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The Internet Communications

Vint Cerf Speaking Out on Internet Neutrality 121

penciling_in writes "CircleID has reported on a U.S. congress hearing held on November 9th, where "significant focus was projected on 'network neutrality' and a new telecommunications bill affecting the Internet. 'This bill could fundamentally alter the fabulously successful end-to-end Internet,' says Alan Davidson in a related post on Google blog." Vint Cerf was not able to testify because of the Presidential Medal of Freedom award ceremony at the White House, but submitted a letter: "The remarkable social impact and economic success of the Internet is in many ways directly attributable to the architectural characteristics that were part of its design. The Internet was designed with no gatekeepers over new content or services. The Internet is based on a layered, end-to-end model that allows people at each level of the network to innovate free of any central control. By placing intelligence at the edges rather than control in the middle of the network, the Internet has created a platform for innovation. This has led to an explosion of offerings - from VOIP to 802.11x wi-fi to blogging - that might never have evolved had central control of the network been required by design." CircleID post includes full text of the letter."
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Vint Cerf Speaking Out on Internet Neutrality

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  • Neutrality (Score:5, Funny)

    by Cryolithic ( 563545 ) on Thursday November 10, 2005 @08:44PM (#14003791)
    "What makes a good network go neutral? Lust for gold? Power? Or were you just born with a switch full of neutrality?"
  • by r00t ( 33219 ) on Thursday November 10, 2005 @08:53PM (#14003835) Journal
    He's given a Presidential Medal of Freedom to keep him from testifying before Congress?

    It'd obviously be denied, but you have to wonder.

    • He was likely notified weeks or even months prior to the Congressional request that he would be awarded the medal. No conspiracy here.
      • "He was likely notified weeks or even months prior to the Congressional request that he would be awarded the medal. No conspiracy here."

        Oh, thanks Ester. I knew I could trust you two to be honest and open.
    • The Presidental Medal of Freedom is the highest civilian honor for heroism and blah blah blah. Ironically, it's been given to mostly a bunch of cronies and hollywood/sports types. Yes, Julia Child really deserves the highest civilian honor allowed, huh? And that Arnold Palmer. Great heroism in swinging a golf club. And Charlton Heston. And George Tenet. *laugh. What a bunch of bullshit.
      • No, it gets better. How about the award to Muhammad Ali? You know, the Muslim. The guy whose career and livelihood the federal government tried to destroy when he spoke out against a war he thought was unjust.

        That's gotta rate down there was one of Bush's slimiest moments.
      • Before you sneer at Julia Child, read her obituary here [cnn.com]. She was an OSS (forerunner to the CIA) agent during WWII and served in India and China. Making gourmet cooking mainstream was just one of her accomplishments.
      • The Presidental Medal of Freedom is the highest civilian honor for heroism and blah blah blah

        Where did you get that idea that it was for "heroism"?

        SEC. 2. Award of the Medal. (a) The Medal may be awarded by the President as provided in this order to any person who has made an especially meritorious contribution to (1) the security or national interests of the United States, or (2) world peace, or (3) cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.

        Per Executive Order 11085 [umich.edu], issued by JFK in 19

    • I can see it now...

      ... telecom lobbyists "suggest" to their White House contacts that Cerf and Kahn be awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom ...

      ... a while later, telecom lobbyists "suggest" to committee chairs a good date to hold the hearings. Attending the Medal of Freedom ceremonies is one item that Cerf and Kahn would not be able to reschedule.

      Easy to arrange, tough to prove. Given how badly the Bells would like to control the internet, I think it's a reasonable suspicion.

      Considering the S [slashdot.org]

  • Central Control (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 10, 2005 @08:56PM (#14003858)
    Central control is happening, and will happen .. like it or not. Simply because people want government to control who uses the internet. For example people branding themselves "social conservatives" don't want porn on the internet. The police want to be able to catch "cyber criminals". As the story on slashdot this morning, the french don't like people blogging certain views on the riots. Chinese want to arrest anyone who says democracy is a good thing. RIAA doesn't want piracy. I don't want spam.

    They want to centralize so they can control. Without centralization it is expensive to control. Nobody cares that centralization causes problems for legitimate users. They want to enforce their control, so you can present convincing argument after convincing argument that decentralization is best .. but they will all fail unless you demonstrate how control can be enforced.

    OFFTOPIC RANT:
    So yeah .. people are advocating centralization so they can solve their little issues. But I say this .. the internet is simply a communications mechanism. Controlling a communications mechanism is only going to cause problems for legitimate users. Everyone should use encryption to communicate. Encryption should be encourage. Hell I'd even support legislation to force everyone to encrypt their communication. I believe it's that important to the survival of liberty.

    Even anonymity is being shunned on the net. For example, even the leftist hypocritical website moveon.org takes comments but they dont want you to be anonymous or use a pseudonym. How many letters did Ben Franklin write with the pseudonym "Silence Dogood" claiming to be an old widow? Anonymity and pseudonimity are essential. If an anonymous source spouts out info, you can simply disregard it because they are not staking their reputation. But sometimes they may need the anonymity to avoid persecution, especially when they say something that can stand alone on its own merit.
    • Law is law (Score:3, Insightful)

      by a_greer2005 ( 863926 )
      Many of the common bariors of entry are gone on the net, what he is saying is that any 12 year old with an idea can suddenly be a major software companies worst nightmere for example. He speaks drom an innocvation standpoint

      While social speech is more vibrant on the net, and there are those who want to control it, it is no differant than the tug-of-war over cival liberties faced in the real world every day. As is often said here: Nothing to dee, please move along.

      As criminals use the net, the law enfor

    • Central control is happening, and will happen .. like it or not.

      I fear you may be correct, but I hope you are not.

      (Off-topic rant: I'm one of those folks who wish porn were a little more difficult to find, and I don't like spam any more than you do. But I don't want bloggers chilled, dissidents persecuted, or any of that. Free speech is free speech, and I don't know, and wouldn't want to decide, where to draw the line. I certainly don't want the government deciding, when no one is forced to go to

    • Re:Central Control (Score:4, Insightful)

      by l2718 ( 514756 ) on Thursday November 10, 2005 @09:32PM (#14004051)
      I think there's a difference between regulating people's behaviour and regulating the infrastructure. If it's illegal to sell porn in the street, why shouldn't it be illegal to see on the internet? Conversely, since it's legal to publish anonymous pamphlets on the street (important founding-era right implicit in the First Amendment), it should be legal to publish anonymous websites. It's for this reason that people who own printing presses ("infrastructure") cannot be forced to keep a copy of everything they print, or to provide a sample page to the government for future comparison (this was the case in the USSR -- even for typewriters!).

      Indeed the government has always wanted to control the infrastrcture, but it won't necessarily happen. What they mostly want is to ban things that are already illegal -- and we should give them that to keep the infrastructure safe. We can late ask why consensual porn is illegal at all -- but not with the republicrats in power.
      • Re:Central Control (Score:2, Insightful)

        by rgmoore ( 133276 ) *

        If it's illegal to sell porn in the street, why shouldn't it be illegal to see on the internet?

        Because the net isn't the same as the street. It's OK to regulate selling porn in the street because the street is a public place, so putting porn there effectively forces it on people who are offended by it. Web sites, OTOH, are strictly voluntary. Nobody has to visit a porn website if they don't want to, so there's not the same degree of coercion involved. In that respect web sites are like windowless shop

        • While I agree with you, I'd like to point out that it's possible to run across porn sites accidentally. For example, if you go to picbook.com, will it be the web site for a book about programming the PIC18F450 microcontroller or will it be a porn site? If you type it in thinking it's probably the former, you're doing a blind jump. There are many similar situations.

          Of course, these problems are generally solved by using a little thing called the back button....

      • If it's illegal to sell porn in the street, why shouldn't it be illegal to see on the internet?
        Different countries, different laws. What might be illegal in the US could still be legal someplace else - so you would have to apply your laws not for all sites, but only for visitors from one country or by the websites origin. Both of these could be circumvented without much effort (Proxy, different TLD), so where's the point?
    • Control may happen. The simple fact of the matter is that control only lasts so long. It is a matter of perspective. Whether you talk about civilizations, forms of government, economies, business models, controls only work so long as there are no disruptive variables in play that subvert the system.

      Controls also can be useful. Monopoly control for infrastructure for electrical power and telephone services fueled their adoption. Some argue that the centralized economy of Communist Russia was instrumen

    • Even anonymity is being shunned on the net. For example, even the leftist hypocritical website moveon.org takes comments but they dont want you to be anonymous or use a pseudonym. /. does a similar thing when scoring anonymous posters lower than registered ones. I never understood how "slashdotnickname" made me any less anonymous, but then again it's all about keeping track of one's history in order to appraise your worth as a poster.. which is understandle if you ever set their filter to -1 and see all th
    • interesting that this came up at the IETF technical plenary tonight, and there were definitely folks on the IAB advocating elimination of central control points in the long term view of the internet architecture. the specific topic that raised the issue was a debate on whether hierarchy in the routing architecture was a good idea, but the overall sentiment was that elimination of centralized tussle spaces was good. these are the folks that build the protocols...
    • At worst the government can destroy the Internet for those within their legal reach.

      If the Internet is damaged to much by these idiots it'll just create an economic chance for an alternative network to be set up and capitalized on. A lot of publishers and users would choose this less restricted Internet even if it was smaller. Most likely this new network would be even less centralized as it'd probably start as a grass roots project by people who are pissed at the control. Rather than being built on a backb
    • "Central control is happening, and will happen .. like it or not. Simply because people want government to control who uses the internet. For example people branding themselves "social conservatives" don't want porn on the internet. The police want to be able to catch "cyber criminals". As the story on slashdot this morning, the french don't like people blogging certain views on the riots. Chinese want to arrest anyone who says democracy is a good thing. RIAA doesn't want piracy. I don't want spam./b"

      None o
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    • Those who advocate for central control are clearly individuals and groups who do not understand the fundamental nature of robust networks (whether they be social networks of individuals, chemical networks of complex molecular reactions, electronic networks like that which compose internet, or even the wetware networks of neurons which make up the brain) according to recent knowledge.

      Albert Laszlo Barabasi [nd.edu] explains it all clearly and succinctly in his book, Linked [amazon.com], which should be required reading by everyo

    • Central control is happening, and will happen .. like it or not.

      I'm not sure. Central control is possible only because of a quirk of technology and economics, not of design. In the ideal world, the internet would be mostly peer-to-peer and all services and connections would be equal. However, because it used to be expensive to run the sort of bandwidth, power, and storage that that connectivity requires, only certain institutions did it, and then resold access (or gave it away) to the little people.

      Howe
  • Text of the letter (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 10, 2005 @08:58PM (#14003869)
    Dear Chairman Barton and Ranking Member Dingell,

    I appreciate the inquiries by your staff about my availability to appear before the Committee and to share Google's views about draft telecommunications legislation and the issues related to "network neutrality." These are matters of great importance to the Internet and Google welcomes the Committee's hard work and attention. The hearing unfortunately conflicts with another obligation, and I am sorry I will not be able to attend. (Along with my colleague Robert Kahn, I am honored to be receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom on Wednesday at the White House for our work in creating the Internet protocol TCP/IP.)

    Despite my inability to participate in the planned hearing in person, I hope that you will accept some brief observations about this legislation.

    The remarkable social impact and economic success of the Internet is in many ways directly attributable to the architectural characteristics that were part of its design. The Internet was designed with no gatekeepers over new content or services. The Internet is based on a layered, end-to-end model that allows people at each level of the network to innovate free of any central control. By placing intelligence at the edges rather than control in the middle of the network, the Internet has created a platform for innovation. This has led to an explosion of offerings - from VOIP to 802.11x wi-fi to blogging - that might never have evolved had central control of the network been required by design.

    My fear is that, as written, this bill would do great damage to the Internet as we know it. Enshrining a rule that broadly permits network operators to discriminate in favor of certain kinds of services and to potentially interfere with others would place broadband operators in control of online activity. Allowing broadband providers to segment their IP offerings and reserve huge amounts of bandwidth for their own services will not give consumers the broadband Internet our country and economy need. Many people will have little or no choice among broadband operators for the foreseeable future, implying that such operators will have the power to exercise a great deal of control over any applications placed on the network.

    As we move to a broadband environment and eliminate century-old non-discrimination requirements, a lightweight but enforceable neutrality rule is needed to ensure that the Internet continues to thrive. Telephone companies cannot tell consumers who they can call; network operators should not dictate what people can do online.

    I am confident that we can build a broadband system that allows users to decide what websites they want to see and what applications they want to use - and that also guarantees high quality service and network security. That network model has and can continue to provide economic benefits to innovators and consumers--and to the broadband operators who will reap the rewards for providing access to such a valued network.

    We appreciate the efforts in your current draft to create at least a starting point for net neutrality principles. Google looks forward to working with you and your staff to draft a bill that will maintain the revolutionary potential of the broadband Internet.

    Thank you for your attention and for your efforts on these important issues.

    Sincerely,

    Vinton Cerf
    Chief Internet Evangelist
    Google Inc.

    Be sure to read the paragraph concerning the bill.
  • Control RFC (Score:4, Funny)

    by nurb432 ( 527695 ) on Thursday November 10, 2005 @09:05PM (#14003909) Homepage Journal
    Just give me control. No one else is worthy.
  • So Bush's selferving award interferes with Cert's speaking out for the freedom of the Internet and us, its users. Everything the preznit touches is turning to heavy metals, from sinkers to uranium.
    • Re:Pbpbpbpbp (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Sure. I bet it did his argument no end of harm when his letter was read to the committee introduced as "Vint Cerf cannot be here today as he's receiving the highest award a President can confer upon a US citizen in recognition of how his work on the Internet changed the world, but he sent this letter"
      • Just more signs of incompetence from the preznit, that his gladhanding ceremony doesn't actually undermine Cerf's work, just makes it inconvenient for him to do it. Like the preznit hasn't been able to actually destroy this country, just take it down several notches.
        • And calling the President a goofy name really inspires others to see things your way. Congrats.
          • Mocking the president shouldn't be much of a factor compared with $45TRILLION in committed debt, over 2000 dead American servicemembers in Iraq, another unending war in Afghanistan, treasonous breaches of national security including outing a CIA agent, trying to steal Social Security, endless lying, cronyism from FEMA thru Meirs and beyond, being an obvious moron... the list is endless, and all gravely serious. And you're turned off by a goofy name? That's what forms your opinion? Then who could possibly ca
            • "being an obvious moron".



              Keep going. The propoganda you got from your classmates was really turning me off. Calling him a moron is what really gets my attention and holds it.

              • Look, you're defending a greviously bad president on all those serious charges against a goofy nickname, while your user ID is "Nintendork". Your blather in this thread is nearly criminal in its vapid self-parody. "Classmates"? "Propaganda"? You're almost as dumb as your hero in the White House.
                • "You're almost as dumb as your hero in the White House."

                  *applause*

                • He's not defending the President he's making fun of you and pointing out why your self-indulgant argument is having the opposite effect that you hoped for.

                  One can agree with you and yet still think that your grade-school name calling is an embarrassment and is counter-productive to your goals. When you scatter moronic insults like "preznit" in your comment you're just encouraging people to disregard what you're saying as unreasoned and ill-conceived. People who have legitimate and considered complaints ra
                  • The "effect I hoped for" is just to say the truth about the preznit: he's a criminal fool. Like I said, if someone calling such a cretin a snotty name outweighs their heinous crimes, then I really don't care what you think. I'm not interested in your amateur spin advice. I'm just an American who's sick of the crimes of the idiot in the White House, his inane backers who ignore the crimes in favor of nonsense like "respect the office". I've made both points: the preznit is a criminal, and he's a fool. They'r
                    • OK, then, I'm right. The effect you're actually experiencing is that everyone reading your post is stopping after the first few words and discarding your opinion as unreasoned and irrelevant.
                    • Sure - Bush voters responding to vitriolic lies can't be overbalanced by people responding to vitriolic truth. Keep your "nice guys against Bush" membership for yourself.
                    • Once again, it has nothing at all do to with being nice. It has everything to do with sounding like your opinion matters. You can be totally correct but if you persist in arguing at a second grade level and pretending that silly names are good arguments you should expect to be ignored.

                      You are not being vitriolic, truthful or not. You're being adolescent.
  • by CyricZ ( 887944 ) on Thursday November 10, 2005 @09:23PM (#14004005)
    He should have turned down that medal so he could have consulted with Congress in person. That would have been a true defense of freedom.

  • OK, so once they get this done where is the last bastion of free speech? Can you afford air time? Can you get your book distributed? This is one of the greatest things about the Inet, sure we all know this but what I want to know is "what's left" and "when are we going to do something about it"
  • Vint Cerf was not able to testify because of the Presidential Medal of Freedom award ceremony at the White House

    Was this by design....?

    --
    Santa, Satan. coincidence? I think not.
  • by D4C5CE ( 578304 ) on Thursday November 10, 2005 @09:37PM (#14004078)
    Half a decade ago already...<sigh>
    The End of End-to-End: Preserving the Architecture of the Internet in the Broadband Era [cdlib.org]

    Mark A. Lemley, Stanford (...)

    Boalt Working Papers in Public Law

    University of California, Berkeley

  • Let's Rewind Time (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Das_Trench ( 243617 )
    If users are so desperate to have someone to protect them online and to tell them what they can and cannot look, why don't we go back to having content providers? There is your centralized system. Bring the users who want to have someone looking out for their best interests services such as what we had in the early 90's. Bring back the Prodigy, AOL, and Compuserv of years ago.
  • by eyebits ( 649032 ) on Thursday November 10, 2005 @09:44PM (#14004119)
    Does it strike anyone else odd that a group of people who, in general, know nothing about technology are trying to regulate/create laws regarding the Internet? I can't imagine that any discussion held by these leaders would have any merit. In fact, if anyone with a technology background were to listen in it would be like listening to a bunch of grade school children trying to have an informative discussion about Quantum Physics.
    • Does it strike anyone else odd that a group of people who, in general, know nothing about mechanical engineering or the internal combustion engine are trying to regulate/create laws regarding motor vehicle safety?

      Who are they to tell us how fast we can drive, when and where we need to stop, and whether I have the right of way? They probably don't even change their own oil!

      • They probably don't even change their own oil!

        Hey, judging by the fact that I almost need to disassemble my front suspension to change the oil filter on my car, I'm pretty sure the engineers who designed the thing don't change their own oil anymore...
      • You are being sarcastic of course, but what you are saying IS true even if you didn't intend to make the point. The government doesn't know anything about regulating automobiles, nor do they know anything about regulating the Internet. Most government regulations and initiatives are complete disasters.

        If government regulation of the Internet is anything like their regulation of other things, we have big problems on our hand! Do you want the same people responsible for the War on Drugs, or the Hurricane Katr
        • You completely missed the point. Understanding the physics of how a car works does not make anyone any more qualified to legislate proper motor vehicle operation, nor doed lack of such understanding make one less qualified. Similarly, the issues being addressed by the legislature regarding the internet do not require an understanding of electronics or the seven OSI layers.
          • Yes it does. If the government makes something like blogging in favor of a candidate 30 days before an election illegal (which argueably it is illegal), and the politicians don't understand that one can blog anonymously from the server located outside the U.S., then they are not going to know that their law has no effect. If the government requires that all connections between machines be logged (like all telephone calls are required to be logged), and they don't understand that IPs can be spoofed, and th
            • Ok, I see your point, but I think we have different understandings of the phrase "understanding the technology". I think they can be made to understand all those issues quite easily, and I suspect many of them already do. I was interpreting the phrase to mean understanding how things are implemented under the hood, in great detail, which really shouldn't be necessary for them.
  • Lawmakers creating rules to restrict freedom? No way. What's next? Some act that restricts civil liberties on the basis of the war on terror?
  • by A beautiful mind ( 821714 ) on Thursday November 10, 2005 @09:51PM (#14004156)
    "This bill could fundamentally alter the fabulously successful end-to-end Internet"

    It should read as:

    "This bill could fundamentally alter the USA's section of the fabulously successful end-to-end Internet"

    Unless of course you want to give yet another reason for why the USA should relinquish control over root dns to some truly international entity.
    • by RexRhino ( 769423 ) on Thursday November 10, 2005 @11:05PM (#14004514)
      The trouble is that the international entity that people want to turn over control to is even more rabidly totalitarian than the United States.

      I mean look at the critism that most Europeans have over the U.S. ... it is too easy to get guns, there aren't enough laws to restrict buisnesses, taxes are too low, "hate speech" is not punished, health care should be nationalized and controlled by a central authority, etc., etc. They are not complaining for the most part that the U.S. restricts freedoms, they are complaining that the U.S. is too free and a "cowboy culture" (actually, there are many European countries that are more free-market and laize faire than the U.S., like Switzerland... but that is not the stereotype that Europeans generally have about themselves and the United States... many Europeans consider being free-market liberals a bad thing, and so would take it an insult instead of a compliment when I call Switzerland free market).

      The trouble is, as bad as U.S. starting to regulate the Internet would be, the people who want U.N. control want it because they feel the U.S. has been neglecting the Internet. It is not that they don't like U.S. regulations, it is that they don't feel the U.S. has been doing enough to regulate. In fact many think this drive by the U.S. government to regulate the Internet more is being done as a concession to ease the fears of the people who want the U.N. in control of the Internet... that this is a plan to make big reforms to highly control the internet, allowing cencorship, eliminating anonymity, and showing the world community that the U.S. government agrees with their plans to censor, centralize, and control. It is a sort of peace offering if you will.

      Show us the truly international entity that have a deep and abiding love for Anarchy and freedom, and those of us against U.N. control would likely fully support an international system (or, more likely, a truly decentralized system where no-one is in control). But the U.N. is not promising to keep the Internet free, the U.N. is promising the strict controls they feel that the U.S. is negligent in providing.

      So while we will work to stop the U.S. government from controlling the Internet, we have no illusions that the U.N. is going to be any better.
      • The trouble is that the international entity that people want to turn over control to is even more rabidly totalitarian than the United States.

        I don't think so. See below.

        I mean look at the critism that most Europeans have over the U.S. ... it is too easy to get guns, there aren't enough laws to restrict buisnesses, taxes are too low, "hate speech" is not punished, health care should be nationalized and controlled by a central authority, etc., etc.

        The problem isn't so clear cut, restrictions doesn
      • Europeans don't hate the US, and what contempt they do have for the US is that it is not 'too free' but rather it's too hypocritical. Everything in the US is owned by an elite few, even religious morality. If you're not Christian (or at least Jewish), you're persona non grata, if you don't want to salute a piece of graphic design denoting some red and white stripes and blue square with some stars on it you are deemed "evil". The rest of the World cares about humanity first, the nation state second. The US c
        • As someone who lives in what most of the rest of the world assumes is a backwater state in the US, let me respond to some of this:
          If you're not Christian (or at least Jewish), you're persona non grata,

          I've never seen evidence of this in public life. I'm sure there are instances of this in the US, but it's more of a case of individuals being assholes than Americans being assholes. The government does a pretty good job of not descriminating by religion.

          if you don't want to salute a piece of graphic design de

      • by Anonymous Coward
        I mean look at the critism that most Europeans have over the U.S. ... it is too easy to get guns, there aren't enough laws to restrict buisnesses, taxes are too low, "hate speech" is not punished, health care should be nationalized and controlled by a central authority, etc., etc. They are not complaining for the most part that the U.S. restricts freedoms, they are complaining that the U.S. is too free and a "cowboy culture"

        No.

        Europe is complaining how freedom of press [rsf.org] is [wikipedia.org] killed [guardian.co.uk]. Europe is complaining how f
  • He's Against It (Score:5, Informative)

    by blamanj ( 253811 ) on Thursday November 10, 2005 @09:53PM (#14004172)
    The writeup does a lousy job of telling us what the bill is about. It is apparently legislation to create a statutory framework for Internet Protocol and Broadband Services [house.gov].

    Here's what Cerf says: My fear is that, as written, this bill would do great damage to the Internet as we know it.
    • But I'm still left without any understanding of what this "Legislation" is. Vint Cerf has read it apparently, but as it stands this is nothing but an ominous portent. What is actual content of this proposed law?
    • Sorry, but the title of your comment made me think of this and I just had to post it.

      I don't know what they have to say,
      it makes no difference anyway -
      whatever it is, I'm against it!
      No matter what it is or who commenced it,
      I'm against it!

      Your proposition may be good,
      but let's have one thing understood -
      whatever it is, I'm against it!
      And even when you've changed it or condensed it,
      I'm against it!

      I'm opposed to it.
      On general principles I'm opposed to it.

      For months before my s

  • Anarchy is good (Score:2, Informative)

    by mwaggs_jd ( 887826 )
    lack of any form of control had worked very well, and the internet is a perfect example of anarchy in action. Absolute freedom has led to unthought of inovation, stifling this with government oversite would be a huge step backwards. The internet is a place where people have the ability to do anything, and the requirement of deciding what they will or will not view. This is truely democratic, unfortunately, most people do not want freedom, they want pre-digested content sanitized for thier use. Blah. If
  • by grasshoppa ( 657393 ) <skennedy@@@tpno-co...org> on Thursday November 10, 2005 @10:01PM (#14004216) Homepage
    This guy is wasting his breath. The people making the decisions now are motivated by greed.

    "A little control won't hurt anybody, and it will line my pockets a bit." That's the mentality we're faced with, only multiplied by a couple 100's of thousand of greedy PHBs.

    The only real way to fight that, that I've come up with at least, is spaid or neutering your local politician. Then electronically tag them.

    Please, think of the children.
  • by msbsod ( 574856 ) on Thursday November 10, 2005 @10:03PM (#14004225)
    "No gatekeepers", no "control in the middle of the network"? Unfortunately this is no longer true. Remember why the World Wide Web was developed at CERN (Europe)? Because physicists wanted to exchange documents in a network of computers, their computers. By now the networks of most research labs and universities have been taken over my inept administrators who call themself network managers. Researchers can no longer use their computers as web servers. Now all has to go through controlled centralized machines, run the administrators. Even simple e-mail exchange from computer to computer no longer work. Now we need mail exchangers, which again are centralized controlled systems. Of course the administrators love to point out that this is all a matter of policies and security. Policies made by the administrators and security problems cause by the administors' insecure Microsoft Windows systems. It gets worse. Not only do such centralized gatekeepers limit our freedom as researchers, they also cost money. A lot of money, which is deducted from the research budgets. The Internet is changing, no doubt. It is happening in Europe, the US, Asia, all over the world.
    • Disclaimer: Like many other readers, I work in IT, though not in network administration or anything similar.

      Researchers can no longer use their computers as web servers.

      Most researchers I know don't have the technical knowledge to run any web server, let alone a secure one, and they have no desire to learn. Even if they did, the web is a different place today than it was in the early 90's. When the web was started at CERN, the Internet was still a relatively closed network, where people behaved themselves
  • My inet provider ... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Empty Yo ( 828138 ) on Thursday November 10, 2005 @10:16PM (#14004299)
    Just announced in their annual industry meeting that they are considering QoS penalties on IP services that compete with their own offerings (phone, inet, tv), so I'm seeing this evolve in Canada first hand. The speaker used the highway metaphor, saying that the company was tired of providing the highway at their cost while others rode on it for free. I spoke to him afterwards and reminded him that my inet packets spend over 99% of their time on the Internet and only a small percentage of time on his company's network, making the more apt metaphor a door instead of a highway. I then asked him whether he considered it fair for the person holding the door to dictate where I went and what I did once I walked through, especially since I had already paid the doorman to walk through in the first place. It turned into quite a lively debate.
  • Dear Gods.... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by barefootgenius ( 926803 ) on Thursday November 10, 2005 @11:05PM (#14004515)
    Give the internet to the universities, at least that way the thing will work, the universities can make money, nerds will be happy, and it might still be able to be saved from business focused ideals.

    And I don't mean just the universities in the west, all of them from Iran to Iran (sorry, but it is a sphere). Let them sort it out because if we leave it to any government, its a lost battle.

    Don't get me wrong, the U.S.A. has done a fine job of inventing and managing the system so far, but unfortunately now they appear to have turned into a pack of paranoid, power grabbing, business controlled, idiots.

    Its turning from, "Government for the people, by the people, and of the people" to, "Government of the people, by the corporate, behind the lobby group".
  • Every time I see Vint Cerf's name, there is a split second where I confuse him with Bennett Cerf, and I think: "Why would they be soliciting the opinion of a pun writer about this?"
  • The remarkable social impact and economic success of the Internet is in many ways directly attributable to the architectural characteristics that were part of its design. The Internet was designed with no gatekeepers over new content or services. The Internet is based on a layered, end-to-end model that allows people at each level of the network to innovate free of any central control. By placing intelligence at the edges rather than control in the middle of the network, the Internet has created a platform
  • This has led to an explosion of offerings - from VOIP to 802.11x wi-fi to blogging

    From cheap 1-800 numbers to stealing neighbours bandwidth to emo kids crossing the street instead of walking down the road...

Nothing ever becomes real until it is experienced. - John Keats

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