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FCC challenges app makers to protect open Internet

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posted on Jan, 5 2011 @ 09:26 PM
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FCC challenges app makers to protect open Internet


news.yahoo.com

U.S. regulators are asking software developers in an "Open Internet Challenge" to create apps that let Internet users know when their service provider -- fixed or mobile -- is interfering with content.

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is trying to get consumers to help police Internet service providers for network management abuses such as slowing bandwidth-hogging content from movies.

"open" Internet as a "platform that enables consumer choice, freedom of expression, comp
(visit the link for the full news article)




posted on Jan, 5 2011 @ 09:26 PM
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Here is the second power grab by the FCC in as many weeks. This is equally as bad as the overall ISP regulations recently put in place a few weeks ago and in a number of ways worse.

This will have a chilling effect on innovation in the app space as people will shy away from using applications on mobile devices when they consider the potential privacy implications of the federal government tracking who is using which applications and for what reasons.

It will also reduce the incentive to innovate in the network space. If the government is going to prioritize what is "good" traffic vs. what is "bad" traffic, why would a network provider invest in upgrading their network? All the government will do is raise the standard response times for "good" traffic, hence the network provider, wanting to invest in network upgrades for the sole purpose of having sufficient bandwidth/performance to give their clients a quality experience regardless of their usage patterns will still suffer the tiering enforced by the government. The competition in the network space, on both the provider and supplier side will be reduced.

The intent of this is to "open" up the app space to folks who are not interested in playing on either the google or apple platforms. It will drive up the cost of those platforms as it will mean more mandated interoperability. It will also mean more reporting from those carriers (at additional cost passed on to you) regarding application usage.

With the huge number of applications available on these platforms today, many for free, why the FCC needs to regulate the back-end characteristics of applications can only be for one reason and that is to gain a better understanding of who is using what. Once the essential mandates are in place, the FCC will require reporting regarding which apps are used, by who, the network implications and the impact on back-end infrastructure.

The essential infrastructure for this kind of data capture is obviously available for pc/mac based applications, but currently does not exist for mobile apps.

There is only one real reason for doing this and that is the building a cradle to grave on-line profile for everyone. There are many ways the internet is used by people in a mobile capacity than they do on a PC. This will drive the government into that space - under the guise of "opening up" the internet.

For folks who think that this is merely about ensuring that network capacity and performance is all that this is about, explain how they get the information regarding what is being used, how the bandwidth is being utilized absent completely understanding how you are using that bandwidth.

This also gets the government ultimately in the business of classifying what applications are more "important than others". Why is one application more deserving than bandwidth than another? Who makes that determination? Is looking at Whitehouse.gov more deserving than Pokerstars.net? Why?

news.yahoo.com
(visit the link for the full news article)



posted on Jan, 5 2011 @ 10:42 PM
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I don't think you understand the situation.

Corporations want to control what websites you can and can't visit. They want to block their competitors websites and services so you can't see or use them. They want to block peer-to-peer file sharing services because people use them too much. Some are even blocking Voice Over Internet Protocol applications because they compete with their commercial VOIP businesses. Some even want to charge you extra for viewing videos on the internet. To sum it all up, it is the corporations that want to censor and control the internet.

Net Neutrality (FCC) is fighting to PREVENT the corporations from controlling the internet, and trying to keep it open and free.

The only way to fight, and keep the internet open and free, is to detect and report when corporations (your internet service provider) block or censor content. It would help to have an application that does just that. As a programmer, I might just make a quick program that does that. I have a good method that could do it.

In order for the FCC to keep the internet open and free from blockage or censorship by corporations, the customers of those corporations must notify the FCC when they detect the corporations blocking or censoring data.

I was just talking to someone about this yesterday on ATS. It would insure the internet stays open and free if the customers knew how to detect wrong doing by their ISPs and report it.

edit on 5-1-2011 by gift0fpr0phecy because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 5 2011 @ 11:04 PM
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reply to post by gift0fpr0phecy
 


Its a matter of open competition. If a service provider is blocking traffic and denying your ability to use the net in the manner in which you choose, you can switch providers to one that does not do that. Providers will promote open policies and it will become a competetive advantage. To the extent that there is insufficient flexibility in the provider market, it will create opportunity for new firms to enter and disrupt the market.

What this current regulation would do is strip out that free market component of what is a huge marketplace and one that is already dominated by only a few players.

The market would work. It might take a bit of time to work, but eventually it would work. The government's meddling in the commercial space of the providers will never stop and will only get more intrusive and drive more artificial costs into the market.

The government madates regarding app usage and history will only get more expansive, never less. In order to perform the regulation, by definition the government will need to collect usage data and will require that it be broken down, first regionally, then demographically and then down to the individual in the guise of seeking to understand the usage and hence tailor the regulations to enhance web usage for everyone.

As in the cases with phone records and existing isp controls, all of that data will be subject to a warrantless search by the government. Indeed they may in fact hold the information making such a protocol as a search warrant meaningless.

Far better to have certain web functionality disrupted for a short period of time than place the yoke of government with all of its inherent intrusiveness, incompetence and intolerance into the medium which has become a vital and integral component of the modern lifestyle.



posted on Jan, 6 2011 @ 02:04 AM
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Originally posted by dolphinfan
Its a matter of open competition. If a service provider is blocking traffic and denying your ability to use the net in the manner in which you choose, you can switch providers to one that does not do that.


That is a common and flawed argument.

Not all people have the luxury of switching providers. Contracts, cancellation fees, installation and activation fees, hardware fees, etc., make it hard and expensive to switch. There are some small cities that only have access to one or two service providers, and some people have no choice which one to choose.

Allowing corporations (service providers) to discriminate data and websites is a HUGE MISTAKE and should be opposed immediately. It will allow them to crush and destroy the competitive market on the internet for their own behalf, and threaten the very existence of the internet. There will be nothing stopping any service providers from blocking content. It doesn't guarantee a 100% free and open internet from anyone.


Originally posted by dolphinfan
Providers will promote open policies and it will become a competetive advantage. To the extent that there is insufficient flexibility in the provider market, it will create opportunity for new firms to enter and disrupt the market.


The internet is already open..... What you are suggesting is allowing corporations to close parts of the internet so they can sell you and or charge you extra to open the internet back up. That is outright madness.

If we already have an open internet, why allow corporations to close parts of the internet just so they can compete to open it back up? That is wrong on many levels.



Originally posted by dolphinfan
What this current regulation would do is strip out that free market component of what is a huge marketplace and one that is already dominated by only a few players.


What Net Neutrality would do is prevent corporations from closing the internet and selling it back to you piece by piece. It will prevent corporations from killing the free market on the internet.

Allowing corporations to block it's competitors will destroy the open and free markets on the internet. For example, Verizon (service provider) and Google (search engine) are now partners. If you allow Verizon to discriminate content, nothing would stop them from blocking Yahoo, Bing, or any other future search engine that may compete with Google. This closes the doors to the search engine market completely, and any new innovative search engine will not stand a chance against the already established giants like Google. This completely murders the internet as we know it.

It wouldn't stop with search engines either. Next thing that could happen is online stores (Amazon.com for example) will partner with service providers (Verizon for example), and nothing would stop Verizon from blocking access to all other competitive online stores. Future stores created by John Doe in his garage won't stand a chance against the giants, because nobody will be able to visit their online stores.

What you and the corporations are favoring is a service provider market bubble. You are willing to destroy the established free internet market that any John Doe in his garage can participate in, in favor for a tiny service provider bubble that would take millions of dollars and huge investments to participate in. That is highly illogical and is a step BACKWARDS for the internet.



Originally posted by dolphinfan
The market would work. It might take a bit of time to work, but eventually it would work.


I can't disagree with you more. You are favoring the destruction of the free internet market just to chase another uncertain market bubble which only a few could ever imagine competing in.


Originally posted by dolphinfan
The government's meddling in the commercial space of the providers will never stop and will only get more intrusive and drive more artificial costs into the market.


The corporations meddling with the internet will never stop and will only get more intrusive and drive more internet services, businesses, and websites out of the market.

Net Neutrality is the only hope we have to save the internet. It's one of the few occasions the government will ever be useful. The government doesn't even need to be intrusive to enforce it either if customers report corporations blocking their open internet.


Originally posted by dolphinfan
The government madates regarding app usage and history will only get more expansive, never less. In order to perform the regulation, by definition the government will need to collect usage data and will require that it be broken down, first regionally, then demographically and then down to the individual in the guise of seeking to understand the usage and hence tailor the regulations to enhance web usage for everyone.


That is not entirely true. The government doesn't need to monitor anything, or collect any usage data at all. If the internet is to remain open and free, the only thing the government needs to do to enforce an open and free internet is investigate complaints about blocked access by customers.

That is what your OP is about, they are encouraging the creation of applications that customers can use to determine if their service provider is not following the law. There is no need for the government to be a middle man.


Originally posted by dolphinfan
As in the cases with phone records and existing isp controls, all of that data will be subject to a warrantless search by the government. Indeed they may in fact hold the information making such a protocol as a search warrant meaningless.


I don't think that is true either. There is no reason at all for them to keep phone records, or data records, or do any searches without warrants.

For example, if I try to access AboveTopSecret, but Verizon blocked AboveTopSecret and or forwarded me to a Verizon sponsored conspiracy forum, I should be able to file a complaint with the FCC, and they should investigate it. They don't need anything from me, they just need to contact Verizon and figure out why I can't visit ATS. If that means doing tests on their service to see if access to ATS is available, that doesn't require any warrants. You can do that from your home computer or mobile phone externally with an application (which your OP is suggesting should be created).



Originally posted by dolphinfan
Far better to have certain web functionality disrupted for a short period of time than place the yoke of government with all of its inherent intrusiveness, incompetence and intolerance into the medium which has become a vital and integral component of the modern lifestyle.


No, it is NOT better to ever disrupt any web functionality EVER. Also, no, the government doesn't even need to intrude to investigate disruptions, it can be tested externally, legally.




 
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