The Open Internet & the Freedom of Speech

Network Neutrality, because Censoring is already here! (On my ISP)

I just wanted to share my experience comparing two different internet service providers I have, one is Pavlov media, and the other is ATT. Pavlov media provides a 1.5mbit service to my house, and ATT provides the same to my parents house. Both cost about the same and advertise their connections as being equal speed.

The difference is that Pavlov filters their connection extensively based on file type, website visited, and time of day. After testing this through a VPN which is not filtered I have concluded that for my situation net neutrality makes the internet what it is. My net neutral connection is fast and speedy. However when I use my Pavlov connection it is slow and useless. I cannot visit certain websites, my VOIP phone calls do not work. And life is sad. However tunneling all my traffic through a vpn allows me to use the same connection and do all the above mentioned things and they work perfectly!

Thus my conclusion is that net neutrality makes providers equal, and does not censor the internet like a connection which is not filtered or blocked. This is what the opponents of net neutrality want to do. They want to BLOCK OR FILTER PORTIONS OF THE INTERNET. This is exactly what is happening in china and other DICTATORSHIPS!

On a final note, I was just traveled overseas, and also used a non filtered connection, this outperformed my usa filtered connection by leaps and bounds. So I really can see net neutrality as forcing ISP's to provide an open service. If net neutrality does not get passed, we need some regulation which forces ISPs to tell consumers what services or websites are blocked. And this needs to be easily available. Otherwise we could have an internet of the future where we can only visit time Warner sites, or yahoo... etc, and we will not know why.

To sum it up, From a computer engineer, Network Neutrality is a Must for any free society!


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Similar Ideas [ 4 ]


  1. Comment

    i suppose the issue of Tunneling is gonna eventually come up...

  2. Comment
    kiram9 ( Idea Submitter )

    I just wanted to point this out as I can tunnel through the same connection to make my slow filtered connection really fast! This was to prove the point that it is not a problem of network bandwidth etc which is causing my internet to be slow, but actually the work of active filters used by my ISP as they dont slow down PPTP connections, but they do slow down or stop VOIP, Youtube, video files from certain sources, while other websites work perfectly fine. For Example, I can go to youtube and on my 1.5mbit connection the videos take 20 minutes to load a 1 minute clip. However a video on hulu will play perfectly even though it uses a higher bandwidth.

    When I try the same experiment through a vpn on the same connection both websites will play perfectly. This really proves that there is major filtering going on by my ISP (I have many other examples which I tested) Even though they do not explicitly state this in the contract they are effectively censoring the internet by only allowing certain websites to function. This is so frustrating that I usually run all my traffic through a VPN. Furthermore in the you-tube example, all traffic is HTTP, so this is more than just blocking or slowing a specific protocol. My ISP does this on a website by website basis, without letting the user know.

  3. Comment

    You said - "If net neutrality does not get passed, we need some regulation which forces ISPs to tell consumers what services or websites are blocked. And this needs to be easily available." Why not START THERE??????????? FIX THE PROBLEMS THAT ARE EASY FIRST!!!!!!!

  4. Comment
    Joe Provo

    ...ditch Pavlov and buy from someone else instead of asking for a nanny?

  5. Comment
    kiram9 ( Idea Submitter )

    Yes I could but unfortunately most people sign up with agreements with the companies so it is not easy to just walk away from a bad agreement. However this is not the point.

    Net neutrality is more about personal freedom. A good analogy is going to buy a radio. You could go to the store right now and buy a TV and get any station. However with a non neutral ISP this would be like walking into the store and buying a TV taking it home and only finding that it can tune in ABC and FOX, but nothing else. Also when you purchased the TV you had no clue or agreement stating that this would happen, only to find this out after you purchased your device that it does not get all the channels that are available to you.

    Freedom to change providers would fix the problem provided that there was at least one provider that would offer a net neutral connection, however under current law this is not a guarantee, and thus it would be very easy for all providers to block certain portions of the internet effectively making it totally unavailable for entire markets, thus limiting freedom of speech.

  6. Comment

    I understand kiram. While living in a dorm I often had to tunnel my PPTP to circumvent bandwidth limits. I was just pointing out that the issue of VPN's and tunneling etc, is a can of worms. Many people don't even understand the basic concepts of net neutrality.

    On another note there needs to be transparency on blocked sites.

  7. Comment

    Not everyone has the option of changing providers, many of the ISPs are regional and therefore control the market and have minimal to no competition, therefore no reason to provide better service.

  8. Comment

    It seems there is a market opportunity here. Companies can offer for a small fee the ability to make VPN connections and access the Internet through their Internet access. Perhaps some complaining here can make big bucks by providing the service they see as important.

    (This does not address BitTorrent issues, but does address most issues.)

    It seems no matter what angle we look at this we see that the market provides a better solution than expanding government control.

    (There might also be a market for a site that can do a variety of tests like those done by kiram9.)

  9. Comment
    kiram9 ( Idea Submitter )

    Offering these services may FLAT OUT NOT WORK at all. ISP's can Block vpn access thus DEFEATING this. This is exactly why we NEED Network neutrality. Playing cat and mouse games is not the elegant solution, or any solution at all. Furthermore without network neutrality ISPs could block data on any arbitrary rule. Thus your ISP could block your VPN connection, the exact server you use, etc. This would all be legal under current law. Clearly your understanding of this issue Dar, is poor at best. I would suggest you go and study up on the issue before making such blanket statements as "the market provides better solutions" which your argument does not substantiate in any way.

  10. Comment

    I suppose it is possible that all grocers will gang together and refuse to sell Cocoa Puffs, but I doubt that.

    I suppose it is possible that UPS, USPS and FedEx will block all shipments from brown-box-reshipping, but I doubt that. (OK, maybe USPS and FedEx might open the shipment, but that is a different issue.) It is more likely that the feds will force them to block shipments.

    The federal government control over the owners of access hardware means only one gate-keeper and that is dangerous. On the market we have several.

    The VPN service many not be a panacea, but it can work with a multitude of other market forces for an emergent open Internet. The idea of new rules or the stricter recodification of rules is dangerous and may not even work--for that matter, it might backfire.

  11. Comment
    kiram9 ( Idea Submitter )

    You have just validated my point. The whole idea behind network neutrality is to prevent arbitrary rules from blocking the internet! Network Neutrality is the Constitution of the internet as applicable inside the USA, and protects the freedom of those who use it. Just like the Constitution of the our great country protects the rights of the people, net neutrality protects the rights of those who use the internet.

    VPN service and many other services are valid ways of escaping rules, however under current law your ISP could make it illegal to use any such technology, so if you did violate your contract you would go to JAIL or be FINED for exercising your PERSONAL FREEDOM.

    Thus we need a CONSTITUTION FOR THE INTERNET PROTECTING OUR PERSONAL FREEDOM. This is the same as many other pieces of legislation that came before in the areas of consumer contracts with companies, EULA's, ability for consumers to protect their rights, etc.

    Unfortunately we live in a country where the rights of the individual are being trumped by the rights of corporations. Network Neutrality helps restore balance.

    As for your specific comment: about grocers and shipping. The analogy on the internet is already happening. Your doubt is most sincere, however you are wrong. I currently have a provider who refuses to let me view Youtube during parts of the day even though HULU works fine, (just one of many examples) This is exactly the situation you mentioned. This is not an isolated incident, but has happened with major providers such as ATT and Comcast.

    Finally your argument that this legislation requires that the government be the single gatekeeper is totally confounded as related to this legislation. All this legislation says is that current providers must not put up their own gates! Mandating that someone cannot close their gate is the complete opposite of closing your own gate.

    Prove to me your statements, and I will believe you but I am sorry Dar, but I think you are a troll and need to get your head inspected for proper functioning. Because all I read from you are allegories of misunderstandings which don't even relate to the topic at hand. If you want to talk about network neutrality then do so, but don't talk about the store or package delivery people. talk about NETWORK NEUTRALITY.

  12. Comment

    @kiram: Well put. Dar's trolling this forum full-time spouting the same irrelevant analogies over & over. If not a paid corporate shill, let's wish him well moving to Somalia to live out the dream of no central government protection for people's freedom.

  13. Comment

    The FCC itself blocks PPTP on the Wi-Fi in its own building. It can hardly complain that others do it.

  14. Comment

    Ok, so what we have here is the basic argument that is consuming America on all levels, and not just about Internet Neutrality. On one side, we have the capitalists who believe that "The Government" is the enemy and that "The Market" will balance everything out and solve all the problems. On the other side we have (for lack of a less antagonistic term) the anti-capitalists who believe that evil corporations will screw everybody in their quest for money and power, and the only solution is for "The Government" to take over and ensure everyone is treated fairly.

    Let's take a look at history and see which view is more likely to be accurate:

    For all of known history, individual large economic powers (cf. evil corporations) have existed for relatively short periods of time. While some have lasted for centuries such as the Rothschild banking houses, most have barely outlived their founders. These organizations reached their pinnacle of power by providing services that most people found useful and satisfactory, regardless of the fact that a small percentage of persons received less than adequate (if any) services. When an organization blocked innovation, they were either quickly surpassed and they fell (check out IBM, once the biggest seller of Business Machines in the world, now barely hanging on because they couldn't compete), or they populace rose up and broke the strangle-hold, as was done with the original AT&T. This was done through Government intervention, but WITHOUT Government take-over either outright or through massive legislation. As a matter if fact, the breakup of AT&T is the opposite of this net neutrality idea, and was to foster competition instead of equality of service. So, while there have been some bottle-necks, over time quality services become available to everybody, and the level of quality continues to increase.

    Now, let's look at those services that are Government run or highly Government regulated:

    Social Security: Started off with good intentions and a strong plan which, after less than 30 years turned to FAILURE

    Medicare: Started off with good intentions and a strong plan which, after less than 20 years turned to FAILURE

    Universal Health: FAIL (everywhere but here, where we will obviously do it different because everybody else just got it wrong - FAIL,FAIL,FAIL)

    Banking: Started off with good intentions and a strong plan which, after less than 15 years turned to FAILURE - It wasn't the "fat-cat" bankers who got us in this current pickle, it was the Libs in Government who mandated that the banks HAD to loan money for housing to people THEY KNEW couldn't pay it back.)

    Postal Service: FAIL - Raised their rates again today, and are talking about cutting delivery on Wednesdays and Saturdays

    TVA: Started off with good intentions and a strong plan which, after less than 25 years turned to FAILURE

    CCC: Started off with good intentions and a strong plan which, after less than 15 years turned to FAILURE


    U.S. Highway system: Started off with good intentions and a strong plan which, after less than 35 years turned to FAILURE

    All these programs have the same thing in common: in order to be "Fair" and "Just" and help the lowest 10% get what everybody else had to pay for, The government "stepped in" and over-ruled the prevailing market forces. This worked fine for a relatively short period of time but, as the systems went more and more out of balance, the wobble and gyrations eventually caused system failure.

    Every single time, in every single case, when "The Goverment" has taken over or massively regulated a service, either the cost has gone up and the quality has dropped like a rock, or the service itself has crashed and burned, leaving everyone without.

    That's why I don't want the government messing with the internet, or the health-care system, or banking, or the auto industry or anything else. While a particular service may suck right now, capitalism will surely improve on it because it's in a business' best interests to do so. If company A doesn't give you what you want, Company B will come along a offer it. You may not like - or be able to afford - the solution (right now), but under capitalism, the quality will continue to go up and the cost will continue to go down. That is a proven historical fact.

    The exact opposite is true of Government run systems. The only one in the U.S.A. that works worth a tinker's damn today is the Post Office and they do it by outsourcing to Federal Express!

  15. Comment

    You actually make a powerful case for why we DON'T need net neutrality rules. You, as a consumer, recognize the difference between the performance of Pavlov versus AT&T, and therefore you will choose the superior product. Pavlov will fail because they do not provide what consumers want. AT&T is not who we need protection from; no one needs to "force ISP's to provide an open service". We need protection from excessive government interference. That, after all, is the definition of a DICTATORSHIP!

  16. Comment

    First, if someone sells you an Internet connection, it is no less a reasonable expectation that you will be able to use it to access the sites and services of your choosing at the speeds advertised than expecting any car you are sold to be street legal with properly functioning components. The kinds of practices Pavlov implements amount to providing an intentionally defective product or deceptive marketing, regardless on whether or not there is competition. Requiring that ISPs provide properly and fully functioning Internet connections is Consumer Protection that should be afforded even if a competitor offers a superior product, not Dictatorship.

  17. Comment

    Again, I still dont understand the debate here - the internet is already open. You can post and read whatever you want. If you don't like what your particular internet company is doing about BW or blocking content (usually content that would be harmful to their network or yours), then change providers. Be an infromed consumer. Do your homework. This is a free country. Unlike Iran or China, whose governments do regulate & control the internet. Do any of you want to live there?

  18. Comment

    To thepink,

    When you say the Internet is open, you are correct. That is why when a company sells a connection to the Internet, it is a reasonable consumer expectation to be able to take full advantage of that open network. When they REALLY providing the service they are advertising, not only can you post and read whatever you want, but you can do so at your advertised connection speeds. Saying that someone on Pavlov has that ability may be true on the surface, but when they throttle YouTube, it is obvious that some sites are "more equal" than others to them.

    You say switch, but many of Pavlov's customers can't because of exclusivity agreements with their apartment complexes, for example. In many areas, there are no other options, and in most areas with other options, they all adopt similar practices.

    The actions certain of repressive governments actually makes for quite a good analogy. China and Iran wish to prevent the spread of information that is not favorable to their established government. Pavlov wishes to degrade YouTube access because they feel it competes with the established and profitableTV subscription model. Both are regulation and control of Internet access for the benefit of those with the power to do so. Does the fact that the former are governments and the latter is a corporation really change that fact?

  19. Comment

    The big evil guy is not business lol!!!! Its our government, it always has. That's why we fought for our freedom!! Let business be!!

  20. Comment

    Network Neutrality - aka government regulation, just how is that a must for any free society?? That is an oxymoron.

  21. Comment

    Get a new ISP!

    Choice is the essence of freedom.

    Once the government gets its sloppy hands on the Internet, we will have less freedom not more.

    Businesses are not perfect but as long as we have a free market, there exists the freedom of choice. When it is the Government blocking your access to a portion of the Internet, what are you going to do? Take up arms?

    As for me, I would rather pick up the phone and get a new ISP.

  22. Comment

    "Network Neutrality - aka government regulation, just how is that a must for any free society?? That is an oxymoron."

    Could you please support your position in terms more specific to the regulation being suggested, and the impact you feel that this specific regulation will have on the freedom of our society? Otherwise, it comes off as more of an argument rooted from an indiscriminate "regulation is bad" mentality.

  23. Comment

    This Government take over of the internet is not about open service. You obviously already have it! It's about control. They are like a mouse trap, they advertise a delicious piece of cheese and as soon as you take it "BAM" you are now trapped to what the Giant without a face (no recourse) wants and have no escape. Think of China. Anyone who speaks out against the Gov is jailed. Ya, that's the kind of freedom we need!

  24. Comment

    change your ISP....businesses do what customers want or they go out of business. The government does not go out of business even if not what customers want. Net Neutrality is government control...I rather NOT....when businesses are in control, people are more in control.

  25. Comment

    "This Government take over of the internet is not about open service."

    Explain to me how Network Neutrality regulation is a takeover. When the FDA regulates the food service industry with minimum standards with regards to sanitary handling, is that a takeover? How is the FCC mandating minimum standards for Internet access provided by telecoms any different?

    A lot of the sanitation, truth in labeling, and other things you take for granted when consuming your food, taking your medications, or through use of other products and services are the result of minimal standards of quality and service imposed on industries by government agencies.

    Non-compliance of such regulations is not simply a matter of quitting while you are ahead IF consumers catch on AND become angry enough AND have viable alternatives. Instead companies face real punishment, fines, and or sanctions that make the violation a negative proposition. This makes it a big risk for companies to attempt such violations. As a result, consumers don't have to constantly exert pressure on companies for such reasonable practices and assurances.

    Why should Internet access be any different. Non-discrinitory access to the Internet at advertised speeds are reasonable expectations of someone purchasing a connection from an ISP. Knowing how the ISP "manages" its network and how it will impact your use of it is no different than minimal label requirements on numerous other products.

    The only reason we have something resembling open service on our wired Internet connections is because of constant consumer watchdog efforts and the threat of regulation (NOT takeover) to hold the telecoms to task. Even so, we still have numerous examples of ISPs "managing" their networks in ways similar to Pavlov.

    This indicates that regulation has become necessary to ensure reasonable expectations of Internet subscribers are met. It is no different from the numerous other cases in our history that have prompted regulation, nor are any more a "takeover" than regulation of the auto, electronics, tobacco, or toy industries, to name some examples.

    "Think of China. Anyone who speaks out against the Gov is jailed. Ya, that's the kind of freedom we need!"

    If there is any portion of the proposed regulation, as documented, that will logically lead to this scenario, please point it out to us.

  26. Comment
    kiram9 ( Idea Submitter )

    Ok so a lot of the arguments that I am getting against net neutrality are basically the following: "If you dont like what you got, (which was advertised falsely, sold under false pretenses, and dishonest) I should just forget it and try to buy from a different company who is hopefully more honest (but not guaranteed to be so).

    My response to this is that this is an obvious indication of exactly why we need network neutrality. It allows consumer protection for the expected services delivered. The current network neutrality regulations require that companies providing network services are open and honest towards their customers.

    A good example of this is the food business, if we applied several of the counter arguments posted above then it would be implied that one would go to the grocery store and may find damaged or dangerous food with toxic chemicals etc. When a person is upset by this fact the naysayers above would respond with "well if you dont like toxic food that kills people, you should just go to a different store". Obviously in the food industry this is unacceptable which is partly why we have the FDA to help make sure that minimum quality standards are met.

    Network neutrality provides these minimum quality standards for the internet. When we walk out our door, we expect our government to provide a set of rights which can be guaranteed in our life, such as certain freedoms, fairness of law, etc. (I will not go into my rather conflicting views about how the federal government has reneged on many of these in the past few years).

    Similarly, I want to be guaranteed these rights online. Furthermore most rights holders are aggressively lobbying for their what they want also. If big corporations are lobbying for what they want and it is in opposition to the people, who wins? a few corporations or the people? (What I am asking is who should win)

  27. Comment

    must the government hold our hands for all we do?...we cant even stand up on our own? YES WE CAN. If business doesnt satisfy us, go to another business. What do you mean opposition to the this in your head or real life because I see the opposite holds true.

  28. Comment
    kiram9 ( Idea Submitter )

    This ties neatly into my point. Large corporations are asking the government to hold their hands in a big way in the form of digital media rights. To the point where a regular person is treated almost automatically as a criminal.

    If big corporations are turning for handouts and protections from the government, more than any person, should we not be guaranteed similar rights?

    Furthermore I am not asking about going to another business.

    Right now a business can basically lie to a customer to increase their profits. Do you think businesses such as ISPs should be allowed to lie to their customers and get away for it?

    This bill is saying that businesses cannot lie to customers in certain ways, thus offering customers protection from some dishonest business practices carried out by ISPs.

  29. Comment

    If we want to look at this as a freedom of speech issue then we MUST enact Net Neutrality.

    People often forget that the Constitution that protects our freedoms does so only with respect to government actions, not those of private citizens or corporations.

    On an internet operated without any regulations, corporations set the rules and there are no constitutional protections for our freedom of speech and religion. We obtain those very freedoms ONLY when we have a government standing between us and those who could censor us for profit or political reasons.

    Codified in law, Net Neutrality is the only protection for freedom of speech we have.