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Net Neutrality - Ireland neutral or lazy ?


cyberianpan

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Just wondering ... in general much of the standards, protocols & operating backbone of the www are managed out of the US ... given the prevalence & popularity of the net this raises fundamental issues of commerce, liberty & governance.

Slashdot said:
Debate

Neat example of debate spanning tech issues to liberty & politics
Consider the recent net neutrality issue:

the kernel of the potential for abuse is say:

That large telephony & infrastructure providers might put in place discriminatory fees. I.e. instead of charging fee based on traffic throughput that they'd factor it in who the supplier is.

This could lead to bizarre scenarios whereby Microsoft could form alliances with AT&T say & make Google traffic 2x more expensive than any other sites etc. Large ISPs might ban sites (some say yeah fine for kiddy porn but what about say censorship of other sites ?)

My point (& I have one) is that this is a hot political topic in the US at the moment (reference above debate) - however here in Ireland this is not a hot topic nor do we have any power.

The level of solution desired is similar to the fundamental regulatory basis we have that affords efficient & transparent financial markets. In regulated exchanges the various players have segregated , well understood roles. This transparency creates a roughly level playing field. Any change to our regulated markets regieme would be hotly debated in Westminister, Strasbourg & Brussels (and to a lesser extent Dublin).

Issues such as this require fundamental political resolution & thus consideration. It would be glib to blame our politicians or to say that we are powerless but do we have the competence & interest to deal with this type of matter here ?


cYp
 

owenfeehan

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Is there any evidence the US has actually used its influence over the internet in a way which advantages their nation and disadvantages other?

The only thing I can think of is the way it assigns .gov, .mil and .edu domain names to US institutions, but these don't seem to be be used outside the US (is this an actual rule, or just trends?).

Theroetically, I'm all for the net being owned and managed multilaterly by some sort of international institution. It's the way it should be done to avoid potential abuse.

But there is another voice in my head which says, if it ain't broke, why fix it?
 

cyberianpan

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owenfeehan said:
Is there any evidence the US has actually used its influence over the internet in a way which advantages their nation and disadvantages other?

The only thing I can think of is the way it assigns .gov, .mil and .edu domain names to US institutions, but these don't seem to be be used outside the US (is this an actual rule, or just trends?).

Theroetically, I'm all for the net being owned and managed multilaterly by some sort of international institution. It's the way it should be done to avoid potential abuse.

But there is another voice in my head which says, if it ain't broke, why fix it?
No no abuse to date but my point is that we are relying on the hard political work to be done in the US also. It is fine outsourcing technical fulfillment & even some tactical negotiations but we are leaving the whole strategy debate to US people. As can be seen from the Slashdot thread it is a furious , passionate & important one. The policy is yet to be decided !

It's sorta like we're saying "We're fine in our caves here, ye US guys just supply us with that nice civilisationthing please". Just cos it is internet related doesn't mena that we ought dodge the issues ! This is on Capitol Hill & in the West Wing at the moment, why not an issue for us ?

cYp
 

jmcc

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owenfeehan said:
The only thing I can think of is the way it assigns .gov, .mil and .edu domain names to US institutions, but these don't seem to be be used outside the US (is this an actual rule, or just trends?).
The .edu extension is open to all degree granting universities and colleges I think.

Theroetically, I'm all for the net being owned and managed multilaterly by some sort of international institution. It's the way it should be done to avoid potential abuse.
If you want an example of how a bunch of political assholes can mess up the net - look at the .eu mess. An incompetent registry that basically left a bunch of US squatters register the bulk of .eu domains. And as for the UN - a bunch of crooks and communists who want to balkanise the net.

But there is another voice in my head which says, if it ain't broke, why fix it?
That's the way most of the people who work on the net think at the moment. It is hard enough keeping the net working without having to contend with political interference from idiots who haven't a clue.

Regards...jmcc
 

cyberianpan

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jmcc said:
But there is another voice in my head which says, if it ain't broke, why fix it?
That's the way most of the people who work on the net think at the moment. It is hard enough keeping the net working without having to contend with political interference from idiots who haven't a clue.

Regards...jmcc
It is indeed but the issue here is that the mature big tech businesses are trying to avoid being regulated. The people fighting them, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, FSF , etc are themeselves techies. Unfortunately as the technology matures & an accepted part of our society it becomes politicised. Same as finance, the hotshots of exhange alley were fine for a while ...

cYp
 

ibis

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jmcc said:
But there is another voice in my head which says, if it ain't broke, why fix it?
That's the way most of the people who work on the net think at the moment. It is hard enough keeping the net working without having to contend with political interference from idiots who haven't a clue.
Hmm. The problem is that it is "broke", in the sense that there was a regulation in place that ensured "net neutrality" (carrier regulations), but it was removed. I'm not sure why the campaign doesn't focus on this "restore net neutrality" angle, rather than allowing themselves to look like they're the ones asking for something new.

While I cordially detest the idea of regulations applying specifically to the Net, drafted by legislatures who usually have no idea whatsoever about the technology, I do think in this case that some legislation is required - although I would prefer it in a general sense of "carrier neutrality" rather than some Net-specific amendment.

In the wider sense, the argument is held in the US because there isn't sufficient at stake here in Ireland. It will probably be debated at the EU level before long, but there you have nutters suggesting taxes on email and the like, so I'm not 100% optimistic.

jmcc, are you actually taking up the "don't regulate the Net" angle on this particular issue? It looks as if you are from your post, but I find it very surprising!
 

jmcc

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I remain puzzled by the lack of political interest here in this issue

cYp
Look at the particularly low technological quality of the politicans. No real surprise in a country where some areas cannot even get decent broadband or water.
 

cyberianpan

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Look at the particularly low technological quality of the politicans. No real surprise in a country where some areas cannot even get decent broadband or water.
Agree that our politicians are especially inept...but why doesn't this topic get more debate here for example ?

cYp
 

jmcc

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Agree that our politicians are especially inept...but why doesn't this topic get more debate here for example ?

cYp
Few people even realise its importance and it seems to be a deeply complex area for those without a technological or policy background. Many people treat P.ie like some kind of Facebook for quips and slagging. As such, reasoned posts on important topics are becoming rarer. It is moving from a discussion driven forum to being a chat driven forum.
 

jcdf

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I don't see how something like the global telecommunications network or internet can ever really be a neutral medium. I just don't see how that can work.

To the best of my understanding Utilities like water, electricity or phones normally reside within a singular state. They don't cross political boundaries. The laws of the host state dominates the utility within. So a utility that spans many most or all states of the world, like the global telecommunications network, would be subject to which states laws.
 
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