Net Neutrality: A (hopefully) more reasoned look

Net Neutrality is news again this week with the passage of the UK's Digital Economy Bill (still scratching my head over how the ostensibly left/center "party of the working man" justifies that one, yet another reason I was quietly rooting for the Lib Dems), court judgments against P2P software companies, file sharers and private consumers.
A German court today issued a ruling in a civil case regarding a musician suing a private citizen over allegations that someone used his home internet connection to upload some of the musician's work. The court found the user partially liable and fined him. Here's the rub... the user was able to prove that he was in fact on vacation at the time, not at home. The court decided that his failure to take steps to secure his WiFi network made him partially responsible for the infringement. This is something of a double edged sword, much as the 'global linksys network' is; it might help encourage average people to take some actual interest in and responsibility for their technology but it also starts us on a path where IP holders feel justified in reaching ever further into people's homes and private lives iin the name of stopping 'piracy'. It also might be a bit of an inconvenience to lose some of that once omnipresent WiFi access, although hopefully the slack can be taken up by improvements in 'mobile broadband' (ie, dropping prices, improved speeds, greater compatibility).

LimeWire was also found to have been responsible for "encouraging, enabling and profiting from infringing activity". Well that much was pretty obvious to everyone but there is still that issue of the entertainment industry being ridiculously out of touch with the consumer. Although a sufficiently harsh judgment against LW Inc might finally shutdown that malware hose.

That last case leads all to directly to a bunch of points that have already been made all too often already and at least occasionally, been made better than I could. So, on the headlining question: "Just what the fuck is 'Net Neutrality'?"
Everyone seems to have their own divergent and slightly unique idea and definition, so here is mine.

Net Neutrality is (or at least in my view, should be) an outright requirement of basic truth and honesty in services offered(not exactly telco and entertainment industry strengths) and a ban on any form of censorship, monitoring or interference by any service provider (beyond the basic QoS/service prioritization required by the TCP/IP stack) and a requirement that if any service provider wants to offer a censored or 'cleaned up' access service (we know there is a market for it, look at some of the specialist DNS providers) they must offer the same service free of such limitations at the same or less cost to the customer. Essentially ISPs (be they traditional telcos, mobile service providers, cable companies, or anything else) should act as dumb pipes, completely blind to what flows through their pipes, just ensuring the fast and reliable delivery of each packet to it's destination. If they also want to offer content services, good for them put they cannot prioritize that traffic above any other traffic of the same type (ie, Time Warner couldn't prioritize their VoIP traffic over, say, Skype or Vonage). It should ultimately be up to the customer, the end user, what they see, what they do and who they communicate with.

Also, I want my ISP to bring back their NEWS server(s), and run them properly this time. Heck, I might even be tempted to run it myself if they could get me something better the the shitpile aDSL line they stuck me with.

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