Happy Halloween! Recent Hair-Raising Stories About the Web
Posted on Oct 28th, 2009
ST. LOUIS – Since this is the time of year that ghouls, goblins and general scary things are uppermost in people’s trick or treating, the state of the internet has its own spooky tales to tell, on both structural and political issues.
What are the hair-raising tales of the web now? According to RadioMagOnLine.com, Reuters.com and WallStreetJournal.com, here are the some recent exploits that internet operators should be paying attention to...
From Radio Mag Online by Michael Grotticelli...
On October 22th, all five members of the FCC voted to begin writing new net neutrality regulations. The rules will prohibit all broadband providers from favoring or discriminating against certain kinds of Internet traffic. The two Republican FCC members expressed concerns about the initiative even though they voted affirmatively to begin the rule making process.
This debate began in the Bush administration, which was against the so-called “net neutrality.” Under the draft FCC rules, subject to reasonable network management, a network provider of broadband Internet access service may not prevent any of its users from sending or receiving the lawful content of the user's choice over the Internet; prevent any of its users from running the lawful applications or using the lawful services of the user's choice; or prevent any of its users from connecting to and using on its network the user's choice of lawful devices that do not harm the network.
Internet Freedom Act of 2009
From Reuters by Tony Bradley...
The FCC voted unanimously to move forward with the debate in an effort to formalize net neutrality guidelines. Senator John McCain followed up by introducing a bill that would prohibit the FCC from governing communications.
McCain's bill, the Internet Freedom Act, seeks to do the opposite of what its name implies by ensuring that broadband and wireless providers can discriminate and throttle certain traffic while giving preferential treatment to other traffic. Basically, those in power or those who pay more will have better access. Apparently we have different definitions of 'freedom'.
According to the text of the McCain bill, the FCC "shall not propose, promulgate, or issue any regulations regarding the Internet or IP-enabled services." Isn't that what the FCC does? Isn't that sort of like introducing a bill to prohibit the Treasury from printing money, or a bill to prohibit the IRS from collecting taxes?
Oddly, the bill also contains text stating that any regulations in effect on the day before the Internet Freedom Act is officially enacted are grandfathered in and exempt from the provisions of the Internet Freedom Act. The implication seems to be that if the FCC can formalize net neutrality rules before McCain can get the Internet Freedom Act signed into law, the net neutrality rules would still apply.
From the Wall Street Journal by Evan Ramstad and Jaeyeon Woo...
The World Wide Web is about to start using the languages of the world.
Leaders of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (Icann) that oversees the basic design of the Internet are expected to decide here Friday to let Web addresses be expressed in characters other than those of the Roman alphabet -- an issue for the majority of Internet users who use other alphabets in their native language. Already, portions of a Web address can be written in other languages. But the suffix, such as the "com" after the dot, must be typed in Roman letters.
The change will allow the suffix -- known as a top-level domain -- to be expressed in about 16 other alphabets. They include traditional and simplified Chinese characters, Russian Cyrillic, Korean Hangul and Hebrew. Dozens of other alphabets are likely to be added in coming years.
That means computer users will be able to type or input a full Web address without the need for Roman letters. Web-site designers will be able to use a consistent character set on a Web page without, for instance, having to switch to Roman letters to portray a link to another page.