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FCC has a plan for rollback of net neutrality rules

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai has disclosed preliminary plans to roll back some of the net neutrality provisions in the U.S., which could be put to vote as soon as May or June, according to news reports.In a meeting this week w...

Google’s Espresso networking tech takes SD-WAN to internet scale

Google is working to accelerate the performance of its applications over the internet by building out a software-defined network at broad scale. On Tuesday, the company announced Espresso, a system that provides increased network performance to users of the company’s applications.It works by applying software-defined networking to the edge of the tech titan’s network, where Google connects to the peer networks of other internet service providers. Rather than rely on individual routers to figure out the best way to direct internet traffic, Espresso hands that responsibility off to servers running in the data centers Google operates at the edge of its network.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

How many NSA spy hubs are scooping up your Internet data?...

Not that knowing NSA's sigint locations will actually help you much...

Cebit showcases security after Snowden

It's almost four years since Edward Snowden leaked U.S. National Security Agency documents revealing the extent of the organization's surveillance of global internet traffic, but he's still making the headlines in Germany.At the Cebit trade show in Hannover, Germany, he'll be looking back at that period in live video interview from Moscow on Tuesday evening.[ Safeguard your data! The tools you need to encrypt your communications and web data. • Maximum-security essential tools for everyday encryption. • InfoWorld's encryption Deep Dive how-to report. | Discover how to secure your systems with InfoWorld's Security Report newsletter. ]There have been a lot of changes on the internet in those four years, but one of the biggest is the growth in the use of encryption.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

IDG Contributor Network: The dangers of the public internet

The Internet is under attack. It has been for many years, ever since “hacker” and “malware” first crept into our vocabulary.

But, the internet has grown exponentially since those days.
It was never meant to handle the level of data it traffics today, a level that exceeded 1 zettabyte last year. The internet was originally built just to share files between users.

The fact that it has grown into the massive web of data and endpoints we enjoy now -- one where smartphones, tablets and smart TVs will account for nearly 70 percent of Internet traffic by 2019 -- is an enormous convenience to how we work, communicate and live.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Russia Top Source Of Nefarious Internet Traffic

Honeypot research from F-Secure shows majority of illicit online activity coming from IP addresses in Russia - also where ransomware is a hot commodity.

Newly discovered flaw undermines HTTPS connections for almost 1,000 sites

"Ticketbleed" bug in F5 firewalls is no Heartbleed, but it still poses a threat.

Democratic senators push to save net neutrality rules under Trump

Democratic senators have promised to fight any move by President Donald Trump’s administration to gut the Federal Communications Commission’s net neutrality rules.Any moves by Trump or the Republican-controlled FCC to roll back the 2015 regulations will meet stiff resistance from Democratic lawmakers and digital rights groups, the five senators said during a press conference Tuesday.[ Read 'em and weep: 5 ways your ISP is screwing you. | 5 more ways your ISP is screwing you. | Cut to the key news in technology trends and IT breakthroughs with the InfoWorld Daily newsletter, our summary of the top tech happenings. ]Millions of U.S. residents called for the FCC to pass strong net neutrality rules that prohibit broadband providers from selectively slowing or blocking internet traffic, said Senator Edward Markey, a Massachusetts Democrat.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

What the end of net neutrality means for you

Now that Trump has taken office and is adorning his cabinet with fellow millionaires and billionaires, net neutrality is on the chopping block.

The principle that all internet traffic should be treated equally is all but dead. With net neutrality, Amazon, for example, can’t cut a deal with Time Warner to make its website come up faster than Walmart’s.

For all the talk of being for the common man, this administration won’t stand in the way of big businesses making deals. The internet was built on the very idea of net neutrality.
It has a history going back more than a century in “common carrier” laws, when Standard Oil was fined for creating a deal with a railroad (also a common carrier) in which it got a “rebate” whenever a competitor shipped oil on the line.

These kinds of deals create vertical monopolies to the disadvantage of consumers, escalating prices.

They also stifle innovation as they price access to the market out of the reach of startups and inventors.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Bad Bots Up Their Human Impersonation Game

Every third website visitor was an attack bot in 2016, and humans represent just under half of all Internet traffic, new Imperva data sample shows.

China announces mass shutdown of VPNs that bypass Great Firewall

Ryan McLaughlinreader comments 53 Share this story China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology yesterday announced a major crackdown on VPN (virtual private network) services that encrypt Internet traffic and let residents access websites blocked by the country's so-called Great Firewall. The ministry "said that all special cable and VPN services on the mainland needed to obtain prior government approval—a move making most VPN service providers in the country of 730 million Internet users illegal," reported the South China Morning Post, a major newspaper in Hong Kong. China's announcement said the country's Internet service market "has signs of disordered development that requires urgent regulation and governance" and that the crackdown is needed to “strengthen cyberspace information security management," according to the Post. The government said its crackdown would begin immediately and run until March 31, 2018. Numerous Internet users in China rely on VPNs to access sites blocked or censored by the government's Great Firewall, such as Google, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Dropbox, The Pirate Bay, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and many others. Apple recently pulled New York Times apps from its Chinese App Store to comply with Chinese regulations. China's tightening of its already strict Internet censorship may be preparation for this autumn's 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, at which new party leadership will be elected. Besides the VPN crackdown, China on Saturday shut down "two websites run by a liberal Chinese think tank" and 15 other websites, the Post reported.

Netflix is so big that it doesn’t need net neutrality rules...

Netflixreader comments 28 Share this story Netflix has long been an outspoken supporter of net neutrality rules, but the streaming video provider says it is now so popular with consumers that it wouldn't be harmed if the rules were repealed. The potential of reversing net neutrality rules increased the moment Donald Trump became president-elect, as Republicans in the Federal Communications Commission and Congress want to get rid of the rules.

But in a letter to shareholders yesterday, Netflix reassured investors that this won't affect the company's financial performance or service quality. "Weakening of US net neutrality laws, should that occur, is unlikely to materially affect our domestic margins or service quality because we are now popular enough with consumers to keep our relationships with ISPs stable," Netflix wrote. The FCC's rules prohibit ISPs from blocking or throttling traffic or giving priority to Web services in exchange for payment.

Because of the rules, small video providers that aren't as popular as Netflix don't have to worry about being blocked or throttled by ISPs or having to pay ISPs for faster access to customers.
ISPs would prefer that customers subscribe to the ISPs' own video services, and thus have incentive to shut out competitors who need access to their broadband networks. Though Netflix is no longer worried about its own access to broadband networks, the company's shareholder letter said the company still supports the net neutrality rules. "On a public policy basis, however, strong net neutrality is important to support innovation and smaller firms," Netflix said. "No one wants ISPs to decide what new and potentially disruptive services can operate over their networks, or to favor one service over another. We hope the new US administration and Congress will recognize that keeping the network neutral drives job growth and innovation." Netflix fought some high-profile battles against Comcast, AT&T, Verizon, and Time Warner Cable in 2014, before the net neutrality rules were passed. Netflix at the time was seeking free interconnection so that it could deliver video traffic to the ISPs' networks directly instead of paying transit providers to carry its traffic to the ISPs.

This alone showed that Netflix was already a giant: Most video providers aren't so big that it's worth building out their own content delivery networks. Netflix ultimately paid ISPs for interconnection but the dispute had an impact on the FCC's net neutrality proceedings. The FCC didn't ban interconnection payments but set up a complaint process so that companies like Netflix can challenge specific payment demands as being "unjust" or "unreasonable." There have been no major public disputes since then. Netflix ended 2016 with 47.9 million paid memberships in the US and another 41.2 million outside the US.
In North America, Netflix accounts for about 35 percent of downstream Internet traffic during peak viewing periods, according to Sandvine's Internet Phenomena report. Netflix's letter to shareholders this week also poked fun at rival HBO for discouraging binge-watching by doling out episodes of new shows one at a time instead of all at once as Netflix does. Despite its previous fights with ISPs, Netflix has gained a privileged status with those same companies.

For example, Netflix is now available on Comcast's X1 set-top boxes, letting customers browse Netflix video alongside Comcast content. Netflix, video, however, is not exempt from the data caps Comcast imposes on customers.

Those data caps and overage fees do remain a roadblock for online video providers that seek to offer a replacement for the cable TV services offered by ISPs.