Friday, April 28, 2006

Telcos Limit Internet Freedom

This is a damn good reason why the United States should not have proprietary control over the Internet.Faced with the challenge by the big Telcos, AT&T has returned like the ghost of Trusts past, net neutrality has been shot down in favour of the corporate Telco oligopolies. Suddenly the concerns raised by the EU and others about the US control over the Internet seem less chicken little than prescient.

A host of tech outfits, from Google to Intel, suffered a setback in a battle over access to the Internet on Apr. 26. At issue is whether telcos like AT&T and cable operators such as Comcast, which maintain the country's vast broadband networks, can favor one provider's Web traffic over another's. A measure that would bar the practice was shot down by a Congressional committee. Tech Giants' Internet Battles

And wouldn't you know it but the guy who is responsible for this travesty is none other than Colin Powell's little boy Michael. You know the guy who got upset over a nipple being shown during the Superbowl. Who then pushed for 'decency' regulations over both non cable and cable networks in the US. Censorship by any other name.

The version of the bill passed on Wednesday includes four "principles" put forward by Michael Powell, former chairman of the FCC, the communications regulator. It would allow the FCC to take action against service providers if they block subscribers' access to legal websites or services but does not prevent price differentiation. Telecoms groups win 'net neutrality' battle in Congress

And if you don't think that the issue of 'decency', affects you well check this out;

Wireless Carriers Set Strict Decency Standards for Content

As music and video programming becomes widely available for cellphones, major U.S. wireless carriers are quietly setting strict decency standards for their content partners in an effort to stave off criticism from customers and regulators. Many of the rules go far beyond those set by federal regulators for television and radio.

The rules, which bar sexually explicit or graphic content, have sparked concern among media providers. Some have already been forced to alter or remove hip-hop ringtones, video clips or other material that wireless operators considered offensive, people familiar with the situation say. The wireless industry trade group, CTIA-The Wireless Association, issued broad content guidelines in November, but largely left it to the carriers to implement their own policies.

As we all know decency is just the excuse to limit free speech period. And the worst offender is not the State, but the corporations themsleves as they self censor. Now the Telcos will be able to limit access to the Internet, censor it and charge you more for it. Oh joy.

According to the watchdog group Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting, "large corporations are a more common source of censorship than governments ... The most frequent form of censorship is self-censorship." Revealing images contrary to the official narrative often end up on the cutting room floor. Hustler Magazine's editorial director, Bruce David, asserts: "The job of the media is to keep the American people calm. It won't show them anything that threatens the ruling elite. It'll show eating bugs on `Survivor' because it doesn't threaten the system. But it won't show casualties of war and flag-draped coffins, because they look at that as a dagger at the heart of the system the corporate media protects."Anything goes today, or does it?

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Scruffy Dan said...

As far as I understand the whole net neutrality argument, it only applies to end useres (customers) of a particular ISP. In other words the only people who will suffer if this comes to pass, are the customers of american ISPs, us Canadians are safe for now... but Canadian ISPs are starting to ask governments to strike down net neutrality laws in Canada

eugene plawiuk said...

My understanding was that it will impact in Canada since our ISP's etc. run on the American Internet backbone.

Scruffy Dan said...

I really do not think this is a backbone issue, from what I have heard this is strictly a ISP to customer issue the backbone would not be altered in anyway, our ISPs use American backbones, but they would be up in arms if all of a sudden their access to the backbone was reduced. Canadian ISPs are not up in arms over this legislation, but they do want to implement a similar legislation, and some already have. Shaw for instance throttles back bandwidth when a user uses bit torrent.

This kind of legislation is ridiculous. We pay for Internet access from the ISPs companies like google buy bandwidth. everything is paid for, the ISPs just want to get paid twice.