Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Net neurality

It's been quite some time since I blogged about anything.
I felt I should not let a whole year pass by without adding anything into the archives.
Since there is not much excitement in life apart from studies, work, soccer, racquetball and travel ( doesn't that cover almost everything?), so I thought lets write a few lines about a proposed net neutrality bill by FCC (Federal Communication Commission). Although I have not read the details of the proposed bill. But from whatever I have read/heard/gathered + my own opinion, sounds like a bad move.

First things first, I do not think net belongs to any regulatory authority or corporation. So who gets to decide about how internet is used/abused/accessed is a moot question.
Net belongs to nobody and everybody. I think today internet is one of the rare places (if you may call it a place) on earth where caste, creed, color, race, etc does not have any importance. You are (almost) free to express yourself (anonymously) without fear of repercussion of any kind (assuming you are on the right side of great firewall of China). But powers that be, completely fathom the dominion of internet and its denizens (Wikileaks??). Obviously an uncontrolled mob is always perceived as a potential threat by people in power and they would love to either control it or kill it. Later is not an option. So the only way is, put controls around the freedom of the net, or "regulate it", to make it more palatable.
I am not scared about the initial revisions or "regulations" per say. But what is concerning is that an organization (with vested interests) thinks it has right to tell us people how, when, what, how much information is delivered to us. If it is not in the first draft, wait, eventually it will, unless we nip the bud and stop this right now. Lest it might be too late.
For example if they want to charge corporations and even end users by the amount of data they send (upload or download) through the tubes just to fill their or their friendly lobbyist's pockets is pinnacle of greed. Heck if I want to download or stream my lectures/movies then why should I pay above and beyond for my already absurdly over-priced internet service? I was reading somewhere about toll data highways for the internet of future, where corporations can pay more to ensure faster and wider tubes while poor and weak have to use the more congested networks with no guarantee that the data will ever reach its destination. From here on you can easily imagine what all big corporations might do to milk the common users.Like they can ask you to pay per byte (we are not talking food here), data insurance to make sure that data is secure and delivered safely to its destination (banks?), packet sniffing to make sure you are not transferring naughty things around (viruses??). Worst of all they might get powerful enough to bar you from using the net (SSN for net will help track individuals for their safely :P). Now imagine without a net connection in say 20 years from now. I would say you would be equivalent to a below poverty line (BPL) citizen of today's generation. As the whole world would connected online and you my friend won't be part of it. With smart homes, phones and intelligent devices becoming a reality with each passing day. All your data, records, activities are getting easier to track and record. With someone controlling the net your whole privacy is at risk. And the sad part is, you will be told it is for your benefit. As if I am not sensible enough to decide for myself what is good or bad for me. I KNOW it is outright BAD!
As of now I see no solution until we put our foot down and make a stand we will always be treated unjustly by the very own people we elected to make sensible decisions/policies on our behalf.

Anyways a very charged and a long blog. Time to go to bed. Need to work tomorrow to earn my bread :).