Net Neutrality Legislative Proposal
seth.johnson at RealMeasures.dyndns.org
Tue Jul 11 01:04:59 UTC 2006
Based on this link . . .
. . . it would appear that we were successful in correcting the
language of the amendment that Snowe and Dorgan presented:
Senators Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) and Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.)
proposed an amendment to the bill to "ensure fair treatment of
all Internet content." The amendment incorporated the following
non-discriminatory principle: "to promote broadband deployment,
and presence and promote the open and interconnected nature of
the Internet, a broadband service provider shall not discriminate
Internet traffic based on source, ownership, or destination of
such traffic as part of any publicly available Internet
offering." It was defeated in the Committee with a tie vote of
This language is much, much better than what they originally had.
When HR 5217 came out of the House Judiciary Committee, we
quickly put out word that all the existing NN proposals, both
House and Senate side, would actually end net neutrality if they
were passed (less conveniently for the broadband providers than
what they were saying they wanted to do, but just as certainly)
(HR5273[Markey], HR5417[Sensenbrenner], S2360[Wyden] and
They all basically came down to saying "applications, content and
services" were to be either treated equally or
non-discriminatorily -- meaning, break the separation of layers
by identifying applications that would be treated the same.
We recruited support for the legislative proposal at
http://www.dpsproject.com and blitzed people both in the movement
actively in motion and on the Hill with it, saying they would end
net neutrality, that this was the right definition, and using the
line: "Packets, not Applications, Content and Services."
During the markup for the Stevens Bill, Snowe and Dorgan withdrew
their original language and introduced a new amendment, the full
language of which I haven't yet found anywhere, but the language
quoted in the article above is indeed way better than what they
had in their original Bill.
Nothing about "applications, content or services." Just
"Internet traffic" and "source, ownership or destination of such
My remaining concern is whether "not discriminat[ing] Internet
traffic" on the given bases is clear enough.
The NN movement and its legislative sponsors now seem to be
talking the right language. We seem to have been quite
We still have to watch to see what language comes out as the
Steven Bill progresses. I still haven't seen the actual
amendment that was presented during the markup for the Stevens
Seth Johnson wrote:
> The proposal is designed to straighten out the current misguided
> discourse on NN, which actually would end up ending NN either way
> -- the "pro-NN" legislative proposals would essentially say
> similar applications need to be treated the same, thereby
> authorizing the breaking of the separation of layers.
> Our point is, as I think you see, that the merits of the
> Internet's design are for application flexibility as provided by
> the nature if the transport, and this design needs to be
> recognized in policy that intends to enforce neutrality, because
> that design will be lost as a result of the current discussion.
> Many observe that present practices already block or disfavor
> certain applications. We want those practices to be the
> substance of the discussion, and the discussion should be on the
> right basis. The proposal is designed to accomplish that (and we
> believe we have already had that effect -- Snowe and Dorgan may
> have modified their amendment to the Stevens Bill, withdrawing
> their original proposal and introducing a simple additional
> principle to the FCC's list, in response to the concerns we
> expressed that they would unintentionally actually end up ending
> NN. And, while common carrier is not necessarily the only
> solution, we think that the consumer groups pursuing NN settled
> on a position of going back to common carrier a la Internet II
> as a result of the concerns we raised).
> A lot of times, we've found many people looking at NN in more
> deterministic or behavioral terms, as in rules about practices
> that network providers must obey. The thing to "get" about this
> proposal is that if it passed, the result is really to preserve
> and separate the standards. If everybody proceeded to offer the
> same services, with little tiny asterisked notices in their
> advertising that "this is not Internet per US Code XXX" we'd
> still achieve the critical outcome.
> We think it's the right position to present, and it's critical
> that it be presented now. Of course, we can't exactly fault
> people who are engaged in the discussion at the level of what
> existing practices are.
> NANOG folks would either sign out of simple dedication end-to-end
> purity, or knowing that starting from this place, other issues
> will be addressed appropriately. And note, it is designed not to
> legislate engineering -- only to say that what may be called
> Internet needs to actually follow the standard, described here in
> abstract terms in terms of the router behavior. This preserves
> the standards against their being trumped by incumbents who are
> asserting they can go ahead and offer priced, tiered services,
> and against letting local peering policies of certain incumbents
> (or port blocking practices of "consumer internet," etc.) from
> gaining priority due to their position in the market.
> Valdis.Kletnieks at vt.edu wrote:
> > On Mon, 10 Jul 2006 15:25:55 EDT, Seth Johnson said:
> > > (2) Any person engaged in interstate commerce that charges
> > > a fee for the provision of Internet access must in fact
> > > provide access to the Internet in accord with the above
> > > definition, regardless whether additional proprietary
> > > content, information or other services are also
> > > provided as part of a package of services offered to
> > > consumers.
> > So how does all this mumbo-jumbo square up with the common practices of
> > blocking SMTP and the 135-139/445 ports to protect your own infrastructure from
> > the mass of malware that results if you don't block it? And does this mean
> > that my Verizon DSL isn't 'The Internet' because the customer side of the modem
> > hands me a DHCP address in RFC1918 space? For bonus points - is the DSL *still*
> > "not the Internet" if I bring my own DSL modem or hand-configure the DSL one to
> > mitigate the effects of NAT brain damage?
> > What percentage of cable and DSL access is an "unfair or deceptive act"
> > per the definition of this?
> > -----------------------------------------------------------------
> > Part 1.2Type: application/pgp-signature
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RIAA is the RISK! Our NET is P2P!
DRM is Theft! We are the Stakeholders!
New Yorkers for Fair Use
[CC] Counter-copyright: http://realmeasures.dyndns.org/cc
I reserve no rights restricting copying, modification or
distribution of this incidentally recorded communication.
Original authorship should be attributed reasonably, but only so
far as such an expectation might hold for usual practice in
ordinary social discourse to which one holds no claim of
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