I don’t want THAT #NetNeutrality, Obama…

I’m all in for Net  Neutrality, but insofar as it meaning that those who control connectivity will not control what you do with the connectivity you’re renting.

You pay for 100 Mbps, and of course, you should have read you’re getting that to the ISP, not to each and every website on the Internet.

You should never be subject to an ISP’s whims (possibly because they might also be a content provider) meaning they should not make traffic slower from a nom paying, non complying service provider.

This does not mean that the service provider should be forbidden to buy closer access to the ISP’s clients, that’s how all the web accelerators (eg Akamai) work.

However when I read Obama’s Net Neutrality speech I was scared shitless of what he said. I don’t want that.

Now you may say I’m not an american citizen, but the thing is… they influence politics abroad so much that inevitably what they do may be done worse in Europe.

As an example, DMCA was made much worse in Europe’s own EUCD. I now own  several DVD’s which if I play with Free Software I risk up to two years in jail (which is why DVD DRM only made me not buy any DVD media since 2004, so DRM actually meant less revenues to content providers).

What scared me shitless in Obama’s speech? His definition for “ISPs must not block content“. Below are his words to the FCC, not mine:

No blocking. If a consumer requests access to a website or service, and the content is legal, your ISP should not be permitted to block it.

«(…) and the content is legal» is what scared me shitless.

When people read “legal”, this is what they think it means:

Legal vs Illegal?But illegal content is already forbidden in several places, for example hate speech. So what is new here? Surely you have nothing to hide, right?

Wrong! Very wrong! Legality is not a mutually exclusive dual state, it is a mutually exclusive triple state between what’s…

  • legal, meaning explicitly allowed by law, green stuff
  • illegal, meaning explicitly forbidden by law, red stuff
  • unlawful, meaning not forbidden by law but also not explicitly made legal by law, grey matter

This, in short:

Legal vs Illegal vs UnlawfulObama’s words mean that only that green circle cannot be blocked by ISPs, here is what can be blocked by ISPs, according to that definition:

What CAN be blocked by ISPs is in RED!Ok now, please tell me which of the following is explicitly allowed by law:

  • Bit torrent
  • Blogging, podcasting, vidcasting [without a license]
  • Wikileaks
  • Snowden-like leaks

You will not be able to uphold these things on the basis of free speech, as they can be argued to hurt the network, or treason, or some other excuse that will be very hard to fight in courts if you allow this.

EFF, EDRi, everybody, can we please agree that politicians have pwned the Net Neutrality debate and are on a power grab attempt to control what citizens can access to on the Internet?

I have to thank the No Agenda podcast for helping me perceive this, as they have pointed this orwellian speech so many times in other politicians’s words before Obama’s words ever got posted in the WhiteHouse.gov web site.

I’m sure the EU will soon follow…

2 Replies to “I don’t want THAT #NetNeutrality, Obama…”

  1. That’s a very interesting take on it all. It does stand to reason that there would be 3 states of legality as you describe.

    However, the core of your argument is based on a 1 sentence tidbit from a speech. I would hope that lawmakers would make that more clearly defined. I would hope that their choice of word selection would be better suited than his speech writers.

    Perhaps that’s hoping too much, but in any case, you’ve definitely given me something more to look out for in the coming debates. Thanks!

  2. Thanks and I’m glad to be helpful.

    However it’s not just one tidbit. It would take too much effort for me to do it but I’ve heard several clips via the No Agenda Show from several politicians with the same undertones.

    Obama is only the major politician figure to put it into writing, so far.

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