Saturday04 February 2023

The Netherlands has Net Neutrality... Well Almost

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animal_farm-pigsWe have always been a strong supporter of net neutrality and in general keeping the internet open as a communication and cultural tool. There are many, many people and organization that do not support this and still more that only pay it lip service. We have found what we can only call hypocritical in one of the more open countries out there; the Netherlands. At the same time they have passed a law on Net Neutrality, they have also ordered ISPs to block The Pirate Bay.

The plot goes something like this. Not that long ago the largest cellular provider (KPN) wanted to charge more for the use of third party data applications like (SMS, MMS etc.) This move was to keep up their revenue per user. They talked about it and even were preparing to push this one through when the courts stepped in and pass a law that would prevent this type of behavior.

The law clearly stated that companies providing internet access could not treat services (protocols) differently. They had to allow them equal time on the net, equal bandwidth and also charge the same for them. Now to get around this most providers simply upped all of their prices, but that is another story.

What gets us here is that if this is the law… how can they force ISPs to break it with a block on The Pirate Bay? This type of ban sounds like that line from the Book Animal Farm “All Animals are Equal, but some animals are more equal than others”. So what the government is telling you in the Netherlands is: all traffic is equal, unless it is to The Pirate Bay.

This move has not set well with The Pirate Bay, the Pirate Party in many countries and also with Anonymous. We already know that Anonymous temporarily made Virgin’s website unavailable (through the use of a DDoS attack) over their block of The Pirate Bay in the UK (an act which The Pirate Bay Owners spoke against). We are not sure if there will be further retaliation for this national block of The Pirate Bay, or if there will continue to be the underground movement to establish more proxies, bounces (a method to direct traffic between different proxies and servers similar to the way Tor works) to get around the blocks.

If it is the later we wonder if the courts will order a restriction on the protocols used fort torrents and magnet files. If this does happen, well all that talk about neutrality will fall apart as there are many legal uses for the protocols used for torrent and magnet files (getting Linux distros and even some Microsoft files can be downloaded via torrent).

As we have said before, the entertainment industry has managed to get SOPA outside the US without ever having it passed as a law in ANY country.

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Last modified on Friday, 11 May 2012 12:56

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