Net Neutrality Links
I’ve added these links to the Net Neutrality Page today.
. . . Well, IÃ¢â¬â¢m not sure who coined the related term Ã¢â¬ÅastrospammersÃ¢â¬Â, but we seem to have this new twist on the phenomenon showing up in blogs discussing net neutrality issues. I first read about these kind of suspicious comments showing up on net neutrality-related blog postings over on IP Inferno, where Ted Shelton noted that after a recent post he wrote about net neutrality three random anonymous strangers went to the trouble of creating brand new blogger accounts in order to post pro-telco comments on the subject.
The Abstract Factory did some sleuthing on one of the new net neutrality commenters called Ã¢â¬ÅNet ChickÃ¢â¬Â, and concludes that is likely this persona is a paid spammer supporting an astroturf-like campaign against net neutrality . . .
I was looking at inbound links this evening and came across one originating behind the firewall of a company called NetVocates which is a “blog intelligence and advocacy service”. The website blurb says, reasonably enough:
“…blogs frequently impact an organization and its products and image in uncontrolled and often unexpected ways. In addition, the sheer volume of blogs, message boards, and other discussion forums makes it difficult for organizations to effectively monitor the activity relevant to them.”
Organisations want to know what people are saying about them online – that makes perfect sense. However, I spent a bit more time on the NetVocates site and found this:
“NetVocates then recruits activists and consumers who share the clientÃ¢â¬â¢s views in order to reinforce those key messages on targeted blogs Ã¢â¬â and rebut misinformation when appropriate.”
Here are five frequently-asked questions about net neutrality. Your challenge: answer each in 150 words or less. Here’s my cut.
1. What does net neutrality actually mean? Is it a meaningful protection for the web, or, as some say, a romanticized ideal that’s getting in the way of progress?
Think of the pipes and wires that you use to go online as a sidewalk. The question is whether the sidewalk should get a cut of the value of the conversations that you have as you walk along. The traditional telephone model has been that the telephone company doesn’t get paid more if you have a particularly meaningful call — they’re just providing a neutral pipe.
This argument is about whether companies selling highspeed transport mechanisms for the internet should be allowed to price discriminate — charge different “content providers” (like YouTube) for the privilege of reaching you and me. Because Americans have so few choices of broadband access providers, allowing these providers to leverage their market power over transport in order to have exclusive control over “programming” online is a matter of great concern.
The risk is that the network providers will keep everyone who hasn’t paid protection money to them at 2001 speeds.
–ME “Liz” Strauss
NET NEUTRALITY PAGE