The Naked Scientists

The Naked Scientists Forum

Author Topic: Should the Internet be regulated?  (Read 3641 times)

Offline thedoc

  • Forum Admin
  • Administrator
  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 511
  • Thanked: 12 times
    • View Profile
Should the Internet be regulated?
« on: 02/12/2014 18:45:11 »
With the positive and negative power of the internet, should it ever be regulated?
Read a transcript of the interview by clicking here
or Listen to it now or [download as MP3]
« Last Edit: 02/12/2014 18:45:11 by _system »


 

Offline alancalverd

  • Global Moderator
  • Neilep Level Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4728
  • Thanked: 155 times
  • life is too short to drink instant coffee
    • View Profile
Re: Should the Internet be regulated?
« Reply #1 on: 02/12/2014 22:56:05 »
Sed quis custodiet ipsos custodes?
 

Offline CliffordK

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 6321
  • Thanked: 3 times
  • Site Moderator
    • View Profile
Re: Should the Internet be regulated?
« Reply #2 on: 03/12/2014 07:05:57 »
Should the internet be completely free? 

I'm perfectly willing to reinstate the accounts of all the people trying to sell fake passports on TheNakedScientists website. 

I'm a member on another bike website.  Every once in a while someone will post a link to an Asian website selling bikes at a ridiculously low price (relatively speaking).  It is hard to tell if they are 100% fraudulent (take the money and run), or they are selling forgeries of trademarked material.  One way or the other it is a scam as they aren't selling the product that they are representing that they are selling. 

So, should the websites just be ignored (freedom of speech)?  Or should there be someone that can field complaints and quickly shut them down pending verification.

Do you error on the side of caution (shut the site down until they are confirmed to be legit), or error on the side of the vendors (leave the site up, but give them a reasonable amount of time and a simple painless procedure to verify legitimacy, during which time they could be scamming many unsuspecting targets)?  Should each nation, vendor, company do their own enforcement, or should there be a centralized entity for fielding complaints?
 

Offline alancalverd

  • Global Moderator
  • Neilep Level Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4728
  • Thanked: 155 times
  • life is too short to drink instant coffee
    • View Profile
Re: Should the Internet be regulated?
« Reply #3 on: 05/12/2014 19:44:51 »
Unlike other forms of advertising and scamming, you don't have to submit youself to the internet. Indeed, unlike hoardings, postal scams and television, you have to invest money and time in order to make yourself vulnerable through the Net. It is reasonable to assume that every unsolicited contact is not in your interest, and every trader is a rogue until proved otherwise.
 

Offline evan_au

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 4130
  • Thanked: 249 times
    • View Profile
Re: Should the Internet be regulated?
« Reply #4 on: 05/12/2014 20:58:33 »
One of the debates in the USA is about "Net Neutrality". One aspect of this is whether people should be allowed to pay to have some traffic prioritised above other traffic.

Some of my internet traffic like Voice (Voice over IP) or Videoconference (Jetsons telephone) is time-sensitive, and should be sent with priority over other traffic types like web browsing or email, where it doesn't matter if a few packets are delayed or lost - they will just be retransmitted.

It sounds like the regulators are thinking that nothing should have priority - and if nothing has priority, then everything is poor (as I have found in a number of hotels that have free WiFi). If prioritisation is forbidden, that forces us to pay more to use some other medium like fixed-line phones or a mobile phone.

Rather than save people money on internet services, such rules will cost people more money on non-internet services!
 

Offline CliffordK

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 6321
  • Thanked: 3 times
  • Site Moderator
    • View Profile
Re: Should the Internet be regulated?
« Reply #5 on: 05/12/2014 22:14:49 »
Unix has a function called "nice".  I'm not sure how widely used it is, but in theory one can take function that is not time sensitive and reduce the CPU load on that function.  The idea is that if one is running a maintenance routine, or perhaps a non-time-sensitive report, one could nice it, and run it in the background.

Something similar could be done with internet traffic (or perhaps that is already being done) to some extent.  So, if I choose to download a fresh version of OpenOffice, I can wait a bit and allow your VOIP to be prioritized (within reason).

The problem is humans get impatient.  I want my e-mail to arrive moments after it is sent, and have been on the phone telling that photos are in the mail (expecting them to receive them immediately). 

I have a tendency to open a few pages in new tabs, then look at them later (when hopefully they've opened).  I often would prefer to see a video clip off-line than watch a choppy replay.  Unfortunately, many content providers don't like their content being stored for offline viewing.

Part of what is being done is segregating personal from business applications.  If I buy a 10 Mbit internet connection, the provider is anticipating me to hit high speed peaks, but to average much less (whereas a business with a 10 Mbit connection may average 10Mbit). 

Of course the more performance one has, the more one demands, so a person might not dream of downloading hours worth of video over a modem connection, but does without a second thought over a high speed connection. 

An alternative that has met some resistance is to allow high speed connections, then to choke the transmission rate after a certain amount of data is transferred.  So, for example, give 10Mbit speed for the first 1 GB daily, then choke it down to 100 Kbit once a person has exceeded  the allotted data limit.  Break it up however one wants, daily, hourly, monthly, etc.
 

Offline evan_au

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 4130
  • Thanked: 249 times
    • View Profile
Re: Should the Internet be regulated?
« Reply #6 on: 05/12/2014 23:51:30 »
Quote from: CliffordK
Something similar could be done with internet traffic (or perhaps that is already being done)
Something similar is already available in Internet Protocol - the DSCP field, or "Differentiated Services Code Point". This allows the end-user to mark traffic that they wish prioritised.

Some form of Ethernet is now almost ubiquitous in home and business networks, whether wired or wireless. The P-Bit field, or Priority Code Point is able to provide a similar function for Ethernet networks.

The main barrier is that even though these mechanisms have been defined for many years, the usage of these fields is not standardised across vendors (not least because the legal and economic implications are unresolved). It is too complicated for most End-Users to understand and configure on today's computers; it will need support from equipment manufacturers, software designers and network operators to configure it properly, in a user-friendly way.
 

Offline alancalverd

  • Global Moderator
  • Neilep Level Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4728
  • Thanked: 155 times
  • life is too short to drink instant coffee
    • View Profile
Re: Should the Internet be regulated?
« Reply #7 on: 06/12/2014 07:42:16 »
There's a difference here between regulation of content and quality of packaging. Not that it makes any difference to me: living a few miles from the home of high-level languages, ARM, fiber optics, and all the rest, I'm lucky to get 10 kb/s on a long download "because there's no demand, sir". But I can access every kind of filth imaginable if I'm patient.

Given that probably 30% of internet traffic is pornography, those of you lucky enough to have decent VOIP and even useable HD webcam bandwidth, must surely thank the "adult"  industry for demanding better image quality. So content regulation would stifle packaging development.
 

The Naked Scientists Forum

Re: Should the Internet be regulated?
« Reply #7 on: 06/12/2014 07:42:16 »

 

SMF 2.0.10 | SMF © 2015, Simple Machines
SMFAds for Free Forums