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Two-Tier Internet & The End of Freedom of Speech 364

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the keep-ringing-the-bell dept.
Max Fomitchev writes "The proposed Two-Tier Internet bill threatens not only to raise prices on goods and services served online but also to seriously hamper free speech on Internet by allowing telecom providers choking user pages and blogs not associated with major content providers. What a perfect way of censorship..."
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Two-Tier Internet & The End of Freedom of Speech

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  • by RingDev (879105) on Wednesday May 31, 2006 @12:26PM (#15436375) Homepage Journal
    "Sure, your blog can be seen, but if it get's too popular you'll have to pay more...
    Sure, you can start a small business, but if it get's too busy you'll have to pay more..."

    Incorrect, that is how it works now. With tiered services it would be:

    Sure, your blog can be seen, but at a slower rate. If you want it to continue to perform at it's current rate or better, you need to pay more...

    Sure, you can start a small business, but your services will be slower. If you want a better QoS you need to pay more...

    The problem with teiring is that it doesn't actually fix any problem. If every company in the world signed up with every teiring opperator, we would still have the same limitations we have right now with a higher price tag for content providers and consumers. The other problem is that ANY non-teired provider will kill your higher teired service. So theoretically, not only will you have to pay the extortion fee to AT&T/SBC and the other back bone providers, you'll also need to pay the fee to all the local ISPs, dial ups, cable/DSL services, WiFi providers etc...

    -Rick
  • by Kyd_A (243948) on Wednesday May 31, 2006 @12:54PM (#15436624)
    Let's not forget that the Internet, and computers in general, have all been developed almost exclusively at public expense for most of their lifetimes, and by all rights should remain in the public sector.

    "As Andrew L Shapiro, a contributing editor of the Nation, wrote in July, 1995: ``You probably didn't notice, but the Internet was sold a few months ago. Well, sort of. The US Federal Government has been gradually transferring the backbone of the US portion of the global computer network to companies such as IBM and MCI as part of a larger plan to privatize cyberspace. But the crucial step was taken on April 30, 1995, when the National Science Foundation shut down its part of the Internet, which began in the 1970s as a Defence Department communications tool. That left the corporate giants in charge....'' ...

    The telecommunication infrastructure was largely created at Government initiative for about 30 years, including both hardware and software, then handed over to private corporations in 1995. It is true that so-called `private' corporations (meaning, profit is privatized, though cost and risk are largely socialized) were often instrumental in R&D, but typically under Government contract. The basic ideas came from the public sector, as did the funding. That includes the Web, designed at CERN, but in the US the public contribution was overwhelming, as in the case of computers and electronics generally, in fact most of high tech. The system was run by the Pentagon, later the National Science Foundation (NSF). The real question should be the opposite: Why should private corporations be granted a huge gift by the public (which is unaware that it has done so)."

    http://www.hinduonnet.com/businessline/2000/07/25/ stories/14253975.htm [hinduonnet.com]
  • Re:REDACTED (Score:3, Informative)

    by Kadin2048 (468275) <[slashdot.kadin] [at] [xoxy.net]> on Wednesday May 31, 2006 @01:05PM (#15436754) Homepage Journal
    Improper use of the word redact. I'm assuming you got this word from the recent The Office episode where the employees could retract their complaints by "redacting" them. The word redact actually has very little to do with deleting or removing content. The definition is more like "edit" and relates to written publications: "to select or adapt for publication."

    I basically assumed he was taking a jab at the use of "redacted" that's been seen fairly frequently in the media lately: to sanitize or censor a document prior to publication or distribution.

    This is a pretty standard term when working with (U.S., anyway) government documents, and its usage certainly predates the Office episode.

    Given that usage I don't think it's too much of a misuse in the GP's comment.

    Ref:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Redaction [wikipedia.org]
  • by KarmaOverDogma (681451) on Wednesday May 31, 2006 @01:12PM (#15436840) Homepage Journal
    and here is the link:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2006/05/28/opinion/28sun3.h tml [nytimes.com]

    IMO, the New York Times says it better, but, hey, that's just me.
  • by GuyverDH (232921) on Wednesday May 31, 2006 @01:40PM (#15437152)
    Don't forget the fact that if for some reason, your packets get routed to some other carriers network (ie cable cut, dug up, etc..) , that *extra* extortion money that you paid to get your packets there at a high rate of speed, are now secondary to this carrier that didn't get it's payola.

    That's the biggest thing that the two tiered internet folks are forgetting...

    With all the different networks, owned and operated by different companies, sometime, somewhere, packets flow through at least 2, if not 3, 4 or more different networks, before it reaches you.

    So, instead of paying for
    #1 Connection (your's to the ISP)
    #2 Content (in the way of service charge payable to provider)
    #3 Payola1 (don't want those packets gettin' hurt while on our network)
    #4 Payola2 (don't want those packets gettin' hurt while on our network)
    #5 Payola3 (don't want those packets gettin' hurt while on our network)
    #6 Payola4 (don't want those packets gettin' hurt while on our network)
    etc....
  • by spinfire (148920) <dpn@isomerica.net> on Wednesday May 31, 2006 @02:24PM (#15437580) Homepage
    My recording of Aja, by Steely Dan, takes exactly 8:00 and is a bit over 9MB. So it's fair to say that audio files take about 1mb/minute. So I'm going to reasonably assume that phone calls are likely to take around 1mb a minute.

    Your assumption is grossly incorrect in that it assumes the bitrate needed to encode telephone speech with "acceptable" quality is the same as encoding music with "Near CD quality." Bitrates for VoIP typically range in the 4-16kbps range, which is considerably less than even low quality streaming radio at 56kbps.

  • by uglyduckling (103926) on Wednesday May 31, 2006 @02:35PM (#15437687) Homepage
    Sorry - but here's the way it works. Your ISP says "We're going to a two-tier network and we're going to give you the option to get a better tier."

    We say "go eat dirt" (or something analagous) and find another ISP. Been there, done that.

    No...no... listen:- You're running a relatively popular website, say an e-commerce site, not up there with the big boys like Amazon but you're making money and you've given up your day job. The ISP providing connectivity for millions of users (say AOL) says "we're going to a two-tier network and we're going to give you the option to get a better tier." You can't find another ISP because it's not your ISP - it's your customer's ISP who's allocated so much bandwidth to your block of IPs and you won't get anymore unless you pay up.

    Your options will be to pay up, or put up with the fact that millions of your customers find your website is ridiculously slow. As less people use your website it will speed up again, but your customers and potential customers have gone back to Amazon and have taken your site of their bookmarks list. Getting a better rack server or changing ISPs won't help because the artificial bottleneck is elsewhere and outside of your control unless you pay to move onto the priority tier.

  • by Todd Knarr (15451) on Wednesday May 31, 2006 @06:56PM (#15440028) Homepage

    You misunderstand the telco's position. Say I subscribe to Cox HSI for my Internet connection. I pay Cox every month for my connection and bandwidth. Google connects to the Internet through Level3. Google pays Level3 every month for their connection. What the telcos want is for Google to pay Cox for the bandwidth used when I search using Google. Yes, that's in addition to what I'm paying Cox, and what Google's paying Level3. And yes, it does in fact involve charging someone who's nto a customer. The penalty for not paying would be that traffic to and from Google gets an effectively lower priority on Cox's network, making Google slow compared to sites that're paying. The telcos say they won't penalize non-paying traffic, just give priority to paying traffic. It amounts to the same thing, though. Whether a gas station charges $3.00/gallon for cash with a 10-cent surcharge for paying by credit card or $3.10/gallon with a 10-cent discount for paying with cash, the end result's exactly the same.

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