[AfrICANN-discuss] Vint Cerf and Co. sic the world on ComcastThe Net Neutrality Squad

Anne-Rachel Inné annerachel at gmail.com
Fri Nov 9 10:29:49 SAST 2007

Vint Cerf and Co. sic the world on ComcastThe Net Neutrality Squad
By Cade Metz in San Francisco → More by this author
Published Thursday 8th November 2007 22:24 GMT
Beware, Comcast. Here comes the Net Neutrality Squad.

Earlier this week, an ad hoc collection of tech gurus - including
internet founding father Vint Cerf, programming pioneer David Farber,
and security specialist Bruce Schneier - announced a new plan to
mobilize everyday net users in the fight against nefarious ISPs.

Dubbed the Net Neutrality Squad, the project is an outgrowth of People
For Internet Responsibility (PFIR), a worldwide online activist club
founded by two old-school internet players: Lauren Weinstein, who was
at UCLA when it swas ite number one on the old Arpanet, and Peter G.
Neumann, who was at Stanford Research International when it was site
number two.

The organization's latest project is a reaction to recent revelations
that two big-name US internet service providers are furtively toying
with user traffic. If you haven't heard: Comcast is throttling
BitTorrents, and Verizon is hijacking web browsers.

The Net Neutrality Squad wants your help as its seek to uncover
similar dirty tricks by the world's ISPs. "The Squad is specifically
trying to empower users to pay attention to what's going on the net
and report what they find that doesn't seem right - incidents where
their access to the net is being disrupted or throttled in ways that
doesn't seem to fit with their terms of service or other activities
that are less than net neutral," Lauren Weinstein told us.

Weinstein and his team hope to dig up proof that the only way to
maintain net neutrality is through some serious legislation.
"Obviously, there's been a lot of talk about net neutrality
legislation, but it seems to have stalled because the ISPs have argued
that they'd never do anything that would require it," Weinstein said.
"Well, Comcast's actions with BitTorrent and now Verizon playing DNS
games show that this may not be true."

And how will the Squad do this? Well, they're still in the planning
stages. But they wanna give you some software. "We want to develop
tools that will help users evaluate what's going on and report it back
to us - tools that will be widely deployed and easy to use. And then
we'll analyze all this information and report it publicly."

And hope that lawmakers are listening. "We want to show them what's
really going on," Weinstein added. "Without measurements, without
metrics, it's difficult to argue policy." (R)

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