Network Operators Not The Only Ones Against A Neutral Internet
from the enemy-of-an-enemy dept
The major network operators are obviously terrified at the thought of just operating dumb, commoditized pipes, and as such are the chief advocates of the end of net neutrality, which would allow them to exert greater control over how their networks are used. Conversely, big internet firms and techies that are closely involved with the web have generally supported keeping the web neutral. But the issue isn’t quite that black and white. Nick Carr points to an interesting article on Stanford’s Clean Slate Design for the Internet project, which aims to put out proposals for how the internet could be completely remodeled to achieve better performance. What’s interesting is that several of the group’s proposals involve making the internet less neutral, or at least less dumb. For example, they would like to see it made harder for people to operate anonymously, so that hackers and spammers find it harder to do their jobs. More broadly, the idea is that the network backbone should better understand a packet’s contents for both security and prioritization purposes. None of this is totally new; the idea of making the internet smarter has been bandied about for some time. But it’s interesting to see some of the language of hardcore internet enthusiasts and large network operators converge, even if their goals are entirely different. It also underlines the fact that net neutrality is by no means a black and white issue. It would be easy to imagine a net neutrality law aimed at preventing operator abuse also impeding some of the ideas put forth here.