The Impact of Centralized Control over e2e Networks
[Posted to Random Bytes on March 30, 2003 10:30 AM| Links to this post ]
When I see stories like this, "MediaSavvy: The censor upstream", I cringe.

The majority of internet packets careening from start point to end point will likely need to travel through the "core" of the internet. The terrible fact is that there are very few companies that control this core. Companies like Level 3, AT&T, Worldcom and the like.

Each of these companies can, if they choose to, exert some level of control over the contents of the packets that they transit for us - and in some cases, they do. While the internet infrastructure remains in the hands of these relative few, the internet community will continue to be at the mercy of The Agenda.

This is terribly wrong. The service that I pay these companies for (indirectly) has nothing to do with what is inside the packets that they transport for me, and everything to do with the transport of these packets. The difference is small, but until lawmakers and the People In Charge start to get this, users will continue to get the short end of the functionality stick and the wrong end of the enforcement club.

Users can defend themselves over the short term while laws and perceptions change.

Start using products that use crypto. Demand that your software providers give you meaningful crypto in a form factor that you can easily use. Start demanding true end-to-end functionality from these same providers. For the average user, "server in the middle" architecture is a less then desirable arrangement. What happens when that server no longer exists? Typically, the service no longer exists.

Take the power away from these carriers. Ask for point-to-point, ask for crypto and keep a close watch on your digital rights - they are about to be managed away.

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