Loss of Privacy

Keeping you informed on recent losses to privacy and civil rights worldwide.

Browsing Posts tagged Net Neutrality

In a new trial, Comcast has found yet another way to screw its customers.

In this trial, XFINITY Internet Economy Plus customers can choose to enroll in the Flexible-Data Option to receive a $5.00 credit on their monthly bill and reduce their data usage plan from 300 GB to 5 GB. If customers choose this option and use more than 5 GB of data in any given month, they will not receive the $5.00 credit and will be charged an additional $1.00 for each gigabyte of data used over the 5 GB included in the Flexible-Data Option.

This is considered a deal to the customers. Reduce your data cap by 295 GB per month for a $5 discount. If you use those 295 GB, it will cost you $1 per gigabyte or $295. Fifteen years ago, heavy users used around 300 GB per month. Today, that is easily used up with the multiple choices in a short amount of time.

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Do you browse websites, such as Reddit? That’s going to be about 3-7 GB a month depending on the subreddits you visit.

Netflix HD stream is about 5 GB every two hours.

YouTube and Twitch? That’s 2GB per hour.

In college and need the Internet at your apartment for research? Better take out extra student loans.

Do you use Dropbox, Carbonite or some other online backup service? Plan on paying extra to access the data.

Do you play games online? Steam has games available that are 5-60 GB in size. It will only take a year to download larger games. Don’t try to download Titanfall or FF13 all at once. Halo: MCC had a 20 GB patch download. That’s $15 just to download it under the Comcast plan.

The average American watches four hours of television per day. Your entire cap is going to be used up in a single day. What will you do the rest of the month? You’d better go outside or plan on hefty bills from Comcast.

This is Comcast’s poorly disguised attempt to keep people from cutting the cord and leaving cable. It’s also their way of sticking a middle finger at net neutrality. Instead of trying to improve their a la carte offerings and listen to the customer, Comcast decided they can’t compete with services like Netflix and are going to screw the customer, who often has no other choice for cable or Internet.

First they double dipped in payments from Netflix and customers and are now out to make customers pay even more for wanting to have a choice in entertainment.

Simply surfing the web is going to be a huge problem, particularly with sites like CNN that insist on autoplay video ads for every video you try to watch. You will hit your data cap just watching those commercials. Music, gaming, file transfers, backups, remote desktops, online meetings, etc. will be unusable if you intended to stay within that 5 GB cap. Want more bandwidth? You’re going to pay dearly for it.

If you go with one of their other plans, you’ll pay $10 per 50 GB over the cap. Customers wouldn’t have to be in this position if the money they were given 20 years ago by Congress was actually used to improve networks instead of being pocketed by the companies.

If you click on Why are you making this change? you get the following response:

As the marketplace and technology change, we do too. We evaluate customer data usage, and a variety of other factors, and make adjustments accordingly. Over the last several years, we have periodically reviewed various plans, and recently we have been analyzing the market and our process through various data usage plan trials.

There is no reason other than we want more money, but they can’t come out and say that. If net neutrality is killed, just watch how fast Comcast and other cable companies start offering Netflix in the “special delivery” section. Then, not only do they charge Netflix more to have access, you will pay your monthly fee to Netflix and an extra fee to Comcast.

These companies have monopolies in nearly every town they are in. They have no competition and do as they please, knowing you, the customer, are stuck with them. If you want to make a difference, call the FCC.

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Sen. Al Franken says Sen. Ted Cruz ‘s comparison of net neutrality as ‘Obamacare for internet’ is completely wrong.

Al Franken’s speech from four year’s ago on net neutrality is still relevant. The heart of it is around 11:30.

Franken made a PSA earlier this year explaining net neutrality. He’s been fighting for four years.

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A group of companies and websites recently came together for “Internet Slowdown Day” to symbolically show people what the internet would be like if new net neutrality rules get passed. Net Neutrality is a bit hard to follow so Jimmy did a brief demonstration that will hopefully make it very clear.

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Namecheap’s message to the FCC: Don’t flush our rights down the toilet! Net neutrality is here to stay.

Song performed by Bobby Jo Valentine.

Lyrics:

F-C-C
Don’t take away our net neutrality
The internet was made for you and me

We need it for communication
The Youtube and the Facebook nation
For sharing selfies night and day

Hey – hey – hey

Don’t flush our rights away
Don’t make the people pay
Wall Street shouldn’t have a say – ay ay
It’s not gonna be OK

F-C-C
How expensive is it gonna be
To stream our favorite movies and TV

Or get an online education
Without any limitation
So it’s time for us to say

Hey – hey – hey

Don’t flush our rights away
Don’t make the people pay
Wall Street shouldn’t have a say – ay ay
Don’t flush our rights away

Source.

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Power exists to be used. Some wish for cyber safety, which they will not get. Others wish for cyber order, which they will not get. Some have the eye to discern cyber policies that are “the least worst thing;” may they fill the vacuum of wishful thinking.

This is Dan Greer‘s keynote speech at Black Hat 2014. The transcript is worth reading as well.

As if it needed saying, cyber security is now a riveting concern, a top issue in many venues more important than this one. This is not to insult Black Hat; rather it is to note that every speaker, every writer, every practitioner in the field of cyber security who has wished that its topic, and us with it, were taken seriously has gotten their wish. Cyber security *is* being taken seriously, which, as you well know is not the same as being taken usefully, coherently, or lastingly. Whether we are talking about laws like the Digital Millenium Copyright Act or the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, or the non-lawmaking but perhaps even more significant actions that the Executive agencies are undertaking, “we” and the cyber security issue have never been more at the forefront of policy. And you ain’t seen nothing yet.

Not only has cybersecurity reached the highest levels of attention, it has spread into nearly every corner. If area is the product of height and width, then the footprint of cybersecurity has surpassed the grasp of any one of us.

Greer’s speech was broken down into 10 sections: Mandatory reporting, net neutrality, source code liability, strike back, fall backs and resiliency, vulnerability finding, right to be forgotten, Internet voting, abandonment, and convergence.

Papers, Please has a nice breakdown of some of the more pertinent privacy and identification issues.

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