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European Union is Divided on Net Neutrality…

European FlagPeople have wondered how an Internet without net neutrality would work. It is currently hypothetical that on an Internet without net neutrality, companies would need to “pay to play” and live by arbitrary, ISP-devised rules for accessing consumers who want and pay for their services. This is the so-called “fast lane.” While ISPs argue this is about network utilization and bandwidth costs, businesses worry that it’s far beyond that.

As an organising principle, net neutrality explains why the Internet has enabled such an explosion of creativity over the past 30 years. It meant that if you were smart enough to invent something that could be done with data packets, then the Internet would do it for you with no questions asked. What that meant was that the barriers to entry for innovators were incredibly low, which is why Tim Berners-Lee was able to launch the web and a Harvard sophomore named Mark Zuckerberg could unleash Facebook on an unsuspecting world.

The current debate in the US was triggered by the decision of some ISPs like Comcast, to charge content providers such as Netflix to provide fast lanes to deliver  films to subscribers. This was seen as a threat to net neutrality, because it means that those with the deepest pockets get priority for their bit streams. This is contentious, ultimately raising the barriers to entry, ranking ing corporations over other users and reducing the disruptive potential of the network.

Recently the European commission’s Vice President for the digital single market Andrus Ansip, the former Estonian prime minister,  has expressed his concern over Italian proposals to give network providers the ability to offer different speeds to different sites, saying he was “really worried” about the new plans.

In a leaked document dated 14 November, Italy, which presently  holds the rotating Presidency of the EU, suggested removing the definitions of “net neutrality” and “specialised services”; the latter are seen by net neutrality proponents as a euphemism for offering an internet fast lane to paying customers.

While the EU focuses on net neutrality, six UK ISPs have been required to block access to yet more torrent sites, “including limetorrents.com, nowtorrents.com, picktorrent.com, seedpeer.me and torlock.com”, according to industry site TorrentFreak.

The UK’s Internet censorship system, originally built around preventing access to child abuse images, has been extended to cover sites, which promote copyright infringement since the Pirate Bay was blocked in February 2012.  Both BT and Sky have now implemented the latest regulatory of changes, preventing direct access for their subscribers (although the blocks are easily circumvented by users with a VPN), but BT has gone a step further and blocked access to other ‘torrent sites’ as well. In the UK telephone calls have enjoyed common carriage since the Telecommunications Act of 1934, and it’s worked for consumers, businesses and access providers alike. However, in the US the FCC regulator has been reluctant to update its framework to account for all forms of communication, including technologies like SMS text messaging and Internet traffic. But now is the time to change, as President Obama recently by calling for Title II treatment, common carriage, for Internet communications.

biia-cyber-sceruity-adWithout net neutrality, the Internet as we know it now will be at risk of becoming arbitrary, unstable and hostile to innovation.   guardian   guardian2   techcrunch

Courtesy: Cyber Security Intelligence

 

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