Burning the Internet in Order to Save It

Free Press’ network neutrality campaign reached new heights of hysteria last week with the release of a wild press release on the Glasnost study. Their press release abounded with errors, which Register editor Andrew Orlowski endeavored to correct. Here’s his analysis:

With its campaign to “Save The Internet”, Free Press may achieve two goals that I fear are the opposite of what its biggest backer, George Soros, intended when he financed the outfit.

One is that it makes the job of genuine free speech activists – who work to promote cases of real repression – much harder.

The other is that it mandates a broken network as the default technical standard for citizens.

…So in banging the drum for the virtual campaign, Free Press makes the big guys even stronger. That’s an odd result for an outfit that says its goal is “to promote diverse and independent media ownership”.

The “broken network” is the part that I’ve written about, but the free speech issue is much larger.

If you have any doubt about the extent of Free Press’ misinformation campaign, here’s a quote from Free Press employee Tim Karr on the Save the Internet blog (which Free Press controls:)

…Comcast secretly put in place a system that makes it virtually impossible for most of its users to use BitTorrent and other file-sharing applications…

This is not, of course, the experience of Comcast customers.

I’ve sent a list of questions to the Glasnost people myself, and have received only partial answers, so more on that later. The short version is that they’ve collected some interesting data and failed to interpret them correctly. We know that cable ISPs use RST packets to reduce the number of outbound connections used by P2P. The interesting questions relate to the impact these packets have on applications generally and P2P in particular.