Thread: Net neutrality
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Old 2010-08-14, 14:44   Link #7
blinded by blood
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Oakland, CA
Age: 34
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No, I'm talking about a "second Internet," created through point-to-point wireless connections. It's been brought up in theoretical discussions about totalitarian government restrictions on the "true" Internet. Not talking about stealing software or the neighbor's wifi.

Originally Posted by idiffer View Post
um...what exactly does that article want to say "in plain language"? i read only "blah blah blah". i mean, really, you expect ISP's to just invent smth to differentiate between legal and nonlegal content in a consistent bug free manner in the near future???
It's not legal vs. non-legal that they really want to differentiate (though I'm sure content gatekeepers would love to do that, but a packet is a packet is a packet and it's hard to tell the difference between them).

The fear is that with "differentiation of services" they could potentially charge you the same way cable companies do--if you want sites that stress their bandwidth more (i.e. streaming video) you'd have to pay more. Like adding on the movie channel package to your cable TV.

This is bad for freedom on the Internet because it'd give certain sites--and thus certain viewpoints and opinions and socio-political leanings--greater priority and visibility than others. Net neutrality in America is focused on making sure all data is treated equally, so that all speech is treated equally and in accordance to the First Amendment. ISPs and content providers don't like this because they consider the Internet to be their property and they should be able to do with it what they want. When it actually belongs to everyone.

While ISPs would likely restrict/charge more for sites that put greater stresses on their networks (to increase profits and reduce costs) the fear is that access could easily be denied to, say, an independent Internet blogger who posts about the ISP's shady business practices. The ISP could use this system to prevent anyone from ever seeing it.

That's the dangerous part, especially if a company with a lot of clout and a mania for secrecy (*coughapple*) just so happened to release a product with a number of fundamental design flaws... and then decided to "convince" ISPs to block negative reviews or investigative reports on that particular product... this is the sort of dangers that a non-neutral Internet can bring.

tl;dr version: The Internet is "open" now, but if the opponents of net neutrality have their way, we can expect the entire Internet to become a "walled garden."
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