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[ NNSquad ] Re: Comments on NNSquad Purpose

[concerning peer-to-peer servers and moving traffic from centralized servers -- often owned by the content provider -- to individual users who may or may not own rights to the content they distribute.]

As for making it 'harder to stop' for illegal activity, this isn't one of the goals of bittorrent. It _might_ be a side-effect, but its certainly not the goal and everyone has the right to assume the technology will be used lawfully.

It should be noted that there is another effect of decentralized distribution. One bad effect has been noted -- it makes it hard for copyright owners to maintain stop illegal copying. But there is a corresponding good effect -- it makes censorship much more difficult.

See for example the Freenet whatis: http://freenetproject.org/index.php?page=whatis

If distributing content requires an expensive printing press (or large centralized server), it is easy for government censors to step in and shut down speech they do not like. The big server (or press) is easy to find, and costs a bunch of money so even if the operator avoids getting jailed or killed, he is unlikely to be able to afford to start another. But when you can start distributing content for $200, and the "server" (a desktop PC) can be anywhere in the world, it's a lot harder for a government to shut you down. The server runs on its own, so the owner doesn't have to be anywhere near it. And it can be somewhere like the Netherlands, which takes a dim view of censorship. And if the government _does_ seize it, the owner can buy another for less than a week's pay and be back in business 2 days later.

They are not unable to invest -- they are unable to make a return on the
investment or even break even.
There is no issue with delivering 50-60 gigs for a $40/mo service plan. If you want credibility in this area, then you'll have to make your costs public, and show the public a defensible financial argument. So far, there hasn't been one.

Here I disagree. I see no reason why the ISPs & providers should have to publicly justify their financial decisions. They should have the right to decide "how much" capacity to provide, and if it makes more sense _to them_ to underprovision, then let them. If their decisions are wrong wrt market conditions, somebody else will "eat their lunch".

I think what _is_ needed is for the ISPs to be honest with their customers. "We are giving you a line that supports a short-term speed of 1.5 Mbps, but we do not guarantee you will be able to use that all the time. Over the longer term, you are limited to Xkb during a given day, Ykb during a given month." That would be honest and fair.

What we're arguing is that ISPs should not be allowed to create a situation where they are a) gatekeepers and censors of content and applications b) unaccountable for provisioning adequately and c) allowed to profit in from the resource scarcity which they have control over.

Surely this makes sense....

Well, not quite the way you have written it. ISPs own the equipment -- the lines and routers and servers that make the network go. They invest money in that equipment, and on simple principles should be allowed to decide how to use it. Just as, say, the publisher of Time gets to decide which articles and columns and ads get into the pages of Time, the owners of that equipment should be allowed to decide what traffic they will carry. But there are a couple of exceptions to this principle:

1. If they promise the consumer that "you can have 500kbps of upload capacity" and don't say it's limited over time, then the user should be entitled to expect that they can actually _use_ 500kpbs of upload, most of the time. Not necessarily all of the time, even things like electric utilities have occasional outages and "rolling blackouts". But most of the time you should see the capacity you are "paying for".

2. As I have noted elsewhere, the ISPs and backbone providers are given special privileges -- immunity from civil and criminal liability for the traffic they carry. These are the same privileges that have traditionally been extended to common carriers -- railroads, bus companies, and telcos. In return for that, they should be subject to the same rules as other "common carriers": carry everybody who obeys the published rules, without favoring one person over another. The only difference should be based on price -- you can get more service for $80/month than for $50/month, and yet more for $500/month.