News 2017-05-09: The Atrocial Network | Level One Techs

The John Oliver thing on Network Neutrality -- that came out after we shot this but it sums things up pretty succinctly as well.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

While Canada does have some CRTC guidlines for Net Neutrality, I don't think they are completely legally binding in any way. So I'd say we are pretty safe, but only until Rogers or Bell decide to test the CRTC. ISPs in Canada are the perfect example of how a capitalist market fails. Theoretically, they should be competing, but they don't. Cellphone plans in Canada are almost identical no matter which carrier you pick - Bell, Rogers, Telus and their subsidiaries Virgin, Fido, and Koodo.

A data-only SIM card starts at $10/m for 5MB.

Canadian ISPs can't charge us differently based on the content of our data, but they will certainly [email protected]#% you on the price of that data.

Also, to be fair, cable internet prices are actually fairly reasonable with 'fibre' access in most cities.

Hey, got some corrections about the T-Mobile court case in the Netherlands.

According to Dutch law, zero-rating was strictly forbidden. The problem was that attempts by the Dutch government to translate that to EU legislation have so far not worked. When T-Mobile offered the zero-rated music, they were sued by the telecom watchdog in the Netherlands, but they went to court over it. The judge ruled that the current EU legislation currently overrules the Dutch legislation, as laws over the telecom industry weighed heavier that national laws. (this has to do with how data for cellphone subscriptions is provided, not necessarily net-neutrality). If T-Mobile were to only provide Spotify, they would in fact be violating EU regulations, but because they provide this zero-rated service to any companies (radio stations, Deezer and Spotify) they are not providing preference to a single service. It is the services job to actually become a member of the T-Mobile product (currently Apply Music and Google Play are not members). Legally I can understand it, but I do see the potential for problems here.

What it really comes down to is that the Netherlands isn't where the leak in the dike is, but rather where they are trying to change the tide, as this practice of zero-rating is legal in other EU nations.

Sources: (translation of first source can be provided, of second source I will only be able to provide translation of the summary)

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The most infuriating thing about the sneaking in (yes, it was leaked) of an amendment to the UK's Investigatory Powers Act (a.k.a. Snooper's Charter) is that we have only just passed this bloody act in parliament. It went into power on December 30th and surprisingly the only real opposition the bill faced was from our House of Lords... yes. Our elected MPs let the bill pass without barely a whimper, but the house of people who have lived the majority of their lives without the internet felt strongly that the bill in its initial state was overreaching and even brought up some really important points about the non-existent distinction between a "central database" (which the proponents argued it was not) and a "distributed collection of records that could be filtered to appear as a central database" (which is exactly what it is. It might not be technically centralised, but the filtering system proposed meant that you were essentially joining the databases for searching).

Now less than 6 months later, they know they'll have an easier time sneaking in an amendment than having this stuff in the original bill because the opposition would have been much greater. It's infuriating.

The IP Act is post-Brexit UK problem. The European Court of Justice voted last year that such attempts to indiscriminately spy on all citizens is illegal and incompatible with a democratic society.

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“Legislation prescribing a general and indiscriminate retention of data … exceeds the limits of what is strictly necessary and cannot be considered to be justified within a democratic society.” Source from The Guardian article.

If you are more interested, I have fetched the actual ECJ Order here. In essence it says:

[...] it is clear that national legislation that permits the retention of all electronic communications data and subsequent access to that data is liable to cause serious interference with the fundamental rights laid down in Articles 7 and 8 of the Charter (see judgment in Digital Rights Ireland and Others, C‑293/12 and C‑594/12, EU:C:2014:238, paragraph 37).

No OneTab link? :frowning:

Also - The John Oliver thing on Network Neutrality

Anybody else noticed that wendells mic is kinda messed up? The audio is totally weird.

Man, Tom's Hardware really is showing their bias with their latest CPU buyers guide. The omission of AMD's Ryzen line really say's a lot. Especially given that the R5 1600 is one of the best bargains you can get right now.

It is quite noticable imo. Sounded like filtering from an overhead mic maybe.

OK, wasn't sure if it was maybe just the headset at work.

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Yup, and the EU Court of Justice is a really good political error correcting mechanism. The judges there are really good at their jobs and they know what they're doing.

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Also idk if this was on the news, but in Germany there was just some legislation put into motion to secure net neutrality, that each and every traffic should be equal (I'm not sure if it actually passed yet).

Buuuuuutttt there were some downsides to that. I didn't read too much into it so don't quote me on that. But as I understood the ISPs are meant to be able to look at the traffic and its contents. They wouldn't be allowed to store or otherwise analyse the data, but they'd be allowed to look at it to regulate "harmful data".

For what it's worth, here's what the EU says about net neutrality

ISPs are prohibited from blocking or slowing down of Internet traffic, except where necessary. The exceptions are limited to: traffic management to comply with a legal order, to ensure network integrity and security, and to manage congestion, provided that equivalent categories of traffic are treated equally.

However, zero-rating is still allowed.

Edit: Good little talk on data harvesting, the problems with it and how we could do it in the future to be in line with privacy and agency.

Hey guys, you’ve got some corrections regarding the robot story. The title and article clearly indicate San Francisco, not California as a whole. Jane Kim is not a representative of the entire state, she resides on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. If you'd like more information behind this decision feel free to roll down the summary.


As a Bay Area native I realize our problems may not be readily apparent so please permit me to give some quick insight. Manufacturing isn’t the only sector affected, hospitality makes up a large portion of SF employment, a large portion that can soon to be automated and is already at the breaking point. Blue collar workers have been leaving the city, along with the taxes and local revenue they generate, due to exorbitant rent and barriers to better employment. The rent issue in short:

Rent goes up as landlords seek to capitalize on tech workers moving in, tech workers seeking housing that cannot be found in the Valley, as a result of NIMBYs battling to maintain the value of their property and local aesthetics. We’re talking about people making 6-7 figure incomes and still not having enough to make ends meet. Not to mention the tragedy its caused to blue collars stuck in the valley itself.

The introduction of robotic workers further compounds an already crushing issue that has been plaguing the city for close to a decade.

It is important to note that San Francisco is simply trying to help its citizens, the taxes that would be collected from the proposal would help retrain local residents into new and/or more lucrative fields. This includes the recently announced free community college for all SF residents, who can use this to spring board to a bachelor’s or greater. We should not confuse this as a perfect or ideal solution, only one designed to help those negatively impacted and handicapped by disruptive technology and a rapidly changing economy.

I just did a small writeup in the YouTube comments, after which I noticed your post here.

I have a small addition; this applies to all EU law of that type (I forget the specific name) . In some cases, EU law is a guideline, or a minimum level, and countries can make their own laws stricter than the EU guideline. For most laws though, EU law is binding, and countries can't make up their own; which is what is happening here.

Watching the episode as we speak and went to this topic just to say the same. I.e. the Netherlands is NOT the wedge in to Europe for these kind of shenanigans.

Regarding net neutrality:

One strange aspect of cable companies moonlighting as ISPs is their competitors, as syndicated content providers, are using their service to compete with them. This is probably the crux of the issue. All they have to do is make that resource scarce for their competitors. Bringing this to the attention of legislators would probably be useless; as campaign contributions continue to bury that fact. The courts on the other hand might be able to see the issue clearly; when broken down into something more commonly understandable. It's just a model that was designed with a fatal flaw. Conflict of interest is crippling the industry. That brings up another issue with the Supreme Court. Conflict of interest is just another day at the office for the Supreme Court. This doesn't bode well for the prospect of regulation. This is probably something that is just going to run itself off of a cliff. Hopefully there will be lessons learned. Hopefully a new internet will emerge that is fiber optic fast and has more sophisticated protocols. Hopefully there will be awareness of what can happen when conflict of interest is allowed to run rampant. I wouldn't hold your breath though.

Regarding the W10 S app store mandate:

This is still a huge issue for security because the app store itself is a single point of failure. Suppose the app store was compromised. The best case scenario is the total lack of service for all W10 S users. It's a stupid model.