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The FCC vs. the Internet.

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Jimmy James, May 9, 2014.

  1. Jimmy James

    Jimmy James
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    The FCC is looking to open so-called "fast lanes" on the Internet. This would essentially allow carriers to charge Internet based companies different rates in order to connect to their customers. For example, Netflix is now paying Comcast to allow Comcast users to connect to Netflix's servers directly, instead of going through different internet backbones like everybody else.

    Net neutrality essentially bans this sort of behavior and forces carriers to treat all network traffic equally. Naturally, Amazon, Google and the like are shitting all over the FCC right now.

    Focus: Discuss the fallout if net neutrality disappears.

    Alt focus: Devil's advocate time! How is net neutrality a good thing?
     
  2. Nettdata

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    This isn't so much about the internet, or technology, for that matter. It's about lobbying and the fact that the people being elected and placed into positions of power are abusing that implied trust by taking advantage of their roles for personal gains.

    Or they're too stupid to know they're stupid. Case in point: <a class="postlink" href="http://www.businessinsider.com/r-in-us-when-high-tech-meets-high-court-high-jinks-ensue-2014-09" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;">http://www.businessinsider.com/r-in-us- ... ue-2014-09</a>

    The frogs are boiling.

    Here's hoping they clue in and do something about it sooner rather than later.
     
  3. Binary

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    This is exactly what happens when our entire political system is full of career politicians rather than people who possess actual expertise in a field and decide to serve their country for a term or two.

    Yes, there's a lot of lobbying influence but there are also virtually no people who are capable of discussing this topic in a coherent manner. The head of the science and technology committee is a climate change skeptic. Seriously. The courts are full of fossils who are probably really good at a lot of things but aren't exactly technologists. Is it any wonder why we constantly end up with shitty technology policy proposals like the various iterations of SOPA, the crappy implementation of the DMCA, and this nixing of net neutrality?

    Mostly, a lot of these regulation attempts don't understand that they are breaking fundamental mechanisms on which computers and the internet in general operate. While some of this stuff might seem reasonable in a vacuum where it's all playing out in an ideal scenario, when you undermine the basic concepts on which the technology is built, your ideal scenario goes away quickly.

    For example, back in 2005, Sony distributed a CD with digital content on it. But they didn't want people copying and distributing their music. That's reasonable, right? So they quietly installed a piece of software which made sure you didn't copy their music. Except it's really, really hard to tell a computer "do everything except this one specific thing." So the software hid itself from detection, created massive security vulnerabilities, and sucked down system resources because it constantly had to monitor everything the system did just in case you might be playing their CD at a given moment.

    Science and technology are areas where it's extremely difficult to set policy without actually understanding the underlying principles.
     
  4. Juice

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    Most people dont even know what net neutrality is, let alone understand why its so critical to Internet economics. Especially the politicians as BV mentioned.

    The reason there is so much discussion around it instead of just letting it be is definitely the lobbying aspect, but also the control of it. Even though its not as open as it was 10 years ago, the Internet still has a Wild West aspect to it. Politicians dont like that its mostly uncontrollable, and companies like Comcast dont like people circumventing their cable subscriptions and using them as a data pipe for netflix, hulu, amazon prime, etc. It all goes back to money and power.
     
  5. Crown Royal

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    It's astonishing how ignorant those assholes are. I remember one Supreme Court justice being quoted as he "Didn't know the difference between a pager and email".

    ....okay, pagers haven't been used since the first shitty Star Wars prequel, and the fact that a person with total power over the U.S. constitution is that tech-ignorant in this day and age is both frightening and appalling.
     
  6. bewildered

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    It's pretty shitty that the general population has zero say. It all comes down to the corporations with lobbyists. This will hurt them monetarily so they will probably lobby against it. It's all about the money and it sucks that us normal citizens can't say nope, that doesn't work for me, and have their elected officials do anything about it. The elected officials work for the people who pay to put them there and who give them gifts and perks.
     
  7. Robbie Clark

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    The problem of the internet in the US is hard because of crony deals set up with governments at all levels. Crony deals with the big telecomm companies and the FCC. Crony deals with the cable providers with municipalities. Crony deals with these companies and the states. All that makes it a tough problem to solve.

    Whatever the FCC does I'm sure it will help the FCC.
     
  8. Crown Royal

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    It a completely hand-tied situation. You can't elect a lobbyist or fire them. They have have bottomless bribe accounts and these poor saps are paid as little as $300 per hour to corrode their souls for cash. Lobbyist numbers have also skyrocketed in the last ten years. In my opinion, they are the single worst thing about government.
     
  9. wexton

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  10. Nettdata

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    I believe that at some point the government should take stagnating, non-competitive systems that are basically essential service (which the internet is damn close to being) and then run them on behalf of the people, for the people. Contract out the services and stuff yearly, but if the job's not getting done, find someone else who can do it.

    There are lots of stories about small towns basically doing this, and getting fantastic results.

    <a class="postlink" href="http://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/small-alberta-town-gets-massive-1-000-mbps-broadband-boost-1.1382428" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;">http://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/small ... -1.1382428</a>

    If anything, large ISP's should not be allowed to grow too big, because they become monster bureaucracies that sacrifice everything (including customer service) to every iota of profit possible.
     
  11. Robbie Clark

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    Essential doesn't mean what you think it means. But the reason they're stagnating and non-competitive is because of the government at different levels. Do you think it's likely at all that the government wants to reverse this situation? Or perpetuate it?

    The economic incentives in this scenario are all set up to keep the situation the same.
     
  12. Binary

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    What are you, some kind of fuckin' communist?
     
  13. Nettdata

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    I've well aware of what "essential services" are, with respect to labour laws, which is what I think you're referring to, but I'm referring to the more direct definition.

    I don't care what the government's incentives are currently, because it's a broken system. That has to change. The people drafting and steering government policy have to shift the focus back to looking out after the People's best interests.

    It's almost impossible, but the whole concept of having service industries grow into one big megacorp that "competes" against itself is bullshit, and has to change.

    Sure, the ideal is probably far removed from the reality of what is feasible, but you have to have some goal to strive for.

    I don't buy into the whole "well, that'll never happen, so why even bother" mentality.
     
  14. Nettdata

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    Nope, I'm just not a believer in unbridled capitalism.
     
  15. Robbie Clark

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    I agree with that, and I am a believer in unbridled capitalism.

    But since the government is so tied into the problem because they created it or were partners in creating it, it seems the least likely entity to fix the problem.
     
  16. Nettdata

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    They may be the least likely candidate to do it, but what alternatives are there?

    Are the ISP's going to wake up one morning and decide to do it all on their own? Ha.

    Right now the biggest fear they have is Google Fibre... but who knows how far or fast that will continue to expand?
     
  17. Crown Royal

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    Holy shit, that town's non-profit committee is fucking amazing. Imagine if every city gave a shit about its taxpayers as much as they do. Not in my town. Our city hall is too bust caught up in the tyranny of food trucks and acoustic guitar players.
     
  18. Rush-O-Matic

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    Welcome to everything ever. Because

    like education, healthcare, social programs and everything that any politician has ever been involved with.
     
  19. Nettdata

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    Exactly. There's something to be said for the "fuck it, we'll do it ourselves" attitude.
     
  20. Robbie Clark

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    I think something like this is the most likely way for change to happen. A company that is not willing to play the game, with the money to get away with it. Or something like that Canadian town you linked.

    I prefer a decentralized approach.