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[ NNSquad ] Re: AT&T Filtering Plan Violates BellSouth Merger

On Feb 5, 2008, at 9:20 AM, Tim Karr forwarded:
AT&T agreed to four Net Neutrality principles promulgated by the FCC in a 2005 policy statement. The statement was put in place to "encourage broadband deployment and preserve and promote the open and interconnected nature of the public Internet" by entitling consumers to:
3) connect their choice of legal devices that DO NOT HARM THE NETWORK; [emphasis added]

If AT&T does go forward with their plan, it seems likely that this portion of the agreement may be used to justify their actions. We've already seen the argument that blocking BitTorrent connections is necessary because they purportedly interfere with normal network traffic, and it's apparently dismayingly easy to snow legislators and other government officials with technical jargon intertwined with buzzmemes ("it's to protect the children!") to gain their support for such actions.

This makes efforts to accurately characterize network filtering more important than ever; the more people who have tools in their hands to see first-hand the effects of filtering, the more likely it is that Comcast, AT&T, etc will be forced to be above board about any mechanisms they deploy, and the more likely there is to be meaningful public discussion and debate about these issues.