June 22, 2006  ·  Lessig

One clue to this Net Neutrality debate is to watch what kind of souls are on each side of the debate. The pro-NN contingent is filled with the people who actually built the Net — from Vint Cerf to Google to eBay — and those who profit from the competition enabled by the Net — e.g., Microsoft. The anti-NN contingent is filled with the entities that either never got the Net, or fought like hell to control it — telecom, and cable companies. (The one clear exception to this is Dave Farber, who has been described as the “Grandfather of the Net.” I’ve never understood either what that description could mean, nor have I understood how he gets from the premises in his argument to its conclusions. But to be fair, this is an exception to the rule I’m describing.)

Here’s the latest confirmation of this pattern. Tim Berners-Lee has blogged before about this issue. But here’s a video he’s now down to emphasize its importance.

  • Brian

    “Grandfather” means that his students were the fathers of the Internet.

  • http://poptones.f2o.org poptones

    Smell the irony – the person making the argument to “keep the internet open” posts video (and the prof links it) ONLY in the second most proprietary, sealed off, NON OPEN format available. Well, I clicked, but I didn’t see, because I use an OPEN INTERNET terminal running this weird flaky software known as linux, and Real’s client sucks so I don’t use it.

    Greater than that, the article itself makes absolutely ZERO case as to why this legislation IS needed…. what are these telecom companies doing (or wanting to do) that so threaten “net neutrality?” I’ve read those interview “excerpts” the people at savetheinternet have taken time to post, and I have read THE COMPLETE interviews – apparently, however, they have not, for the interviews in every case reveal the “excerpts” were so stripped of context to the point of being outright LIES.

    If the people standing besides megacorps like google and the CC – giant profit gobbling entities looking to further fatten their bottom line evey bit as much as the telcos – think you actually have a case to make, you better start making effort to do so with more than baseless hype and “quotes” so far removed from context they nearly would constitute libel.

    The last thing the internet (and freedom) needs is more pandering politicians writing more code to prop up more corporations.

  • http://HowToPrimers.com Kevin Farnham

    You presume to be able to judge what “kind of souls are on each side of the debate”? You presume that a group of people who accomplished something you approve of in the past are now infallible, incapable of making an erroneous judgment when evaluating today’s situation, incapable of being blinded by conditions from the past which no longer exist in today’s world?

    How many people throughout history, who were “geniuses” in making discoveries that advanced civilization at one time in their life, later misjudged the situation that arose largely from their original accomplishment?

    Asking us to look at the “kind of souls” that are on each side of the debate implies one group of people is good, the other evil. Is that what you think the Net Neutrality debate is about? One side wants to save humanity, but the other side wants to destroy it? I completely disagree with that logic.

    It also seems strange to me to read that the providers of broadband had no part in the enabling the Internet’s incorporation into the daily life of almost every American. Are you saying the inventors of the Net also invented DSL and cable modems? And the telco’s and cable companies fought against the spread of these inventions into people’s homes?

  • Vincent

    But doesn’t it bother you or Berners-Lee that those that have benefited from little to no regulation of their businesses are the ones are the ones in favour of regulation?

    The telcos/cablecos are experts at dealing with regulations. If the US government ever creates net neutrality legislation, the telcos/cablecos will make sure that it will be to their benefit. They will turn the neutral network into a guaranteed cost-recovery facility. Don’t be surprised when you see a ‘net neutrality charge’ on your ISP invoice.

  • three blind mice

    Asking us to look at the “kind of souls” that are on each side of the debate implies one group of people is good, the other evil.

    kevin farnham has nicely exposed the strawman in this post.

    no need for us mice to set it ablaze, it will rot in the humidity of the sweaty lessig blog!

    TBL: when I invented the web

    carrying the bits in a bucket all by himself, presumably, but let’s get to the meat of his comments:

    TBL: If I pay to connect to the Net with a certain quality of service, and you pay to connect with that or greater quality of service, then we can communicate at that level.

    so is berners-lee for or against? isn’t this precisely what the telcos want to accomplish – a paved road along side today’s dirt footpath so that those who want a high performance and content rich internet can communicate with others who share the same desires? freedom of connection remains. freedom of choice is introduced.

    net neutrality legislation takes away this freedom of choice and keeps the dirt path unpaved: it’s a great leap nowhere.

    TBL: For example, the market system depends on the rule that you can’t photocopy money.

    well, it’s nice to know that berners-lee accepts that it’s OK for money to be non-open and proprietary and that “fair use” does not extend to the copying of benjamins. (now if he can use his formidable intellect to apply this simple logic to that other form of artifical scarcity, intellectual property, the net might actually have a leader that can help it achieve its potential as a communications system.)

  • http://bennett.com/blog Richard Bennett

    I invented twisted-pair Ethernet and parts of WiFi, and I oppose these idiotic regulations. Reading TBL’s blog today, he apparently opposes them too. Markey and Snowe-Dorgan ban for-fee QoS and TBL says it’s a legitimate product that ISPs should be allowed to sell.

    So how can you claim TBL supports these regulations?

    And Lessig, please stop pretending to know the first thing about how the Internet actually works. You’re a great champion of the freedom to use the Internet is all sorts of wonderful free-speech enhancing ways, but when it comes down to the specifics of how packets are queued and routed you’re in way over your head.

    You believe that all routing in the Internet is first-come, first-served. One of the basic problems that any TCP implementation has to deal with is out-of-order packets. Reconcile that with your belief or butt out of the debate on routing and services.

  • http://globalclashes.com Kiki

    I don’t like the term “Net Neutrality” because it does not really illustrate the seriousness of the issue. I think that the reason why this issue hasn’t receive the attention that it should by people other than nerds and techies is that nobody really understands it and know what is at stake. So my question, how should we explain this issue to someone who knows nothing about it in two very simple sentences.

  • http://shinanos.wordpress.com shina

    Hey hey now! My comment has just spammed when I try to leave a opinion to that TimBL’s blog man!!! Aah!

  • http://bennett.com/blog Richard Bennett

    Same thing happened to me. He doesn’t want to hear any facts.

  • three blind mice

    You believe that all routing in the Internet is first-come, first-served. One of the basic problems that any TCP implementation has to deal with is out-of-order packets. Reconcile that with your belief or butt out of the debate on routing and services.

    it seems perhaps, richard bennett, you are the one who is out of his depth. it seems to us mice that professor lessig has a firm enough grasp of the technical issues involved to participate substantively in this debate.

    the debate is not about the ordering of TCP packets. the existence of UDP means that packet handling is already not “neutral.” indeed, depending on your ISP your mileage may vary substantially. rather the debate seems to be over whether or not an ISP can use its control over the “last mile” connection to control the rest of your internet connection.

    it is not an unreasonable concern. we mice feel confident that consumer choice is the best solution, other “souls” seem to think that the legislature should impose this on the public as a matter of law.

    telling him to “butt out” (sic) is rude to him and to everyone else who participates here. one slashdot on the net is enough thank you very much.

    moreover, how is one supposed to learn if not by engaging in debate and at times exposing some ignorance? we mice routinely show how little we know, take a beating from the more knowledgeable members of this community, and walk away from this blog better for the experience.

    may we suggest that you do the same?

  • http://bennett.com/blog Richard Bennett

    Thank you mice, I’ll try and be more polite. Most likely, the professor is more ignorant than malicious.

    He tells us Vint Cerf, Google, and eBay built the net. Personally, I ain’t so sure. Cerf I know was an assistant to Bob Kahn, 30 years ago, when Kahn was designing TCP and IP. Kahn lifted the design from the Ethernet boys at PARC, and the rest is history. Sort of. You see, the initial design didn’t actually work under load, so certain, shall we say, revisions were required within 18 months or so of deployment. And that’s when all the trouble started. So the Internet wasn’t “built” so much as it was “rebuilt”, over and over again. I’d give more credit for cluefulness about the modern Internet to the 1000s who contributed over the lat 20 years or so.

    And Google didn’t so much “build the Net” as sell lots and lots of ads over it, to the point that they began to fear change. A new revenue model seems to really scare the bejesus out of the youngsters. And did eBay build the net? Not that I can tell, but they did buy Craig’s List and Skype.

    Lessig claims to only people who oppose the draconian regulations proposed by the Neuts are the (greedy) Telcos. That’s obviously a load of hooey, as any number of right-thinking and realistic people feel these regulations are at best premature. Farber’s report was co-authored by a gang of 10 quite respectable folks from many disciplines.

    There seems to be two consistent threads in the pro-regulation camp: distortion of the issues and reduction of the debate to a good guys vs. bad guys duality. This smacks of desperation on their part, but maybe like you suggest it’s just ignorance.

    I haven’t seen TBL’s video yet, but I can’t wait. Does he sing and dance?

  • http://bennett.com/blog Richard Bennett

    By the way, it’s the out-of-order IP packets that I was talking about. How can that happen?

  • Stephen Wheeler

    There is a lot of loose comment here by people who clearly don’t have a clue what they are talking about. For example:

    “…isn’t this precisely what the telcos want to accomplish – a paved road along side today’s dirt footpath so that those who want a high performance and content rich internet can communicate with others who share the same desires? freedom of connection remains. freedom of choice is introduced.”

    No. I only have an 8 Mb/s connection – which I agree is pretty much a dirt path compared to what might have been provided by the telcos for the same investment (compare and contrast with Japan – or even France!). However, I do get rich content most of the time and I already have maximum choice.

    As for freedom of connection: The telcos are collectively (a tad unfair even though some are as guilty as Enron Execs. which is a matter of fact because there has either been evidence, such as blocking access to VoIP vendors, or speeches to interest groups such as investors) are being accused of blocking some services and of planning to limit the bandidth available to others. Less choice, less rich content, less freedom to connect – QED.

    ” …Vint Cerf, Google, and eBay built the net. Personally, I ain�t so sure. “

    Get a clue. It only counts if they actually ran around digging trenches, fitting the boxes, and connecting wires together? Net Neutrality (which I agree is a misleading name) is not about people in Cisco factories with soldering irons – its about STANDARDS, technical, service supply, and above all COMMERCIAL.

    ” …how should we explain this issue to someone who knows nothing about it in two very simple sentences.”

    Net Neutrality means a Net that is a Main Street where anyone can open a shop, or stand on a soap box, or march a band. Net Neutrality means not having to pay three times for Net access – Once for the connection in, second for each content (or application) gate, and third for the right to download or upload.

    “Reading TBL�s [Tim Berners-Lee's] blog today, he apparently opposes them [Net Neutrality rights on paper] too. Markey and Snowe-Dorgan ban for-fee QoS [Quality of Service] and TBL says it’s a legitimate product that ISPs should be allowed to sell.”

    Nice going Mr. Bennett – that has to be the most ‘heroic’ misrepresentation I have ever read. Not forgetting a lovely twist to the QoS debate that manages to completely avoid informing anyone of what it’s really about.

    For anyone confused out there:
    The proposed ban is to prevent telco charges related to multiple levels of service over the same wires. You paid for 1.5Mb/s (1.5 million ones and zeros per second) and you expect to get 1.5Mb/s. The telcos want to charge you by the bucket-of-bits. Every time you download a movie they want to charge you more than for six months worth of e-mail chit chat. Oh, and while you’re asleep, they still want to keep the monthly up-front fee… In addition the QoS debate is about equal access (a.k.a. free speech). If you use the full 1.5Mb/s to send information INTO the Net, they want to charge you more for that – how dare you assume that the Net access charges you pay gives you the right to publish!

    Mr. Berners-Lee is a supporter of the proposed Net Neutrality safeguards. To prove Mr. Bennett a liar you need only follow the link provided by Mr. Lessig and read for yourself. Note that where Mr. Berners-Lee talks about QoS he says (quite clearly) that you should get what you pay for. If I pay for 8 Meg and you pay for 45 Meg – you should get a better quality of service. He could have been clearer – he could have said: If you pay for 8 Meg you should get * Meg and there should be no extra charges for how you use 8 Meg.

    Finally, my favorite:
    “Well, I clicked, but I didn�t see, because I use an OPEN INTERNET terminal running this weird flaky software known as linux, and Real�s client sucks so I don�t use it.”

    Get real! You cut yourself off from the debate but you want us to take your comments seriously? What planet are you from?!

  • http://bennett.com/blog Richard Bennett

    Sir Tim says: “Net Neutrality is NOT saying that one shouldn�t pay more money for high quality of service. We always have, and we always will.”

    But what do the neutrality bills actually say? Here�s the relevant part of Snowe-Dorgan:

    “(5) only prioritize content, applications, or services accessed by a user that is made available via the Internet within the network of such broadband service provider based on the type of content, applications, or services and the level of service purchased by the user, without charge for such prioritization;”

    And the relevant part of the Markey Amendment:

    “If a broadband network provider prioritizes or offers enhanced quality of service to data of a particular type, it must prioritize or offer enhanced quality of service to all data of that type (regardless of the origin or ownership of such data) without imposing a surcharge or other consideration for such prioritization or enhanced quality of service.”

    Please resolve.

  • http://poptones.f2o.org poptones

    OK, it’s been two days or so since this was posted and I still don’t feel any better about this.. so let me try again.

    Dear Prof, a man whom I have respected a great deal for many years,

    I am deeply trouble by this latest post. It doesn’t even sound like the person I enjoyed watching as he debated Jack Valente. Did you really write this? You’re a busy man, it’s completely understandable if it was written by one of your minions and given a quick nod of approval without too much deep thought. But the whole argument made, talking about the “souls” on either side of the debate, and realizing your sometimes too apparent idealisation of the corporate entity Google, just makes me bristle.

    This is not a battle over “souls,” Mr Lessig. This is one group of corporations telling another group of corporations how to do their business. Trying to polarize this debate into two “camps” as distinct as black and white is utterly offensive to me, because I am of NEITHER camp that you have described. To me the only difference between Google and Bellsouth are the technicalities of how they generate revenue. I find little to like about Bellsouth, but by the same token Google is not the divinely blessed entity you seem all too often to believe them to be: they are a business after all, and most of their business model comes down to doing EXACLTY the sorts of things many other corporations are utterly demonized for: collecting “users” and their information, collating it, sorting it, profiling them, and then selling that information, directly or indirectly through services, to their clients. The fact they focus as much of that effort on helping “the little guy” as much as the giant megacorp is not simply an ethic – they have proven there are a lot of wannabe entrepreneurs out there, and so there’s money in it… profit. Because that’s what it is, after all, a corporation seeking to make profit.

    Bellsouth wants to do with its infrastructure as it can. So what? If they make it too unfriendly the users will dry up – the endpoints will seek other terminations and so, Bellsout or Cox or whomever will live or die by its own hand. It is not my right or responsibility to force that hand beyond my own singular voice – pay, or pay not, for their service. Telling Google or Bellsouth or Jack Valente or Bob Smith how to run their lives or exploit their own property to me is utterly offensive. if Bellsouth makes it more expensive for QUALITY DSL providers to find endpoints it will suck for me and the others who will have to pay even more than the relatively doubled price we are paying now to avoid them, but then again that higher potential for profit might provide the incentive required for others to develop NEW last mile infrastructure into the homes of america.

    I can see this, and I embrace it. You discredit yourself and offend many who might otherwise be responsive to the worthwhile points you make when you try to cast this as a black and white issue over “souls.” We have too many people doing that crap now – I see them on the news every night. Please adjust this tack while I and others who find some common ground with your ideals are still willing to listen. When you say this is black and white and about the ‘souls” of the two people, you are telling ME, because I disagree with you on many points in this issue, that I somehow must have a “bad” soul… that I am “evil” simply because I don’t see Google through the same rose colored lenses as yourself.

    OK, this still sucked… it’s one of the worse posts I’ve made here, in fact. And I hope you realize that’s part of the point… I’m just fucking indignant about the tone and divisive intent of this post. I’m sorry prof, but I feel like I’ve been slapped in the face by a friend, and it still stings.

  • Wes

    There are different ways of forcing people to do things against their will. One way is to threaten them and another way is to deceive them. For a “free” market to be truly free, consumers must be able to make informed choices.

    Suppose there are two products that are both the same price but one product is lower in quality. In an ideal free market, the consumers would have an accurate assessment of the relative quality of the two products and they would all purchase the higher quality product. In practice, many people will purchase the lower quality product simply because they were unaware that the higher quality product is available.

    Interestingly, the more businesses can arrange for consumers to have inadequate information, the more businesses can profit by overcharging consumers. Furthermore, “unethical” businesses that are able to confuse consumers into thinking that their products are higher quality than they really are, will be able to sell their products for less than the “ethical” businesses and thereby put the “ethical” businesses out of business. Essentially, an unregulated free market rewards deception more than efficiency.

    My concern with moving away from network neutrality is that it will facilitate deception by the telecummunications industry. For example, the telecommunications companies could degrade access to google and many consumers would just think that the google servers were slow rather than realizing that the telecommunication companies were intentionally giving them bad service. The telecommunications companies would be deceiving consumers in order to try to force google to give them some of its profits.

    Personally, I’d rather keep things simple and not allow telecomunications companies to selectivily degrade internet access at all but one solution would be to require telecommunication companies to be very clear to consumers about when they were degrading access. For example, if they degraded access to google then they would have to send an instant message to the consumer saying “Google is taking a long time to respond because we are temporaly preventing you from seeing google’s response”.

    It would be like allowing baby food manufacturers to put toxic levels of lead in baby food. Go ahead and allow them to do it – but require that such baby food is clearly labeled with warnings that it contains toxic levels of lead.

  • http://poptones.f2o.org poptones

    For a “free” market to be truly free, consumers must be able to make informed choices.

    And it is the responsibility of those demanding freedom to make themselves informed.

    A great majority of users are not informed and do not care to be – this is proven here by the number of Bellsouth DSL users compared to those seeking “better” DSl providers. Bellsouth is cheaper and people don’t need to learn anything – they just check a box on their phone bill and get cheap and crappy service. How is it our right to make that decision for them?

    Personally, I’d rather keep things simple and not allow telecomunications companies to selectivily degrade internet access at all

    That is neither simple, nor is it the way things are. Do you think I pay twice as much for my DSL service as bellsouth offers it simply because I don’t like bellsouth? I don’t have the money for that kind of idealism. I pay twice as much ($60 a month for 3Mbps vs. Bellsouth’s $30) because bellsouth’s 3Mbps isn’t really 3Mbps except on the wire from my house to their servers – most folks on Bellsouth’s DSL don’t seem to get anything close to the sustained bandwidth they pay for – and guess what? They don’t care. Just so long as they get a good burst of speed when they make that first click most will be happy.

    I, on the other hand, often have to FTP large amounts of data to and from servers. If I have to wait an hour instead of ten minutes for something to get done, it actually can cost me money.

    Either way, however, my service would “intentionally get degraded” – evey time I am competing with other users for more bandwidth than my ISP has to the backbones, my service and everyone elses gets degraded. but guess what? I am paying more for my service because I get higher priority My ISP doesn’t have tiered ?priority” queues – you get the bandwidth you pay for, whether it’s 1.5Mbps, 3Mbps or a 100Mbps fiber link to your office. My ISP is smaller than the bells, they have to care about their customers more, and I get better service at a good fee.

    Now, how is that ANY DIFFERENT than Bellsouth saying “we will sell you this 3Mbps connection with this QOS for thirty bucks a month, or for 60 we will sell you the exact same size pipe but you will be guaranteed a higher sustained QOS?”

    You claim people are going to be kept ignorant by a lack of legislation? The information is out there, the people are still ignorant. Legislating a certain way of thinking doesn’t make the people more informed, it makes them less – but far easier to control.

  • http://www.kimkatrell.com kim

    I think Tim is doing the right thing by speaking up now, but I wonder if it is to late and that amny countries are putting together there own code and internet infrascuture. Should be interesting to see if it works and which countires work with it.

  • http://bennett.com/blog Richard Bennett

    It’s a shame that ole Tim doesn’t think the issue is so serious that he should break down and actually, you know, read the bills that he supports.

    That’s asking way too much.

  • http://shinnaos.wordpress.com shina

    …experience the philosophy of Zen in Japan, or manners in good old time. Very long histories formed the world, caused battles & wars, and its the dawn of this melee. Sometimes this kinda long devate and argument gets us progressive pacifists too weariful, yes passing the tradition down is no easy work and play. Translation also has it. I hate it in current Japanese press industry. Ah.
    PS: Most of geek-fellows’ blogs are regulated and invisible from library’s window now, I pointed it out to the public institution and they set filter. Papers utilizing news items for nothing and they’re all controversial materials. Who’s the real victim? Phonies are everywhere. Globalized scientists and young bloggers under control telling the truth, but it’s also in contradiction and paradox.

  • three blid mice

    OK, this still sucked… it’s one of the worse posts I’ve made here, in fact. And I hope you realize that’s part of the point… I’m just fucking indignant about the tone and divisive intent of this post. I’m sorry prof, but I feel like I’ve been slapped in the face by a friend, and it still stings.

    that might be a wee bit of an overreaction to the professors’s FOX News approach, poptones, but you are exactly right.

    good post and good for you.

  • http://b Paul M

    I believe what the prof. meant when he used “souls” was simply a Lessigesque word for people, without any connotation in it. I believe he is trying to take the people on both sides of the debate and what they do, and then make an association from it. Remember, we all sometimes use a below par choice of words, and this is probably the case here, we are all human. Of course, anything important to us always carries at least a wee bit of emotion, and perhaps this was his intention with this word. I wouldn’t get too worked up about it though.

  • ACS

    To anyone who thinks restricting telecommunications companies based on the principle of network neutrality I say visit Australia.

    In the land down under we have only one actual network of connections as a result of our once nationalised telecommunications industry. Now the regulations have changed to allow for other entities to provide telecommunications services. The problem is that new telecom providers are using the proprietary infrastructure of Telstra, which inevitably leads to high line rentals. Everyone has to piggy back on thier system because it is too expensive (outside of inner city areas) to establish new networks.

    The upside of all this is uniform services. The downside is the services all stink.

    Despite being one of the leading high tech economies the Australia market has the second lowest uptake of broad band in Asia.

    There is an advantage to free market policy. Although the dangers of collusion and poor services for low paying customers these problems are no worse than a uniformly poor service which is certain to result from regulation of the nature espoused by our host.

    I say that if you want the best service you have to pay for it. For a principle that Americans have exported to the world it seems a little hypocritical to deny its advantages at this stage.

  • http://b Paul M

    Oh, and while I am on the topic of associations can anyone make an association from this? Tel-Aviv, Palestinian, Taepdong-3, World trade center, Iran, China, Russia?

    a. The usual world problems.
    b. Bush presidency residue
    c. Precurser to WWIII
    d. Biblical prophecy, no worries

    choose one.

  • http://poptones.f2o.org poptones

    ACS, doesn’t telstra have any incentive to compete? I’ve voiced concern over a similar problem here in the US – mostly as it was related to me by various ISP representatives I have contected. I’m convinced it’s a valid concern, but still am not convinced it is a practical concern.. consider:

    In the US, the telcos are (were) required to provide last mile DSL connectivity at “competetive wholesale rates” to other ISPs. Now, one would assume if you are going to become an ISP providing DSL service you are going to have your own trunking deals and not simply rely on the telco as your only connection to the backbone – meanwhile, the telcos are in a bid to win market share by making DSL service as cheap as possible to their own customers.

    So, we have bellsouth offering basic 1.5Mbps DSL to their customers at, lets say, $24.95 a month. It would be rather difficult for them to argue their own delivery cost for DSL is higher than this, lest they be accused of “dumping” or some other such antitrust law. But I know from experience this $24.95 service usually sucks – one need only check the stats on dslreports to see ample evidence of this.

    So, as a competing ISP I have an open doorway to competition: to put together peering arrangements of my own while NOT overselling my backbone so egregiously that my customers really only get a 200Kbps connection for their 1.5Mbps dollars. And I still get the last mile connectivity for $24.95 or less per month, because that is the current “going rate” for a 1.5Mbps allotment. I might not be able to compete directly on lowball pricing, but I CAN compete on quality of service, something that is going to become increasingly important as subscribers grow more sophisticated in their knowledge of the product.

    Or, maybe I CAN compete on price – say, for example, by offering the opportunity for Google or Yahoo to buy “premium” connectivity to my customers, thus offsetting some amount of each user’s $24.95 a month overhead.

    Oh, wait… but thanks to “net neutrality” laws, I don’t have the option to allow the multibillion dollar corporations like Google and Disney and Yahoo to help subsidize my cheaper connectivity offerings… nor do my potential customers, many of whom might not otherwise be able to afford at all such “high speed” connectivity.

  • verbal.normal

    get over yourself, rbennett. your vitriol, as well as poptones’ is misdirected– are you guys some disgruntled programmer who feels history and wealth have left you behind while larryn’serge, bezos and tbl and their ilk have passed you by? your dotcom went bust? too clever for your own good? this isn’t about sticking it to the net businesses, who may or maynot pay their fair share– this is about the telcos, already the biggest corporate welfare pigs in history and who have benefitted from gov’t regulation, being greedier. take away nn, and you take away the essence of what made the internet what it is and successful as it is– you two seem too smart to miss the crucial aspect of this fight– unless of course you two are shills for the telcos; or like i said, harboring resentment against those who have triumphed over your failures…

  • http://poptones.f2o.org poptones

    lol. you think I am “vitriolic” in this discussion?

    what are you? Some politically correct whining pansy?

    (How’s that for vitriol?)

    Again I will challenge you to explain ust exactly how the internet is “neutral” RIGHT NOW.

    I am not shiolling for the telcos, you are blinded by your own prejudice if you cannot see my mistrust and disdain for them. And that same prejudice is also blinding you to the fact this whole “net neutrality” battle is nothing but GIANT CORPORATIONS playing politics in a struggle for control. It doesn’t matter if the bells “win” or if Google “wins,” YOU MEAN NOTHING TO EITHER OF THEM.

    “They” (incluuding, sadly, our esteemed host) are trying to cast this as a two sided battle – but it isn’t. It never is. This is really a three sided battle and all you peons taking the sides of one megacorp or the other are playing a sucker’s game, because no matter who wins, YOU LOSE.

    Are you really so foolish you cannot see this?

    We do not need MORE LEGISLATION. More legislation simply means less freedom on the internet FOR US ALL. Don’t be a fool.

  • verbal.normal

    one battle at a time, o disgruntled bitchy one– forget your three-way and make this a two-sided battle right now– telcos vs users. forget that the telcos are trying to force the illusion that progress will be halted should this pass– because they will ultimately find it in their best interest to provide higher-speed service — all their talk of superspeed service in the future if no regulation exists is just typical filigreed obfuscation of the core problem of not agreeing to neutrality, which is simple: each site can be accessed as easily as the next one. that’s it. no more, no less. forget packets and who’s using what for thisthatntheother– i want to continue to access some obscure site that only three people read as well as order something from amazon with the same ease, reliability, and speed. you want to get your news from the fox website, fine– but i don’t want any impediments from reading atrios– guess which one might not be able to pay for preferential treatment should the telcos get their way? cut through the bullshit and see this for what it is– a free speech issue.

    so, what does politically correct whining have anything to do with what i said, you dickhead? i still think you’re foolish– if the telcos get their way, you will look back and see, when you can’t access your turdburgling site anymore, that you were foolish, and wrong and boy won’t you feel dumb. you’re pretty myopic, aren’t you? i take back what i said, you’re not too bright…and i’m sorry– i mistook ‘vitriol’ for just being a whiny asshole…

  • http://poptones.f2o.org poptones

    forget your three-way and make this a two-sided battle right now— telcos vs users.

    Man, you’re too easy. Not only are you proving yourself a troll, you’re proving yourself the worse kind – one without even a meaningful point to make beneath the flames.

    You don’t have the power to make this a two sided issue – it’s NOT two sided and never was. It’s about Google and Yahoo and Disney and the Christian Coalition “keeping” the freedom to freeload on everyone’s pipes with their fat, “family friendly” message vs. the telcos wanting them to pony up for that bandwidth they are dumping onto the highways. It’s as if you opposed making trucking companies pay extra taxes for all those giant barges traversing the highways because you like seeing the pretty colors painted on their billboard sized side panels. Never mind that the rest of us – the thousands of peers helping seed the torrent network, the “little guys” hosting our cheap godaddy sites – face an increasingly clogged thoroughfare just so you can enjoy the “neutral” experience of getting your Google-hosted masturbatory blog delivered on time…

  • verbal.normal

    again, i’m not talking about tech issues. worry about the tech issues later– make this a level playing field first, then deal with bandwidth. christ. and your complaints of things being clogged? i was able to access your quaint site quickly– what would happen if you couldn’t cough up the money to make this happen? basically you’re being duped by the telcos and their promise of speed. forget disney, they’re worse than the telcos. and i could give a shit less about google, yahoo, amazon,etc… i’m interested in being able to access sites like yours which i’m sure has no major corporate sponsorship, does it?– that’s the point and a rather meaningful one if i may add– that’s all there is to it. you’re making this more complicated. who cares about major bandwidth if you have to give up access—

  • verbal.normal

    forget it. i’m through with you, poptones. if nn doesn’t go through, i’ll look you up to congratulate that you got your way, if i can find your site…

  • http://poptones.f2o.org poptones

    make this a level playing field first, then deal with bandwidth.

    It’s not and never was, and legislation isn’t going to “equalize” anything except in favor of those who can afford to pay their lobbyists.

    WHO OWNS THE INTERNET? I asked this before and you conveniently avoided the question. Who owns it? You? Me? Linux Torvalds and TBL?

    No. Those who “own the internet” are the bells and the cablevision companies and yakamai and the others who pay fortunes for peering. Do you REALLy think the bells are going to intentionally cripple access to big sites like Google et al any more than they ALREADY DO? Again – why do you think I AM NOT a bellsouth DSL subscriber? It’s certainly not because of cost – I’m paying twice as much for my DSL service as they offer.

    It’s because of quality of service and freedom of accessibility. Bellsouth could jack up their costs to the googles and yahoos as much as they want and the only way it would affect me is in the potential for them to offer even cheaper “basic level” service to their customers. If they do that, then their wholesale prices would have to go down as well, which means I STILL get the benefits of Google and Yahoo subsidizng bellsouth’s customers even while I enjoy better and more flexible service than they offer.

    Speech issue? You can scream from a mountaintop but it doesn’t matter if no one can hear you. I live about 40 miles from the nearest college town and I now have DSL – but ten miles from that town, where my girlfriend lives, I still cannot get it. Since the choice of 100DSL providers means absolutely nothing if there is no last mile, giving bellsouth more potential for profit from their end users means they’re going to work harder on getting those end users connected – that means more potential audience for me and you and everyone participating in worthy projects like bittorrent.

    ooh, but maybe they won’t be so nice. Let’s say they do the stupidest thing they could and jack up proices while hindering access to popular sites… GREAT! Now there’s even more incentive for local businesses and the googles and such to collaborate on creating a new, third, last mile. And since the bells have taken the unlikely step of RAISING prices for a product which they are trying to drive greater penetration, there’s more economic incentive for those wireless providers and even cellphone providers to start building out the next generation of infrastructure.

    We have nothing to lose from a status quo lasseiz faire approach, and a great deal to lose. The internet does not need legislation in order to grow or to remain “free” – it never did.

  • verbal.normal

    again you miss the point of the argument– relax, don’t worry, everything will be fine. keep believing those coal commercials and global warming=co2=natural thus how-can-it-be-bad commercials. listen to mike mccurry in his new role as lobbyist. whatever…

  • Josh Zeidner

    Weve been through this already with Common Carrier. The telcos made a sneaky bypassing of Common Carrier law by having IP networks classed as an ‘information service’.

    The QOS crowd is ridiculous. These economics make sense in an environment of scarcity, and it appears that the telcos have put a hidden provision in the bill that forbids the further construction of data conduits or the leasing of such by local authority. What this effectively creates is not only a telecom monopoly, but gives the monopolists complete and total control over the delivery of content and quality of service. This is not good. This is a 20 year regression of progress made in telecom policy in america.

    Do you know why this is happening? because the NSA wants a monopoly so they can freely wiretap any domestic communicaitons. They are afforded this by desperate telecom companies whose core value has been completely outmoded.


    first priority: Increase federal and state oversight of NSA wiretapping, fortify laws that prohibit and monitor this activity. The EFF has done excellent work in this area. Support them. If the NSA is put in check then the main fuel of the fire will be put out.

    second priority: Ensure that telcos are not exploiting the spirit of FCC regulation. Make sure that both Common Carrier is enforced for IP networks, and that its classification is correct and approrpiate. Also ensure that independent and local municipal IP providers have fair and equitable access to the marketplace.

    -josh zeidner

  • http://bennett.com/blog Richard Bennett

    Josh, did you learn about the NSA’s secret plans through a coded transmission you picked up in your super-sensitive dental fillings, or was it through your tin-foil hat antenna?

    The Internet is not a common carrier, and never has been. Web sites don’t load equally fast today, and never did. The telecom law doesn’t grant new powers of censorship to the phone company.

    You people need to stop smoking so much weed and find a new issue. The Internet’s end-to-end model no longer works because BitTorrent killed it. We can’t have unbridled torrents of crap in the Internet and still have reliable VoIP. Things have to change.

    Technology is just like that, and the fact that Ed Whitacre reminds you of your daddy really has nothing to do with it.

  • three blind mice

    You people need to stop smoking so much weed and find a new issue.

    hey, richard bennet, now wait one minute. extolling the virtues of QoS is one thing, but telling people to stop smoking copius amounts of reefer is the sort of mean-spirited, vitriol that has no place in this blogspace!!! killjoy. for god’s sake man, have you no decency?

    *mice take three bit drags, pass bong to verbal.normal*

    lighten up people. this is supposed to be fun.

  • http://oxfordgrantterrors.blogspot.com/ David Mackey

    Hopefully Net Neutrality will become a bigger issue in the public eye before it goes to a vote. But we’ve had scares like this in the past, haven’t we? Charging for postage, charging for connections for end-users traffic once they had connected via dial-up?

  • Josh Zeidner

    Hey Richard,

    Too bad theyre not ‘secret plans’. Its a well known fact that the NSA has been doing massive surveillance of internet traffic. Does the recent At&t case ring a bell? Do you think they are going to be able to hook thier boxes into municipal networks and a thousand different ISP providers? Believe what you want, this is the reason why relatively incompetent and outdated telcos like At&t and Verizon have any clout in this situation. This is the issue at play here, and although you like to sit there and deride it, if this is covered I think our problems, and people like you, will go away. cheers! jmz

  • Josh Zeidner

    hey Richard,

    Why not have a talk with your boss about why we cant just build new fiber, given that it is dirt cheap? Why are we discussing the cost of a glass of water in the presence of niagra falls? why are relatively witless and non-charismatic people like you getting involved in important debates like this? There are many questions that need answers, Richard. We have only just begun to fight.

    Sincerely, Josh Zeidner

    ps. tell your boss that they should invest in quality PR agents.

  • pelo

    me thinks poptones and richard need to find something construvtive to do with their time! there’s actually quite a few of y’all that are way too dramatic about this particular issue. how did three blind mice become lessig’s eternal defender? when will the sad truth that none of the “debates” on this blog will ever influence anyone in washington? how can anyone take the issues talked about on this blog seriously in the face of a facist goverment? how can we be so complacent? how can fear of the state control not only technology, but people’s conception of reality? the war in iraq, net neutrality, global warming… these are not issues that any of us have any control over unless we take the power back from the government. the idea of infiltrating government with “good” people is not working. is lessig a revolutionary? no. he’s a constitutionalist! he believes in the slave owners words! being un-american will make for a better world…

  • Josh Zeidner

    Hey Pelo,

    The issue is important. They want to turn the internet into some kind of glorified cable network. Such a future would be a serious tragedy. The internet is a great thing. Please, can we just keep it that way?

    Basically the NSA’s policy is, don’t ask the public for permission unless you absolutely have to. This is why they want thier boys in control of all IP communications. I have been following the municipal wireless and the net neutrality debates and, I believe this is the underlying issue here. A close examination of the proposed bills indicates that there is a lot more going on here than some aging telco execs trying to swipe profits at the expense of technological progress. Cronyism reigns supreme when the smell of fear is in the air.

    and yes, ha has are great. but lets take these guys down before its too late. jmz

  • http://poptones.f2o.org poptones

    me thinks poptones and richard need to find something construvtive to do with their time!

    I will spend perhaps ten minutes constructing this post to you. Mutiply each by the bnumber of times I have psoted here, that’s still just a few hours out of months… what do you know of how I spend my time?

    How many lines of code have you spewed forth in the last weeks? How many plans have you made of setting up businesses that enable individuals? How many orphans have you thought of, how many small time websites have you donated to, how many “free” musicians have you supported with your dollars via sites like Magnatune? How many letters have YOU written to YOUR representatives? Do you even know their names? I can assure you I do… and they, mine.

    Discussion is important. ideas do not flow froma vacuum, they only suffocate and become delirious and misshapen and eventually die of their malformations. Of course I don’t believe for a minute that posting here is going to really change anything… except perhaps my thinking, and those of others who discuss here. That is of tremendous value… why the hell do you think the prof even took the time to erect this place? What if he said “there’s no point, I am not going to change anything anyway, need to stop taking myself so seriously…”

    the idea of infiltrating government with “good” people is not

    That’s because no one “good” gets elected in the US. The american people don’t want “good” they want pandering alarmists who sing them to sleep in their beds at night with lyrics of rhetorical feel-good bullshit. They want protection from the boogeyman.

    Get some “good” leaders elected, then we’ll talk about whether or not it’s working.

  • http://poptones.f2o.org poptones


    Associated Press

    WASHINGTON — Internet providers told U.S. Congress on Tuesday they’re doing all they can to combat on-line child pornography, but they were told to expect legislation.

    Several voiced skepticism about creating new laws that would force them to retain data about their users’ on-line activity.

    Any such measure would be costly and easily circumvented and would “fall far short of its intended goal,” America On-line chief counsel John Ryan told a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee hearing.

    The focus should be on improving existing child porn laws — not “new mandates,” said Verizon On-line general counsel Thomas Dailey.

    Lawmakers, however, said more must be done to stop the availability of child porn on the Web and chart rooms where pedophiles troll for young victims.

    “The parents of America and I think the Congress is tired of just talking about it. I think we’re ready to take action,” Energy and Commerce Chairman Joe Barton, R-Texas, told a panel of executives from seven companies including Yahoo Inc., Google Inc. and Microsoft Corp.

    Barton said that after hearings by his committee’s investigative subcommittee wrap up Wednesday he plans to develop a comprehensive anti-porn bill. He didn’t offer details, but getting companies to maintain customer records was a focus Tuesday.

    Top Justice Department officials including Attorney General Alberto Gonzales have met recently with Internet executives to discuss the issue. There’s currently no legal requirement for companies to hang onto records of their customers’ activities, and according to testimony Tuesday, industry practices vary dramatically.

    EarthLink Inc. archives customer records for seven years; Comcast Corp. now keeps it only for 31 days, but plans to implement a 180-day policy by Sept. 1.

    The lack of uniformity “is seriously hindering investigations,” said Rep. Diana DeGette, D-Colo., who is writing a bill to require certain customer-identifying records to be kept for one year.

    Companies already are adjusting their practices in response to the attention from Congress and the Justice Department.

    Five companies — Time Warner Inc.’s AOL, Yahoo, Microsoft, Earthlink and United On-line Inc. — announced Tuesday they will jointly build a database of child-pornography images and develop other tools to help prevent distribution of the images. The companies pledged $1-million and will work with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

    Google came under the most criticism Tuesday, with lawmakers brandishing printouts of a search using the terms “pre-teen,” “sex” and “video” that yielded 2.9-million hits on the massive search site.

    Nicole Wong, Google’s associate general counsel and chief privacy officer, said that search was an aberration based on the company’s failure to flag the word “pre-teen” when it’s hyphenated, but that it’s been corrected. She said the company’s policy was to block access to child porn sites as soon as they’re detected.

    “We do the best we can,” Wong said.


    “Animal sex” – let’s see… about 63 MILLION results. Does anyone really believe there are 63,000,000 pages online devoted to animal sex? Result number TWO is a page at seattle times.. gee, when di they become a beastiality blog? Result five is a page about how insects mate… ohh, the SHAME! the EXPLOITATION!

    Josh is absolutely right: this isn’t about protecting anyone but the government’s control over the minds of its people – and they will use any rhetorical tools, no matter how specious, to accomplish that goal.

    The american people are the sheep, the government is our sheperd, and we are all playing our parts in one giant orgy of beastiality.

  • Josh Zeidner

    thanks poptones. We have to hit the monster between the eyes. STOP THE NSA FROM UNRESTRICTED IP WIRELINE TAPPING.

  • http://bennett.com/blog Richard Bennett

    Don’t bogart that joint, Josh, pass it over to me.

  • Josh Zeidner

    Richard, your attempts at discrediting me are juvenile. Im surprised your boss couldnt afford a decent PR manager. First off, try learning some slang that has actually been used in the past 40 years.

    so exactly where do you stand on this issue Richard?

    Perhaps you may actually address my statements rather than heckling me. You are like the GOP court jester. Do you have a stupid hat with little bells on it?

    This thing is going to come down to Dems vs. GOP. America, this is an important issue. Dont put it down. Keep asking questions until the answers make sense.

    The analysis of the problem is pretty simple. If these people want control over thier asset( data pipes ) then naturally, producing and selling this asset should be open to the public( and recent legislation has prohibited this ). What is being proposed is not only control over existing lines, but prohibiting independent and local providers from supplying and/or leading new conduits. Such a situation would literally devasate free speech in america. DO NOT LET IT HAPPEN.

    Finally, do not trust Arlen Specter.


    btw- thanks very much to Jay Sulzberger for his input.

  • http://bennett.com/blog Richard Bennett

    Jay Sulzberger understands the Bogart reference, dude.

    Look, I don’t mind if the NSA reads my blog, every new reader is a plus. Maybe the spooks will leave some interesting comments.

    And I don’t see the connection between the onerous “net neutrality” regulations and the NSAs desire to read my blog. It all has something to do with the Internets, but I don’t know exactly what.

    The phone company “controls” their lines, and the NSPs “control” their lines, just like the gas company and the electric company “control” theirs. That’s exactly what I expect to happen.

    Dude, really.

  • Josh Zeidner

    And I don’t see the connection between the onerous “net neutrality” regulations and the NSAs desire to read my blog.

    Richard, rather than trying to play the part of the comedian, why did you not just admit you are ignorant and short sighted from the start? We need to foster understanding here.

    The issue here is two pronged. One- a shift in our conception of what internet service is. Two- a shift in competition regulation that basically shuts out everyone but At&t and all thier buddies. Richard, you are appearing to be neither intelligent nor amusing to your audience. What does the NSA need? A net with a boss.. What does At&t need? Someone who is sympathetic to thier deep need to dominate the entire telecom industry. A match made in heaven!

    Look, I don’t mind if the NSA reads my blog, every new reader is a plus. Maybe the spooks will leave some interesting comments.

    really? well i don’t like them reading my emails and handing that information to whomever they please. not without without a warrant. And not all of us have a blog as boring as yours.

    Sincerely, Josh Zeidner

  • Josh Zeidner

    here you go America:


    In 2003 AT&T built “secret rooms” hidden deep in the bowels of its central offices in various cities, housing computer gear for a government spy operation which taps into the company’s popular WorldNet service and the entire internet. These installations enable the government to look at every individual message on the internet and analyze exactly what people are doing. Documents showing the hardwire installation in San Francisco suggest that there are similar locations being installed in numerous other cities.

  • Josh Zeidner

    this tool will allow you to see a geographical trace your IP packet routes. For the laymen these are the points in actual space that your information moves through to get to the destination. Whomever owns or ‘controls’ each of these nodes has the ability( not necessarily legally ) to record, interpret, sell or otherwise utilize all the data that you send through the internet.

    The Mapulator

  • Josh Zeidner

    interestingly, for my connection to get to Uruguay, it must go to Morristown, NJ, to Alberquerque, back to NJ, to Texas, to Florida, back to Texas, to Tennessee, to Temple Georgia and then to Montevideo.

    try a trace to http://www.industry.gov.iq . ICMP packets are blocked past jump #15. which is in Houston, Texas.

    Who built this thing?

  • http://poptones.f2o.org poptones

    This thing is going to come down to Dems vs. GOP.

    Man, Josh, you almost get it, but then don’t seem able to get past your own political bigotries…

    It’s NOT about dems vs GOP, it never was. Who is at the frontline in clamping down on porn? It’s not jsut the white house or the GOP – it’s Hillary and Leiberman and Specter and…

    The pols want their jobs, and to keep them they must serve the channels of control. That should be the american people, right? but it isn’t – because we’re all living in the world of Fox news and MSNBC and Disney, and they’re not about to deliver an empowering message to the people – that would cost viewers, whcih means lost dollars, which means lost revenue for shareholders – and that is, literally, illegal for corporations to do.

    Can you not see this is the perfect storm of new technology, terrorism, fear of the boogeymen who will sneak into the house through the wires and rape and steal your children?

    Big brother wants control and we have a conservative leadership right now that is bent on “wiping out evil” so they can make the world a better place for their sky daddy – but the “liberals” are on that very same front! There isn’t a pol in this country who won’t claim to embrace “american values” and jump on the bandwagon when it comes to to crack down on the imaginary “evildoers.” And how do you do that in this country? By controlling the minds of the people – by embracing the corporations that think for them.

    The “left” in this country is just as married to the church and the corporations as the right, and the Hillaries and the Leibermans want the chance to control the minds of the proletariat just as much as the right, and for all the same reasons. It was on Clinton’s watch we opened the door to censorship on the net, and it was his vice president who wanted every digital communications device to have an encryption system that dialed home to big brother – remember?

    There is big money in oppression – everyone from washington to the state prisons to the county police profit from oppression. Locales that have debated closing prisons have met with picketing prison guards, upset about the possibility of being put out of work! Government no longer serves the people, it serves itself – control, fear, doubt, uncertainty – keep the sheeple in line and let the idealogues battle it out every four years… after all, even when they lose, they still win. Just ask john Kerry.

    By being so hung up on “right vs left” you are playing right into the hands of the controllers. There is no left in this country – it’s just the right vs. the further right. The red and the blue are really just two shades of oppression in the same can of unmixed purple paint.



  • pelo

    me thinks poptones, josh and richard need to find something construvtive to do with their time! there’s actually quite a few of y’all that are way too dramatic about this particular issue. how did three blind mice become lessig’s eternal defender? when will the sad truth that none of the “debates” on this blog will ever influence anyone in washington? how can anyone take the issues talked about on this blog seriously in the face of a facist goverment? how can we be so complacent? how can fear of the state control not only technology, but people’s conception of reality? the war in iraq, net neutrality, global warming… these are not issues that any of us have any control over unless we take the power back from the government. the idea of infiltrating government with “good” will never work. is lessig a revolutionary? no. he’s a constitutionalist! he believes in the slave owners words (he hides behind his forefathers bloody hands)! being un-american will make for a better world… i thought i’d post again to place reality in a sea of fantasy!

  • http://poptones.f2o.org poptones

    Methinks pelo needs to get out of his chair and flip the record over – it seems to be stuck on the same tune….

  • Josh Zeidner


    just for the benefit of the readers on this list:

    I have no idea what youre talking about. anyone who knows anything about my politics can say that I am anything but a left-wing chauvinist. From what I can make out you appear to be a Cliff Claven type character, and I probably wont respond to your posts anymore. thanks, jmz

  • pelo

    i just think all your comments are pointless ramblings. you guys can’t change anything, get over it- we’re doomed!

  • Josh Zeidner

    pelo, all i ask is that you or anyone else take my comments into consideration, check up on them, and be a consciencious citizen. thats it. i generally think the problem is that some parties have gotten too out of hand with seizing control of various agencies in the government. Yes, its true i am suggesting that there is a bit of collusion going on here… im sure it comes as a shock that there may be people in government positions who are not exactly faithful and trustworthy civil servants.

  • ACS

    Jeez you guys. You are all worried about control and power but really this debate is about the provision of different services.

    Network neutrality works in favour of the lower half of telco customers because they are provided with a uniform service. On the other hand the upper half are pulled back down to the standards of the uniform service. That form of regulation will affect the quality of access available to the public.

    I think we would all agree that it is the premium services in society that improve technology and cause innovation. Innovation is very rarely achieved where a standard service is imposed.

    There is quite likely an advantage to allowing big telcos access to our networks including higher speed internet or specialised software and services, but all you guys complain about is that Disney is going to spy on you! Hell, google has been doing that for years.

    In this debate it is most likely the NN advocates are simply trying to ensure that uncle Walt doesnt check on their child pornography collection. (No offence).

    I think this issue should be met in the market. If people want a no-spying, high speed, easily affordable telco then one will pop up. Its the nature of capitalism.

    The fact is that you and I dont own the networks. They are owned by the telcos. We should accept this fact and start making demands for a better service rather than using the government to regulate the industry. Why leave power in Washington (or Canberra as the case may be) when the power is really in the sleeping giant of the consumer.

  • Josh Zeidner

    ACS, the big telcos would not be supporting this situation if there were not a significant barrier to entry( either by capital or policy ) to the network provider market. These barriers must exist for it to make any level of sense for the telcos to get involved in this debate.

    The NN camps tend to concentrate on the QoS argument but tend to defalte the real and actual parameters of the current communications technology market. Do you really think the future will be that of a multitude of providers? It is super cheap to make and run this stuff. In a normal environment, various market actors would step in with financially and technologicall progressive proposals. This is not happening due to a wide variety a disparate and confusing regulations and deals that make little sense under the ‘free market’ rubric. The fact is that there is a hidden player in the equation. See all my posts above.

  • http://poptones.f2o.org poptones

    I agree with Richard now…

    You’re too high. Time to give it up.

  • Josh Zeidner

    Well amidst the elightening edifice of peanut gallery remarks concerning drug use and beastility, I do have a legitimate question…

    Exactly what part of my claims are you saying are outrageous?

  • http://www.cnks.cn daiyun

    I’m trying to fight the comment spam bots. Type “human” here

  • three blind mice

    it is a pity to see this blog descend into slashdot hell.

    sincerely josh zeidner, if you have something to say can’t it be said without the ad hominen bit? you may not agree with poptones – poptones doesn’t even agree with itself all of the time – but please don’t accuse poptones of technical ignorance. poptones has an impressive track record in this blog, poptones knows how the internets works, and it reflects poorly on you to suggest that poptones’ views are based on ignorance.

    how did three blind mice become lessig’s eternal defender?

    we haven’t, pelo, and posting it twice doesn’t make it true. as any regular visitor to this site knows, we are among the harshest critics of professor lessig’s views.

    but here’s the essential part: our disagreement with professor lessig’s VIEWS, doesn’t mean we are critics of HIM. on the contrary, we mice are big fans of the professor. by raising these issues and writing about them and providing this forum to discuss them, we all become better informed.

    it is up to all of us to keep this playground clean, tidy, and safe for all us children. all we ask/demand is a little decorum and respect for each other in these discussions: play nice.

  • http://b Paul M

    I believe this horse is dead, let’s stop beating on it and move on. New developments have occurred and I think its time for a new post from the Prof. After this line of comments the only respectable poster with any shred of decency is the mice. No wonder they are still stoning people for crimes, human nature begs agression, no matter how intelligent.

  • Josh Zeidner

    three blind mice,

    I made a statement, that I believe is valid, has yet to be disproved, and I was accused of being on drugs. Read the posts. It would appear from recent statements made by political leaders that many agree with me.

    Secondly, for those of you who repeatedly post here anonymously: if you are serious, and you take Prof. Lessig seriously, and these issues seriously, USE YOUR ACTUAL IDENTITY. none of you risk anything by posting your opinions here and therefore I do not appreciate them.

  • three blind mice


    WE ARE.

  • Josh Zeidner

    ok… can you tell me the actual names of :

    threeblindmice( you )

    i just like to keep track of everyone involved… thanks jmz

  • http://poptones.f2o.org poptones

    Secondly, for those of you who repeatedly post here anonymously…

    Do some basic research and get your head out of the old world. You may not know my meatspace name, but I am far from “anonymous.” I have a slushdot profile, I have thousands of posts at ars technica, I have posted on usenet – I may not be “famous” but many people know me well enough to either love me or hate me no matter where “I” go.

    Poptones is, in this context, a “person.” You want to know my “real name?”

    I am poptones.

    Look it up.

  • Josh Zeidner

    Meatspace? you mean the place where people are born and die and actually have to be held accountable for what they say? What a novel concept! Experts agree, meatspace is where its at.

    poptones is a real person in the sense that Ronald McDonald is a real person.

  • ACS

    TO Josh Zeider

    It seems as though we do agree that the disparate regulations inhibits with free market capitalism in the telco arena. I think it is clear there will be a multitude of different providers. The NN question essential covers thier roles and whether they will be allowed to enter into a massive free for all or whether it is going to be socialism on the net.

    What side of the debate do you actually think the telcos are on for gods sake.

    Technically, I dont disagree with you but from the previous posts I can see why you disagree with me.

  • http://poptones.f2o.org poptones

    poptones is a real person in the sense that Ronald McDonald is a real person.

    What a quaint understanding of the internet.

    I am not of the myspace generation, so sorry if my desire for a certain amount of privacy offends you. But have no fear: the shrub administration (and apparently most of washington) is on your side: soon no one will be able to post to “the internets” without a permit and proper traceable credentials.

    Oooh, but what will you do then, stripped of your imagined safety within a lame, pathologically transparent excuse for evading meaningful rebuttals to your misguided and misinformed rhetoric?

    If my comments mean nothing to you, then why do you repeatedly reply to them? Obviously, you are feeling threatened at some level. What I fail to understand is why: I agree with you and you express redeemption, then I offer only the most tangential and impersonal criticism of your stated position and you turn against me like a rabid raccoon?

    Dude… grow a pair.

  • ACS

    By the way

    Josh and Poptones:

    Have you ever wondered why the police sort of laugh when you only give your name? Its because you can go under an alias in “meatspace”. I dont see why there is this imperative need to push for certification of someones identity.

    TO me (and many others who have read this site in the last few months) poptones is not identified by his social security number or birth certificate, rather, he is identified by his paranoia and anti government protests.

    No harm in withholding this information: How do we know Josh Zeider is your real name.

  • assman

    Correct me if I am wrong but isn’t the net neutrality debate fundamentally about one thing: eliminating price discrimination. Price discrimination is the practice where a monopoly charges people different amounts based on their ability to pay (kind of like progressive taxation charged by the government monopoly). I don’t see what’s so bad about that.