[SATLUG] Old thread but is Google still your frin?

Don Davis dondavis at reglue.org
Sat Aug 7 09:56:13 CDT 2010


>> i am very disturbed by the reports of the google-verizon packet shaping deal
> 
> ...which has been flatly denied by both parties. Sounds like a story that was dead on arrival.
>
I use Verizon. They have some sort of deal with Bing.

Traffic shaping. What's the big deal?

The way I understand it:
ISPs did not create the internet. They provide access ton an
infrastructure that was established by the US government and Academia.
The protocols were developed to enable the free flow of information via
Archie, Gopher, usenet, etcetera. Many of these were contributed from
different sources. ISPs now want to clamp down on this flow of
information. They want to raise their bottom line by charging extra for
each different type of data and data from different sources. To an
extent this is understandable, a corporation has the stated goal of
maximizing profits. Telecom companies are not (originally) creators.
They redistributed free content for money. (I'm not going to reiterate a
lengthy discussion written by Lawrence Lessig.)

Now they want to maximize profit on the the access they provide to a
resource they didn't create. (Side note- I would state that access to
information in today's world is a right not a luxury. There is a reason
why we have publicly run water boards.)

ISPs shape access. Slowing speeds on ports that are used for torrents.
(This may sound equitable but then it begins a slippery slope that is
very real.) Consider when TW wanted to charge exorbitant amounts for
users who went over a certain amount? At the prices and usage we're at
now they are a long way from red. However, without any infrastructure
changes (improvements) they wanted to charge substantially more for
internet usage that exceeded 1995 standards. (Downloading a few Linux
isos would cost a fortune.) Large ISPs can also bolster their bottom
lines by colluding with the DRM mega-corporations. 1) They lock down
p2p. 2) p2p ports get moved to other ports -- last resort 443 which is
encrypted. 3) ISP throttles port 443 and all encrypted information to
guarantee that copyrights aren't being violated. Except the pay for
vendors who pay to allow full speed access to their IP addresses or for
consumers who pay extra for 'Media speed plus+' which effectively
creates a hierarchy of net users which I believe goes against the
inherent benefit of the net.

Rather than an egalitarian tool of free information exchange it becomes
the playground of the affluent.

I would recommend Yochai Benkler's Wealth of Networks
http://cyber.law.harvard.edu/wealth_of_networks/Main_Page
which describes the benefits for society of a healthy internet.

Richard Stallman's dystopian vision predicting the ill effects of DRM:
 http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/right-to-read.html


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