back to article Google on defensive as Facebook joins net neutrality fight

Facebook has joined the assault on the Google/Verizon network-neutrality proposal just as Google published a spirited defense of what it says "has become a very contentious issue." "Facebook continues to support principles of net neutrality for both landline and wireless networks," Facebook's head of public policy …


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  1. James Woods

    it's all just dust on the horizon

    Internet2 exists to cater more specifically to corporate interests. If you take a look at who's funding it well I need not say anything else.

    Internet2 however never took off as planned and instead (or perhaps) by design it has been slowly injected into our current interwebz.

    Internet1 and Unix in general pretty much were designed around the do no evil concept. It's one of the reasons spam filtering wasn't provided and is basically frowned upon in the rfc's since nobody imagined the systems would be abused to the extent that they are. It's also why unix machines by default usually have very lapse security. They were designed to be multi-user production machines not botnet drops and spamming pools.

    So with the winds of the internet changing these larger isps att/verizon who pretty much have immunity as it is against any type of spam/abuse complaints will continue to whine about not having more control.

    Fortunately for the rest of us verizon is going broke, can't comment on at&t but im sure they aren't in any better shape.

    These companies have fundamental issues that come with their monopoly status. Every so often i'll speak to a network operator or upper member of management of an ISP who writes large checks to these backbones and it just so happens these companies also provide them with wireless and phone service and all it takes is for these people to get jacked around at home for them to tear up these contracts.

    I know i've done it, it all comes with being a monopoly.

    Verizon has absolutely no plan for the future and from the looks of this neither does at&t. So when you can't sell anything furthering your monopoly status seems to be popular.

    1. Tigra 07 Silver badge

      Think of the time that could be saved...

      Would it be possible to actually build spam filtering into the internet, rather than the email infrastructure?

      1. Sirius Lee

        Who decides what is spam?

        Your spam is my friend sending me lurid gossip that just happens to contain the V word or the S word or a tale about growing Ps.

        The challenge is not one of infrastructure. If it were, despite the original 'open' design the problem would be fixed. A serious challenge is what constitutes spam. Sure there's the obvious ones selling V and bigger Ps but much is not so clear cut. An advertiser wanting to sell a product is spam to someone who happens not to want the product but a great idea to someone who does.

        My email service provider start blocking email using a technique called Forward confirmed reverse DNS. This trick checks the IP address of the sender of the email matches the IP address of the domain. Sounds good but individuals and even corporations do not have their networks set up so precisely - a scenario that will happen no matter how good the protocol. As a result, I found legitimate email was being bounced. This constitutes a legal infringement and when asked the ISP stopped using the technique.

        So I contend that some uptopian dream of a spam free world is not possible under any circumstances unless its also the even more draconian world of no email.

        1. Tigra 07 Silver badge

          RE: Sirius Lee

          I remember that argument from before.

          But i also remember the one about blocking people sending massive amounts of email out all the same

          Blocking that cuts out a lot of the spam.

          It would work unless they wanted to write personally every spam message differently - and even then it will affect such a small amount of people that no-one will care

          The only down side i can see is chain letters and hoax emails might be caught, but they're pretty much spam anyway.

  2. Tom 35 Silver badge

    AT&T wireless headman...

    Ralph de la Vega called the proposal a "reasonable framework."

    So it's total crap for consumers then.

    1. Gannon (J.) Dick


      Weasel Word.

      What he means is "reasonable" = I get what I want .

      What he wants you to think is "reasonable" = logical = fair.

      In fact, there is no reasoning system which can differentiate between packets without knowing their origin, or looking inside. That is the antithesis of a "reasonable" network which treats all traffic the same.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm with Facebook on this one

    Don't like them toll roads...

    1. Lou Gosselin

      It's not just about unmetered access.

      It's just as much about having equal access.

      Even under fixed payment plans verizon could prioritize traffic for youtube (for example) at the expense of some other service.

      Net neutrality ensures that users get an equal share of bandwidth, and that they choose how they wish to allocate that bandwidth. The alternative, where verizon gets to dictate which services to prioritize, means that small scale developers will likely be at a disadvantage.

  4. rdub

    Please elaborate.

    1) this is an issue that almost no one understands. i only recently quit google and i don't understand it, and most of my friends that still work there don't fully understand it.

    it would be really awesome if you could explain what it all means instead of paraphrasing press releases and regurgitating snarky slurs about how big and chocolate-factory-like google is. what does it really mean for the consumer, or a big internet company, or a small internet company? what precedents exist for the growth and subsequent regulation (or lack thereof) of such a network?

    for example, why do we need governments to step in and enforce "net neutrality" legislation in the first place? As far as I understand, this is the sort of thing that a liquid market in service providers would sort out on its own, except that the US has a problem in that it gave local monopolies to various service providers decades ago, so consumers don't have an option to switch when they get fed up with one provider's BS, hence we have to regulate them, because there's no choice.

    google is claiming that the wireless space is different than the wired space. Google made a power play in the FCC auction a few years ago but, to read their press releases, they've been seeking some sort of "compromise" with Verizon ever since.

    anyway, it's just annoying that i can't really tell what the real players' real motivations are here. that's the sort of thing that i rely, or would like to rely, on tech blogs like yours for, while most of the other ones are busy felating google.

    2) your site feels purposely comment-unfriendly.

    a) get facebook connect / make it more pronounced.

    b) show the comment stream.

    c) curate the comment stream.

    1. Anonymous Coward


      3) Keep MyTwatFace crap out of here.

      4) Make using capitals compulsory after a full stop. Make "i" in the first person sense, always be presented as "I"; it makes reading comments much easier.

      5) Avoid the normal comments page formats, that end up with knobs going "1st Bitch" and "Want a cheap XBOX, PS or Wii". If you don't like the comments page, don't vist it.

      6) A spel chek wuld be nice! thogh

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    O2 customers... join with me...

    Net neutrality? Let me laugh in a hollow manner as all kinds of traffic shaping takes place across the UK, as O2 customers in particular wallow in the vacant acres left behind a promise for true unlimited broadband and are slowly culled by a service which realises it cannot fulfil what it promised.

    Net neutrality? Try using bittorrent to download Starcraft 2 from Blizzard's perfectly legitimate servers during prime-time Eastenders half-hour as they exude massive sweaty secretions to push huge tubes of inter-you-tube spunk to the masses whilst cutting back on ports vaguely-piratey and might-have-been-naughty.


    1. Anonymous Coward


      ...real time traffic getting priorty over non cricital traffic. Now who'd of thought it would be sensible to introduce some sort of QoS.

      What there are on about is giving say Google, priority over your own little website, because Google pay the carriers for the extra speed.

      Now go do some research on the subject.

  6. Andrew the Invertebrate

    Oi vey!

    "Another aspect of the joint proposal would allow broadband providers to offer certain specialized services to customers, services which are not part of the Internet. So, for example, broadband providers could offer a special gaming channel"

    You know the proposals are a real crock when Google are trying to label www as "the Internet"

    1. lpopman

      titular synonym

      And we all know that UDP packets are "www" packets. </sarcasm>

      Here's a hint: if the protocol != HTTP it is not "www" traffic.

      I do not like the way Google are weaseling around the neutrality issue, but they are definitely not conflating "www" with other protocol traffic.

      1. Andrew the Invertebrate

        To use languague you just might understand

        http != "The Internet" \ www != "The Internet"

        but Google, Verizon & by the look of it AT&T want to think that :

        http = "The Internet" \ www = "The Internet"

        so they can then charge you extra for anything that's not thier definition of "The Internet"

  7. henchan

    Trojan Horse

    Google is playing the Greeks to the US Telcos' Trojans.

    Let’s assume some disruptive wireless technology will come along to provide real competition to the telcos. The latter would be hamstrung by having been allowed to get what they’d wished for. Consumers would flock to the new tech because, of course, they prefer net neutral services in addition to any other merits it may have. Back-haul could possibly make use of all those broadband connections (also net neutral).

    I don’t know exactly what such a tech might look like – perhaps similar to MiFi – but I believe it is likely that Google already knows this tech and sees exactly how it intends to deploy it.

    Why? Because this agreement is out of character for Google, whose interests will always be antagonistic to those of strongly entrenched data distribution channels.

    Circumstantial evidence sure. Other hints includes Google's involvement in wavelength auctions, substantial partnerships through its handset OS, hardware prototyping (Nexus1's purpose being to provide a cover story for h/w testing) and so on. Admittedly, there's no hard evidence here.

    If you were going to try and take out the telcos, you might prefer to let them pull the trigger on themselves.

    Beware Geeks bearing gifts.

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