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back to article Google to UN: Internet FREEDOM IS FREE, and must remain so

Google has attacked a "closed-door meeting" of United Nations' regulators organised by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) taking place next month. The Chocolate Factory claimed that some of the proposals to overhaul the 1988 comms treaty could be bad news for free speech. The company also expressed concerns that …

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Big Brother

"represented anyway by UN members from the US and Israel"

Why does that fill me with no confidence whatsoever...

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Anonymous Coward

teh interwebs are DOOOOOOOOOOMED

That is all....

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FAIL

Google : "Internet FREEDOM IS fuelled by ads, and must remain so ."

Fixed that for you.

I think youtube anno 2012 is enough proof.

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Anonymous Coward

no... FREE things are fuelled by ads, FREEDOM, comes from net neutrality...

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And that is where you are wrong...

FREE doesn't exist, if it is payed for by ads you are just paying for it indirectly.

Company X buys adds -> Google displays adds -> You consume youtube movie for "free".

You buy Company X product -> Price is reflecting costs which includes the money they payed Google -> You payed for your "free" movie.

Even if you are not the one buying the Company X product someone else will, so in the end, we are all paying for the youtube movies. EVEN if we are not the ones watching them. Seems kind of against the whole idea of Capitalism to me. Sounds more like Marxism.. But that's the way it works now..

Enjoy your Marxist system.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Freedom is fueled by engineers, not ads

"The internet was free before ads, and in those days it was a far more civilised place, with intelligent discussions and content."

... and when Gopher was more than just wildlife and Usenet was not just a place for (well) dodgy porn binaries and rotten-to-the-core ad-spam.

But then, to balance the equation, on the road to the present day we did have to tolerate ubiquitous Java applet abominations, the likes of IE3 and that awful Netscape Communicator, animated Gifs, table-based layouts etc. All highly hordid.

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Anonymous Coward

@Majid - Re: And that is where you are wrong...

Since you are so good at explaining capitalism, can you please enlighten us here and tell if a mother must send an invoice later to her baby for the maternal milk or is it OK if she displays ads to him (diapers for instance) while breastfeeding ?

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What have they got ...

... their beady eyes on to steal this time?

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Pirate

Obvious solution

The rules for the innertubes should be crowd sourced

Where the crowd sourcing simply degenerates into rival camps throwing faeces at each other the person with the most upvotes should have the last word.

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Re: Obvious solution

Where the crowd sourcing simply degenerates into rival camps throwing faeces at each other the person with the most upvotes should have the last word.

Unfortunately when it comes to throwing faeces, those who are full of sh*t will always win.

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Meh

To be fair, at least one point they make is valid

Look at all the ISPs in the UK who tried to make the Beeb pay twice for bandwidth when iPlayer launched and was hugely popular. Did the ISPs plan for this, or make efforts to mitigate the added impact on their networks that would come with such a service? Or did they just rely on being able to sell ever-higher-bandwidth network connections whose ability to provide said bandwidth was predicated on almost no bugger ever using the damn things?

I'm still glad we avoided the Beeb having to pay twice for their bandwidth (since it'd come out of our pockets anyway) but there are a number of pillocks out there who would like to say "Google/Facebook/$COMPANY got money, we should totally charge them for the privilege of offering their services in our country" (and effectively drive them out of said country, because really, balls to that). There's no real justification for this - even the capital expenditure required for developing infrastructure shouldn't have to be paid for by external companies, it should be funded internally by the service providers operating in the country. And where they start with Google or Facebook they'll quickly move to use the same tech to limit access to news services and all the rest.

So yeah, I'm sure Google have their own agenda, but that doesn't mean you can automatically dismiss their opinions. I'd much rather people took 'em to task over what they said. (For example, I strongly disagree with them over who should have a voice at the ITU - if they want their company to be represented, then they can damn well encourage all their staff to lobby their elected representatives and get representation the same way us plebs have to do it. I'm sick of this nonsense whereby companies that bring in more than X amount of cash get special representation)

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Re: To be fair, at least one point they make is valid

To be fair, I think the reason the ISP's wanted to charge the BBC is that the BBC were using partly P2P delivery, so somebody watching a program was also uploading it to people on other ISP's networks, which meant that large numbers of people were downloading not from the BBC, but from machines on the ISP's networks, which meant that the end users, and the ISP's were paying part of the cost of people watching iplayer instead of the BBC paying the entire upload cost.

If my understanding is correct, one can see why the ISP's thought the BBC were taking the piss and wanted to charge the BBC for bandwidth transferred P2P.

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Anonymous Coward

What do ISP customers pay for then?

Either they're misleading customers about what they are paying for or they were trying to get paid twice for the same data.

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Trollface

Re: To be fair, at least one point they make is valid

"meant that the end users, and the ISP's were paying part of the cost of people watching iplayer instead of the BBC paying the entire upload cost.

If my understanding is correct, one can see why the ISP's thought the BBC were taking the piss and wanted to charge the BBC for bandwidth transferred P2P."

And then of course the users would pay less?

No?

Thought not.

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Re: To be fair, at least one point they make is valid

@Peter2:

Well, except no.

The users have paid for their bandwidth. The Beeb has paid for its bandwidth, more than likely via peering partners (they already had huge sprawling web presence with vast amounts of stream-on-demand news video content, so it wasn't like they were some 2-bit blog site until iPlayer showed up). The problem that iPlayer highlighted was that ISPs were (and still) are selling bandwidth on an asymmetrical distribution model which they can only really provide by enforcing contention ratios - which means that when they are then the conduit for decentralised services (either P2P stuff like the iPlayer desktop client which IIRC uses the Kontiki client or streaming services like iPlayer, Netflix etc) their customers find the service can quite quickly degrade to Status: Brown.

If the problem is that an entire sector of communications providers have all failed to actually sell products they can provide and instead rely on an unpublicised market condition remaining prevalent despite changing usage patterns, then I fail to see how it's anyone else's fault that those changing patterns bit them in the arse. They wouldn't ever have had the balls to go after a private corporate doing similar things, because they knew they'd be invited to court and asked to explain why exactly they were talking complete bollocks with felonious bellendery aforethough: whereas given the number of folks in power who have an axe to grind against the Beeb, going against them was a much safer bet (even though the general public would respond badly when they eventually realised that a win for the ISPs would mean an increase in the TV licence cost without a corresponding decrease in their monthly broadband costs).

TL, DR: Err, no.

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Anonymous Coward

No, no, no!

It's the US not the UN that must have total control of the Internet.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Open standards, open tech and open source

This has nothing to do with standards or technologies, it is all about politics and there is no open (source) politics.

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International privilege

This is about national sovereignty and defining what is truly "international". As per usual, by controlling the conversation (of course).

Making people play by capitalist "rules" isolates progressive thought, obfuscates truths and hinders freedom even further. Don't draw us into your squabbles over money. Supply and demand could have a real relationship if there weren't third party(s) trying to pull the strings.

If one country really doesn't like what the other is doing, start a war and take it over so you can go impose your own personal hawks and boneheads. Sounds like the story of everything pre 21st century... (not that we've progressed far in stopping that). Idealism has a place... often it's not your version of what's practical.

When you drive a car in a different country, be prepared to follow the rules of the road there... or have your driving privileges revoked.

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Paying for links to the peering point

The system has worked fine for years: ISPs agree on a set of peering points, I pay for the connection from me to those points, you pay for the connection from you to them. We split the cost of the points themselves. It doesn't matter whether you're a "server" or "client": you just pay for the size of pipe you want. Of course it's more expensive if you're further off the beaten track, so getting a 100Mbps link right in the middle of a London datacentre is much cheaper than getting one to my home in Scotland.

The shift to charging "server" users more so they subsidise "client" ones is a betrayal of the equality that marked the Net from the outset, as well as plain old greed on the ISP's part. Now, if other countries want to demand bribes from the likes of Google, who do you think will end up having to pay that? The users - either through getting squeezed harder with more and more ads, or outright subscription charges.

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Anonymous Coward

as someone with an ancient HNC in Telecommunications

who has actually installed very large antenna systems on the top of the ITU building in dear Geneva, and has read all of the 'secret' ITU documents (some of the ITU national-delegates themselves have helpfully put up a mirror site where many of their tedious internal discussion papers are revealed)

it's all a bit vague!

I suppose one interpretation is that there's a push from the currently slightly less democratic nations to have some say on what enters/leaves their nation. Plus at the same time it can be seen that there's a push to make end-users pay a sort of internet micro tax in-order to have the data delivered to their devices. (again)

I think it's a return to the old state monopoly telco values, "we want to be in control & we want paying handsomely" I think many governments are supporting the ITU ideas.

internet will become bulk-data will be just a regulated distorted 'open market' commodity - very similar to gas/water/electricity - pay a monthly bill. The likelihood of taking some of the advert & privacy stealing dollars away from the Google/Apple/Facebook end-points and re-distributing the money to the transmission system is seemingly inevitable. As for loss of freedom in the intertubes - sigh, that happened a while ago methinks.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: as someone with an ancient HNC in Telecommunications

Of course it's done with old state monopoly telco values, because governments have the power in ITU. With the privatisation and commercialisation of the Internet and telecoms the balance of power in ITU should have shifted.

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Stop

Right to be cautious

When China, Russia, and various Middle East countries start talking about how to manage the internet, you can be damn sure their priorities are not internet access or free speech.

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