Re: Website

From: Cameron L. Spitzer <cls_at_truffula_dot_sj_dot_ca_dot_us>
Date: Fri Jun 10 2005 - 12:47:06 CDT

>[Slow field service by Verizon delays publication of
>election results.]

The point here is close to one of my hot-button issues.
"The Internet" is gradually and quietly bifurcating into
two internets which share much of the same infrastructure
but talk to each other with more and more difficulty.
There is the original Internet, with a professional
grade of service including proactive abuse control
and high reliability.
And there is a new, consumer entertainment grade
internet, with the poorest service consumers will
tolerate in a product they're not really depending on,
at the lowest possible price. The new consumer entertainment
internet tolerates spamming, cracking, and fraud,
notwithstanding whatever lies its public relations departments tell.
It just doesn't charge enough to maintain adequate abuse staffing.
At the biggest companies in the business, that's a deliberate
business decision, not an accident of incompetence or neglect.
MCI, for example, is well aware of its position at the top of the list, and could clean up in a few months if it wanted to.

The customers of the original Internet are professional
organizations doing real work. The real customers of the
new consumer internet are advertisers, and the real product is
consumer "eyeball impressions." That's how the business can
survive delivering such bad end-to-end service.

The two standards of acceptable use are in fundamental conflict.
The most obvious symptom of this conflict is the explosion in
junk email and malware, which has resulted in an explosion in
identity theft and similar crime.

Verizon is one of the biggest players on the new
consumer entertainment internet. It has pretty much
no presence on the original internet.
The same can be said of the other Baby Bells, and the
cable TV operators, and phone companies worldwide.
Very few companies have a significant presence on both
networks. Some of them operate professional grade
"backbone" service but deliver consumer grade service
at the "network edge."

This bifurcation is one of the biggest stories in the
much-ballyhooed rapid deployment of of public IP service.
It is being concealed from the public by a confluence of interests.
Consumers are being told spam and malware are as inevitable
and natural as the weather, when they are in truth largely the result
of strategic decisions at a few dozen large companies.
I'd nominate it to the Project Censored top 25 list,
but they require a seed story and I haven't found a good one yet.

Elections are serious business, not consumer entertainment.
There may be a place for the original internet in some
future election system. But the quality of service
and high level of tolerated criminal behavior on the
new consumer internet makes it completely inappropriate
for serious business of any kind. Government agencies
shouldn't be buying consumer grade internet service;
almost everything they do requires better service than
companies like Verizon are *able* to provide.
If they do, they must use it only for unreliable low-level
transit, and operate their own reliable networks on top
of the unreliable infrastructure.

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Received on Thu Jun 30 23:17:06 2005

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