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posted by cmn32480 on Thursday September 01 2016, @02:31AM   Printer-friendly
from the be-responsible-for-your-own-security dept.

Net neutrality is a hot topic, apparently.

When BEREC, the Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications, launched a six week public consultation on the issue this June, they sure as heck didn't expect 481,547 responses. Somewhat miraculously, they managed to sift, analyze and classify through all of them in another 6 weeks. That's 16,051 requests, and a couple of paragraphs, for the mathematically challenged amongst you, per day. Which makes for a first observation: European holidays aren't what they're presumed to be, anymore.

Second observation: the turd of an end product is a whopping mere 45 pages, which you will no doubt be delighted to read in a jiffy.

And third, final observation: something funny on page 20 [para 78]:

By way of example, ISPs should not block, slow down, alter, restrict, interfere with, degrade or discriminate advertising when providing an IAS, unless the conditions of the exceptions a), b) or c) are met in a specific case.

To give some context: at least one telecom provider in the EU is toying with the idea of attracting customers by doing the ad-blocking for them. This little para does block this as a general business practice. There is, however, a small opening though, in exception (b) mentioned (grey area, Article 3(3) (b), page 21):

(b) preserve the integrity and security of the network, of services provided via that network, and of the terminal equipment of end-users;

If malware can be associated with a particular ad provider, the published guidelines allow blocking of all its ads from the telecom provider's network.


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  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by bradley13 on Thursday September 01 2016, @09:29AM

    by bradley13 (3053) Subscriber Badge on Thursday September 01 2016, @09:29AM (#396108) Homepage Journal

    The exceptions that state when an ISP can interfere with traffic - these are interesting. Quick summary:

    (a) To comply with EU or national legislation. So a government may require an ISP to censor. This includes not only legislation but also court orders and "public authorities vested with relevant powers".

    (b) To preserve the integrity and security of the network, services and end-user terminal equipment. This specifically "distribution of malicious software", so this is a clear invitation to filter out known sources of malware.

    (c) Preventing network congestion "in exceptional cases, and for no longer than necessary". Fair enough: a bit overly general, but they do emphasize the temporary nature of any such measures.

    The one that bothers me the most is (a). European governments generally take the attitude that censorship is a good thing, if it promotes a more peaceful society. That leaves the door wide open for governments to abuse their power and quash the opinions of their citizens. Do it carefully (like Twitter is currently doing [breitbart.com]), and people may not even realize that they are being censored.

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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 01 2016, @09:50AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 01 2016, @09:50AM (#396111)

    Interesting, since ads seem to have become the primary source of malicious software, they could argue that blocking ads meets condition b) ?

    (I seriously wish I could figure out why adblock plus does not work on my phone, I've stumbled across one of those "you've been infected, click here to start scanning your phone" scams twice while surfing seemingly non dodgy sites in the past week.)