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ISPs should own your eyes and ears, say AT&T, Cisco, McCurry

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  • Seth Johnson
    ... Subject: ISPs should own your eyes and ears, say AT&T, Cisco, McCurry Date: Fri, 26 Sep 2008 21:26:59 -0400 From: David P. Reed To:
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 26, 2008
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      -------- Original Message --------
      Subject: ISPs should own your eyes and ears, say AT&T, Cisco, McCurry
      Date: Fri, 26 Sep 2008 21:26:59 -0400
      From: "David P. Reed" <dpreed@...>
      To: Seth Johnson <seth.johnson@...>


      New post on my blog

      Permalink: http://www.reed.com/blog-dpr/?p=36

      ISPs should own your eyes and ears, say AT&T, Cisco, McCurry

      The hottest new faux-digerati lobby firm in DC in the communications
      field is Mike McCurry’s new firm Arts+Labs. McCurry is an old
      political hand, Bill Clinton’s press secretary, looking for a second
      career after the Clintons. Apparently there’s no big cash to be had
      protecting our freedom of speech, but Cisco and AT&T are happy to fund
      him to run a firm to defend ISP’s right to do "deep packet inspection"
      (DPI).

      Only Arts+Labs doesn’t dare call it DPI, which sounds just a bit scary
      and Big Brotherish. Instead they call it the "intelligent network"
      that will smooth our experience, cleansing it of all those uneven
      experiences. Those of us who are as old as I am - 56 - might
      remember that the term "Intelligent Network" was a Bell Labs idea that
      failed due to the success of the Internet. As David Isenberg told it,
      the Internet was the "Rise of the Stupid Network".

      The Internet is a simple network, a stupid network, that just connects
      your computer to another computer with no interference. That’s opposed
      to old smarty-pants networks that tried limit users to those things
      that maximized the operators’ monopoly profits, by taxing the content
      providers and preventing innovators from attaching new devices,
      inventing new services at the edges, etc. The Internet won, for a
      good reason: it enabled innovation, and it kept busybody operators
      from having to tinker with or spy on their users’ traffic. It
      delighted users, rather than holding them hostage.

      The Arts+Labs site looks cool, very Web 2.0-ish. But hidden in that
      beautiful design, behind the slick and seductive words, is a dangerous
      idea, one that the founders of the United States rejected in the First
      Amendment. The Arts+Labs site tries to convince you (and Congress) of
      the idea that it’s a "good thing" to allow your ISP to decide what you
      can see or hear or use. That’s the same ISP that is given by Fed,
      State, or local regulators a monopoly or oligopoly over your ability
      to connect at high speed to the Internet. For that monopoly to
      examine your traffic, make guesses as to what it means, and to decide
      for you which services you should connect to, using what protocols.

      Don’t believe Mike McCurry, AT&T and Cisco’s new shill. He may be
      connected, but it’s pretty clear that he wants to disconnect us.
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