC's rules on net neutrality. When the FCC passed those rules, it branded all Internet providers as “common carriers,” essentially a fancy legal term to describe traditional phone companies.
The problem is that the FTC is bound by something called the “common carrier exemption.” The agency isn't allowed to take action against companies that have been labeled common carriers by the FCC. (The idea behind the exemption is to prevent both agencies from going after the same companies twice for the same infraction.)
So if the House vote succeeds and Trump signs the measure, that releases Internet providers from the FCC's privacy regulation but does not do anything to apply the FTC's own privacy guidelines to the industry. The FCC can still sue companies after they have allegedly violated consumer privacy, industry groups say. So can state attorneys general. But the FCC will be unable to write regulations that preemptively bar privacy violations, meaning that Internet providers will be subject to less oversight as a result of the congressional measure."
So, with regards to selling data. Is it anonymized? Probably. To an extent. People get assigned an advertising ID, which is a random number in place of your legal name, and your profile is built under that. But you and I both know that it's not really anonymous, and it's trivial to then do a correlation between your, say, name and address, and then your advertising ID and address, and suddenly you have a full profile on someone. That's an issue when other businesses and services begin to take advantage of your health, interests, associations, etc, to charge you more or deny service based on these indicators. ISPs feel they've been at a disadvantage compared to online services like Facebook. Remember, that they do not want to be "just a bit provider". There's a very powerful profit factor if they can use their lock-in to be your content provider as well.
Anyways, hope that helps!
Aside from that, the danger of the internet doesn't seem to be free speech, but free thought. The bar is much higher and deeper. Droves are being manipulated, nudged and misled. That's happening, nearly frictionless, now. Even Orwell would blush thinking, "My, I really underestimated what was going to happen."
Mind you a lack of NN isn't going to help. But with NN or without NN the root issue(s) aren't NN.
without it they can just block/charge extra for things they cant read. making anonymity and privacy harder. but again, they wont have any new rigths that they don't have today.
Does it currently exist?
Do something significantly illegal enough online most anywhere and you will be caught. Other than very specialized internet usages that are outside the purview of the common individual, the only question currently is if the government can justify going after you, not if they can go after you. Right now if you point out corruption against a local government they likely won't go after you due to lack of resources, not technical limitations. Point out major corruption at a high enough government scale and you will be caught (especially given that one will have to go outside of legal channels to do so).
In fact, since the anti-privacy law was put into law, removing Title II status from ISPs would allow the FTC to regulate privacy again.
The current GOP-controlled administration is implementing a cunning strategy to undermine the safety and freedom of all Americans. These are deliberate actions being taken, with specific goals to suppress what it is calling "fake" news/media, but what most people call facts. The most astonishing thing is that they've twisted and mangled the definition of "freedom" into something that doesn't resemble freedom at all; and yet there are many people who are stupid enough to believe they're actually being helped by these ludicrous decisions.
How is that by necessity a bad thing? People aren't anonymous in every day life and their internet anonymity is mostly an illusion anyway. Big brother can almost always find out who did what if they want to.
" These "rollbacks" of regulations make it orders of magnitude easier for any entity in a corporation or organization to track down people who attempt to expose their illegal actions / skirting of laws"
It also makes it orders of magnitudes easier for anyone to find out about a coorportions illegal actions / skirting of laws.
I agree with most of your statements. But in the long run there really are a lot of benefits to a non-anonymous internet that can't be denied (just as there are a lot of problems as well). For instance, full access to health and medical data for research purposes would be a huge benefit for mankind and the sick people themselves just as that same access would necessitate a major rehaul of the ligislation concerning insurance companies.
I don't see how removing anonymity is inherently by its very nature a bad thing. It seems likely it would be like everything else, you'd need to legislate the legality of certain things given that all activity is non-anonymous, etc.
Its because I do not trust social structures and government that I think anonymity needs to go away.
In a truly de-anonymized system if you are a malevolent actor (gov't or individual) anywhere your actions are broadcasted to the world and people or governments can respond before too much damage is done, no one cares what the benevolent actor is doing.
In a fully anonymous system a malevolent actor can run wild and no one will be able to stop him. The same is true for a benevolent actor, but in a de-anonymized system no one is trying to stop him anyway.
The whole thing though does depend on whether you think the world at large is made up in majority of benevolent people willing and wanting to help their fellow man or malevolent people wishing to do damage in the world.
I think the majority is benevolent which is why I'm for de-anonymizing structures.
Not the same scenario being discussed, but worth noting that the consequences of a loss of anonymity through the internet have the potential to be a lot farther-reaching and more sinister than they are in any analogous loss of anonymity in everyday life. I'd be interested to hear if you find the linked argument persuasive.
I agree with him that the consequences of loss of anonymity are worse than a loss of anonymity in everyday life. In everyday life if a person sees my credit card number I only have to worry about that person say, whereas conversely on the internet its as if everyone the world over were to see my credit card number.
Assuming we don't have NN i.e. anonymity then the world knows everytime I use my credit card (no privacy). However, they do not know my credit card number because its encrypted (security).
So my thinking hasn't changed much after listening to the google engineers argument, I still think its a much better balance of powers to have everyone have access to everything than only those with the skills or power to acquire it, since I think given an absence of anonymity we would build better software and societal structures to ensure we have security for everyone even though privacy might be gone.
I see a few issues with such massive violations of privacy:
1. Slippery slope: Knowledge of people's private lives is extremely valuable, and nobody with the power to collect or use it is going to relinquish it, if anything they're more likely to try to get more, until they have absolutely everything. This isn't inherently bad, as concentrated power is very easily abused. We have a wonderful case study of this with the NSA, their ever expanding powers, their willful breaking what few legal limits are imposed upon them, and their inability to prevent themselves from breaking their own policies about abusing access to their treasure trove.
2. Benevolent dictator: This privacy invasion will most certainly work it's way back to the government, which has severe implications for civil disobedience and political dissent in general. While it's all peaches when the government is "nice", you're never going to have all citizens agree with the government, and future politicians abusing previously allocated power/resources is extremely likely (not that there has ever been a government administration worthy of invading everyone's privacy to begin with).
3. Drawing a line here is not only a great place, it also lets everyone consolidate resources to fight for a known good state. There's a lot of information to be gleaned from the data, and it's unlikely that everyone can commit fully to understanding the ramifications of letting this information out, much less understand how it will be used, or how it can be used. And much like giving the legislation a pile of money with legislatively imposed spending limitations, they're going to be constantly fighting to tweak and remove those limits. And its so much harder to be constantly vigilant when there's dozens of laws governing what can or cannot be done with the data, before we even presume that we agree with those laws to begin with.
4. As noted above with the NSA, it's not possible to trust custodians of this treasure, they're only human, and they're bound to abuse their power at some point. But we don't just have to worry about people with legitimate access obtaining this data, we also have to worry about hackers grabbing it from poorly secured servers, which seems to be an inevitable computer event, even more so for such massively useful information.
> _It also makes it orders of magnitudes easier for anyone to find out about a coorportions illegal actions / skirting of laws._
I would add that I find it more important to ensure that there is transparency about the ISPs and other corporations' (and governments') actions.
For many markets, the natural consequence of unregulated free market conditions is to aggregate towards a monopolistic or oligopolistic market, which isn't a free market any more. The idealized economic free market isn't a stable equilibrium - it's a good position for society, but it doesn't stay there on it's own, it needs to be kept free by preventing it from devolving into the monopolistic optimum.
By the 'open internet' I mean the arrival of ISPs who offered consumers direct connectivity with all the internet, competing with AOL who offered connectivity to, well, AOL.
The fact that the consumer was more nimble and capable of exploring and creating value in this space allowed them the chance to beat the entrenched players.
Today those entrenched players have finally turned around and are using their legacy power, connections and money, to make it an unfair playing field.
The "free market" will not be a savior here.
In other words, Facebook and Twitter.
The flyer you'll be getting from the company who owns the line coming to your house: https://imgur.com/muJfxMQ
1. Massive monopolies which essentially control 95% of all tech (google, facebook, amazon, microsoft, apple, etc)
2. An internet where every consumer assumes everything should be free.
3. An internet where there's only enough room for a handfull of players in each market globally i.e. if you have a "project-management app" there will not be a successfull one for each country much less hundreds for each country.
4. Huge barriers of entry for any new player into many of the markets (no one can even begin competing with google search for less than 20 million).
I think there's still a lot of potential to open up new markets with different policies that would make the internet a much better place for both consumers and entrepreneurs - especially the small guys. I'm just not 100% sure maintaining net-neutrality is the best way to help the little guy and bolster innovation. Anyone have any ideas how we could alleviate some of the above mentioned problems?
EDIT: another question :) If net-neutrality has absolutely nothing to do with the tech monopolies maintaining their power position then why do they all support it? [https://internetassociation.org/]
Many years ago your list wouldn't have included facebook, it would have included myspace. If FB was required to make a deal with every ISP in the US, do you think they would have been able to grow? Ditto for Google and Amazon.
> 2. An internet where every consumer assumes everything should be free.
I don't see how this is the fault of net neutrality. In fact, it's completely unrelated. We can have net neutrality and pay for content, many people do, viz Hulu, Netflix, iTunes Store, &c.
> 3. An internet where there's only enough room for a handfull of players in each market globally i.e. if you have a "project-management app" there will not be a successfull one for each country much less hundreds for each country.
I have no idea what you mean or how this is related.
> 4. Huge barriers of entry for any new player into many of the markets (no one can even begin competing with google search for less than 20 million).
It's easier to do that than it is to make a deal with every ISP in the US. I really have no idea how this isn't doublethink.
It would be much more difficult obviously. But it would also have been much more difficult for myspace in the first place and if they got too big the the gov't could easily split them up. There might be many such companies providing facebook-like services in such a scenario. Maybe not, but its not something I've heard anyone discuss.
"I don't see how this is the fault of net neutrality. In fact, it's completely unrelated"
I don't know if that's a fact. If ISPs could charge for particular services, consumers might be more aware that in order to get a certain service like translation or search or ordering a pizza they need to pay some % per month for it making them more apt to purchase other services. Again I don't know if this would be the case but its something I'd like to see someone look into.
"It's easier to do that than it is to make a deal with every ISP in the US".
Why would I necessarily need to make a deal with every ISP. For most products I think you probably don't really care or need to be everywhere in the USA especially when starting out.
Please elaborate. How would ending net neutrality help the government easily split up myspace?
> If ISPs could charge for particular services
Then they would, and don't be surprised if they kept the lion's share of the profits, not giving much if anything to startups. Without net neutrality, ISPs could say "we're allowing you startups the privilege of being available through us, so don't expect any money from us"
> Why would I necessarily need to make a deal with every ISP. For most products I think you probably don't really care or need to be everywhere in the USA especially when starting out.
Ok but you initially said "no one can even begin competing with google search for less than 20 million" and guess what - that fact would not go away if you removed net neutrality. In fact, it would get even worse. You would need way more than 20 million, because now you also would have to pay the ISPs.
How do you compete against competing services owned by ISPs?
If your alternative is that ISP are prohibited from owning content producers, you're the only one pushing that plan.
The only serious alternative being offered is that the invisible hand will deal with all the problems.
Good question. I guess you wouldn't need to as long as the ISP market is competitive. You might go to another competitor and convince them your product is good or your product can help/augment the service they are currently providing.
The invisible hand would be really interesting to watch there.
How would it be competitive? If my ISP released its own Netflix and throttled my connection to Netflix to the point where Netflix seemed extremely slow but my ISP's version of Netflix was super fast, there would be no competition. My ISP would dominate.
> You might go to another competitor and convince them your product is good or your product can help/augment the service they are currently providing.
Do you mean go to another ISP? There aren't that many consumer ISPs around, so what happens when they've all made a deal with someone's Netflix, and a new company wants to revolutionize/reinvent their own Netflix? Now it's even harder for them to do so, because the existing players already have contracts to make themselves very fast and everyone else very slow.
Currently, this stuff can't happen (legally) due to NN, but if you remove NN, you enable this stuff, and you prevent new competition from coming up.
I should note that competition amongst ISPs wouldn't do much to prevent zero-rating, which is still problematically anti-competitive.
But it's not.
2) I think will only continue to be true for a short period of time. With products like Netflix and amazon, and with traditional television channels like HBO and ESPN starting to charge for streaming online, I think consumer attitude will shift as they realize that it's worth paying for content on the internet.
3) I'm skeptical is actually true and I'm skeptical that it's bad if true.
4) for most internet products the barrier of entry is smaller. You're only looking at one company. Compare to a company like Boeing, where it would take hundereds of millions to compete.
In what way would it be harder for them to be dethroned exactly?
Yeah, sure, the data maybe still gets through. But now it's getting through at a reduced rate and (potentially) lower quality of service. This prevents new businesses from being able to enter into many markets. Having to establish peering arrangements with many ISPs individually instead of just with the few that they directly use.
Want an alternative to AWS/Azure? Good luck, not only do they need the physical infrastructure for hosting, they now need individual peering arrangements with many ISPs to provide the same QoS.
Then with broadband you end up with users given access to a larger portion of the pool, akin to overbooking an airline. If everyone in my town gets 1Mbps but the local ISP can only handle 1Gbps, well, 1000 users maxing it out will shut the rest of the town out. This gets to a legitimate case for traffic shaping, ensuring equal access to the common resource pool. Those users can still max it, but only when everyone else isn't using it (or using it minimally).
However, traffic shaping (and related things like blatant packet dropping) started being more generally applied, to whole protocols (bittorrent) or services (Netflix, et al.). The latter example is a particularly good example of a conflict of interest. Companies like Comcast control so many user experiences in the US, but they own NBC and other media brands, as well as providing video-on-demand services as part of their cable offerings. They have a clear reason to want to reduce the QoS of Netflix and can, legally, without network neutrality. This is directly harmful to customers experiences, and a bordering on an abuse of market position.
Really, though, it's silly to look at how things worked 30 years ago and think the exact same rules will apply today. The circumstances have all changed. Broadband-requiring, consumer-oriented services didn't exist 30 years ago. They do today. ISPs today are screwing over consumers and prospective new businesses. They are the robber barons of the digital age, imposing their taxes at each bend in the river and screwing over everyone upstream and downstream to make a buck.
Previously, you had a lot more ISPs, even more operating in the same physical area when we had dial-up. They needed to cooperate. Their customers' desired data wasn't on their network, and they were barely more than an interlink (services offered: dial-up, email, custom home page at isp.net/~user). If they didn't abide by peering arrangements businesses and customers would have been unable to communicate, making the ISPs unable to fulfill their purchases.
There are now far fewer ISPs and they have far more services and customers. They're in a position, due to the number of customers they have to bargain with, to demand quite a bit from other ISPs and content/service providers. Failing to peer with Comcast could mean losing half of all US broadband customers. So when they demand $$, you're in a bind and almost have to pay, or suffer lower QoS as a result.
Net Neutrality is not a magic cure all and it isn't neutral when only one side has to change. both providers of bandwidth and providers of services would need to adhere to specific rules for it to not stagnate and recreate AT&T/etc we suffered through in the early days (remember Long Distance where it was all protected ... yeah, no thank you
Are you saying that net neutrality protects existing players? Let's imagine removing net neutrality for a second. Now companies can pay ISPs for preferential treatment. Who has the money to pay the ISPs? Existing players. Thus, existing players get even harder to take down
You can, using just your skills and barely any money, compete with google and facebook this afternoon! (google and amazon will even give you a month to try for free) Your chances at winning are pretty low, but eventually someone will do it.
This has the effect of essentially creating a huge barrier to entry.
That's a 'lottery', not a 'barrier-lowering device'.
Please stop spreading this misleading idea.
Sure, not everything is that easy, but an open internet does allow for a massive leg up that many other industries could only dream of.
Imagine being able to take on Honda's lawnmower division competitively with less than $100 and a few months!
I should know - I am one of those corpses :-)
If not net neutrality helped you.
That's the misleading example I wish people to stop using.
It's certainly true that the barrier to entry for new products is lower because of net neutrality.
No, but as soon as Google starts abusing their monopoly status by turning into something reminiscent of Alta Vista, a new search engine will sprout up.
Google itself grew like wildfire in the late 90s not only because it offered superior search results, but because of the massive global reach it had, thanks to net neutrality! If the net wasn't neutral back then, AOL search would still rule the net.
You are right that net neutrality enabled Google's growth, but the barriers to a Google competitor are different now, and far more difficult to overcome than what Google faced.
Google is not trusted, but people use it because there is no alternative and the barriers to an alternative being built
The biggest challenge in replacing google would be getting the advertisers. Especially because at the start, your low userbase makes targeted adds much harder to pull off.
The fact that hasn't happened proves you are wrong.
Also nobody forces me or you to use google. It is a free choice, if a better search engine comes up we can use it and nobody forbids you to use other search engine or any site.
With net neutrality you are free. Without net neutrality you are bound to the services of the friends of the ISP. You have cable tv 2.0
no more freedom
However a better search engine cannot 'just come up', because Google is the result of billions of dollars of investment over more than 2 decades using data that is not publicly available.
Stop pretending otherwise.
1. Conglomo with 2 decades of competitive advantage
2. Conglomo with 2 decades of competitive advantage and the ability to pay ISPs for preferential treatment?
I am simply asking people to stop claiming that Google can be easily competed against with minimal resources if you are just clever. It's simply false.
Competing against google is a red herring when it comes to net neutrality.
Net neutrality hurts new products that don't compete against Google. It is barely relevant to competing against Google because the other barriers are so high.
In fact, the massive monopolies can already pay for better internet speed for their services by paying for better (physical) access to the ISPs network.
2) I'm not sure what causality you are implying here. Is it that if websites were forced to pay off ISPs they would have no choice but to charge users for content, and users would in turn get used to it?
3) Without net neutrality there is room for exactly one app - the ISP provided app, since everything else is blocked.
Currently there are people in my country (which is dominated by WhatsApp) that are using Telegram, Signal and Line, so it seems like there is some competition to the giants (and many people abandoned WhatsApp when it was bought by Facebook). You can imagine what would happen if Facebook was allowed to pay off local ISPs to block everything else (and since "everyone uses WhatsApp anyway" you can bet they'll all agree to it).
4) As shown above, net neutrality reduces the barrier of entering into the market because without it there is the additional barrier of paying off the ISPs to allow access to your service.
Therefore, I suggest that the best course of action we have right now to alleviate these problems is to strengthen net neutrality :)
You might want to check out the following guide https://www.ftc.gov/tips-advice/competition-guidance/guide-a... especially the "supply chain" portion.
You next comment "paying higher rates for better speed" is generally considered competition and lowers overall costs. I find most of the "net neutrality" arguments highly specious and circular.
It makes much more sense for FB to pay ISPs to make access to WhatsApp and Messenger free. That way the ISP doesn't have to deal with the angry backlash.
By giving them the power to selectively control what they're sending down the pipe, the monopoly problem will grow far far worse.
Net neutrality is not the cause of the problems you listed, and removing it won't solve any of them.
So, net neutrality is an attempt to fix regulation problem with more regulations. Which obviously cannot work for long, they are too big and have too much influence to push regulations that benefit them. At some point this could cause enough problems to become a political thing and new people in power would be forced to actually take action against them.
This mechanism may be a viable alternative to net neutrality as it drastically lowers the cost to enter the ISP market, and it would be in the competitive interest of some providers to self impose net neutrality.
My guess based on observation though is the infrastructure owning ISPs would probably prefer net neutrality to forced rental of their infra if one of those 2 regulations were to be chosen.
There's limited amount of space in the city infrastructure to use for laying all of the fiber.
I think the way forward would be to repeal those other regulations and keep net neutrality
This is simply not true. With the wide availability of cellular service that provides broadband speeds pretty much everyone in the country has multiple choices of ISP.
Fundamentally, though, nobody in the US can open a new cell phone operator now. The spectrum is bought and owned, the owners know how valuable it is, and owning light is a much scarcer and more valuable resource than any plot of land that billionaires are buying up in the present property investment bubble.
It is even worse than the ISP monopoly - ISPs are local monopolies. We have a national cartel of cell operators that can't face real competition because of a state guaranteed monopoly on radio waves. As is the nature of all business with guaranteed profits, eventually AT&T and Verizon will consume T-Mobile and Sprint, possibly even under this administration, where there will be much less anti-monopoly scrutiny, and then we will have two network operators controlling all the usable cellular bandwidth with no intent to let anyone else compete.
Just because we are in an... alright situation right now, doesn't guarantee that environment will persist forever. Cellular network operators are absolutely crooked and near guaranteed in a long enough time span to devolve into a duopoly, while we already have collusion between them today to screw over consumers.
1) often the broadband provided by mobile services is capped and/or much more expensive than the services provided by the 1 or at best 2 non-mobile ISPs you have access to.
2) in rural areas, often you do NOT have access to anything close to the same level of broadband speeds. There are a lot of places where the coverage is still spotty, and even where you have it, the speeds just aren't that great.
(again, I'm speaking about conditions in the US)
If 1 or 2 ISPs eventually own all commercial content creation, I can assure you it won't be good for low income internet users.
There are several possible solutions to this, ramped up enforcement of anti-trust laws, forced sharing of last mile infrastructure etc... Net neutrality isn't the only possible fix. Which fix do you prefer?
To your point about not needing fast download speeds. What's considered fast today is just "required to browser the internet" tomorrow. I used to get by with a 28.8kbps modem, but that's not a viable option today.
Secondly, I was in no way referring to "insanely fast broadband speeds and data download limits". I was talking about practical limits. Where I live, if I depended on mobile connectivity for internet service, it would be impractical to do anything that involved any media of any significant size. The connectivity would at best be barely capable, and the data limits and plan costs would make it hideously expensive. Therefore I have pretty much one ISP that can provide me with tolerable service.
However, the point I was trying to make is that your statement "With the wide availability of cellular service that provides broadband speeds pretty much everyone in the country has multiple choices of ISP." which was in response to the statement "ISPs and utility companies are natural monopolies. When you move to a new location, you're stuck with the ISPs that service that location; often just 1 ISP." is actually not true from a practical standpoint for many people in the US.
I don't just use the internet for entertainment. I use it for my work. And because of the limitations of where I live, that means basically one ISP can provide me with the service I need. The "broadband" service provided in my area by mobile companies, is first of all, not really "broadband" at all, and secondly, even if it was, it would not be practical given the high cost that said companies would charge for it.
I think that many people who live in cities underestimate the number of people who are in this situation (and no, I have not lived in a rural location for my entire career). It is certainly not true from a practical standpoint that "pretty much everyone" in the US has access to "broadband speeds" from multiple ISPs.
Well, that's progress anyhow.
This is completely unsubstantiated, and in fact quite likely the opposite. Often, rural WISPs will rely on other ISPs for backhaul. Imagine if ISPs could charge/throttle whatever they want, rather than treat the WISP's backhaul as an opaque pipe?
And I live in a country where data is cheap.
* The cost to enter the market is effectively nothing.
* The opportunity cost to switch new services is, again, nothing (change the URL).
* The opportunity cost to switch established services is not nothing (network effects, all friends are on Facebook, etc).
* The cost to acquire network effects is not nothing.
The later effects have nothing to do with the Internet. In any economy where window shopping options is free and competing is free, then whoever owns the collective opinion on your product domain is going to get a winner take all situation. Capitalism in general is like this - the more of a market you control, the more easily you can displace the competition through your own influence. That is why you get many natural monopolies.
Consumers expect web based content to be free because the marginal costs of their usage is effectively nothing (the per-user costs of running a server with a billion users requires many zeroes). Websites, and digital information in general, are non-scarce resources. Once made, making copies costs nothing. That is a much bigger rabbit hole though, and is generalized into broader problems of cognitive dissonance in people trying to put scarcity into non-scarce resources.
The only way to make the Internet - or more specifically, tcp/ip and http - more small guy friendly is to promote browsers to make content discovery easier at the browser level. Otherwise people will go to the silos they are familiar with / the ones they are told about.
Google et al fight for net neutrality because getting rid of it only makes ISPs richer at the cost of consumers and website hosts. The only possible state of being without net neutrality is paid bribes for service - Comcast will demand huge sums of money from Google et al or will throttle their services so their customers stop using them and use their own in-home products instead. And given the opportunity ISPs won't be some charity giving small business free rides - they will slow down or cripple the Internet for everyone except those who pay. The customers Google wants are a captive audience of major ISPs - without competition in the ISP market, and without net neutrality, every website operator needs to prostate themselves to the demands of ISPs to have their websites reach their audience, and the customers have no say in that relationship because they don't have a choice in ISP.
Also in what world does giving ISPs complete control of which services can even function on the internet help the "little guy"? You'll just replace the relatively healthy tech market with a 0 innovation series of walled gardens managed by each megacorp ISP-MediaCompany union.
As for the massive monopolies, that was born of US businesses. US tech monopolies are not original. Monopolies are a traditional form of how the US does its business. Just because the founders and their employees where shorts and shirts instead of suits, it was sold as "radical and new" when it was in fact the same old game.
Now that these major monopolies have established a significant foothold, they find it in their interest to remove net-neutrality to prevent anything disruptive from occurring to their bottom-line.
Also, net neutrality is about consumers not being monitored by ISPs.
>3. An internet where there's only enough room for a handfull of players in each market globally i.e. if you have a "project-management app" there will not be a successfull one for each country much less hundreds for each country.
I'm not sure either of these have anything to do with any particular policies, rather than just the nature of all maturing industries. Consolidation is always the tendency as an industry matures. Some policies try to slow or mitigate it, for example as Federal restrictions on radio station ownership did until the Telecom Act of 1996 ended that . But the natural endstate of any complex system is increasing concentration of critical resources of the system into fewer hands.
What exactly are the barriers to entry for search? Unlike social networks where reconstructing a social graph comparable to Facebook's is a major barrier to entry, what's to keep consumer eyeballs from just using another search engine as their default? Not much network effect there, seems habit and laziness are the only real barriers, but as far as barriers go those are the easiest for a competitor to break through. For example, I use DuckDuckGo for mine, and it's fine in all but a few edge cases.
Without net neutrality that isn't guaranteed.
It's difficult to compete with Google. But imagine competiting with an ISP owned version of Google who owns the last mile to all their customers.
Unless you think ISPs will simply block off many hosts, this is likely hyperbole.
More likely, certain services would be charged tolls upstream and others would be promoted with discounts.
Any service that competes with an ISP's service
> others would be promoted with discounts.
An ISP's or their partner's service.
When you have at most 3 but usually only 2 choices for an ISP in a local market, how do you think this will benefit anyone ither than them?
My only two choices are comcast and at&t DSL. I live in a dense, wealthy area where people would definitely pay for faster internet in a very large city, but the fastest speed i can get is 60 MBps for $80/month. These two companies are not known for innovation or treating their customers well. Comcast is regularly voted the worst company in America because of its terrible service.
Nn removal will add additional costs on trying to get your service noticed since they can arbitrarily put you in the slow lane. How will you be able to compete with an ISP in this landscape?
Comcast is also a huge content provider of crap I'd never watch: NBC, CNBC, MSNBC, Bravo, E!, CNBC World. I watch a couple of shows from USA (Mr Robot) and SyFy(The Expanse) that I prefer to purchase by the season. I don't want to live in a world where those stations are fast laned and NEtflix (which will pay), crunchyroll, curiosityTV, youtube (will pay), various documentary streaming sites etc are in the slow lane.
One possible resolution I can see where this has a happy ending is that it causes Google, my municipality, etc to enter the ISP market. Unlikely because of the legal costs.
More likely option, I'll get SpaceX internet and deal with the 25ms latency. I'm already running a VPN, degrading my service, so that I'm not just another data point for marketers and advertisers to manipulate.
Look forward to your response and that you give me some hope
Even on that metric there's not a lot of downside vs. typical monopoly/duopoly ISPs. I have 20ms of last-mile latency on ATT.
The first makes it possible for anyone to be almost perfect in finding and using the best service in any field. The second makes it so that more users makes a service better.
I'd argue that this has led to overall better services, though at the cost of centralized powers.
Net neutrality helps everyone, especially the smaller companies, by making sure there is free and equal access to customers and other companies without being charged, profiled or otherwise blocked based on who you are or how much you pay.
Post hoc, ergo propter hoc fallacy.
Just because NN was in place, does not give hardly any information how the events you describe would have played out.
If ISPs could charge web sites for fast lane treatment and such, Google, Netflix etc. would have the largest bills to pay.
They'll argue it as a moral point to drum up grassroots support, but in reality its just a business item for them. If the roles were reversed they'd push for the policy that let them charge other companies more.
By your definition, they're not monopolies, they're just big companies, they're all competing with each other and the occasional new-comer.
The monopolies you mentioned have very little to do with NN. Someone already gave example how Facebook replaced MySpace, similarly Google, replaced Yahoo, AltaVista etc, I suppose Amazon did not replace anything, but started e-commerce (and currently creating other markets, like cloud computing), but it is getting higher and higher competition.
Apple and Microsoft existed before Internet and are just using their old position to leverage their existence, but the fact they face competition.
> EDIT: another question :) If net-neutrality has absolutely nothing to do with the tech monopolies maintaining their power position then why do they all support it? [https://internetassociation.org/]
Simple, because it expands powers of existing monopolies making them relevant. Perfect example is Netflix. They providing service to stream movies. They pay also pay large amounts of money for Internet access and ability to send content to their users. On the other side users similarly are paying for Internet access to be able to receive the content.
You would think it's double paying (and it kind of is), but it's normal, why users should subsidize Netflix costs or why Netflix should pay for users' access (since they are not only using Netflix) they just pay for their access to the network.
But, regional ISPs (in this case Comcast) started having "problems" where packets from Netflix were dropped, because "Netflix was sending too much data to them", ignoring the fact that that data Netflix was sending was requested by ISP's users who were already paying ISP to do one thing and do it well (i.e. deliver data they requested).
Things were kind of bad for the users (and users couldn't also switch their provider because at most they only had just another option which was equally as bad), until Netflix reached deal with Comcast where they pay Comcast to deliver the content (something that Comcast users are already paying for).
Net neutrality is trying to make sure this kind of manipulation is not allowed.
The thing with Netflix already happened but could easily be translated to other companies. For example (I'm borrowing it from here , I think you should watch it it explains the core issue very well IMO) Microsoft could pay so Bing has always fast access at cost of Google. Don't you want as a user to not have any company dictate you what you can access or not? Similarly those Internet companies also don't want to pay extra on top of what they already are paying. That's their interest. The only companies who would benefit from lack of NN are handful companies that deliver Internet to end users (especially companies like Comcast, TimeWarner/Spectrum, AT&T, Verizon etc) and lack of NN would give them huge power to bully anyone else.
> 1. Massive monopolies which essentially control 95% of all tech (google, facebook, amazon, microsoft, apple, etc)
Facebook and Microsoft are able to leverage network effects. A social network were your friends aren't is not very good independent of the features, similar with Microsoft and the available software. I dont't think, that there is an effect from net neutrality at play here.
This is mostly about the absence of a good micro-payment system, plus the internet forces in many relevant areas everybody to compete with free. (The free newspaper is just a click away, same with youtube etc.)
Is that the case? In cases were you can leverage scale effects certainly, Google has the largest database of websites and as a result the best search engine. Similar for facebook. However, is the relevant metric youtube or is the relevant metric number of people who can live from youtube. Same with Amazon market place and ebay. (Not really arguing either way, I am not really sure what the answer is.)
Compare that to the barriers of entry for a shipyard or hardware manufacturing.
> I think there's still a lot of potential to open up new markets with different policies that would make the internet a much better place for both consumers and entrepreneurs - especially the small guys. I'm just not 100% sure maintaining net-neutrality is the best way to help the little guy and bolster innovation. Anyone have any ideas how we could alleviate some of the above mentioned problems?
Yes, however no net neutrality should benefit the large guys. I can put a video on my server, but I can certainly not negotiate with all the ISPs that they should deliver my video. So in the absence of net neutrality youtube has an additional lever to compete against me. I don't really see any scenario where absence of net neutrality benefits the upstart competition instead of the incumbent.
However, the platforms we see today look in many ways more similar to either infrastructure or states than to competition, so an rather interesting question is, how does one ensure that they are not evil. (To borrow an old Google slogan.)
Does anyone else have this issue?
you can also submit via API: https://www.fcc.gov/ecfs/public-api-docs.html
That's dope, I had no idea this was available. Thanks for sharing!
Where can I find this proceeding to lodge a comment?
There's no difference. It's like understaffing voting booths in areas where the majority is anti-current-government.
That is the same kind of heavy-handed regulation that gave us the sorry copper POTS network we are stuck with today. The free market is the solution, and must be defended against those who want European-style top-down national regulation of what has historically been the most free and vibrant area of economic growth the world has ever seen.
The reason the internet grew into what it is today during the 1990s was precisely because it was so free of regulation and governmental control. If the early attempts to regulate the internet had succeeded, HN probably wouldn't exist and none of us would have jobs right now.
1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Communications_Decency_Act (just one example from memory--there were several federal attempts to censor and tax the Internet in the 1990s)
I've said for a while that we could rely on a free market solution to the broadband market with one very large change from the way that things are done now. Last mile infrastructure should be publicly owned and customers should be allowed to choose any provider. Once that's the case, then you can have a truly competitive market that's more likely to give consumers choice. Short of that, heavy regulation is better than allowing monopoly/duopoly players to behave in whatever way they want.
If you remove all the regulatory overhead last mile is cheap, something on an order of $100 per customer in urban areas.
> The way to get more choices is to let anyone compete to be your ISP, by liberating the wire.
While he's killing net neutrality, Pai is also doing what he can to limit broadband competition. So, thanks to him, we're getting the worst of both worlds: less consumer-friendly regulation AND less competition.
* FCC removes competition requirement from Charter-TWC merger conditions (https://www.theverge.com/2017/4/3/15161456/fcc-charter-merge...)
* ISPs who don’t want competition get good news from FCC chair: FCC to kill merger condition that required competition in 1 million locations (https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2017/02/isps-who-dont-wa...)
* One broadband choice counts as “competition” in new FCC proposal (https://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2017/04/one-b...)
I'm not so sure about that. The coax used for cable is a higher-bandwidth cabling than the POTS twisted-pair lines used for telephone service, so the cable companies started out with better infrastructure. DSL also has distance/bandwidth limits ("distance from the central office") that cable internet doesn't have, so many people are unable to get DSL that rus at acceptable speeds. Cable television has also been widespread and popular in the US since the 80s, at least. I'm not sure if that's true in countries were DSL has been popular.
I, personally, would attribute cable internet's popularity (in the US) to the technical superiority of the legacy infrastructure it is built on.
To entice them to invest in their area because nobody else would.
Infrastructure isn't software development. It requires billions of dollars of capital investment. That investment isn't going to go to many areas unless it's nearly guaranteed a return, hence the labyrinth of monopolistic guarantees bestowed upon ISPs.
It's not clear to me that consumer options would flourish if you were to roll back all ISP related regulations and void existing contracts. I suspect the current system would just become more entrenched.
No, companies will go with the cheaper route i.e. continue the comfy collusions they have now. You're insane if you think they'll magically start sharing their own infrastructures with each other.
The first build out of fiber to the curb is expensive. 2-N is cheap if you do it right.
Or maybe you're saying that private ISPs will perform the deployment and then share their fiber? Which seems wildly unrealistic.
firms specialize, it's an important attribute of a functioning free market. If there is demand for running fiber through conduits, local firms might specialize in that type of construction, especially if local knowledge and working with local governments can be leveraged across customers. Many industries are not vertically integrated where specialization is more efficient than vertical integration. (i.e. Ford stopped making tires and glass)
He was just some high school kid with little cash when he started the business, and eventually got acquired by one of the 100's (1000's?) of successful local ISPs that replaced the big walled gardens, and gave average people access to TCP/IP.
This was all with "european style top down regulation" of the telcos (which was actually invented and practiced in the US until lobbyists killed it).
Famous last words. Free market caters to existing major players. Even the notoriously free financial markets are heavily regulated to prevent bigger players squeezing out smaller players. The idea that free market unregulated capitalism is the answer to everything has been shown as wrong many times over.
My grandparents were on T-Mobile for their Internet access until T-Mobile focused their tower in the opposite direction and they had to switch back to satellite Internet. They lost the ability to reliably Skype with their great-granddaughter, which is an absolute shame.
I find it hilarious that so many people have forgotten why there is such good access to internet in this country in the first place. The US government made a deal with the devil (the telecoms) to run copper to every back assward town and county across the heartland. This has proved to be an awful deal, however, there would be no internet outside of the metro areas if not for the big scary government.
And massive government subsidies. In the early 90's, I lived in a region that basically could not get Internet. It was a dark time for me coming from a more urban area. A few years later every small community has been hooked up with broadband -- almost entirely due to government regulation and money.
Anything more recent? I can tell you from my experience in the south of Spain that investment and availability in broadband has improved massively since that report was provided (e.g. I personally was struggling to get the full advertised 10Mbps in my area 5 years ago, I've had solid 300Mbps for around €25/month extra for a year now). I wouldn't be surprised if the study took place shortly before fibre and other investment in certain areas really came to fruition.
I also see they seem to be hedging things in the summary descriptions (e.g. mentioning cost as a positive on the US side, but then making excuses while they admit that US access is only cheaper at slow speeds), so that doesn't seem particularly convincing.
They're arguing that Title II Classification is not the same as Net Neutrality, with the following statement:
"Title II is a source of authority to impose enforceable net neutrality rules. Title II is not net neutrality. Getting rid of Title II does not mean that we are repealing net neutrality protections for American consumers.
We want to be very clear: As Brian Roberts, our Chairman and CEO stated, and as Dave Watson, President and CEO of Comcast Cable writes in his blog post today, we have and will continue to support strong, legally enforceable net neutrality protections that ensure a free and Open Internet* for our customers, with consumers able to access any and all the lawful content they want at any time. Our business practices ensure these protections for our customers and will continue to do so."*
So if Title II goes away, where do those strong, legally enforceable net neutrality protections come from? Wasn't that the reasoning behind Title II in the first place, it's the only effectively strong, legally enforceable way of protecting net neutrality (vs other methods with loopholes)?
Yes, Verizon v FCC  ruled that Title II classification is required for any sort of NN regulation.
A few weeks ago on HN, someone made an analogy to water: someone filling their swimming pool should pay more for water than someone showering or cooking with it. This seems to make sense to me, water is a scarce resource and it should be prioritized.
Is the same true of the Internet? I absolutely agree that ISPs that are also in the entertainment business shouldn't be allowed to prioritize their own data, but that seems to me an anti-trust problem, not a net neutrality problem. I also agree that ISPs should be regulated like utilities, but even utilities are allowed to limit service to maintain their infrastructure (see: rolling blackouts).
Perhaps I simply do not understand NN and perhaps organizations haven't done a good job of explaining it, but I don't know that these problems are not best solved by the FTC, not the FCC.
There's nothing specifically immoral about selling safe bottled water. But as soon as you induce people to buy it, in this case by degrading the tap water, you're doing something wrong.
Much like water companies, many areas either have no choice in ISP or can only choose between the big three who have very similar policies. Choice is in effect an illusion.
The only reality-based and fair network management that residential ISPs can employ is rate-limiting during peak time. The stereotypical customer who only uses their connection to stream Netflix/YouTube during prime time is actually more costly than a heavy P2P user who transfers TBs of data in the off-hours overnight and in the early morning.
If the government brings suit, and loses, will they/you continue to point to anti trust law?
"The real problem is X" is fine and good if working on X is anywhere in sight. Yes, X may be the real problem, but generations can be born, grow old, and die while you're waiting for X to be solved.
I don't think so. Water is a resource that can be stored. Bandwidth is a perishable good. If it's not used, you can't store the excess for use later. Billing based on peak usage or peak available bandwidth maps properly to provider costs, but billing based on usage doesn't.
Bits on the wire are not a scarce resource.
The FCC only has 3 people on it right now (2 R, 1 D), with 2 vacant seats.
It's what Trinity said that has me really worried:
"A déjà vu is usually a glitch in the Matrix. It happens when they change something."
 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hRDEZHJxdw4&t=230s ( 2:18 to 5:00 )
Here in the EU, things are much slower and the activists were somewhat envious how fast net neutrality was established in the US, while in the EU this is a really slow legislation process. But now it seems the this slower way is at least more sustainable. We still don't have real net neutrality in the EU, but the achievements we have so far are more durable, and can't be overthrown that quickly.
Interestingly at one point 100 Mbit/s connection wasn't nearly fast enough to play almost any content from YouTube. - Maybe there's some kind of relation, maybe not.
I tried my hand at the general claim of regulatory uncertainty hurting business, then Paragraphs 45 and 47:
-> It is worth noting that by bringing this into the spotlight again the NPRM is guilty of iginiting the same regulatory uncertainty it repeatedly claims has hurt its investments.
-> Paragraph 45 devotes 124 words (94% of the paragraph), gives 3 sources (75% of the references in this paragraph) and a number of figures (100% of explicitly hand-picked data) making the claim Title II regulation has suppressed investment. It then ends with 8 words and 1 reference vaguely stating "Other interested parties have come to different conclusions." Given the NPRM's insistence on both detail and clarity, this is absolutely unacceptable.
-> There are also a number of extremely misleading and insubstantiated arguments throughout. Reference 114 in Paragraph 47, for example, is actually a hapzard mishmash of 3 references with clearly hand-picked data from somewhat disjointed sources and analyses. Then the next two references [115, 116] in the same paragraph, point to letters sent to the FCC over 2 years ago from small ISP providers before regulations were classified as Title II. Despite discussing the fears raised in these letters, the NRPM provides little data on whether these fears were actually borne out. In fact, one of the providers explicitly mentioned in reference 115, Cedar Falls Utilities, have not in any way been subject to these regulations (they have less than 100,000 customers ... in fact the population of Cedar Falls isn't even 1/2 of the 100,000 customer exemption the FCC has provided!). This is obviously faked concern for the small ISP businesses and again, given the NPRM's insistence on both detail and clarity, this is absolutely unacceptable.
 makes a great point on specifically addressing what's being brought up in the NPRM:
> Without net neutrality, big companies could censor your voice and make it harder to speak up online.
Hmm, was it ever prohibited for e.g. some Twitter user to write your ISP an angry letter calling you a Nazi, so they shut your internet off to avoid the headache?
I've only heard about "net neutrality" in the context of bandwidth pricing. It's very different if companies are legally required to sell you internet(except maybe short of an actual crime).
Does anyone know of an example or a regulation against it?
I'm not sure what you consider innovative, but my local comcast connection has grown by about 10x in bandwidth over the last 15 years.
This is a perfect example of how they stifle innovation by being another impediment/middle man in the move to 4K TV.
Previously, I lived in a ramshackle studio apartment in Venice that had Fios where I paid $50 for symmetrical 200Mbps.
I don't want or need my ISP to be innovative. I want a dumb, no BS pipe that offers a decent price without bundling, since I don't need tv or a phone
>I don't want or need my ISP to be innovative. I want a dumb, no BS pipe that offers a decent price without bundling, since I don't need tv or a phone
No, you don't want it to be a dumb pipe. You want an ever increasingly fast service. If they installed a dumb pipe in 2003 and never upgraded you'd be mad as hell.
It's substandard, especially when living in the 2nd largest city in the US. It's nealy unacceptable when the upload speeds are a paltry 5Mbps.
I want, a network that simply provides simple bandwidth and network speed while being completely neutral with regard to the services and applications the customer accesses that offers if not symmetrical, usable upload speeds.
A dumb pipe is not a stagnant pipe, upgrades to network speed doesn't make it smart.
> Net neutrality is fundamental to free speech. Without net neutrality, big companies could censor your voice and make it harder to speak up online.
Big companies are censoring your voice right now! Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and literally every other big provider is censoring online speech all the time. If it's so scary, why nobody cares? If it's not, what Mozilla is trying to say here?
> Net neutrality is fundamental to competition. Without net neutrality, big Internet service providers can choose which services and content load quickly, and which move at a glacial pace.
Internet has been around for a while, and nothing like that happened, even though we didn't have current regulations in place until 2015, e.g. last two years. At which point we start asking for evidence and not just "they might do something evil"? Yes, there were shenanigans, and they were handled, way before 2015 regulations were in place.
> Net neutrality is fundamental to innovation
Again, innovation has been going on for decades without current regulations. What happened that suddenly it started requiring them?
> Net neutrality is fundamental to user choice. Without net neutrality, ISPs could decide you’ve watched too many cat videos in one day,
ISPs never did it, as far as we know, for all history of ISP existence. Why would they suddenly start now - because they want to get abandoned by users and fined by regulators (which did fine ISPs way before 2015)?
> In 2015, nearly four million people urged the FCC to protect the health of the Internet
Before 2015, the Internet was doing fine for decades. What happened between 2015 and 2017 that now we desperately need this regulation and couldn't survive without it like we did until 2015?
I read a lot of sweeping, but hard to measure claims on its affects (such as in the linked article). Are there any concrete, measurable affects that anyone is willing to predict?
Examples might be:
* Average load times for the 1000 most popular webpages will decrease.
* There will be fewer internet startups over the next 5 years than the previous.
> * Average load times for the 1000 most popular webpages will decrease.
Absolutely possible if companies in the top 1000 pay for priority over other companies in the top 1000. Also possible if an ISP decides to make their own version of a top 1000 site, and throttles its competitors.
> * There will be fewer internet startups over the next 5 years than the previous.
When ISPs create an artificial barrier to entry such as paid prioritization, costs to start a business and become profitable will increase, which will absolutely reduce the amount of new startups.
I know in china there are a handful of telecom companies with absolutely terrible peering between each other, so that companies have to buy CDN services which have points of presence in all the carriers. But that may or may not be an effect of their lack of net neutrality policy, since there's so much else going on there.
Title II "Net Neutrality" is also an instance of regulatory capture through which large consumers of bandwidth (such as Google and Netflix) hope to externalize the costs of network expansions to accommodate their ever-growing bandwidth demands. To put it differently, instead of building those costs into the prices their customers pay, they want to force Internet users who AREN'T their customers to subsidize their bandwidth demands.
When you hand over control to the government, don't ask yourself what it would look like if you were creating the laws, ask yourself what it'll look like when self-interested politicians create them.
Just because you are in favor of preventing route prioritization doesnt mean youre in favor of the bizarre absolute opposite of government "controlling content".
nobody (I know of) is advocating government control of content. That is a different discussion entirely from net neutrality.
My point is that I really don't care what your good intention are, or what you believe the government will limit itself to. That's all nice and sweet, and a great discussion for a 5th grade civics class, but what I'm saying is how long do you think before well intended, someone please think of the children types (or more recently those of the outrage culture spawned from university campuses), will start regulating the content? Once you give them authority to make decisions about how the internet should be regulated, they'll start getting creative. The FCC is a historical example of that, and it's the exact department your handing over the internet to.
But is this HN folks fault?
At the time of my writing "Kubernetes clusters for the hobbyist" - who thinks it is as important as this one? - with 470 points less, almost 300 comments less, both posted 6/7 hours ago is six positions above.
That's like suggesting that we don't need laws against fraud in functional healthy markets. Removing monopolies would not fix the privacy issue either.
However, it would probably eliminate the need for net neutrality. In the meantime, we need it.
And we need to keep privacy laws in place until such time that technology makes it impossible for ISPs to discover any details about what you are doing. Don't hold your breath.
Of course not. I didn't say or even imply as much.
> However, it would probably eliminate the need for net neutrality. In the meantime, we need it.
Maybe, but I think the importance people place on this is exaggerated. If you want it as a stopgap, fine. But let's not pretend that NN is going to seriously impact any of the issues discussed in this article.
Network Neutrality didn't go far enough. Most major eyeball networks in the US charge a high fee (should be zero) for interconnecting with content providers. And even after fees have been agreed to, drag their feet on installing the ports or limit port availability.
We should be looking for ways to give NN more teeth, not get rid of it. Without NN, ISPs can expand the war currently being fought via port availability and pricing, to specific content within a port... as well as placing traffic shaping and QoS back on the table (legally).
Yes, I think monopoly-breaking and increased competition between ISPs is vital. But right now, we don't have that. In fact, we have generally have state/local governments protecting monopolies - there's no chance at a free market when competition is criminalized.
So at the moment, the question is "given these unbreakable monopolies, do we want them behaving well or poorly?" And that doesn't seem hard to answer.
Net neutrality is about each ISP, carrier etc treating each packet flowing through the network equally and not discriminating between its origin or destination.
If net neutrality is gone, ISPs and back bone operators can start asking for money for packets routed though their network based on who the packet is going to. You want to watch Youtube? Well, your ISP thinks its unfair that you are using the internet connection you paid for already to do that, they would rather you watch their own service. So, they throttle your connection to youtube, and ask money from both you and Google, to make it fast again.
The danger here is that Internet will be turned exactly what cable TV is now.
And if you do want physical world analogy, this is a better one: Imagine that starting next Monday the Yellow Cab Company begins charging all business to which a fare is delivered, since it is unreasonable for businesses to receive the benefit of customers and employees arriving at their sites in a safe and timely manner and for them to pay nothing. After all Yellow Cab Company spends time, gas, and quite frankly, expects them to pay their fair share of the fare. They may also begin billing all businesses passed on the way to a destination, as these business receive "free marketing".
If presumably technical people visiting this site have such a hard problem with net neutrality, I'd say the battle to keep internet free is lost.
As a rule, no.
> Would it not be better if guys who are richer and can afford more bullies, intimidate you and ask for money while you are trying to walk by their house/business etc?
Definitely. Rich people are both busy and fewer. Right now I have people who are poor (and not busy) intimidate me and asking me for money. Why is this better?
If we dont depend on government for regulation we lose everything because no other system can arise within the confines of what we have.
Eliminating regulation will in no way eliminate local monopolies, only the opposite.
One way to cut the ISP out of the loop is to use a VPN so all your ISP sees is you (the source IP) talking to your VPN provider but this just shifts the "who knows who you're talking to to" the VPN provider (who may have these restrictions as well). Tor offers good* anonymity but if you start steaming videos over Tor you're going to have a bad time.
Yes the ISP needs to know who you're talking to to apply these limits so a VPN can help bypass things like speed limiting but many services like Netflix block VPN providers (to stop people getting round region locks etc...), alternatively ISPs could just start limiting all traffic to your VPN provider as they would to Netflix or YouTube.
The issue is that ISPs want both parties to pay for bandwidth (you with your subscription, the providers with peering), don't pay? your users suffer, so your business suffers, so pay the protection racket to make sure your packets reach where they're supposed to.
* Good enough for most people trying to be anonymous, but there are still multiple attacks possible to reveal who you are if you're targeted and sloppy.
Your VPN complaint is bunk when each person can have their own VPN in any region for ~$5/month. And no, blacklisting IPs is not cost effective for any ISP--either there are too few people that it's not worth the effort or you blacklist a huge swath of IPs and their owners just cycle the address of their VPN (leaving the ISP with a huge blacklist of non-VPNs).
Unfortunately, if that ever hapoens it won't be any time soon. ISP's just throw lawyers at new entrants to the market who can, through legal maneuvering, delay entrance by years and fighting them will cost a fortune. There were some successes by municipalities (who voted foe their own city owned isp) but many many more losses
What alternatives to government regulation do you see in regards to data selling and paid preferential QoS? Other than "voting with your wallet" (which is largely impossible since most markets only have 1-2 ISPs) what can the average consumer do to prevent this? How will they even gain visibility? Do you know what information your ISP has sold about you over the last few years? It's definitely more than you think.
If I feel an ISP is limiting my choices wouldn't I just switch?
So I'm on Comcast. Reluctantly. Now what if Comcast decided to charge more for access to HN?
Where's your free market god now?
Most places I've lived, the primary issue has been whether or not local government will allow additional networks. Mine is very set on "You can have Comcast or CenturyLink at DSL speeds". So I get DMV-like service anyway.
Then, you might want get that RJ11 outlet installed. Easy fix.
> You're just being (a prick | stubborn | bullheaded | rigid | perverse | unreasonable)
> When disagreeing, please reply to the argument instead of calling names. E.g. "That is idiotic; 1 + 1 is 2, not 3" can be shortened to "1 + 1 is 2, not 3."
> the free market is broken. I have a choice between two providers but one is a slight inconvenience for me to have installed so I refuse to use it.
YC Approved© Reply:
> the free market is not broken.
This comment is well within HN guidelines.
Physical residential networks are, like all other civil infrastructure, natural monopolies. They don't work in a "free market" and never have. The insistence on the part of glibertarians that somehow this "regulation-free" mode will work for data when it hasn't for literally a century and a half of experience with other utilities is... frustrating.
If I had literally any other choice, I would never give Comcast another dime. Given the prohibitive cost of last mile infrastructure, I can't see how I'll ever have another option in a deregulated market.
To counter this, government at all levels have provided tax subsidies or outright payment to ISPs to expand into their localities. And regularly, the ISPs simply take the money and do nothing, relying on the fact that they are large enough that they can fight it out in court.
The end result is a nation of monopoly coverage.
Where I lived before this, I had one ISP choice. And the local government had given them a legal monopoly, so the free market was incapable of offering me an alternative.
Even if the market arguments are sound in theory, net neutrality is happening in the world we actually have. That's a world where ISP competition is somewhere between "scarce" and "illegal".
Do you really think even if you had half a dozen good providers, they wouldn't play ball and snatch up premium data deals?
Who do you think is lobbying for this change in policy to begin with? All of our ISPs, uniting against a common enemy: the savvy consumer.
When you hear and agree with things like "but free market competition will save us!" you are buying directly into their propaganda campaign.
so, I won't get 20 times faster youtube. fuck that net neutrality.
Net Neutrality means you are the customer of your ISP, rather than the content provider.
you probably won't want to spent half of your salary to watch youtube and install a package faster.
Edit: and maybe kill the parent comment to slow things down a little.
Here are the manual steps:
1) Navigate to: http://fcc.gov/ecfs/search-proceedings
2) On the next form, fill Specify Proceeding box with 17-108
4) On subsequent page, select: Restoring Internet Freedom
5) Then choose + Express link and complete the comment form
P.S. I cleared my browser cookies first to ensure any cookies dropped by the FCC site weren't inhibiting me.
Make sure to keep hitting submit to until you see the success page.
One way they could do this is to divide it like they did the radio spectrum by way of frequency, where frequency is related to "bandwidth". The higher the frequency, the greater the bandwidth. With communication advances, the frequencies can be grouped just like they did with radio, where certain "frequencies" are reserved by the government/military, and others are monopolized by the corporations, and a tiny sliver is provided as a "public" service.
This way would be the most easily enforceable for them to attack NN and the first amendment, as it already exists by form of radio.
* It is already being applied by cable providers through "downstream/upstream" where your participation by "uploading" of your content is viewed inferior to your consumption of it. i.e. Your contribution (or upload) is a tiny fraction of your consumption (or download).
* Also, AWS, Google and other cloud services charge your VPS for "providing" content (egress) and charge you nothing for consuming (ingress). On that scale, the value of what you provide is so miniscule it is almost non-existent to the value of what you consume.
tldr; NN is already partly destroyed.
Please don't post uncivilly, regardless of how disagreeable you find another comment.
It's a question. There isn't any statements or manipulation in it.
> Why don't you just honestly say: "stop downvoting"
I effectively did. I said it "shouldn't be downvoted"
> There were 7 top level replies to the comment before you came along, hardly lacking discussion even with the downvotes.
That's my point. Hopefully others get to read those comments if this question isn't already pinned to the bottom.
For the record, I'm not against net neutrality.
You missed this part: "without feigning this absurd obtuseness".
And for the record I'm addressing the dopey false concern, not your stance on net neutrality.
Have an honest day.
This makes it a practical concern in addition to bad taste.
(For the record, while I generally dislike gifs, I don't have strong feelings, either way, regarding the animated image here.)
I. e. what happens when you want to name an airline "Virgin", or a morning-after pill "Plan B" and aren't Richard Branson.
You can publish your blog all you like, but you need people to be able to route to it and have bandwidth to download from your server. If you don't have an agreement with every ISP (not just the ones you already pay access to) then they could simply say, no sorry we're not going to route to your content or say "OK, we'' route to your content but you get 2kbps on our network".
> Why wouldn't other Internet services step into the void, to fulfill a demand? Perfect example: As in China, the Great Firewall has caused a boom in VPN / tunneling technology, to fulfill a consumer demand for government-free access to information.
Many ISPs have total monopolies enforced by law in the US. You cannot create a competing ISP.
> Any honest person would refute the assertion that "investment in innovation would dry up." There will always be wild-cat investors seeking huge multiple returns and willing to dump stupid cash on a bunch of white dudes in hoodies.
To get funding you need users, if users can't access your site to begin with you don't get any users.
> I do, however, think that revenue-sharing concepts that include the transmission companies, modeled after the cable monopolies of olde (cable cutting is killing that model) could be a suitable alternative to todays two-tier model (transmission vs. content).
These already exist, these are the companies you peer with.
This is FUD. Any ISP that decided to break the internet is going to fail. All they'd do is offer other services as alternatives to the big dollar ones like YouTube.
A last mile ISP does two core things. It arbitrages bandwidth for residential usage patterns and it deals with the last mile communications link. Net Neutrality forces a very specific arbitrage strategy on ISPs that severely limits profitability and removes the incentive for last-mile innovation.
There is little to no choice, so there is little to no market force occurring so arguing that "any ISP that does X" when you might have 1 other choice who might just as bad doesn't really work.
When there is a lack of competition then they don't fail and continue to become worse as people have no choice.
We don't need "innovation" for last-mile connectivity, cheap affordable access is all people want and the math works out fine. The problem is political with governmental regulations that make it incredibly difficult to get access to customers to serve them in the first place, and these blocking efforts are usually lobbied for and funded by the very ISPs that have no competition.
And they'd put data caps on competiting services, while allowing unlimited streaming of their own (we've already seen them do this).
In markets with 1 or 2 viable ISPs, what is your solution?
I watch about 1 hour of Youtube per month and about 5 hours of Netflix. Why should I subsidize people who watch 5 hours each day?
Let's not pretend bandwidth is not a scarce resource. ISPs have to pay for upstream bandwidth. If they can affordably colocate systems to serve specific content at a fraction of the cost by eliminating upstream costs, why shouldn't they?
Last mile infrastructure is a natural monopoly, and unless you do something to force companies to share it, they won't.
There are various ways to do this. What's your preference?
They all throttle you past 20GB or so, they aren't nearly fast enough, latency is terrible, and they suffer huge congestion problems.
But let's assume you think that wireless is currently good enough to replace cable and DSL for your needs. Switch half of the population over to wireless. I guarantee you it won't be good enough then.
Satisfaction ratings for Comcast are atrocious--if wireless was a viable option, everyone would already be using it at home.
In a data pipeline, that is not the case.
Most real world analogies for the internet are contrived and do more harm than good. We need to understand this technology is unlike anything we have had before, and its closest cousin is communications. And we have already qualified our communications pipelines as neutral infrastructure.
Please give your position on this matter more thought, without the harmful highway analogy.
You misunderstand my point or you misunderstand QoS.
The capacity of a data pipeline can be significantly increased by QoS. Not its absolute, theoretical maximum, but its ability to achieve high throughput amid disparate traffic types. Ultimately it's all buffers and queues.
> And we have already qualified our communications pipelines as neutral infrastructure
Right, but POTS has a latency requirement. If you keep reading my comment, my point is simply that without making a claim for what the QoS rules should be, advocates of net neutrality are just handwaving and spreading FUD.
As for bandwidth allocation, that is an entirely other issue that has nothing to do with latency or congestion. You pay for the bandwidth tier you can afford, as an end-user. And business pay proportionate to the amount of bandwidth they require. This need tends to scale directly with customer load, so this arrangement is sustainable and scalable. ISPs can also profitably scale as they get more premium-tier users.
The issue is that business would now have to pay premiums in order to offer premium services. This further enhances existing monopolies and prohibits fair competition. It also reinforces the idea of, "We will treat you better if you have more money" which is a classist approach that has no basis.
Not to mention the fact that most of our leading ISPs are directly tied to many media platforms, and the ones that aren't wish they were. The drawbacks are so plainly obvious that it's hard not to suspect that anyone who doesn't openly admit a nascent understanding of the issue around "net neutrality" is following a playbook given to them by employers.
Are you serious? There are some cases where latency is a function of a malfunctioning circuit and can be improved, but in general the latency of a circuit for tcp/ip has to do with traffic shaping settings and physical layer technologies/protocols.
Furthermore, the FCC has historically engaged in content regulation. Anyone wonder why there's no more cartoons on broadcast television? Or perhaps why the FCC is investigating Colbert's Trump Jokes? If we're so concerned about content freedom, the FCC is not the organization to trust.
If you could only access the internet through Facebook, you would have a point.
> Furthermore, the FCC has historically engaged in content regulation. Anyone wonder why there's no more cartoons on broadcast television? Or perhaps why the FCC is investigating Colbert's Trump Jokes? If we're so concerned about content freedom, the FCC is not the organization to trust.
You mean the FCC under George Bush Sr, and the current Republican majority FCC that wants to repeal net neutrality issued by the formerly Democratic majority FCC?
The people distrusting the government running up the the election currently seems to trust the government a great deal.
You can't issue timeless blanket statements regarding any organization consisting of rotating individuals. Hell, even the two parties have switched places a few times throughout history.
Effectively, many people do. They open their web browsers, and search for "facebook", and click the first link. Don't even get me started about Google!
My point is that regulating the network and regulating the endpoints are one and the same. It's bad enough when the endpoints do it under the guise of "fake news", it's worse when the government gets involved under the guise of "free speech".
The current political party will not significantly affect the organizations behavior, either. Get back to me when the FCC ceases investigating Obscenity, Indecency & Profanity, or regulating the RF space.
A common carrier is a very specific thing legally. Being a common carrier puts you in a very powerful position, so the government applies regulations to common carriers so they aren't put in the position of being "kingmakers" in a wide range of industries by either blocking certain people from using their utilities or extorting them.
Facebook is a publisher, essentially. Having the government step in to decide what a company can publish on their own website seems... problematic.
I'm not sure what you're saying. Are you saying that the government should draw up regulation to change Googles or Facebooks behavior? What are you even arguing for?
1) No one is forcing people to use Google or Facebook, so people aren't limited by what they decide to promote or not.
2) People are forced to use one ISP (or live with DSL speeds or unreliable wireless) in most areas, both because of local monopolies, and otherwise for upstart costs.
These things are not comparable.
> The current political party will not significantly affect the organizations behavior, either.
They are repealing something they (by your account) themselves instated before. How is that not the work of the political party?
Facebook -- though big! -- is one site on the internet and if you feel like you're not receiving news about things that are important to you there, you hop onto another site. If enough people stop using Facebook, Facebook will be compelled to make changes.
Breaking net neutrality laws makes it harder for you to find alternatives. Imagine you're stuck with whatever news sources your ISP picks for you. "Huffington Post, Reddit, and Twitter have decided not to pay us, so we no longer offer our users access to those sites."
And yet, when you change the name of the company, the argument somehow doesn't apply.
I'd make the argument that Facebook has just a powerful monopoly on social networking as ISPs have on service. Especially with things like "shadow profiles". We should have the FCC break up Facebook and Twitter for open source things like Mastodon, right?
You also dodged my point about the FCC's history of content regulation.
This is a ridiculous argument -- you're not "changing the name of the company" you're changing the entire business that they're in. You're just arguing that Apples and Oranges are the same except they have different names.
> I'd make the argument that Facebook has just a powerful monopoly on social networking as ISPs have on service.
That might well be a problem, but that's a different problem involving different companies, different services, and different issues. Conflating them doesn't add anything to this discussion.
Unfortunately, for the majority of people in the US, there would only be one other choice. For me, that's AT&T. The big companies will payoff both or one isp for fast lanes, the ISP's will definitely put there service in the fast lane, if your service competes with either of them, get to pay not only the normal infrastructure costs, you now have to bribe the isp's not to throttle your service.
Facebook in the same class of monopoly as there are many other niche social networking apps built around oarticular interests. I only have two ways to connect to the Internet.
I lament that my ISP choices are limited, but not enough people even understand tech issues to care about them and certainly no one in Congress, save for a few.
I don't think Facebook yet has a monopoly on social networking. There are too many powerful competitors and "social networking" is kind of a broad term, anyway. Does LinkedIn qualify? Twitter? Reddit? Tinder? Anyway: If they do wind up with a monopoly, that's a whole other issue and has little to do with common carrier laws.
My understanding is that the FCC investigates complaints. Someone complained about Colbert. They're investigating. Correct me if I'm wrong, but they haven't taken any actions. And the FCC does have rules which they're allowed to apply to network broadcast television because it fits into a special case. (Cable doesn't have the same sorts of restrictions.)
This is sooo true. If internet carriers were preferring some kind of content, or censoring or giving less bandwidth to certain content, or charging for certain content - and this was causing the problems described in the mozilla article - then yes - we could have legislation to solve that problem.
What gets to me about the net neutrality movement is that the legislation they are pushing for is based on vague fears and panic. Caring about net neutrality has become some sort of weird silicon valley techno-virtue signaling.
If ISPs start behaving badly or restricting free speech, I would be happily on board to having legislation to address that. This has not happened and there is no evidence that there is any imminent threat of this happening. Net neutrality legislation is a solution to a vague non-existent speculative problem.
In the words of Cicero, "more laws, less justice"
When we start having problems with net neutrality, we can legislate against it. As we don't have any such issues, and there is no evidence that we are in imminent threat of net neutrality being dismantled, I see no reason for net neutrality legislation.