Thursday, September 27, 2007

Net Neutrality example

Here is an article in the New York Times that highlights what is at stake in the Net Neutrality debate. Does a network provider have a right to control what is transmitted over that network? In this example, Verizon blocked abortion-rights group Naral from sending text messages to members over their network saying it had the right to block “controversial or unsavory” messages like this:
End Bush’s global gag rule against birth control for world’s poorest women! Call Congress. (202) 224-3121. Thnx! Naral Text4Choice.”
They have since backed down but the thing is, they could if they wanted to. They are saying that data is not neutral. This data is "bad data" and you can only see the "good data".

What if Qwest could decide what was good and bad data coming into our apartment? Say they made a deal with Amazon's video service. Thats good data while a competing service that didn't make Qwest a deal is bad data - so you don't get it unless you pay Qwest a 'roaming' fee for 'non-partner' content. You get the idea.

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