Last week, I got a notice that my download speed will be increased at no additional cost to my current Internet Plan. Now that is nice, and then I read this article on how a large number of groups are petitioning the CRTC to deny ISP’s the ability to THROTTLE SELECTED ACCOUNTS. And that has me rather pissed off, because I signed a contract ( or agreement if you will ) that gives me Internet Access, to whatever site I choose. Not to be limited to what sites I visit, or to what I choose to download from those sites. Yet it appears, that is what some ISPs are deliberately doing.
In a submission filed Monday to the Canada Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) in advance of a July probe into the issue of internet traffic management, the Open Internet Coalition said traffic shaping network management “discourages investment in broadband networks, diminishes consumer choice, interferes with users’ freedom of expression, and inhibits innovation.” ( source – CBC News )
The issue has arisen from the way Bell handles its Internet. It admits that at times, it throttles accounts, which limits the download speed from various P2P sites, which for now, are mostly file sharing sites. What is more scary is that in order to manage this system, the ISP uses technology that devulges the content of what you are sending/receiving, so it can effectively control your online speed.
While the idea of ‘deep packet’ technology is to help in fight spam, virus spreading, it is also used to determine just what YOU are downloading. Now, that has me worried on several fronts, because it makes your private business, open to public disclosure. I have nothing to hide, however, it is not up to some nameless techie across the country, to determine what can be revealed and what shouldn’t be. It is not their right to determine whether I SHOULD ACCESS A SITE NOW OR LATER. And yet, that is exactly what this technology is allowing some ISP’s to do.
Let me also state, that I believe most of these file sharing sites, are simply promoting theft of intellectual properties. I believe they make it easy for people to steal things like videos, songs, books, and pass them onto others, for free. That is not right & is STEALING IN MY OPINION.
That being said, it is up to a Court to determine the matter, not up to some nameless ISP or Corporate Official. It is dangerous to give them that kind of power, because it does impact your use of a site. If access is made slower, if it is made inconvenient, people will move on, and that impacts the economics of a site, that has invested money into servers, personnel, etc. It should not be up to a nameless ISP to decide the fate of any single or group of, companies, irrespective of their business model.
WHAT DO THEY THROTTLE NEXT?
How about the proliferation of Hate Sites? Should access to them be throttled, and information collected on who goes there, who downloads promotional material from those sites? AFTER ALL, THEY ARE PROMOTING HATE, AREN’T THEY?
See, that is the danger of such tactics. It gives the power to CENSOR SITES, that are protected under Free Speech laws. It invades one’s privacy, another protected right, and yet it seems that our Government is okay with that. This isn’t a business decision, of having too much traffic going to one paticular site, but about poor management of infrastructure, about business not willing to invest in growing its network.
While hoarding their profits, by attempting to not invest in their own company, these ISPs are also invading our civil righs, and threatening our Democratic Rights. The truth is, this is a form of CENSORSHIP and not even from a Government Agency, but from a BUSINESS. The ramifications of allowing this throttling to continue, under any circumstances is contrary to the very premise of the Internet.
The Internet has grown, because it is a TRUE VEHICLE FOR FREE SPEECH & SHARING OF IDEAS, OPINIONS, THOUGHTS, & LIFE. When you cut back access,you are cutting back on the ability of the average person to express themselves, to discuss issues and to give opinions, on anything. The free access to the Internet, helps PROMOTE FREEDOM BETTER THAN ANY INVASION CAN.
Throttling of accounts is wrong, it is a risk to our very freedoms.
Privacy Commissioner of Canada Jennifer Stoddart also weighed in on the issue, saying that since DPI technology is capable of allowing inspection of information content sent from end user to end user, it potentially allows third parties to draw inferences about users’ personal lives, interests and activities, whether or not that is the intent. ( source – CBC News )
We have no control over what big corporations do with the information they gather from us. Some retail outlets even sell their customer lists to others, for a quick buck. Tell me how ISPs are any different? I don’t want my personal online habits to be part of some study, or used to add to my junk mail. It is hard enough to control today, and now with this carte blanche, will be even harder.
The bottom line is this. When issues like this are before us, who do you want to make the decision? Some nameless corporate officer, or your Member of Parliament? Do you want some giant conglomerate to decide who can view or be given access to your online activities, or do you want it regulated by the Government, where you have some say?
We vote in or out, our elected officials, while we have NO SAY in who runs a business like Bell. WHO DO YOU WANT IN CHARGE OF WHAT SITES YOU CAN ACCESS, OF WHAT INFORMATION CAN BE SHARED WITH OTHER PARTIES?