Please Lie to me about Net Neutrality

There's a pervasive myth that there has been no discrimination on the internet against content companies.  That is simply untrue.  For one, Craigslist has been blocked for three months from Cox customers because of security software malfunctions.

Back on February 23rd Authentium acknowledged that their software is blocking Craigslist but it still hasn't fixed the problem, more than three months later. That's a heck of long time to delete some text from their blacklist. And this company also supplies security software to other large ISPs.

Without net neutrality protections, cable and telecom companies will have no incentive to fix these kinds of problems.  Already, it's quite difficult to even know that this is happening because they are quite easy to disguise.  

The telcos are of course lying about this, claiming that no web sites have been blocked.  And gullible reporters are falling for the lies.

It's not, of course, just reporters, but lawmakers too who are being infected by the dishonest atmosphere.  Joe Biden seems to be equivocating on net neutrality. He's up for reelection in 2008.  Anyone know anything about the Delaware primary process?

Tags: joe biden, net neutrality (all tags)



Re: Please Lie to me about Net Neutrality

Biden should be next on the list after Lieberman. The bankruptcy bill, badmouthing fellow Dems in the media, etc., the list goes on and on.

We should start looking for a candidate now.

by Tod Westlake 2006-06-14 06:01PM | 0 recs
Re: Please Lie to me about Net Neutrality

I don't agree that Lieberman and Biden are the same kind of beast, not at all. Biden voted for the bankruptcy bill because MBNA practically owns the state of Delaware. The "badmouthing fellow Dems in the media," is something I haven't seen/remembered, but I'm sure it could be chalked up to early 2008 Presidential jockeying.

That said, Joe Biden has been a vociferous opponent of the Bush Iraq policy. He's been a leading voice for a more sensible foreign policy. He's criticized the President's ultraconservative judicial nominees. While he's had his momentary disagreements from his party's line (and who hasn't, except maybe George Allen), he's a good, reliable Democrat, not even close to Lieberman's DINO status.

by SJBrian 2006-06-14 06:08PM | 0 recs
Re: Please Lie to me about Net Neutrality

I agree that we disagree.

by Tod Westlake 2006-06-14 06:58PM | 0 recs
Schumer is more trouble

...what with constantly choosing patronage over party. Not that he'll be up for reelection for a while but I think there are other senators we could focus on before Biden.

by MNPundit 2006-06-14 07:20PM | 0 recs
Re: Schumer is more trouble

Oh, I quite agree with you, but he's not up 'til 2010, if I remember correctly.

by Tod Westlake 2006-06-14 07:22PM | 0 recs
Re: Please Lie to me about Net Neutrality

I go to school in Delaware (I'm a NJ resident). I'm not very familiar with the Delaware primary process, but I do know a bit about the Delaware political scene, and I'm telling you with more than reasonable certainty that you won't be able to find a Democratic challenger to Biden who Biden won't crush. Better to lobby him hard rather than try and beat him.

by SJBrian 2006-06-14 06:02PM | 0 recs
Re: Please Lie to me about Net Neutrality

IMHO, it's important when talking about problems with blocking to mention that part of the reason that there haven't been many problems is that it is only since Bush took office that broadband has been reclassified and thus deregulated. And in the meantime ongoing legal fights have kept the telecos mostly in line waiting to see the outcome.

But they have made it clear they aren't going to keep doing things the way they've been if this law isn't passed. AT&T, Bellsouth and Verizon have all made it clear they want to start charging websites fees in addition to what they already pay and we already pay.

This is important because we aren't trying to change the way the internet runs, but rather keep it the way it's been running and growing for the last 30 years.

by Step Beyond 2006-06-14 06:05PM | 0 recs
Re: Please Lie to me about Net Neutrality

Yeah, I don't think MBNA Joe could lose to anyone at all in DE.

by DanielUA 2006-06-14 06:05PM | 0 recs
Re: Please Lie to me about Net Neutrality

The water tower ad lies to me about net neutrality.  It tells me that Net Neutrality is a solution in search of a problem.  It makes me cry.

If Cox can do what it does to Craigslist, who knows what eventually could be done due to COPE.

by jlove1982 2006-06-14 06:25PM | 0 recs
Re: Please Lie to me about Net Neutrality

Matt's right that incumbents could and probably would do all sorts of creative things to test the limits of what they could get away with without a major market and legislative backlash.  They do that kind of thing all the time.  Biden seems to be taking the easy way out here, which is probably more politically disingenuous than naive about the broadband business.

Specter sounds like he's talking about the existing non-binding "principles" the FCC has come out with, which strike me as functionally meaningless.

If anyone's interesting in cases of blocking or discrimination, intentional or otherwise, check out some of the links in this post: /28910

How about we include a provision in net neutrality rules that allow the discrimination incumbents want to engage in once there were enough facilities-based providers in a local market to support healthy competition?  Or, new entrants other than incumbents could be free to discriminate from the get-go (which would appease those who claim that NN will reduce incentives for new market entrants), since they'd have very little if any market power and couldn't leverage that discrimination in any significant way?  Or some combination of the above.  Regulation similar to this has been done in both the cable and telephone industry in the past (i.e., we outlaw anti-competitive behavior until there's enough competiton to minimize it and its impacts).

But I'm pretty sure this would be a non-starter politically.  I think we're down to issues of political muscle, strategy and execution here...probably not much room for real problem solving and compromise.  I'm reminded of a saying of a friend: "money talks, men mumble." (maybe in this case, we might change "men" to "Senators" to be a little more specific)

by mitchipd 2006-06-14 06:29PM | 0 recs
Biden is a fool

On Monday WaPo editorial says:

The weakest aspect of the neutrality case is that the dangers it alleges are speculative. It seems unlikely that broadband providers will degrade Web services that people want and far more likely that they will use non-neutrality to charge for upgrading services that depend on fast and reliable delivery, such as streaming high-definition video or relaying data from heart monitors. If this proves wrong, the government should step in. But it should not burden the Internet with preemptive regulation.

On Wednesday, Biden treats it like it is gospel -- despite the evidence that this isn't speculative.

The WaPo admitted that the link Stoller gave means that net neutrality is necessary. Will Biden be able to reach the same conclusion without it being spelled out for him?

by Bob Brigham 2006-06-14 06:36PM | 0 recs
Re: Biden is a fool

Not to mention the fact that what the WaPo describes in that snippet is a mathematical impossibility. On any given pipe, to upgrade one service, you must downgrade something else.

by fwiffo 2006-06-15 04:05AM | 0 recs
General question

   Why is it so DIFFICULT to get so many Democrats to align themselves on the public-interest side of legislation?

  Supporting net neutrality should be second nature to anyone with a D after his name, and not a few R's, either. And yet we have to expend so much energy informing and convincing Democrats to see an issue in a way that should be automatic to them.

 It's frustrating.

by Master Jack 2006-06-14 06:58PM | 0 recs
General Answer


Public interest = Few Lobbyists = $20 donations
Telcos = Army of Lobbyists = $2,100 donations from all family members at the meet and greet.

Go along to get along.

We have to change that before they change the rules on us like the Telcos are trying to do right now...

by michael in chicago 2006-06-14 07:28PM | 0 recs
Re: Please Lie to me about Net Neutrality

Cox also blocked VoIP traffic ... I believe they were fined for it.

by joyous 2006-06-14 07:27PM | 0 recs
Re: Please Lie to me about Net Neutrality

I'm pretty sure that wasn't Cox, but some small-market telco...Madison River, or something like that. I doubt that kind of blatant port blocking will happen for VoIP.  That would call too much attention to the issue.  More subtle tactics will probably be preferred.  You don't have to kill your competitor today, just weaken him steadily till he dies or investors turn their back on him and he goes bankrupt.  The telcos have mastered that art over the decades.

One of the things that scares incumbents about munis is that they generally don't have to answer to private investors who demand high returns and have relatively short time horizons.  They just have to pay off their investment over some reasonable period of time and deliver value to and be responsive to their communities (unless, of course, states or the feds pass onerous restrictions on how they operate).  This can make them more tenacious competitors, because they're basically operating on a different, non-profit, public service business model that can offer low prices that threaten incumbents' market share and pricing market power.

by mitchipd 2006-06-14 08:08PM | 0 recs
Re: Please Lie to me about Net Neutrality

That's correct, it was Madison River, not Cox.

by Jim Lippard 2006-06-17 10:21PM | 0 recs
Re: Please Lie to me about Net Neutrality

I'd say anybody who supported cloture for Scalito should be on the short list. Biden was a ringleader. String him up.

by lightyearsfromhome 2006-06-14 08:40PM | 0 recs
Re: Please Lie to me about Net Neutrality

He said he was going to vote for cloture but changed his mind after the blogswarm on Kerry's chiding.

by Joshua Sperati 2006-06-14 08:50PM | 0 recs
Re: Please Lie to me about Net Neutrality
Biden Voted against Cloture for Alito.
Carper voted for Cloture on Alito.
Wrong Delaware Senator.
by Joshua Sperati 2006-06-14 08:52PM | 0 recs
Re: Please Lie to me about Net Neutrality

Before we go attacking incumbent Democrats, are we 100% that we're correct on the policy?  I was concerned that Matt said he knows "nothing about telecommunications policy" at YearlyKos

by dem1 2006-06-15 06:30AM | 0 recs
Re: Please Lie to me about Net Neutrality

There is no question at all that Democrats need to unite behind causes like this.  It's also not enough to vote FOR a failed amendment to support net neutrality -- more Democrats needed to stand up and vote AGAINST the COPE bill (about half did).  It's like voting against drilling in Alaska and then voting for an Energy bill that enables it.  We need more outspoken progressive voices, and we need equal access to the internet, period.

by wolfblitzer 2006-06-15 08:05AM | 0 recs
Re: Please Lie to me about Net Neutrality

Matt, not that you should expect advice from us at Hands Off, but if you want a fighting chance on the Senate Net Neutrality vote, take dem1's advice and lay off the Democratic incumbents.  
I would also urge you (you consider yourself a leader in this fight) to stop making embarrassing comments like this that you will probably end up apologizing for: Precursor blog: "The fact is that your work on this issue is immoral, weak, and unAmerican."

"UnAmerican," are you serious?

by HandsOff1 2006-06-15 08:17AM | 0 recs
Being a Delawarean.

It's a Closed Primary to protect the integrity of the primary for both major parties and has been for years. Which means only democrats may vote in the democratic primary and only R's can vote in that primary.

Anyway Carper when he was our congressman in the 80's kept his constant stream of primary opponents to under 10%. He destroyed the old corrupt machine and replaced the machinery over the years to one that is much much more open.

Biden I don't think has ever had a primary although he would never lose one for senate or president. I'm only hoping Wes Clark can get 15% in some subdivisions so he can get a few delegates. That showing in DE would be like what Wellstone did for Jackson. In 2004 we sent 14 for Kerry and 1 for Sharpton.

by Joshua Sperati 2006-06-15 08:47AM | 0 recs
Re: Please Lie to me about Net Neutrality

I seem to remember an incident in Canada (if they can do it there they can do it here) last year involving a telecom and its employees. There was a labor dispute, and the telecom blocked their customers' access to the union's website. The telecom got slapped around a bit because they were legally required to carry all data without prejudice. As it should be. I tried to find it on slashdot but couldn't come up with it.

by JoeHill 2006-06-15 09:22AM | 0 recs
Re: Please Lie to me about Net Neutrality

That was Telus in Canada and why would you assume that the rules in Canada are the same as the U.S.?

by Jim Lippard 2006-06-17 10:22PM | 0 recs
Re: Please Lie to me about Net Neutrality

It must be obvious that if we let the Big Pipeliners control what people say on "the" internet by charging discriminatory fees, there will be no freedom of blog anymore.

I say, just charge the Internet Viewers on a simple bit-per-month basis. That would be real freedom of speech.

by blues 2006-06-15 01:06PM | 0 recs
Re: Please Lie to me about Net Neutrality

This is a very serious issue and I appreciate the lead that MyDD has taken in making sure the word gets out.  In that vein, can I ask you guys to PLEASE TAKE THE ANTI NET NEUTRALITY BLOG AD OFF OF YOUR SITE!  The ad for Hands Off The Internet sponsored by (can you say astroturf?) is likely a telecom sponsored ad that is designed to confuse the issue and ask for Congress NOT to get involved in ensuring net neutrality.  It is a sneaky trick getting it on liberal blogs, but they've done it and we should make sure it stops.

by liberalgirlnextdoor 2006-06-15 09:01PM | 0 recs
Re: Please Lie to me about Net Neutrality

Wanted to post this over here to.  The recent ads start to befuddle and confuse the issue to average citizen.  I just wrote this over at SquareState as well as dailykos.  While my analysis wasn't particularly earth shattering, I borrow heavily from this guy.  

This also addresses an issue that I fear they may try to use to further confuse the issue: Quality of Service, QoS
Here's another good paragraph from the same article

The pursuit of tolls based on content and application type requires something that does not exist in the Internet today. It requires a linkage between content type and transport. Equipment providers like Cisco increasingly deliver products offering packet by packet inspection in the name of network management, but implementing the access fees means giving billing systems the ability to monitor and track the types of applications and content customers use. Setting aside the chilling privacy concerns, the telephone network's linkage of usage to transport represents the primary obstacle to service creation I observed during five years at Bell Labs in the 1990's. Forcing innovators to change the network in order to implement an application means an end to innovation. The end of innovation means the end of growth in demand for Internet access.

by johne 2006-06-15 09:33PM | 0 recs
Re: Please Lie to me about Net Neutrality

While I understand that it is just an ad (and their money is as good as anyone else's I suppose) and that most people, especially people who visit this (and other liberal blogs) regularly, will easily see through the crap, I think it muddies the waters on an already complicated issue and that can hurt the cause.  For regular readers it's not such a big deal, but those who come just every once in a while looking for answers to questions they may not have the time to research for themselves, the perceived endorsement of that view could change some minds (and not in the way that we want).

by liberalgirlnextdoor 2006-06-15 09:52PM | 0 recs
Re: Please Lie to me about Net Neutrality

skippy refuses such ads.

by skippy 2006-06-15 11:28PM | 0 recs
Re: Please Lie to me about Net Neutrality

how may i donate to skippy to support this?

by mdfogarty 2006-06-16 07:15AM | 0 recs
Re: Please Lie to me about Net Neutrality

looking through congressional quarterly for the last week, about half the ads are deceptive anti-net neutrality ads, and zero support the opposite side. google and ebay need to put their money where their mouth is.

by mdfogarty 2006-06-16 07:10AM | 0 recs
Re: Please Lie to me about Net Neutrality

This Cox issue has nothing to do with net neutrality or intentional blocking of sites.  It has to do with the fact that the webserver sends an initial response packet with a window size of 0, which tells the client side to send packets as slowly as possible, which the Authentium software does, which the SVP of Product Management for Authentium pointed out to you on MyDD back on June 8 ( 7/7525).

The problem is that Authentium doesn't up the window size after tries to increase it, but they have a fix.

Your use of this as a claim of intentional site blocking is incredibly dishonest--it's as honest as using an example of a backhoe fiber cut or a system disk failure as evidence of intentional site blocking.

by Jim Lippard 2006-06-18 05:45AM | 0 recs


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