Tale of two topics.

madstork91

The One, The Only...
Two news topics of interesting importance, varying in topic.

First:
http://www.rutlandherald.com/article/20081227/NEWS01/812270314

I am a huge advocate of net neutrality. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Network_neutrality
(link provided so that you can save the step of googling it if you dont know what that is.)

Summary: Verizon sold theri lines to a company in order to avoid debt accumulated. The new company plans to force their customers to use their "portal" to log in to a site (that will have ads to pay off the acquired debt) and then login to any third party mail servers using their site as well.

This means that the people using that service previously under verizon will be subjugated to using their portal to access mail and god knows what else by the end of 2009 unless something is done.

Secondly:
http://recordingindustryvspeople.blogspot.com/2008_12_01_archive.html#4869726205727420719

In this bit of news, the man being taken to court by the RIAA (that a man being sued isnt the news) is requesting that the court hearing is broadcast online.

Summary: Since the RIAA has this idea about "educating" the public being a reason for lawsuits, what better way to "educate" the people than by having a court case recorded and made available to the people? The RIAA is fighting the motion, and I'm not certain on the grounds.

We, here on these forums/site discuss/read often about the RIAA and their practices, so while this will prob be the more popular of topic discussed in this thread, I am hoping to get some discussion on the Net neutrality issue as well, since this is no longer a -brooding- possibility, but a reality come this feb.
 

Kougar

Techgage Staff
Staff member
I think most of us here are already strong proponents of internet neutrality. Things like the RIAA signing deals with ISPs for the ISP to police their own networks and cut off suspected filesharers is just another good reason network neutrality is needed.

Could you please link to this news about Verizon selling their lines? Because the only information I've come across is lots of news about them having a very long history of selling landlines. The impression I got is this only affects telephones as they weren't selling lines they offered DSL on, or is this wrong? They are certainly not selling their FiOS lines which they are spending millions to continue to roll out. It almost sounds like you are describing some kind of dial-up portal.
 

madstork91

The One, The Only...

Kougar

Techgage Staff
Staff member
Well it's generally polite to link to news you are referencing instead of having readers do their own research to find it. I'll try to find something but if I don't see it within a few minutes I'm not going to look further if I only have a passing interest.

Especially as I mentioned that Verizon has apparently has a long record doing this for the last five years in other states... ;) It also helps to know which keywords to use, because you made no mention of Fairpoint in your previous post. ;) Again, that leads back to why it's polite to link back to a news story you're referencing, because none of those links mention this "portal" you are talking about until I modify your search. This article was very informative, but made no mention of portals.

Eventually, I arrived at: http://tech.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=08/12/27/1833202

Now THAT article tells me something and the resulting implications are quite clear. I honestly don't see how Fairpoint is going to be able to get away with this. Forcing all Verizon users to change their emails from @verizon to @fairpoint.com is one thing, but not allowing users to directly access their 3rd party email providers isn't something they can just do at random. Not to mention forcing users to use their site as a intermediary brings up gads of privacy issues, since they are privy to everything sent/received through their portal.
 

madstork91

The One, The Only...
Well it's generally polite to link to news you are referencing instead of having readers do their own research to find it. I'll try to find something but if I don't see it within a few minutes I'm not going to look further if I only have a passing interest.

Especially as I mentioned that Verizon has apparently has a long record doing this for the last five years in other states... ;) It also helps to know which keywords to use, because you made no mention of Fairpoint in your previous post. ;) Again, that leads back to why it's polite to link back to a news story you're referencing, because none of those links mention this "portal" you are talking about until I modify your search. This article was very informative, but made no mention of portals.

Eventually, I arrived at: http://tech.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=08/12/27/1833202

Now THAT article tells me something and the resulting implications are quite clear. I honestly don't see how Fairpoint is going to be able to get away with this. Forcing all Verizon users to change their emails from @verizon to @fairpoint.com is one thing, but not allowing users to directly access their 3rd party email providers isn't something they can just do at random. Not to mention forcing users to use their site as a intermediary brings up gads of privacy issues, since they are privy to everything sent/received through their portal.

From the link in my first post:
Web-based e-mail users can continue to access their e-mail at the Verizon Web site until Feb. 6. After that date, Fastiggi said users will need to log on to www.MyFairPoint.net. Customers then click on Web mail and type in their existing user [email protected] and existing password.

AOL, Yahoo! and MSN subscribers will continue to have access to content but will no longer be able to access their e-mail through the third party Web site. Instead, Yahoo! and other third party e-mail will be accessed directly at the MyFairPoint.net portal.

Fastiggi said e-mail will automatically be forwarded from a customer's Verizon e-mail address to myfairpoint.net for three months, until April 30.

This not only gave you a link to the name of the company that was buying verizon's lines, but also the information of the purchase directly. It does mention a "portal" like system. (in the section i quoted)

Edit:
Here is the link one more time...
http://www.rutlandherald.com/article/20081227/NEWS01/812270314
... really... that link goes there...
 

Kougar

Techgage Staff
Staff member
Ah, I goofed. Sorry about that, I thought your first link was about net neutrality so I didn't click it.

As I said above, I really don't see how they will be able to legally do this, even if they made abundantly clear all data routed through their portal isn't monitored or sifted through. If they are willing to do something like this, I'd not be surprised in the least if they also included a clause in their ToS about data mining or use of for targeted ads.
 

Rob Williams

Editor-in-Chief
Staff member
Moderator
I haven't read through all of the URLs here, but I don't think this new company should be able to intercept customer's transmissions like that. This is something that bugs me deeply. We pay for access to the Internet... we shouldn't have to put up with hassles like that. It's essentially adding a door to something that shouldn't have a door. We pay for the service... bug off and let us use it.

My ISP (Rogers) does something like this already. They intercept search traffic (mainly if you search through the location bar in your web browser) so if you search for a keyword of any sort, rather than going through the default search engine in the browser, it will go to a Roger's Yahoo! based search engine instead. Why? Is it for convenience? No, it's because that way, THEY get the traffic and ad revenue. It's that simple.

It's for that reason that I implemented OpenDNS... I have it filtered differently now. It's not perfect, but that traffic is no longer going through them, either. It bugs me that so many people are just putting up with this, though... they don't know the difference.

I'm not sure if net neutrality has much to do with this particular problem, but something tells me it does.
 

Kougar

Techgage Staff
Staff member
No idea about Rogers, but Time Warner does have a website address ****/preferences that you can take your browser to and turn off address redirection, URL searching, URL completion, etc. Never knew about it until I came across it mentioned on on forum...
 
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