Tuesday, November 28, 2017

A Thought on What "Net Neutrality" Implies

MamaLiberty is a reader/commenter here, and also follows Rational Review News Digest. She reads it on the web because for some reason the email edition never gets to her inbox. And since we ran email-only editions for a few days while going through a hosting upgrade, she mentioned to me that she wasn't able to get her fix.

So, that day, I thought "hey, I'll just go ahead and send the day's edition to her directly." Here's the reply I got:

554 rejected due to spam URL in content

Which explains why she doesn't get the daily email newsletter she subscribed to.

RRND itself is not spam. Spam is unsolicited bulk commercial email. RRND is a double-opt-in publication with unsubscribe info included in every message and otherwise conforming to the dictates of the CAN SPAM Act. I also doubt that there were any bona fide "spam URLs" in the content of the message.

The FCC's (hopefully soon to be repealed) "Net Neutrality" rule requires that ISPs "shall not block lawful content, applications, services, or non-harmful devices, subject to reasonable network management."

"Subject to reasonable network management" is a big ol' loophole, of  course. Or, rather, part of a regulatory package that basically allows FCC to forbid, allow, or do anything it damn well pleases under the rubric of "Net Neutrality." Go figure.

But on its face, the ISP is violating the "Net Neutrality" rule. It is blocking lawful content.

Of course, I'm against "Net Neutrality." The way I see it, if RT Communications wants to interpose itself between its customers and their email in this crude and rude way -- "there's a LINK in this email that we THINK may be to a spam site, so you don't get to see it, even if you asked for it" -- that's between them and those customers.

But if I was one of those customers, I'd be righteously pissed and looking for an ISP that knew how to mind its own business instead of getting all up in mine.

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