interweb freedom

(formerly Stop Usage Based Billing)

Nutshell Net Neutrality

Posted by Laurel L. Russwurm on January 20, 2010

The Easter Egg Museum

The Easter Egg Museum is located in Kolomyya, Ukraine. -- Photo by Mia

Ukrainian Law says that Internet Service Providers are not responsible for what their customers do.

This is the concept called Net Neutrality.

Internet Service Providers should NOT be held responsible for what their customers do.

Just as Landlords are not held responsible for what their tenants do.

The tenant may be the father of a family of four whose worst crime is crossing against the lights. Just as easily the tenant may be a serial killer who keeps locks of his victim’s hair in a jewelry box. Or perhaps the tenant is a wax museum artisan who keeps locks of necessary hair samples in a jewelry box at home for repairing exhibits.

The only way a landlord can know which involves serious invasion of privacy. Because it is only by spying on the tenants that the landlord can know. And even then, the landlord is not trained in recognizing or preserving evidence, much less building cases to present in court.

So no one expects the landlord to engage in this type of spying.

Largely because people prefer not to be spied on.

Even an innocent father doesn’t want his landlord pawing through his mail. The police aren’t allowed to open our mail because they want to. Email should be just as protected as postal mail.

Chances are the serial killer has taken precautions that would make it difficult for the landlord to discover the truth anyway. Besides, we’ve all seen the movie… if the landlord DID get the goods on the killer, the tenant would have to arrange an accident…
Paul Gross in the role of RCMP officer Benton Fraser in Due South
If the tenant is in fact breaking the law, either through tax evasion or serial killing, it is NOT the landlord’s job to investigate and prosecute. That’s what law enforcement is for. Centuries of jurisprudence have built in protections for citizens, so that something resembling probable cause must exist before citizen’s rights may be assailed.

Just as it is should not be an ISP’s job to monitor and investigate citizens in the event they may be breaking a law somewhere.

ISP’s are in the business of providing an internet connection, in much the same way that a landlord provides a rental property. In fact, the jargon used for a website’s main page is “home page”.

Spying on customers will be a huge expense for ISPs. Who will foot the bill?

I’ve seen enough spy films to know that intelligence gathering is a time consuming and expensive business. Surely it is not expected that the customers being spied on will pay for the privilege. The ISP can’t be expected to pay for the necessary personnel and equipment.

So the government will have to foot the bill.

But wait: government funds come from the citizens… so in effect the customers being spied on will pay for the privilege.

The internet has stopped being a luxury toy, as individuals and businesses conduct more and more of our real lives online. Internet access is as vital to modern life as phone access was 20 years ago.

We live a great deal of our lives online. Many people do online banking, and of course many commercial transactions take place online.

I correspond with family and friends around the world online. I know to be careful what information I put on facebook.

Internet security will be non-existent if ISPs are allowed or ordered to spy on us.

If they do, nothing on our computers will be secure.

8 Responses to “Nutshell Net Neutrality”

  1. Barb said

    With all the blanket bans going on, there is something that many will forget.
    I will use an example…I have friends in Canada and USA that I meet online on a forum where we share cooking ideas, discuss films and give personal reviews, our family, holidays etc. If this domain is one that comes under this stupid blanket ban, I have lost a lot of friends that I have known for years.
    Are these people stupid? Can’t they just ban certain areas of the web that applies to their quest rather than banning everything in sight. Or don’t they want to, they are going to hurt a lot more innocent people than those who they are actually after.

    • The problem is that all these bad laws are being driven by corporate special interests. The problem is that they don’t care who will be hurt. Corporations don’t have empathy, the bottom line is the only consideration.

  2. […] 2010 #46 Welcome to Another Book Title Year #47 Speculation not Prophecy #48 Nutshell Net Neutrality #49 We Interrupt this […]

  3. mahnaz said

    من عاشق فریزر و شخصیت زیبای ایشان در سریال به سوی جنوب هستم دوست دارم بیشتر با ایشان آشنا شوم من 13 سالم بود که این سریال رادیدم تقربا” 10 سال پیش اگر ممکن می باشد زندگینامه ایشان را برایم بفرستید، خیلی ممنون می شوم.

    [google translation: I love the beautiful Fraser and his character in the series I love the south to get to know more about them that I was only 13 Radydm Tqrba series “10 years ago is if you could send me his biography, I’m very grateful.]

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