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Dispute Over IP Sharing Escalates 251

This story was sent in anonymously, but has several interesting points. The major part of the story is a dispute over sharing IPs on DSL lines (this is in Korea, keep that in mind). The scariest part is that they cut off service to a customer using their line to run a petition site to get them to change the policy. Disagree with the telcom, and we cut your service! Anyone else see anything scary about that? Obviously I think we should be able to use our DSL lines to host as many PCs as we want up to the bandwidth cap, that's simply our choice. But that's secondary to what happens when you mess w/ the telco!
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Dispute over IP Sharing Escalates

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  • "We don't care, dHave to care; We're the Phone Company."

    - An old Lily Tomlin bit from SNL in the 70s.


  • I would appear the telco says you are renting the lines, while most consumers feel they are renting the bandwidth. My roommates and I take a 640kbps down line and split it 3 ways... but the way it works out is that each of us almost always gets full speed because we haven't used it all at the same time since we downloaded a few gigs of pr0n when we first got it. This must work out the same way for a lot of Slashdotters.
  • Time Warner's Road Runner actually encourages NAT's -- they'll even sell you special software to do it with Winblows :)
    (I think they're just stingy with their cable modems)
  • "We don't care, we don't have to care; We're the Phone Company."

    - An old Lily Tomlin bit from SNL in the 70s.

  • by lambda ( 4236 ) on Tuesday February 20, 2001 @06:08AM (#417783)
    "The scariest part is that they cut off service to a customer using their line to run a petition site to get them to change the policy. Disagree with the telcom, and we cut your service!"

    I guess that trolls on Slashdot that disagree with the way the service is run are treated first-class, eh?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 20, 2001 @06:09AM (#417784)
    Ah, reminds me of the good old days of cable modem service in Palo Alto and Menlo Park...go obtain a cable modem somewhere, plug it in, claim an IP address you know to be in the Cable Co-Op number range, and voila! you're on. Heaven forbid someone already may have legitimately been issued your IP address. The Cable Co-Op response? "We control the distribution of cable modems, so this can't happen". Ever been to Fry's? I know of at least a dozen people who "borrowed" IPs on the Cable Co-Op network to get months of free service, often at the expense of legit users.
  • by Godeke ( 32895 ) on Tuesday February 20, 2001 @06:09AM (#417785)
    Even in the States we have companies with terms of service such as these. And it is easy to detect NAT running, because so many "odd" port numbers keep passing through. However, as long as the user keeps under the bandwidth cap (which is a legitimate business decision to have one) I don't see why the service would be concerned with why the packets are the way they are. Nor have I heard of someone being shut down for NAT'ting out 2-5 machines. I *have* heard of quake servers being shut down, but there is at least one real concern above bandwidth when a user creates a server - they create an obvious attack point for denial of service and other attacks.

  • by MartinG ( 52587 ) on Tuesday February 20, 2001 @06:09AM (#417786) Homepage Journal
    Disagree with the telcom, and we cut your service!

    What! That's outrageous! Why should the slashdot admins cut off my service just because I disagree with the telecom. I mean, I can understand the telecom cutting me of themselves, but this goes WAY too far!

  • Why shouldn't someone be able to split their internet connection with their housemates, pets, whoever? A permanent connection via dsl or cable is expensive enough. I don't see what the problem is for noncommerical usage. I know my cable provider does not allow the sharing of IP's, but seems to turn a blind eye anyways. I agree that you should be allowed to use and distribute the bandwidth you have purchased anyway you like (by distribute I non-commercial distribution).

  • They're bitching because of people doing NAT?! What would this mean if one were to run a firewall, with a single desktop host behind it?

    And likewise, how can they tell? NAT can mangle the packets so they all originate from one host. Micro$oft's ICS does the same thing.

    I'm not surprised that the telco silenced the petition site. The petitioners were goofy for hosting it on the aforementioned telco company's DSL network.


  • by rigor6969 ( 240549 ) on Tuesday February 20, 2001 @06:12AM (#417789) Homepage
    and re-selling their high speed access. I mean one customer, may have a couple of boxes at home tied to a network, so the family can surf. but i'd bet a lot of folks in korea are so poor, they wire up buildings, blocks, etc, from one dsl line and are paying the personal use fees. I do think its unfair to not allow 2-3 personal pc's to share a link, and how would they determine if you were NAT'ing? but if you have like 3 or 4 neighbors or more leeching off the same line, come on. DSL doesn't make any money if you're flogging the bandwidth 24/7. Its hardly profitable at all as it is.
  • Journalists are never able to tell the difference between a bacteria or virus (all diseases are caused by virus, according to them), or between a software and a site (see Napster case).

    Now, they aren't even able to tell the difference between a site and a newsgroup(! ;-)

  • Even in the US, most DSL and cable providers say that you're not allowed to run 'servers' with their bandwidth. Under ANY circumstances, you should be allowed to do whatever you want with the bandwidth as long as it doesn't cause any added liability for the provider. What is really happening is that the DSL provider really doesn't expect to be providing the true bandwidth. Their business model and infrastructure would fall apart if they actually had to provide what they are selling you. In protest, all DSL users should mak out their lines with NON-'server' traffic. Make the providers hold up their end of the deal. We're buying bandwidth, and they had better damn well provide it, instead of hiding behind bogus 'no server' rules.

  • by CarrotLord ( 161788 ) <don.richarde@g m a i l .com> on Tuesday February 20, 2001 @06:14AM (#417792) Journal
    We don't have any of those kinds of problems here...

    reads earlier story...

    oh... :(


  • I may be wrong, but my understanding of the NAT (Masquerading) used by most devices is that they change the source address of the packets they send so that it looks like the data all comes from the device itself. Certainly the Masquerading kernel option in the Linux 2.2 series kernels works this way.

    Surely then, the ISP would not be able to detect a NAT/Masquerading box? It would look to them as though you still have only one PC, but you're just downloading a lot of stuff simultaneously. So why are people bothered by any terms and conditions that these ISPs write into their agreements? You could easily turn around to them and say that you are just running one PC, and there's no way they could prove you wrong short of getting a search warrant!

    So where's the problem? Unless I've missed something fundamental, this seems to be a non-issue.

  • by NetJunkie ( 56134 ) <> on Tuesday February 20, 2001 @06:15AM (#417794)
    The reason the telcos and cable companies can give people broadband cheaply is that they base the price on "average" use. If people start putting 8 systems on there (and..uh..who would do that?) the average goes out the window. Many companies, I know my RoadRunner service does, will give you another IP (you can get another dynamic) for like $10/month to help cover costs.

    But, they also don't seem to mind NAT here. I think they should hand out NAT routers with every cable modem, or integrate it in, just for the sake of security. I know I tell everyone at the office to buy one RIGHT AWAY when they get cable or DSL.
  • To bad the Anti-KT folks were so clueless to run their Anit-KT site in on a server/link controlled by KT.
    Maybe they'll be smart enough to host it offshore for round 2.
    Many @homeish service providers here would cut you off if they found you MASQing a bunch of PC's by reason of sheer ignorance if nothing else. They will also add charges for each PC - and use the same stupid bandwidth illogic. Hell many standard service agreements here say they can cut you for running a server.. For my mouth shall speak truth and wickedness is an abomination to my lips.
  • Stealing IP's is one thing simply NATing is another, as long as I'm not taking any more resources than I'm paying for and am promised then it shouldnt be a problem. I should be able to run my company's LAN off of your stinking DSL. That one ip is mine and if I choose to NAT it out that's my business the ISP is doing the traffic shaping so there's now way for me to go over my bandwidth cap, what are they worried about?
  • Bear in mind that this is happening in a *different* country from the United States.

    Bear in mind that, although the Republic of Korea is more-or-less considered a representative democracy, it has been less than 15 years since a military-installed president has *not* warmed the seat in the Central Assembly Building.

    Bear in mind that, from about 1918 (officially; and I think this is off by a bit anyway) until 1945, Korea was occupied by the Japanese, who tried to systematically eliminate the Korean culture from the face of Earth.

    I'm not saying I agree with these practices, but give them a little credit for being authoritarian-by-survival-instinct ^_^
  • Ok... Taco and Hemos and so on, I have a simple request. When you use an abreviation for something which can be taken more than two ways in common geek-speak please refer to the words which it stands for first...

    IP stands for Intellectual Property and
    IP stands for Internet Protocol.

    I'm sure IP stands for a whole heckofa lot more too, but those are the common geek-speak uses. If you can think of a third, then you definitely need to consider what you are writing...

  • But if you're using something like the Sonicwall SOHO firewall that you can set to drop ICMP packets, they might be a little suspicious if they try and ping you, and get no response, whilst all the while the data keepeth flowing.

    That and if they track 170 hits to Yahoo! at once, someone at the NOC might be scratching his head saying, "There's something not quite right with this picture". :)

    Akardam Out
  • Korea != United States.

    Yeah, they're not a "communist regime" but they still don't have the US government and things just work differently. Applying your morals to a situation abroad may not be right in all circumstances.

    ...More Powerful than Otto Preminger...
  • If it said so in their original agreement with the ISP, they aren't allowed to use NAT. If they wanted to use NAT, they shouldn't have signed up for the service, or tried to cross that clause off the contract. And running your petition off the same service you're bitching about? Come on, guys...

  • by mindstrm ( 20013 ) on Tuesday February 20, 2001 @06:20AM (#417802)
    Is very simple.

    IP space wasn't supposed to be a commodity, but it is now, due to ineffective planning (or whatever you want to call it).

    An ISP should *only* ever enforce two rules.

    1) How much bandwidth you can use.
    2) Reserve the right to terminate your account if you cause them grief (spamming, etc..).

    They shouldn't say 'don't run servers' 'only one computer' 'only for casual at-home use' etc.... they should simply make the bandwidth rules and prices reflect this.

  • I don't see anything scary here.

    It makes complete sense that a telco would not allow their bandwidth to be used for someone to protest their company. Would you expect McDonalds to be okay with letting PETA protesters carry their signs behind the cashier counter? Of course not.

    If someone wants to run a sight protesting the telco, for whatever reason, they should run it on a server that is not connected with the telco.


  • and it was half a decade before SNL!
  • I explicitly told them that I was going to be placing a firewall and several PC's behind it, and I explicitly told them that if they didn't like that I'd take my business elsewhere. Of course, the had no problem, so all was good. It's a shame you don't find more ISP's like that these days. Of course, I am paying 100/mo for my DSL, but I'm happy to.
  • not maximum load, which you geeks seem to be pushing.

    For instance, telephone lines. The telco's pick a number of lines to allow the maxium average load access, but if too many people call (ie. during a natural distaster or such), you may not get through, you get a message like all circuits are busy. Now I don't know what algorithm they use, but they probably scale to something like 98%.

    Now, they could scale expected calls to 99.9 %, but do you want your telephone bill to triple just so once or twice a year you don't get the "all circuits are busy" message? Is that one call worth $1200 USD to you?

    So, apply this to DSL, same thing. They figure a high maximum average load, becuase most normal users aren't going to be maxing their download speed. Some will download, some will read a webpage, some won't even use it. The users share the bandwidth, it's a common bandwidth, and if you try to hog it all, well, look up Tragedy of the Commons.

    Now, if you want to get your gauranted bandwidth, 24-7, I'm sure a DSL provider will sell you a nice guaranteed business connection, with uptime and bandwidth gaurantees. Just be prepared to shell out several times what home DSL costs, if you don't want to pay that, stop bitching.

    For the record, I just got home DSL, and almost immediately asked my DSL provider for 5 IP addies instead of 1. It's a nonimal charge, $4.99 USD a month. Sure, I could have have NAT, but I'd rather pay a little and be honest. I thought being honest and upfront and paying your own way was what Oepn Source was about, but I guess it's really abotu stealing all that you can.
  • Disagree with the telcom, and we cut your service!
    Probably more like violate the TOS and get TOSsed. If you want to host a site from home, pay for it.
  • But currently, private line operators such as KT, Dreamline, Dacom and Hanaro Telecom ban such line sharing.

    The site's operators plan to open an "anti-KT" site to publicly inform of the injustice of KT's acts of banning IP sharing devices and the shutdown of its site.

    The fight should be "Anti-Ban" against all those guys who think only of monopolising and fleecing customers.

  • What is really the big issue ?
    ... private line operators such as KT, Dreamline, Dacom and Hanaro Telecom ban such line sharing...
    If it sais so in the contract you sign with the ISP, then change ISP if you dont like the policy.
  • Absolutely. First thing I did was install Dead Rat 6.2 over the net. Then I spent several hours w/Napster trying out songs. Since probably August 2000, my (Comcast) bandwidth has been mostly free. I check my mail at night, and browse whatever topic has caught my attention during the day that I feel guilty about using works bandwidth for, but that's about it. I am using NAT, and ipchains on a firewall, but just for my single PC inside. Basically, it's there for security, so that I don't have my Win9x PC connected directly.

  • Not 3 computers. Or one. If I have 300,000 computers running SETI@HOME, and each of them need to access the internet only once every 3 months (they're slow, okay?), then what's the problem with using only one line. If I'm not supposed to use the bandwidth the telco's have sold me, why don't they just sell me less?
  • by Alien54 ( 180860 ) on Tuesday February 20, 2001 @06:26AM (#417812) Journal
    in a weird way I can understand the differances between personal use of bandwidth, and Commercial use.

    When I am personally using dsl or better bandwidth, I am certainly not taking full advantadge of the pipe. So If I use 10% of the pipe or 20% of the pipe, or whatever, the service provider can charge me one third of what he charges a business customer, and still make a profit. Even If I use 30 or 40%, unlikely unless I streaming video 24/7, and doing other things, The average usage for most people probably is around 5 or 10% (all numbers are speculative) and so based on this the service can be priced accordingly.

    Now if I suddenly have dozens or hundreds of computers using this line, the bandwidth can max out. If I am the provider, I am possibly charged by the number of bits that go overthe wire. This is where it gets alarming, since I had made my profit calculations based an average usage of 10% and charged appropriately. No suddenly I have bunches of people who want to use the personal private lines for their business without paying the businnes rates. Instead of 10% the usage soars to 50% or higher. This is not a good thing.

    The options are either to just charge everyone business rate (no private rates) or to crack down on abusers. The personal rates are offered with this balance between business use and personal use understood, at least internally.

    Now some people do not understand this. I suppose when it was only one or two ubergeeks doing this, they could let it slide. But when you start promoting this for everyone, then it messes up the business model.

    I supposed you could have some sort of metered service, but I do not know how easy it would be to set that up. Even so metering is an added cost, and might not be practical for someone cutting costs a little thin in the above scenario. (price competition and all)

  • I think it's pretty obvious why they want to stop NAT; they can charge more people. You'll remember that these companies are often the same people who supply cable to your home, and there are regulations (which everyone ignores) that stipulate you can only have one TV hooked up to your cable box. Splitters permit may people to illegally hook up many TVs in their home. Even the telephone agency (Ma-Bell) tried to charge per phone instead of per phone-number. This is all pretty typical stuff. We've had the same argument with software licensing for ages (one use, or one install?).

    The difference, of course, being that it's easier to pick out the NATs. But what really stops people from networking their neighborhood, or at least their neighbor. I know in my apartment building I could easily drop a line down to the floor below and give them access to my IPMasq box.

    The Korean pro-NAT people make a strange, and ultimately undefendable argument, that the people should do what they can to save money. When, in reality, the comsumer saving money will mean the company losing money. And we all know what happens next: higher prices.

    Then again who really believes that Bill Gates would lower the price of his OS to $5 if China decided to actually pay for all of its copies of the OS.


  • by Prophet of Doom ( 250947 ) on Tuesday February 20, 2001 @06:28AM (#417814)
    I am confused. Why is it that Taco supports a guy who chooses to use his DSL connection in a way that isn't agreeable to the company that provides the service but when the company wants to exercise their ability choose the customers to whom they provide service we get

    Disagree with the telcom, and we cut your service! Anyone else see anything scary about that?

    It seems to me that things need to flow both ways. Why should a company be forced to provide a service to someone who obviously isn't happy with it? Is that not forcing someone (some company I guess) to do something against their will? I see something far more scary about that. I'm also wondering who should do something about it, consumers? Despite all of the talk people really don't vote with their wallets. On the whole we'll buy the product that gives us the best balance between price and features (or price and whatever it is we want) In the case of DSL we probably only have one choice in the first place so buying from a competitior is not really an option. Government is the only other entity that can force the company to change and they seem to be forcing enough people to do enough things against their will as it is.

    A cry goes up when we talk about restrictive software licenses and the thinking it usually along the lines of 'you own it, you should be able to do with it what you want'. I think because a company is essentially faceless we think it is ok that even though they own something, they shouldn't be allowed to choose how or by whom it is used. The bottom line is that they own the servers that run the ISP, they lease the lines, they probably own the modem in the guy's house, but we don't want them to be able to shut off his service. Something about that just doesn't jive.

  • See my post downbelow.

    If you really want gauranteed bandwidth, get a business DSL line. Yeah, it will cost a lot more than a home DSL line that's only promises average bandwidth, but at least then you have a point worth bitching about.
  • If I had a DSL I would connect as many computers as I'd like (no reselling though) and no telecom company should complain about that, because I am not playing out of the rules; they give me a line with an allocated bandwidth, as long as I stay within the bandwidth I am playing correctly. If they want to charge me a flat-rate instead of charging for bytes, it is their problem.
    Can you imagine an insurance company rejecting some long-time customers because they get more sick than average recently?
    This is the same, flat-rate for everybody (makes a nice ad) and then if you use too much bandwidth compared to the rest, your line is cut.
  • Not so much that KT dictates that you have one ADSL line per box (hey, they are a greedy corporation after all), but that they just cut off service for somebody disagreeing.

    Is there possibly a face saving issue involved ?

    Losing face in most Asian countries is about as bad as it gets, and maybe the TK folks feared face loss when too many petitioners stated the opinion that they run an overpriced, monopolistic, bureaucratic, crap shop!

    Surely one of the Asian /. posters is better able to qualify such an assumption.

  • That's somewhat different, don't you think?

    In the case of /. trolls, it is their fellow site users who choose to censor them, and you can *always* browse at -1 and read everything. Also, the trolls can (and do...) still post, and read the rest of the site.

    In the case of this telco, they've removed service to this user; no-one can access the site they were running, and they can't access the internet (at least via that connection).

    Now, personally, I think they were dumb hosting the site on their telco's network, and that the telco was perfectly within its rights in withdrawing service (it is their network, after all).


  • I set up NATD in an office with cablemodem service. I told the sales person that I was going to set up a gateway, and the sales person went on saying that she could only give me 2 ip addresses and she'd better not see any more, or she'll have to charge the "Business Rate".

    The Business Rate is $70 more a month, has the same bandwidth and same amount of IPs. For 1 year and going, they (obviously) haven't seen more than 1 IP address though it's got over 50 users in the building. Of course, the cable company scans the hell out of the gateway, tripping off portsentry all over the place, but no problems. The company is still paying residential rates (US$50.00/month).

    Y'know, instead of just selling Business Rate and Residential Rate why don't they just sell by bandwidth?

  • by ocbwilg ( 259828 ) on Tuesday February 20, 2001 @06:36AM (#417823)
    But they're not advertising based on "average use" (at least not where I live). They are advertising a full 640k or whatever connection. If a DSL company advertises to me that I can get a 640k downstream and 384k upstream (just pulling numbers out of my bum) for $49.95 a month, then I should be entitled to use every last drop of that bandwidth in any way that I see fit. After all, they are selling me (or renting me, whatever) a connection with a defined connection rate. If I want to run a web server or a Quake server or any other kind of server, then I should be allowed to. Otherwise, the DSL providers need to change their marketing so that they aren't misleading consumers about what they are providing.

    As far as NAT/Firewall/IP Masqing goes, that should be OK too. After all, they are selling you bandwidth. How you use it should be up to you so long as you are not reselling it or something goofy like that. If I want to put my network up behind a NAT/Firewall device and have 3 PC's simultaneously connected PLUS a dial-up server for when I'm on the road with my laptop, then so be it. There is not increased demand on their network because I cannot exceed my badnwidth cap.

    Now cable modems are a different issue because the bandwidth is shared. Time Warner's RoadRunner service (my ISP) is very careful to make no claims as to the amount of bandwidth that you get. They market it as "super fast" and "many times faster than a dialup modem." Then in the small print they point out that it's a shared system, available bandwidth varies according to utilization, etc. In that situation, I don't want Quake servers or Web servers on the network. I'm paying my $39.95/month for fast access and I don't want it torpedoed because the kid next door runs a game server, or has a web server with nude pics of his girlfriend on it (well...maybe THAT would be ok).

    Someone above claimed that RoadRunner actually encouraged users to use NAT solutions. But in my RoadRunner ToS it says that it's forbidden to connect more than one machine to their service via "IP sharing". It says that if you want to connect a second machine then you HAVE to purchase a second IP address for the $10 or $15 per month that they charge. I still do it anyways because I don't eat up any more bandwidth with my PC's than I would if there were just one of them. I can only use one at a time effectively, and I live alone. So I guess that you could say that I don't agree with that provision, depending on how it's used.
  • What is really happening is that the DSL provider really doesn't expect to be providing the true bandwidth. Their business model and infrastructure would fall apart if they actually had to provide what they are selling you.

    But that's not what they are selling you; they are selling a discounted rate that factors in usage. It's like buying standby tickets and whining when you get bumped.

    If you don't like the terms find another provider.

  • Can you imagine an insurance company rejecting some long-time customers because they get more sick than average recently?

    No, but I can imagine insurance companies looking at average group expense and calculating out a value that makes them allways win. Thats why many small businesses have really expensive insurance. Only takes a couple of chronically sick people to tip the scales that premiums *have* to go up to keep the agreement profitable.
  • Why on Earth should it be other users who have to pay for what certain abusers are doing with their broadband connections? If I'm paying the same as them, then there's no way in hell it's fair for me to be basically subsidising their net access.

    In this case, running a Quake server is the same as sending out spam. They both waste valuable bandwidth which others are paying for, and neither should be tolerated.

  • by coyote-san ( 38515 ) on Tuesday February 20, 2001 @06:41AM (#417829)
    This occured in Korea, but in the US the part of any business that deals with the public (e.g., everything up to the McDonalds counter) is a "public accomodation" and they can impose very few restrictions on the public in that space. It's not as "free" as a public park, but it's not as restrictive as office or industrial spaces.

    The space behind a counter is not a public accomodation and McDonald's could have anyone there arrested for trespassing, no matter what they're wearing, but they can't say anything about a peaceful group wearing PETA shirts in the order line. They can ask protesters waving signs to move on, but only because they're disrupting others and only to the extent that they ask other protesters to do the same.

    Finally, telcos in the US are "common carriers" and <b>required</b> to carry all content, in exchange for immunity to conspiracy charges for the same. If a DSL drops a customer's service because he criticized their policy, then that same DSL may find itself named codefendant to a murder conspiracy charge because they permitted other customers to discuss a planned murder.
  • It makes complete sense that a telco would not allow their bandwidth to be used for someone to protest their company.

    No, it doesn't. By prohibiting online activities that aren't objectionable on "neutral" criteria (such as being illegal, consuming excessive amounts of bandwidth, or creating a security risk), the telco is taking upon itself responsibility for monitoring the appropriateness of all traffic.

    Additionally, telcos are usually granted a partial monopoly to operate. What they do just isn't feasible without government provided easements for them to place cable. As such, they have a certain degree of civic responsibility to provide fair service to all their customers. It's not unlike how I could mail postcards with text on the back that is critical of the US Postal Service. They aren't allowed to refuse such a postcard, provided I comply with the appropriate postal regulations (which again are "neutral" criteria -- for example, it isn't censorship when the post office returns to me a postcard that doesn't have the stamp in the upper-right hand corner; it's merely a means of allowing them to efficiently process letters and ensure that I've paid the appropriate fee for my letter to be sent).

  • First, slashdot is not a payed service, ya gets what ya pays for. Nor is it a public utility. Second, slashdot itself doesn't do the smacking down of the trolls, that is done by the community at large (moderators). Third, anyone can browse at -1 to see all the crap. Fourth, do you honestly believe that the trolls really deserve to be heard?
  • Technically, not much is really undetectible by your ISP. (In theory, of course...) The question is, do they really care enough and are they really willing to spend all of that time, effort, and money logging every packet that you send in and out of your measley DSL/Cable connection? Not to mention the hundreds or thousands of other customers they have to deal with. In most cases, no they don't care. Only when you do something obvious (like max out your bandwidth consistently) do they take notice. Most sysadmins have much more important things to worry about during the day. (i.e., reading Slashdot...)
  • by interiot ( 50685 ) on Tuesday February 20, 2001 @06:52AM (#417842) Homepage
    Also, CmdrTaco, I've often been confused by words such as "present", "produce", and "object", each of which mean one thing as a noun and another as a verb. And it really bothers me.

    I realize that every other english speaking person uses these confusing words without completely disambiguating them. But because you're the leader of this great site, I strongly believe that you should griped at until you change your ways, and possibly the ways of all the good english speaking people.

    In short, I'd rather spend my time complaining at you instead of taking an extra second to determine a word's meaning by context.

  • You think you have it bad in Korea? In France we have the dubious honour of having to rely on the national telco monopoly (France Telecom) for the basic DSL line. Then we have a choice of ISP. Two charges, one to FT the other to the ISP.

    What's wrong with that?
    Well some ISP's (including France Telecom's subsidiary) have managed to solve the problem of nasty thieving customers putting NAT boxes behind their DSL connections and use a PPTP tunnel for your access. So, even though you can connect a NAT box between your home LAN and your DSL modem (and use your NAT box for PPPoE authentication - as this is standard in France), you can *ONLY* use one PC at a time with the PPTP tunnel! Most NAT boxes (like Linksys) allow only one PPTP tunnel to be passed through.

    At least there are some decent service providers here that can offer you a service w/o PPTP and allow NAT, but they cost about $15-$20 more per month.

    If Korea Telecom were smart (or devious!) they would force all the domestic users to connect via PPTP.

  • The business and residential rate structures do sell bandwidth. There's a difference between sustained and peak usage.
  • If I was the ISP who discovered that a building was sharing one of my connections, I would look at ways to get them to buy a second connection, and then a third etc. until they have as many connections as we would expect. Many of the people in the building may be paying for a service they would never purchase individually and in the long run we could make more money/sell more connections.
  • Why on Earth should it be other users who have to pay for what certain abusers are doing with their broadband connections?

    I'm not usually that pro-market, but this time it works quite well: let some competition (dis)solve the problem. Here in Paris one can get consumer broadband via France Telecom ADSL: expensive, with a bandwidth cap as the sole traffic limit and a decent backbone serving it; or cable access, less expensive (not cheap yet), with an undersized backbone (though it's good enough for mail and casual browsing), and a monthly upload cap. (and there are third-party DSL providers, cleverly combining the drawbacks of both)

    Overall if you want real bandwidth you have to pay more; if you want Joe Average's browsing bandwidth, the cheaper service is okay.

  • I've read some goofy terms of service for ISP that forbade you from using masquerading. Of course, when you look elsewhere on their web site they sell packages that include the ability to do masquerading. So, basically, they'd be miffed if you bypassed their package (and fee) by doing it yourself.

    I don't think it's illegal. You really need to read their ToS and find out what they don't want you doing. If they catch you doing something that they specifically didn't want you doing, they can clobber you.

    Ain't nice but I don't think it's illegal. Specially outside the U.S. where some countries have some pretty restrictive telecomm regulations and your ISP may just be the government. For example, I'd hate to be a modem user in Europe; the rates are horribly high.


  • The way I see it is that you are paying for a service, not a product; here's my reasoning:

    Normal (voice) phone line: I consider this a product; you can get a second outlet for no additional montly cost, this makes sense because you can't get any additional benefit out of it, since you can't have 2 people making 2 different calls on the same line. The second outlet is only a convienience.

    When you get a second line and have to pay and additional monthly fee, that's fair since you do get extra benefits from that additional service (can now make 2 simultaneous calls, and you get an additional phone#). Any additonal service on each line will cost more per line, again fair since it's two different products

    Cable TV: I consider this a service just like sharing IP on cable - Why pay and additional montly fee when by spending a little money once ($15 for a slipper / a bit more for IP sharing sw) you can already get additional use out of it (watching 2 programs on 2 different TVs / multiple computers on same IP).

    It's not fair to have to pay a additional montly fee for basically no added benefit - I don't get any extra channels by paying more, and I my bandwidth is still not maxed out.

    Basically, if I can take a service and 'extend' it on my own, I don't see why I should have to pay more without them giving me more (which they don't)

  • I recently enjoyed ringing around the Irish Dial-Up service providers to cost an ISDN dial-up account. I got the price from each provider and then told them that the connection would be used by a network and asked if that was ok. There were basically four providers two of whom said "oh you need a network account and thats about 8 times the price" while one said "oh we have a network account. You don't want it? Ok the normal dial-up is sound then" and the fourth said "why would it make any difference?" and I told them about their competitors policies. Final prices £90/£120 or £750/£850. So on a 64kb line these guys were looking for an extra £600+ per annum to let you use your dial-up account on a network (sorry you got a few more email addresses etc). Not too surprisingly the ISP who couldn't even understand the concept won the bidding :-)
  • So, apply this to DSL, same thing.
    No, it's not the same thing. First of all, DSL providers sell service based on bandwidth - one price for 384 Kbps, a higher one for 512 Kbps, yet higher for 768 Kbps. Secondly, with DSL, you don't share the bandwidth (not until you get to a "main switch" - the exact term escapes me for the moment).

    And thirdly, what you did will require you to secure five machines instead of one - using a NAT gateway makes sinply more sense. Not allowing NAT is a disservice to the customer.

    It is funny how the lack of competition makes companies behave stupid. Where I live, we have relatively good @home service (if you don't really rely on them for e-mail or Usenet service), so the local DSL providers try to differentiate themselves by providing simmetrical DSL, specifically allowing severs, etc.
  • I'm so tired of hearing this. ALL BANDWIDTH IS SHARED AT SOME POINT. People with DSL like to say that cable bandwidth is shared. Sure, DSL people have a copper cable from their house to the CO, but once it hits the CO it is SHARED. I have a friend in Texas on GTE. They oversold the CO's SHARED BANDWIDTH so much his ping to his ISP gateway was 500ms.

    After months and months my roadrunner ping is 8ms and I still get 300K/sec. I think they are doing a damn good job.
  • While I agree about the advertised bandwidth should be the actual bandwidth, I discovered two things when I got my DSL service from speakeasy-covad:
    • Actual bandwidth garuanteed is only %80 of the advertised amount
    • Users are prohibitted from consuming their entire bandwidth on a 24/7 basis.
  • How do you use:
    • Napster
    • Netmeeting
    • ICQ
    • etc.
    Through a home firewall? I realize you can pass on some ports to a specific machine, but it doesn't work for Netmeeting. It's one of the reasons why I don't use a separate firewall, I just protect Windows with Zonealarm. I also use Windows 98 connection sharing, so my Linux PC, which doesn't need to be a server, has no problems.

  • No suddenly I have bunches of people who want to use the personal private lines for their business without paying the businnes rates.
    There are two different things being discussed here - commercial use and complete personal use.

    I don't think there is a reasonable arguement for using a "domestic" connection in and for a business.

    On the other hand, I can (and do) saturate my domestic bandwidth contantly - whether downloading the latest from [], game demos, kernel updates - and all within the T&C's of the service.

    Further, I can do this all from one PC - so what does it matter if I set up NAT and browse from my wireless-LAN-enabled laptop in my living room (except for making me a sad git). I'm not using any "extra" resources of my ISP by doing so...I'm just making full use of the service I have paid for.

  • The term "IP Sharing" in this article is known as NAT or IP Masquerading to the rest of the world. There are a number of companies selling "IP Sharing" boxes that just do NAT.

    It sounds like users in Korea are wiring entire blocks of flats for network access, sharing the cost of a single ADSL connection. That wouldn't be so bad, but then they put a web server on their connection criticising their operator for banning the practice in the ToS. Big mistake, there are tons of other places to put up your web site, like geocities. If you are going to bash a telecom, do it from another part of the internet, not on the wires they control.

    This is just another battle between one business who supplies a scarce service to consumers, and other businesses who supply boxes to relieve the scarcity.

    I've been trying to find a supplier of consumer grade internet access (DSL, cable or even dial) who will allow "group" access for small wireless installations. These would be similar to groups [] in major cities [] all over the world who want to create an alternative wireless internet, with a number of gateways to the wired internet. This has been difficult for consumer level access, but is possible with high cost professional style leased lines and individual ports on router.

    The economics of consumer grade connections means that a restricted (in ToS) connection to a single computer can barely use more than .05% to 1% of the available bandwidth during any 24 hour period, and their profit calculations count on this. When approached by a non-mainstream use, they don't really understand how it might impact their severely under-engineered systems, so they get very obnoxious and end the discussion. However, if you are willing to spend the money, you can get a professional grade connection with very liberal ToS, but only over leased lines.

    the AC
  • How does one detect the existance of NAT?
  • I disagree, too, but only because the company violated their contract. Does state in the TOS that they can't have a petition?
  • If you are sold a service that stipulates 128k uploads and 384k downloads, it is their responsibility to provide it. Everyone should do what I do - listen to high-bandwidth mp3 streams 24 hours a day, every day, even when I'm not home.

    People who gratuitously waste bandwidth, are the reason that they have to set draconian policies. The sooner we get to pay-per-bit, the better.

    BTW, unless your music stream is being served by the ISP or someone else who uses that ISP, you are wasting bandwidth on other networks that are beyond your ISP's control. You're costing everyone money. The ISP's service stilpulated a connection speed between you and the ISP, not a connection speed between you and everywhere else in the world. I hope they throttle your connections to the outside, down to 300 baud. It would serve you right.

  • by twitter ( 104583 )
    trolls are a DoS
  • I have a business connection through my ISP. I get close to 2Mbs down and 600kbs upload. It has two fixed IPs and services up to 5 machines in my house. (Two dual boot Win/Lin the other three run Linux only.)
    The only thing my ISP forbids is subdomain hosting. They have always said that using more than one machine through the connection is fine (even on the basic package) but they cannot offer support.
    Supposedly they only support Win and Mac but when I was being upgraded I got cut off prematurely. I called tech support and when the nice lady found out I ran Linux, the whole conversation changed.
    "Can you ping the gateway" She said.
    Me "no."
    Her "I'll get someone on that right away."
    Other than this incident I have only been down a total of about six hours in two and a half years of service.
  • A lot of cable companies have pretty good attitudes towards this. Basically the one I use states that it's 'unsupported' and that if anything gets in or out of your subnet that shouldn't, it's your problem.

    I can certainly go along with that.

    MOVE 'ZIG'.
  • On the other hand, I can (and do) saturate my domestic bandwidth contantly - whether downloading the latest from, game demos, kernel updates - and all within the T&C's of the service.

    What the Korean company is looking at is multiple PCs connecting to the net vs one PC. I personally think that your complete personal use argument wins hands down. and unless you have storage approaching a terabyte or two, you are not saturating the bandwidth 24/7 - you probably have heard of this curse called sleep even if you avoid it as much as possible.

    But what they are complaining about is IP sharing, multiple PCs via one DSL or whatever pipe.

    Again, while I can sympathise, I can just imagine a house hold full of teens with their own boxen hooked up to a fat pipe, running music videos 24/7, etc like a fancy thousand dollar radio or whatever. That certainly approcahes the bandwidth of business use.

    It is a difficult question. Is there as reasonable metering solution out there some place? I would love to have something like that for inside the house so that you could bill the teens for the 24/7 video junky feeds.

  • Even in the States we have companies with terms of service such as these. And it is easy to detect NAT running, because so many "odd" port numbers keep passing through.

    ??? The client-side ports are supposed to be "odd" -- they're assigned by the OS from the pool of unsigned ints. It all looks like simultaneous client connections from the same address to, say, port 80 on the other side (for web browsing) or port 21 (for FTP) or whatever.

    Now what they might be doing is check things like the User-Agent header sent by web browsers. If they see request coming from Win98 IE and Linux Mozilla at the same time, they have something.

    This, of course, can also be forged in browsers like Galeon, or better yet, by the proxy itself (there's an option in Squid to forcefully set the User-Agent for all HTTP requests).

  • by pforce ( 127543 ) on Tuesday February 20, 2001 @08:49AM (#417925) Homepage
    Now, personally, I think they were dumb hosting the site on their telco's network, and that the telco was perfectly within its rights in withdrawing service (it is their network, after all).

    Or does this better parallel the distribution of the utilities? That is, water, electricity, telephone service, etc. The power company can't turn off the power to a building because the people inside are protesting the power company! Situations like this are governed by law to prevent companies from abusing their monopoly-like status. I don't quite know how this scales to Korea, though, but I assume that at least similar laws are in place to protect the consumer.

    As the Internet continues to grow, and as it becomes more and more an indispensible household resource, it's going to be increasingly treated like any other utility. This will place its providers under much more regulation than we've become accustomed to, all in the name of consumer protection.
  • I don't know about you, but even though I've got four computers NAT'ed to my ISP, I only use one at a time. And if I'm playing quake or downloading mp3s I'm maxing out the bandwidth anyway, so what difference does it make?

    It makes a lot more sense to sell services "per head" (ie, for each member of the household) than per computer, as that's the only way it will scale with "average use".
    Bush's assertion: there ought to be limits to freedom
  • Napster gave me no problems. Since I'm using IP Masq I don't think Napster even hiccupped. If you use the FTP proggie that comes with Windows, you'll need to load the "ip_masq_ftp" module. I do that via a very simple (one line + comment) SysVinit script: "/sbin/modprobe ip_masq_ftp". You have to have the module compiled and available though. I don't use Netmeeting or ICQ, but I think that there is an ICQ mod, I know there is a Quake mod. I set it up using the template provided in "Securing and Optimizing Linux: Red Hat Edition", look here []. It was well commented on what each line in the template did, and why. Starting from there, I modified it to meet my needs; Napster, HTTP, FTP. Very simple needs. Keep in mind that I am running kernel 2.2.14 at home, so that's ipchains, NOT netfilter. Using the 2.4.x kernels are a diferent ballgame. Last I looked, ~month ago, many of those modules did not exist yet, or could be done by netfilter itself.

    Regarding your statement about Netmeeting, this may help. Look for H.323 programs. []

  • Disagree with the telcom, and we cut your service! Anyone else see anything scary about that?
    You remember that, and this, the next time you start yelling at a company for violating the GPL. If a company can't act against a user who agrees not to run a server, but then, in fact, runs a server, then you sure as hell can't act against a company who agrees to distribute source, but then doesn't.
  • That's why I signed up with Telocity. They encourage Linux Servers, firewalls, and NAT. Oh, and no contract.

    Of course, it isn't hooked up yet, so I can't tell you about quality. Considering GTE is doing the outside wires, and Northpoint Communications is doing the inside wiring, I assume that it will be a matter of how good GTE quality is -- I doubt the line quality will reflect anything about Telocity itself.
  • Unless you have more than two arms, you can only do so many things on the internet at once, even if you own 1000 computers.

    I suggest a per-person/per-household cost. ie: 1 person in the household, $20/month. 2 people, $30/month, etc... ;-)

    This way you can have as many computers as you really want attached, but still pay the same fee (since you should still be using the same bandwidth per person).

    That sort of billing would be more in-line with modern cable TV access. A long time ago you had to pay by the television set for cable access. So people bought splitters. Cable co's figured this out and metered lines for resistance (if they really cared enough). So people bought amplifiers. So the smart Cable co's gave up, and simply set the rate per building or household. If you want more than one TV attached to the cable, that becomes your problem.

    This is also inline with telephone charges. In some countries you had to rent each phone. Now that phones are readily availible most phone companies have dropped that rule, while raising their per line prices (somewhat) to compensate.
  • I'm sorry, but you're wrong. NAT doesn't include extra datagrams or any extra payload indicating anything, and the replies don't mention ANY information about inside hosts. From the FreeBSD natd man page:
    It changes all packets destined for another host so that their source IP number is that of the current machine. For each packet changed in this manner, an internal table entry is created to record this fact. The source port number is also changed to indicate the table entry applying to the packet. Packets that are received with a target IP of the current host are checked against this internal table. If an entry is found, it is used to determine the correct target IP number and port to place in the packet.
    That ICQ or some other application inserts the true source IP into its own layer 4 protocol is entirely seperate and discreet from true NAT functionality at the IP layer, although the extra protocol information may be helpful for proxies or other server NAT implentations that are aware of that extra information, especially where one might desire to create an ad-hoc inbound connection to otherwise unreachable NATed machines.
  • I feel bad when people are having problems copying from me, after all the songs I've downloaded. Don't get me wrong - I've only been downloading stuff I own on LPs, which I feel I have a right to. But since I suppose everyone else is innocent until proven guilty, I feel bad about taking and taking and not giving.

    Another question - the poster to which I replied claimed three of them shared the connection. How do you get napster to work in that situation? How about ICQ?

  • Could you figure out from the title or summary that IP stood for Internet Protocol?

    Yes, and not just by luck:

    • we should be able to use our DSL lines to host as many PCs as we want


    • The major part of the story is a dispute over sharing IPs on DSL lines

    That's an "s" on the end of "IPs". The plural of "Intellectual Property" is usually just "IP". Then again, it's a Slashdot headline, so I suppose the "s" could have been interpretted as a mess up, but the other cue is there too, so it didn't seem too ambiguous to me.

  • In order for our world to function, it is sometimes necessary to conflate the "advertised" figure with the "what can be reasonably sustained under most circumstances". This requires some element of judgement (horrors!), but generally allows society to actually function at something close to peak efficiency. After all, if everything we built/advertised had to survive every possible contingency, we'd be in big trouble.

    Ever heard of honesty? If you make a promise, you had better deliver. If I'm promised 128k upload, I expect it. Judgement has to be exercised in the advert and that's not my job. The economy depends on trust. People who violate trust deserve the burn they eventually get.

    The cable modem people oversubscribed my neighborhood and have a sucky ToS. Do I blame my neighbors who might be serving Quake? No, I don't. I blame the cable company for oversubscribing or not enforcing their ToS. I'm dumping them for DSL.

  • NO, not servers. I can run *clients* that consistently use every last drop of the advertised traffic.

    The point is, if you can't provide it, don't advertise it. In some countries misleading advertising is a criminial offense and can get you jailed for quite a while. (I know it is in China. I'd love it if it is true in Canada, can anyone verify?)
  • Shortly after I signed up with RR I contacted them concerning servers. I was told that it was ok to run "personal" servers. They defined personal as a server that only I would use. Something like a FTP or HTTP server that I would use to get documents while at work. Their argument was that they don't want outside users using their network's bandwidth. They also said that they would take action if users were using excessive upstream bandwidth (6GB/month was the number I was told) I can understand this argument in a business sense. So unless things have changed you can run servers as long as they aren't accessed by outside users.

  • According to New Scientist magazine's "Feedback" column 17 Feb 2001 (see [], ntl has the following cable modem "user policy" provision for "abuse of the service":

    "You must not disclose your password or user ID to anyone else. Your account can only be used for a single internet session at any one time and for no more than 24 hours in any one day."

    Ridicule is an appropriate antidote to bureaucratic fever.

    BTW, readers in Korea who can't put up their own web sites from their apartments, please read from Eldritch Press the English translation of the classic Korean novel, annotated and illustrated, The Cloud Dream of the Nine, at [].

    Eldritch Press runs from my home via ATT Mediaone RoadRunner cable modem service in New Hampshire, USA. Thanks, ATT!

  • >People who gratuitously waste bandwidth, are
    >the reason that they have to set draconian

    Companies which gratuitously advertise exaggerated bandwidth they can provide, are the reason that people use the bandwidth to the max.

    If an ISP cannot put up with the behavior and only can provide such and such bandwidth, it should not say otherwise (like "Always Online", "High bandwidth, all the time!")on their commercials.
  • The situation in Korea is that there are thousands of "PC-pang"'s which are basically pay-by-the-hour PC facilities. I would imagine that this would be a perfect situation for a NAT, although I would expect the ISP's to take that into account in a commercial DSL subscription.

    Companies that wire up buildings there work on a revenue-share basis with ISP's, so there's no incentive to let tenants share a line or work around the provider.

    Possibly the PC-pangs are getting dirt cheap residential service and NATing it to 10-20 active PC's. I can see some reason for complaint with that, but that's more of a commercial vs. residential service fraud issue.
  • The problem is that they are not selling you simply a specified bandwidth. They are selling you a line with the ability to go up to that bandwidth, with pricing on condition that you do not run servers or NAT. If you want to run servers or NAT, they offer pricing plans which allow that. It's rather disingenous to take the no-NAT pricing plan and then complain that no NAT is allowed.
  • I run a very small ISP here in North Carolina, USA. We began experimenting with DSL connections last year.

    Originally we were loath to try, since our backbone is priced based on usage. We assumed that if we connected a customer up at 768Kbps our usage might go up that much.

    Boy were we wrong! We couldn't even see a difference on our backbone connection in spite of the additional load. After a few days running MRTG [] on that interface we found out why. The total usage was less than a modem would have been running full speed.

    This DSL connection was to a graphic design business with 8 artists connected 24/7!

    What we have discovered to be the rule is that most customers don't want bandwidth (yet, anyway!!!) they want SPEED! They don't run servers, they just want fast web page downloads.

    I don't know how mulitmedia on the internet is going to change things, but so far we've found the bandwidth doesn't really go up that much. The usage is extremely bursty in nature with orders of magnitude more 0% usage than 100%.

    That's why DSL is being distributed at such low costs, because most users don't cause the bandwidth to go up. The phone companies are planning on tax write-offs for the DSL equipment anyway so they aren't worried about it's cost. They just want to keep their service and bandwidth costs under control.

    When customers start running servers, the low-bandwidth-usage rule goes out the window and that's why they don't allow them.

    If you've got $40/month DSL, you aren't paying for the amount of bandwidth you think you have. If all the DSL users suddenly started downloading service packs, they'd find out that their provider has dramatically oversubscribed their available bandwidth. But in reality that never happens. Same deal with cable modems.

    If you need real bandwidth (big company, service provider, etc.) you're going to have to pay for it unless you can "get one over" on your upstream!

    Good Luck!

  • No. What you see as "wasting" can be vital to someone else. If the person who leaves his audio streams on 24/7 thinks he needs to for some reason, it is not wasting for him. A waste or not, it is totally subjective.

    Your supermarket analogy does not fit here. A better analogy can be "If the supermarket...., and they only have 20 left, (but they promised 40 to everyone) and I wanted 40, what should I do?

    I logically buy all the 20 left (it does not matter to me whether or not the next person will get none).

    And, of course, I can do anything with the oranges I bought, including throwing them all on to the ground outside the supermarket if I see fit.

    It might look like a waste to someone working at the supermarket or someone on the street, but, if throwing them all on the ground increases my level of happiness, there is certain utility in it. Therefore it is not a waste to me.
  • This is what bothers me most about the ToS.. I think its difficult to define a 'single PC' at all any more.

    I run 5 machines at home, all of which are used, by me, to do various things. This situation arose simply because i haven't thrown any computers away since i started buying them a few years ago.

    Now, i consider all these machines to be my 'personal computer' - I'll usually have an X desktop on my LinuxPPC iMac running X apps and terminals off 2 of the others, some 3D game or a DVD movie playing off the drive in another of the boxes and a 3D animation project i'm working on running on another of the CPU/monitor combos.

    I have X terminals and MIDI synths hooked up to the same pool of computing resources too.

    All these machines are composed of a variety of networks, including serial lines, IDE interfaces, SCSI interfaces, ethernet, PCI busses, MIDI interfaces, analog audio lines and digital audio connections too. There are CPUs on my ehternet card - surely its a breach to attach anything else to that card over a PCI bus, if you follow the terms of this agreement.

    Sure, you could say 'but an ethernet card isn't a personal computer', but how do you come to this conclusion - surely it is possible to use the logic on an ethernet card to do useful computation?

    The telco has no right to tell me how to organise my computing resources into a functional machine, and the idea that my 'Personal Computer' is a discrete component is ridiculous.

    I can understand a condition like 'you may not resell this service', but i reject the notion that a 'Personal Computer' can be categorized as a single Macintosh or x86 machine, since that is apparently what these (and every other cable provider with a similar service agreement) people are claiming.

    I'd really like to see it stand up in court - especially when every major computing institution is quite happy to define a cluster or massively parallel multi-CPU machine as a 'single computer'
  • I would imagine that the day will come (and soon!) when broadband internet access affordable to consumers will no longer be able to support any nonstandard IP activity; vendors will support a "stock" set of IP client applications through transparent proxying and anything else just won't work, including stuff like telnet, ssh, sendmail. GRE, IPSEC, PPtP or anything else that lets you map your machine into some other remote network through tunneling won't be prohibited, it just won't work due to the upstream "filtering". Servers will be totally broken no matter how stealthy due to the lack of inbound connectivity. Think of how "IP services" work at major companies with restrictive connection policies/firewalling/access controls.

    It'll be sold to the regular users as a "security" service for the user and for the "internet as a whole" since it will "prevent" DDoS zombies or other rogue elements from using rooted boxes to exploit broadband bandwidth.

    Anyone with any need (read, corporate VPN or IT worker) to run real IP will be able to get something similar to today's broadband IP for big dollars which the providers will presume corporations will underwrite for their employees (just like airplane tickets).

    AOL & Co. will love this -- they don't need or want competition from indy web site operators hanging off 768k DSL, and the MPAA/RIAA will love it too as it will demolish P2P apps as well. Since AOL/Time/Warner is probably a member of RIAA/MPAA as well, they have double the incentive to quash real IP connectivity.

    I know this seems paranoid, but I really think we're living in the golden age of unlimited real IP connectivity..
  • That's not really conclusive. Since different User-Agent headers can concievably appear when someone is using multiple vmware virtual machines, along with different browsers within them.

    'sright. But then again, both are probably very low percentages of the general population of users, so the ISP has it narrowed down a lot. Bottom line is, a Linux firewall is your friend.

  • Your analogy is flawed. The supermarket (according to your analogy) promised no specific amount of oranges. So, indeed, he would have no right to throw a fit about the oranges. On the other hand, DSL providers promise nkbps of bandwidth.

    My analogy rocks. It is the sort of analogy people will be naming their children after.

    You don't understand what the ISP is selling.

    The supermarket is selling oranges at, say, 10 cents per orange.

    The ISP is selling burst connection speed at, say, $25 per 256kb/s.

    The ISP is not selling data volume. I have never heard of a flat rate ISP advertising raw data volume. They can't deliver, they don't want to deliver, and most of their target clientele don't care or want it.

    The fundamental problem is that people are reading things into the advertising - things which are perhaps implied but certainly not stated - and making connections in their heads that don't exist, driven by wishful thinking.

    The ISP says that you can get up to 256kb/s. They say that the service is always on. They do not say that you can get exactly 256kb/s 24/7. Some people would like to get 256kb/s 24/7, but all the wanting in the world isn't going to make it economically viable to provide that at consumer rates with today's technology.

    And that's what the service contract is for. Read it. Learn. Buy wisely.

  • How does one detect the existance of NAT?
    • Some NAT implementations (notoriously, Linux) use telltale port number ranges by default
    • Different, overlapping HTTP-User-Agent headers (i.e., web browsers with different OSes running at the same time)
    • Multiple simultaneous highly interactive services. One person on one computer can only play one game of Quake at a time.
    • TCP OS fingerprint doesn't match HTTP-User-Agent, or protocol with limited client availability. Windows Media Player streams heading to a FreeBSD box? Hmmm...

    None of these is failsafe - and in particular many of the techniques are liable to confusion by emulators like VMWare - but automatic detection can very usefully help build a case for further human investigation.

    The side that benefits from exposure of information always wins.

  • Back when I first started shopping for a DSL line, I was amazed by the massive pile of legal agreements that the Concentric people wanted you to sign. My particular favorite was this gem:
    You must not use the CNC Service to solicit other members to patronize competing services
    Which I gather means that you're not allowed to say "Concentric sucks" over Concentric's wires.

    Another good one is:

    You hereby acknowledge that if CNC is made aware of Content that CNC deems in its sole discretion to be unacceptable, undesirable, offensive, indecent, obscene, excessively violent or otherwise objectionable, CNC has the right, but not the obligation, to edit, remove or deny access to such Content.
    I went shopping around for other DSL services, keeping an eye on their legal aggreements, and I couldn't find a TOS that didn't make me want to toss. All of them follow a similar formulation, like "you get to pay us money, but we guarantee nothing, you have no rights, and we can do what ever we want".

    This strikes me as being very short sighted in a number of ways. It seems very unlikely to me that this "we have the right, but not the obligation" business will survive forever, and if they have to go one way or the other, they'd much rather be in the position of never, ever, monitoring content. That's what being a "common carrier" is about, as I understand it.

    And further, though this seems to be a quaint and old-fashioned thought in a lot of people's minds, there really is some value in customer goodwill. If right out of the gate, a company starts acting like a jerk, they really can't expect anything like customer loyalty.

    Anyway, if you're really bored, I've archived the whole pile of stuff here: Concentric DSL legal agreements [].

  • by raju1kabir ( 251972 ) on Tuesday February 20, 2001 @03:18PM (#418004) Homepage
    When I bought a second static IP address, it seems that some squatter was already using it. Bastard!

    Quite so. For a couple days I had a squatter on my home IP address, who parked an HP JetDirect box on it, of all things. Now that just ain't smart. I don't like wasting paper, so I made sure my PostScript art was concise, persuasive, to-the-point, while containing graphic visual aids to overcome any potential literacy gap. The printer disappeared quickly after that.

  • IANAL, but I remember an interesting legal case posted to Slashdot some time ago that could be a precedent for this.

    Years ago, telephone companies used to do the same thing with phone lines. People were not permitted to connect more than one phone to their phone line. The phone company was meant to do that. The phone company wanted to maintain their service monopoly, so people had to pay the phone company to install extra phones.

    Someone, I think it was a farmer in the USA who was a member of a ham radio club, connected a second phone to their phone line. The phone company didn't like this, so the phone company sued.

    The phone company lost the case! The farmer enlisted the support of the ham radio club, and was able to fund a good legal defense.

    As a result of this legal case, the way telephony is delivered has changed radically. Now, when people get a phone connected, the phone company maintains the phone line only up to the first socket in the home. The customer maintains all the phone lines after that point. The customer can still hire the phone company if they want extra cables installed.

    Sound familiar? It should, it's exactly the same as the current controversy with multiple PC's on one link. This suggests that it is possible to beat this restriction by suing the provider under the right circumstances and citing this case (if you can find it) as a precedent. What are the "right circumstances"? That depends on the fine print in your contract, but if yours does not currently have this provision, and your provider tries to introduce it as an amendment to the terms and conditions of service, you could sue them to prevent them amending the TOS.

  • Anyone in their right mind will not connect to a high-speed Internet link without a firewall of some kind. Suppose I have a simple setup where my dedicated firewall box connects to the cable modem, and my single PC is connected to the firewall. Am I in violation of their TOS?

  • So then I should make sure that I am running VMware as a possible defense if Roadrunner disconnects my NAT? :)
  • >>The point is, if you can't provide it, don't
    >>advertise it.

    >The do not advertise the right to run servers,
    >nor to share the bandwidth among unlimited

    I don't have a problem with them not advertising what is true. I DO have a problem with them if they advertise what is false or misleading.

Testing can show the presense of bugs, but not their absence. -- Dijkstra