Friday, April 04, 2008

The call for someone to fight for Net Neutrality is answered?

Well, here we go.

The Canadian Association of Internet Providers have officially called on Bell Canada to Cease and Desist it's throttling activities. By filing a Part VII application with the CRTC asking it to direct Bell Canada to cease and desist from throttling its wholesale Internet service, the CAIP have launched the first salvo of the net neutrality battle.

Now, initially, this is just about Bell's throttling of their third party competitors who get their ADSL access from Bell. As CAIP explains: "Bell's traffic shaping measures have impaired the speed and performance of the wholesale ADSL access services that it provides to independent ISPs and other competitors, to the point where the quality of the service has been degraded beyond recognition." However, it also threatens to bring to light just how Bell has been "managing their bandwidth" as some euphemistically like to call it.

Read this:

"In order to throttle the Internet traffic originating from/or destined for end-user customers of independent ISPs, Bell is using measures to first, open each data packet, examine the packet data and header information, and then apply certain rules to the content in question. This aspect of Bell’s wholesale throttling activities give rise to concerns that Bell’s actions violate the privacy of the communications of its wholesale customers (as well as that of their own end-user customers). It also gives rise to concerns that Bell has violated its duty under section 36 of the Act not to control the content or influence the meaning or purpose of telecommunications carried by it for the public."

Now, I may not be a total techy, but that says to me that Bell is looking at the content people are sending across the internet, and then determining what content goes fast, and what content goes slow.

Are you freaking kidding me?!?!

CAIP continues:

"by examining the packet data and packet header information of GAS customer traffic, Bell can identify, inter alia, the type of data being transferred, the ISP upon whose network the data is being transferred, an end-user’s intention to acquire certain types of Internet content and the IP address and, hence, the identity of the end-user customer who is sending/receiving the data. The collection and use of such information by Bell, which in this case would have clearly been done without the prior consent of the end-user customers so affected, violates the privacy of such individuals."

Uh, yeah, it sure as Hell does!

If you haven't been paying attention to the Net Neutrality debate to this point, it's time to start.

Here's a good primer on Net Neutrality from the CBC (who found that people were having trouble downloading CBC videos from their website because the internet had bee throttled by their ISPs thanks to Bell). And drop by Neutrality.ca to learn more about the issues surrounding Net Neutrality in Canada. If you're on Facebook, consider joining the Canadians for Net Neutrality group to show your support for Net Neutrality in Canada. Maybe if it gets 40,000 members like the Fair Copyright for Canada group did, then Minister Prentice will decide that letting private corporations exert a form of control over the internet, and the information that flows on it, that we would NEVER allow a government to exert is JUST PLAIN WRONG.

H/T to A Limerick Ox.

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3 comments:

Catelli said...

LKO, I had to respond to this post, the last post and some of the comments directly on my blog.

Please feel free to read and respond, at my blog or here on your own.

Mike said...

Hey LK,

Thanks for the hat tip. Nice to know we're on the same side!

sassy said...

Thanks for this informative post.