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Comment: Re:Stay objective. (Score 2) 230

police aware they are being recorded while they are committing what you perceive as a criminal act then you endanger yourself.

This needs to be fixed. Probably at the federal level*. If members of the public are far enough back from some activity to not be interfering with it, then holding a camera shouldn't change that.

Agreed. The former chief justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Court was on the radio today saying that this was her strongest dissent in an opinion. The same supposedly liberal court that legalized gay marriage also said that people could be prosecuted under the state wiretap law for recording audio of what they perceive is police misconduct.

If it is a felony to record audio of public officials performing public duties in a public place, then there is no freedom of press.

Comment: Re:Stay objective. (Score 1) 230

I will reserve judgment until the evidence is available.

This is both the point and not the point. That is the question. The people with the power and authority to collect and present the evidence are the people with the power to suppress the evidence about themselves.

A free press and real public oversight are supposed to be the answer in a free society. But many state have laws make it a felony to record the police without their knowledge and if you make the police aware they are being recorded while they are committing what you perceive as a criminal act then you endanger yourself.

Comment: Re:This is not a matter of neutrality (Score 1) 437

by bigpat (#49590553) Attached to: Rand Paul Moves To Block New "Net Neutrality" Rules

Define inadequate peering.

Exactly my point. Adequate peering should be defined in technical terms based on capacity and measured demand. It wouldn't be terribly difficult to come up with an effective rule.

Something along the lines of some thresholds that mandated that if a peering connection was regularly saturated for X number of hours the previous 3 months, then it would trigger some sort of upgrade negotiation process between the networks with the FCC as arbiter if agreement could not be made.

Comment: Re:This is not a matter of neutrality (Score 1) 437

by bigpat (#49587407) Attached to: Rand Paul Moves To Block New "Net Neutrality" Rules

Netflix wasn't looking for a free ride on Comcast's network to service Verizon's or some other network's customers... Netflix was looking to locally peer with Comcast to serve content that Comcast's own customers were themselves requesting and those customers had already more than adequately paid both Comcast and Netflix to have sufficient access to.

Net Neutrality is or should be about preventing that kind of monopolistic and destructive abuse of our communications infrastructure to cynically squeeze money out of monopolized customers. The Comcast/Netlfix deal is and was some sort of protection racket or payola scheme not a legitimate business practice.

No one is saying if I have a server in California that a Massachusetts ISP should be forced to connect to me in California. But if a network's customers are regularly saturating the local link to another network, then yes there should be an effective regulation to say that the Massachusetts ISP has some defined obligation to peer to the long haul network at sufficient bandwidth at a locally designated peering point.

That is how the Internet was built. In good faith, in the best interest of efficient communications without sabotaging peering arrangements to squeeze more money out of customers.

Comment: Re:This is not a matter of neutrality (Score 1) 437

by bigpat (#49587097) Attached to: Rand Paul Moves To Block New "Net Neutrality" Rules

Once you have third parties deciding what contracts between consenting adults are and are-not void, you -- by definition -- don't have a "free market" any more... Either they are all valid and enforceable or there is no enforcement at all.

In a free market there is either "enforcement of all contracts and agreements" or "no enforcement of such". As soon as a third party gets to pick and choose which contracts and agreements are enforced, the free aspect of the free market is removed, because *really* every agreement exists at the whim of an unrelated third party.

There is no possibility of a free market without rules governing the free market which keep it free.

The only "rules" that are even theoretically necessary are ones ensuring that all agreements and contracts are enforced. ALL, except in the presence of actual fraud (which, let's be clear, is not at issue here, but is in your shopkeeper example).

Interference and enforcement are two very different things. In every scenario in every transaction in a free market you have the potential for conflict over what constitutes an agreement, about what is fraudulent, about what is intimidation, about what is theft, and ultimately about what the regulators of a free market believe is worth using force to "enforce".

I agree with the point that regulation should be working towards the most competitive free market, but I don't think a free market means what you think it means, even in the ideal.

That fundamental disagreement about terms alone demonstrates that the idea of one rule "ensuring that all agreements and contracts are enforced" itself is poorly constructed as the sole basis and definition for a free market.

And by its nature an agreement is no longer an agreement if it needs to be enforced by a third party.

Comment: Re:This is not a matter of neutrality (Score 1) 437

by bigpat (#49586479) Attached to: Rand Paul Moves To Block New "Net Neutrality" Rules

Here's the thing: In a free society you don't have a right to force someone to provide you with "what you want". They provide you with "what they are willing to sell you."

If you don't like what they're providing, don't buy it.

Now, in an unregulated free market, we don't have Franchise authorities creating monopolies. And we've got to undo 30 years of those authorities doing so, so a path towards competition that creates a free and competitive environment (ie, forced unbundling, etc.) is perfectly acceptable.

But pretending that Comcast is "your bitch" and must provide you with exactly the configuration of network performance that is optimal to your personal needs isn't in any way acceptable.

I agree with just about everything you just said. In a free market Comcast and I (or any other party) are free to come to any agreement within a broad range of legality. However, understanding that in a free society the government is always in a position to decide what agreements it is willing to enforce in the interest of the free market. Without a system where disputes can be equitably resolved, private agreements are either not free or not effective.

If I pay a shop keeper for something and they don't provide that good or service, then there needs to be a way to resolve that dispute within the rules. Likewise if I take a good or service outside of an agreement then regulations are needed to define the rules for dealing with that range of situations. In some clear cases it might be stealing or in some cases it is a civil matter. Likewise there is a very real issue when there is only one seller in the marketplace or a gang that has intimidated all the other sellers, that calls for regulation also.

There is no possibility of a free market without rules governing the free market which keep it free. The rules and the enforcement of those rules is what make a market free or not.

In the current environment where regulations at the local, state and federal levels have all contributed to creating local communications monopolies and there is very little room for an effective free market for Internet access, then there is a necessary place for regulatory reform to create better (usually simpler) rules to create a better free market system.

I agree with those that say the lack of competition is the real underlying issue, but you need rules to address that. I am not talking about more or less rules... just the right rules for the free market system we want.

Comment: Re:This is not a matter of neutrality (Score 2) 437

by bigpat (#49585903) Attached to: Rand Paul Moves To Block New "Net Neutrality" Rules

Good FCC regulations would

Good FCC regs would get the hell out of the way of the ISPs who -- really -- have done nothing to deserve what they're getting. This is a bad solution to solve a problem which doesn't exist.

The problem of stove piped networks clearly exists as smaller networks have been squeezed and squeezed using inadequate peering to force them to consolidate or go out of business. This has been a clear trend over the last two decades.

I see the problem as government regulations (including the current FCC version of Net Neutrality) being captured by monopolies to further their consolidation of power, not that there isn't a role for government regulation of the free market.

Unregulated free markets don't remain free. And unregulated communication networks aren't going to provide customers with the communication services they are paying for and which we all want. A free society needs honest cops ready to step in when needed to enforce simple and fair rules of free trade, not no cops.

Comment: Re:Title II (Score 1) 437

by bigpat (#49585591) Attached to: Rand Paul Moves To Block New "Net Neutrality" Rules

I've yet to have anyone explain clearly why having the internet under the same regulatory regime as the telephone system would be a, net, positive thing.

Because the FCC is calling it "net neutrality" - that's why. Just like the "Patriot" Act inspires patriotism. See? I'm sure I'll get modded troll, but I don't care. Just don't complain to me when the FCC messes up internet for everyone if you supported this under the guise of net neutrality.

If the FCC actually implemented technical net neutrality rules for inter-connectivity between networks it would help ensure that the customers of any one network would be provided sufficient peering to access content and communicate with other people on other networks.

Just as with the break up of ATT that you needed regulations to make sure that customers of one network would be able to call customers of another network and expect a sufficient level of service between the networks would be provided. The Internet is primarily a communications platform and not merely a cable content delivery network.

The problem with the Orwellian "net neutrality" as has been put forward by the FCC is that it does none of that necessary work to mandate sufficient network peering and focuses on content instead of substance. Prohibiting packet discrimination based on content or deep packet inspection would be a good thing (somewhat easily thwarted with some encryption and use of dynamic IP ranges by the way), but that wasn't the main issue of net neutrality which really is about providing sufficient peering bandwidth for content and communications requested by an ISP's own customers.

Comment: Re:This is not a matter of neutrality (Score 1) 437

by bigpat (#49585445) Attached to: Rand Paul Moves To Block New "Net Neutrality" Rules

You realize that nothing you describe above precludes the poster-child for the Net Neutrality movement, the Comcast/Netflix situation, right?

Nothing in your agreement with the ISP requires them to peer with the people you want them to peer with, at the capacity you want them to have.

Bingo! You hit the nail on the head. Nothing in the FCC net Neutrality regulations prevent the ISPs from stove piping their networks to exclude peers that provide competing content. All it precludes them from doing is cherry picking packets.

Good FCC regulations would set some technical standards for peering so that if for instance Comcast customers were regularly requesting content from another network (for say Netflix) then the ISP would have to work with that other network to provide sufficient peering bandwidth to meet expected Comcast customer demand moving forward. The FCC regulations miss that and throw a bunch of red tape and aspirational words at the problem and delve into what should be FTC concerns about anti-competitive practices.

The Internet is a communications network, the whole point of any government regulations should be those technical standards of peering between the networks to provide enough bandwidth to meet the need.

Comment: I like this guy (Score 1) 437

by bigpat (#49585177) Attached to: Rand Paul Moves To Block New "Net Neutrality" Rules

I like Rand Paul and when it comes right down to it he can see the forest for the trees. He is basically right on this one, although I would prefer it if he came out and also strongly condemned the local monopolies that are undermining free market competition and clearly linked the issues.

As far as I have read, the FCC rules create red tape without providing the simple meaningful protections for net neutrality and protections for competition and connectivity of networks that are needed. The FCC net neutrality rules specifically excluded the practice of providing insufficient bandwidth to peer networks to handle requested content, which if you recall was how Comcast successfully shook down and squeezed Netflix/Comcast customers for more money because their network peering was insufficient to handle Comcast customer demand for Netflix content.

So, moving forward the FCC will continue to allow networks to effectively block and throttle content provided on other networks as long as they throttle the entire peer network and not specific content. That is Net Neutrality in name only and will lead to further consolidation of corporate control over the Internet as people won't be able to afford not to pay the local monopolies to host their content on those networks because the various stove piped networks are all connected via 56k modems in a broom closet unless their network owners have come to some "arrangement".

Worse, the very competition which could alleviate the problem will be further stifled instead of enabled by the FCC Net Neutrality regulations.

While there are some good symbolic nuggets in the regulations, allowing networks to provide half-assed peering to other networks that provide the content that their customers are requesting is the glaring loophole in the FCC regulations which undermines the entire house of cards.

Comment: Re:Good Business or Empire Building? (Score 1) 112

by bigpat (#49545027) Attached to: Comcast Officially Gives Up On TWC Merger

The sectors represented by Comcast (content, cable, internet) all face a ton of pressure from various competition.

Comcast is often the only effective provider of all of the above in many local areas with local franchises that give them exclusivity to lay their cables and with anti competitive agreements with Verizon which have blocked an expansion of Verizon FiOS into competing areas in exchange for Comcasts agreement to not get into Wireless. In many places if you want to get content, cable and/or Internet Comcast is the way you get it.

Pricing models mean more expensive Internet if you don't bundle content which gives them an effective slice of the content pie even if you don't buy their content.

And the FCCs Net Neutrality rules won't effectively force Internet providers to peer with content providers networks at necessary bandwidth speeds to serve the demands of their own customers. Which was the primary means by which Big Cable was extorting content providers and their customers.

The situation does not represent a healthy free market competition, but rather a number of local monopolies using the monopolies to vertically integrate their companies with more and more exclusive content and services. Blocking this merger merely prevents a bad situation from getting much much worse all of a sudden.

Comment: Re: A sane supreme court decision? (Score 1) 409

by bigpat (#49526903) Attached to: Supreme Court Rules Extending Traffic Stop For Dog Sniff Unconstitutional
I agree with Roe v. Wade. My body. My right. Neither States or the Federal government have a right to regulate what I can and can't do to my own body. The principle shouldn't just apply to killing babies in the womb which is far far more extreme a legal proposition than drug use and possession.

Comment: Re:A sane supreme court decision? (Score 1) 409

Agreed that nobody should be operating a motor vehicle under the influence of illegal or even some prescription drugs. And if you read between the lines, then swerving out of the lane was what got the attention of the police officer. Which could indicate he was driving impaired. But the legal issue at hand seems to be about the possession to which the search is irrelevant if the law itself is found to be unconstitutional.

A mathematician is a device for turning coffee into theorems. -- P. Erdos

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