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The idea of Net Neutrality has been getting lots more attention lately. I'm just wondering how you feel about it.

Incase you don't know what Net Neutrality is, here is a great link to a small video that explains it all very well: http://www.publicknowledge.org/node/307

I voted that its possibly the worst thing to ever happen to the internet, as it violates our personal rights.

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Last Post by The Geeky Kid
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Net neutrality is negative in my opinion. Many companies can exploit it to their advantage, which in the end would end up harming the users (duh!).

If that happens, I think that we here at DaniWeb would be obligated to build our own provider which is totally neutral. Will you be ready to answer when you hear the call? ;)

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In a free market, the market will speak.

If ISPs are liable for damages or prosecution if their users have access to certain sites (and they are, especially when it comes to sites promoting or enabling criminal activity) I see nothing wrong with ISPs having the option to deny their users access to those sites.

That's the flipside of the coin. Everyone is always speaking about the "evil companies" restricting their customers, but those customers make it so that such becomes inevitable if the company isn't to break the law.

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An ISP is a business, not a U.S. Government agency, so the 1st Ammendment (freedom of... expression) doesn't apply. If an ISP blocks a website's ability to express itself to you, that is completely THEIR right, and doesn't violate anyone else's consitutional rights.

So, I'm not clear what "personal rights" you're referring to in your post.

An analogy might help: you have every right to eat hamburgers. However, a restaurant is not therefore obligated to have hamburgers on their menu. The can choose what they serve, and that violates no one's rights.

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But shouldn't certain things be regulated by the government? Thats what this is all about. I think this should be regulated by the government. If we don't do something now, this can really get out of hand later.

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Government regulations are, in principle, in the interest of public safety. Thus, in my analogy, there are government regulations about the quality of meat, meat inspection, etc.

An ISP is a business, and if they choose the questionable business practice of taking a financial interest in say, a search engine, and then deny or degrade access to competing search engines, then I simply choose a different ISP.

That's how a free-market economy works.

In fact, I WANT my ISP to block certain sites. Whenever I get a phishing email, I report it to:

1) The company they are spoofing (Paypal, Ebay)
2) The registrar for the domain hosting the spoof site
3) MY ISP, in the hopes that they'll blacklist that site to protect their customers.

So, I'm compelled to choice number 1 in your poll. I'm not sure that your poll choices are very clear... is number 3 meant to be a vote FOR or AGAINST a U.S. law enforcing Net Neutrality?

Now, in the case of locations where there may be only one ISP, then I would perhaps feel differently.

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Reading the excellent Wiki on the topic, I was struck by the irony of this quote: ""allowing broadband carriers to control what people see and do online would fundamentally undermine the principles that have made the Internet such a success." by Tim Wu.

What's ironic is that Google, through the Adwords/Adsense technology and their hyping of the SEO industry, has dramatically altered "what people see and do online", and in my opinion, this has indeed fundamentally undermined Internet principles. Yet, Tim Wu is Google's Vice-President.

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But shouldn't certain things be regulated by the government? Thats what this is all about. I think this should be regulated by the government. If we don't do something now, this can really get out of hand later.

No, everything that you let the government regulate is a reduction of your freedom.

What if the government doesn't want you to see websites critical to itself, they could (if you let the government regulate what ISPs can pass to their customers) just tell ISPs to block those sites.

Think that's farfetched? Just look at China, North Korea, Vietnam, Cuba.
Or supposedly democratic countries like France which also have such restrictions (though to a lesser degree).

No, let the free market handle it. If people don't want their internet access blocked by their ISP they'll switch to another one.
Heck, I did that once already. That ISP no longer exists...
When Yahoo tried to steal the content users had put on their free hosting service (by suddenly changing the TOS to read that everything you uploaded there became the property of Yahoo) over a third of their subscribers cleaned out their accounts and left in under a week. A week later that policy change was reversed.

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An ISP is a business, not a U.S. Government agency, so the 1st Ammendment (freedom of... expression) doesn't apply. If an ISP blocks a website's ability to express itself to you, that is completely THEIR right, and doesn't violate anyone else's consitutional rights.

So, I'm not clear what "personal rights" you're referring to in your post.

An analogy might help: you have every right to eat hamburgers. However, a restaurant is not therefore obligated to have hamburgers on their menu. The can choose what they serve, and that violates no one's rights.

That's a very interesting analogy. I really hadn't thought of it that way quite yet. I suppose in that aspect, you are correct. Perhaps then, the movement needs to move towards the creation of a government body to help regulate some of these practises? Airlines, electricity, phone/early telecom and those sorts of things where government regulated for a period of time. Granted, there where mistakes made in all of those cases, but in the interest of mitigating this likely circumstance, might it not be worth giving a try?

That said, if we where to create some sort of government oversight- I would be infavor of having the politicians take a back seat to this and setting it up "grass-roots" style so that things don't become overly convoluted.

Yeah, that'll happen....:cool:

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The FCC has already taken action, in 2004, by formulating a set of principles based on Net Neutrality, and later by making those principles part of their policy statement in 2005.

They've even levied fines against carriers who do not adhere to these principles.

Thus, there is already government regulation, of sorts, and an additional Congressional Law would be redundant and ultimately harmful, as it would no doubt provide no governance, or means of enforcement, funding for oversite/enforcement, and so on.

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Net neutrality is a silly notion if it's easy to set up your own network and connect yours to others'. If that's the case, then competition will take care of problems and distribute access efficiently and fairly. By 'easy', I mean if there are loose local regulations regarding burying of fiber, and freer regulation of the wireless spectrum. Ideally, network access would be paid by the byte, and you wouldn't choose _one_ ISP; packets would go over whichever network is cheaper and everything would be billed automatically.

However, if the governments put restrictions and fees and local permits in the way, then the only solution is regulation, with laws requiring network neutrality. It's one set of regulations trying to counterbalance another set of regulations, which is pretty silly, but common.

The conclusion? Imagining things is fun.

And overregulation by the government is the only thing that can really get out of hand. If the free-market way of doing things gets out of hand, the government can pass laws putting some controls on things (or use existing laws). If government regulation gets out of hand, it's harder to fix.

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I just watched that video, wow I had no idea this was going on.

In my opinion people should be allowed to view what they want.

Its a basic thing in my view, if they start banning one thing then it will go on and on till your freedom on the net is restricted.

Dont think the goverment will sign anything against this though, but people should not go with the providers who do it.

I voted for the wrong thing lol :rolleyes:

Then again I just heard of it today, so thats just a first opinion of the situation. :)

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Its a basic thing in my view, if they start banning one thing then it will go on and on till your freedom on the net is restricted.

But who is the "they" under question? The ISPs?

Say that you were an ultra-conservative fundamentalist, who wanted to provide an internet access service that, somehow, prevented access to all pornography-related sites. Use any other example you like: you're marketing to a certain group who want to surf the 'net without seeing "whatever".

That's a valid business model. You should have the right to start that business. A Congressional "Net Neutrality" law would violate your right to operate that business.

In any discussion of "rights", it's very important to consider all angles. Frequently, someone's "right" infringes on someone else's.

And since when was "internet access" a right or a freedom? I know I pay for mine, and I get what I pay for. If I didn't, I'd seek out another vendor.

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:) that's not the response I wanted to generate... no discussion takes place if we ignore each other. If I genuinely persuaded you to my point of view, well... good. If I didn't, feel free to keep posting!

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Yes, I thought you made a good point, and it made sence. :)

I think the people will have the ultimate choice, if one isp doesnt provide they will change.

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What? The principles of Net Neutrality? Or a Congressional Law fumbling around with our ISPs?

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Wish I'd read this and the wiki before I went off in the other 'save the internet' thread.

I have a dim view of 'free market economics'. I don't trust it, really. In theory, competition is healthy. In theory, companies will work to improve their services or lower costs to remain competitive.

In reality, the companies look at each other, and make a deal. They agree to coexist or merge, creating a situation where improvements and lower costs are not driving factors, and where any new competitors can be easily crushed or acquired.

After that, there is very little that the free market can do.
Greed seems to be much more compelling than morality.

Also, consider the effects of advertising. if you have a large company with an artificially high price for its services, it will have better advertisments and be able to operate (briefly) at cut-throat competitive rates (aka, first 3 months free!) to keep the majority of internet users (the uninformed) from looking elsewhere.

Not conducive to business.

Yes, I know. I'm exceedingly cynical and jumping straight to worst-case scenario.

But I seriously have a hard time believing that businesses in command of something as powerful as the internet would make themselves completely honest and fair if they were given the powers to discriminate based on payment.

And I still have no clue how this'd work when foreign ISPs come into play.
Will the nice, high-speed network be world-wide? Or, will you still run into problems if there's heavy activity in the UK, South Korea, or Japan?
Isn't this really just saying "Only America-America connections will benefit from legislating discriminatory networks, despite the 'World' in 'WWW'"?

It's not the worst thing that could happen to the internet, but it's a bad idea. The current system appears to be fine. If the american telecomms are in trouble, they won't disappear. If they go belly up, the users won't be able to connect, so free-market thinking suggests that the pricing and services will change to cope with the problems through technology and business rather than using law as a weapon against the American consumers.

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I have a dim view of 'free market economics'. I don't trust it, really. In theory, competition is healthy. In theory, companies will work to improve their services or lower costs to remain competitive.

Theory shmeory, just look at which countries have had freer markets and which have not over the past one hundred years and compare their quality of life today.

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What? The principles of Net Neutrality? Or a Congressional Law fumbling around with our ISPs?

Government intervention in what companies and people can and cannot do in their normal activities.

I'm not talking here about criminal activity of course. If you threaten someone's safety or take his property that's what the police are there for.
But as it is there's way too much government intervention in everyday life as it is, let's not try to make it even worse by allowing the government to determine what we can and cannot do on the internet and if we can do it how quickly we can do it.

What if the government had that right (like it does in China, Cuba, North Korea) and decides it doesn't like Dani? They'd just tell all ISPs and other companies involved in the internet to stop relaying traffic to and from Daniweb, and for all purposes Daniweb would no longer exist for all subjects of that country.
Think that is not what happens? Think again, that's exactly what happens in many countries.
Could it be worse? Yes it could. The government could next order all ISPs and routing providers to give them information on anyone trying to access Daniweb, and send the police to have a nice little chat with them (or just arrest them or make them disappear, as happens in for example China).

That's the natural end result of the government having the power to determine what you can and cannot do.

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I think the government should control the internet for U.S. citizens so that they make sure nothing is blocked from being viewed, or made difficult to obtain. They are obligated to do so under our freedom of speach amendment. Failure to do so is a failure to obide by the constitution.

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I think the government should control the internet for U.S. citizens so that they make sure nothing is blocked from being viewed, or made difficult to obtain. They are obligated to do so under our freedom of speach amendment. Failure to do so is a failure to obide by the constitution.

This is not the case. The 1st amendment says that Congress cannot pass a law abridging freedom of speech.

A private/public business, such as an ISP, has no such obligation.

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This is not the case. The 1st amendment says that Congress cannot pass a law abridging freedom of speech.

A private/public business, such as an ISP, has no such obligation.

Case in point-- the very forum you're on right now.

Congress can't make a law saying that you aren't allowed to talk about running a get-rich-quick scheme, so long as your scheme is legal. But, here at Daniweb, it would be our prerogative to delete your comment. Not that we'd do it, but we could even do it despite there not being a provision in our Terms and Conditions about your post. Why? This place is privately run-- trying to claim 1st Amendment here will just get you laughed at.

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But the ISP's have made it VERY clear, they have even said, this is what we're gonna do, like at&t said "I don't think it's fair I can't make Yahoo! pay us money to make their engine go faster than Google's."

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