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Google & Verizon Propose Enforceable Net Neutrality. Google and Verizon held a press call today announcing a joint legislative framework proposal: internet network transparency and FCC enforcement with up to $2 million fines for network providers that engage in anti-competitive measures that hurt consumers.

Google & Verizon Propose Enforceable Net Neutrality

This is the exact opposite of what reports last week speculated the companies were working on. (Note: broadband specialists and other press are very skeptical, see below.) Under the proposal, the General Accounting Office would report yearly to congress about how well it all is working. Verizon said the company was concerned that too many rules up front could infringe on its ability to optimize the network for performance, but that some rules are clearly needed and transparency is important. "There will be no prioritization of traffic from Google over the internet, period," Verizon's CEO Ivan Seidenberg said today. Press cynicism runs deep, though, and questions about loopholes and dark hidden intentions are still being asked. Google, Verizon and online health care. The "deal" announced by Google and Verizon today definitely has health care in mind.

Google, Verizon and online health care

(Handshake graphic from CNET's excellent coverage of this story. Thanks Marguerite Reardon and Tom Krazit for the good work.) Getting health applications past regulators like the FDA, will require tracking of service quality, as well as serious assurances on both privacy and security. If someone dies while wearing a heart or diabetes monitor, lawyers will want to know where fault lies before suing. There are famous and controversial figures using such devices, and there will be more.

Putting those services inside the network makes little sense to me, but it makes enormous sense to the health IT industry, to the legal industry, to the regulatorium, to insurers, and to device makers. Demystifying Google and Verizon’s Proposed Policy for the Open Internet. Google and Verizon have released a joint public policy proposal for the open Internet outlining how broadband providers can control how their users receive content.The proposal, which was announced earlier today by the companies' CEOs in a conference call, is meant as a legal framework.

Demystifying Google and Verizon’s Proposed Policy for the Open Internet

It intends to please consumers who want to choose what they access on the Internet and how, but is still a compromise, and thus the most fundamentalist net neutrality advocates might still have some battles on their hands. The proposal we're seeing is starkly different from what was described in The New York Times article from last week that accused Google and Verizon of conspiring to upend the principles of net neutrality. We didn't believe it even then, and Google CEO Eric Schmidt said in the conference call that "almost all" of what the NYT reported was "completely wrong. " Not Neutrality: Did Google & Verizon Just Stab The Internet In The Heart? Looks like Google and Verizon were, in fact, in talks over Net Neutrality after all, calling it a “thorny” issue, no less.

Not Neutrality: Did Google & Verizon Just Stab The Internet In The Heart?

Hm. Both parties announced, a few moments ago, the creation of a codified framework that they will submit to lawmakers in hopes of being enshrined into law. Many of the ideas are fairly benign, such as giving the FCC power to regulate the Internet a little more forcefully. (A recent court case has rendered the FCC’s power somewhat uncertain.) Other ideas, such as the wholesale exclusion of wireless Internet from any sort of Net Neutrality controls, are a little more controversial. Two of the five deserve a closer look: points five and six, those dealing with “additional, differentiated online services” and wireless broadband access. To me, point five seems like carte blanche for the creation almost of a second Internet.

Imagine this pitch: Google Goes "Evil" I just got off a media conference call with Google CEO Eric Schmidt and Verizon CEO Ivan Seidenberg.

Google Goes "Evil"

Google-Verizon Pact: It Gets Worse. So Google and Verizon went public today with their "policy framework" -- better known as the pact to end the Internet as we know it.

Google-Verizon Pact: It Gets Worse

News of this deal broke this week, sparking a public outcry that's seen hundreds of thousands of Internet users calling on Google to live up to its "Don't Be Evil" pledge. But cut through the platitudes the two companies (Googizon, anyone?) Offered on today's press call, and you'll find this deal is even worse than advertised. A Worrisome Proposal For Net Neutrality. A Private net neutrality. After a week of speculation and denial, Google and Verizon unveiled their own version of net neutrality in the form of a "suggested legislative framework for consideration by lawmakers," as Google's public policy guy Alan Davidson and Verizon Vice President Thomas Tauke put it on Google's public policy blog.

A Private net neutrality

"Ultimately, we think this proposal provides the certainty that allows both Web startups to bring their novel ideas to users, and broadband providers to invest in their networks," they wrote. We're guessing that lots of people will disagree with that assessment. How large a truck could you drive through these loopholes? The proposal calls for an enforceable mechanism at the Federal Communications Commission against discrimination towards lawful content. Google Reveals Its Secret Internet Regulation Deal. Do NOT use Google if you care about this.

Google Reveals Its Secret Internet Regulation Deal

Switch to something else. The New York Times article called Google and Verizon out for what they were trying to do, which was prioritize traffic, creating a specialized delivery platform, as closed as TV is, thus locking out competition, upstarts, etc. It would create an internet where only the wealthy had the power to deliver whatever they wanted to you, while the little guy was squished out. A Vision for Managing Internet Traffic. The Real Story: A Tale of Two Internets. Google and Verizon announced a joint proposal on Monday that would allow ISPs to offer premium content bundles over an unspecified global network — an unexpected gambit that would seem to call for separate and unequal internets.

The Real Story: A Tale of Two Internets

The two companies say the guidelines would ensure that no internet traffic of any kind is prioritized over any other kind (with the exception of viruses, spam and the like). “There should be a new, enforceable prohibition against discriminatory practices,” reads part of their proposal, posted on both Verizon’s and Google’s websites. “For the first time, wireline broadband providers would not be able to discriminate against or prioritize lawful internet content, applications or services in a way that causes harm to users or competition.”

“Our proposal also includes safeguards to ensure that such online services must be distinguishable from traditional broadband Internet access services and are not designed to circumvent the rules,” it continues. Verizon, Google Announce Their Net Neutrality Solution. Last week was a messy (though entertaining) one on the network neutrality front, with the FCC canceling their largely closed-door meetings with carriers after criticism and reports that Google and Verizon were conducting private neutrality negotiations.

Verizon, Google Announce Their Net Neutrality Solution

While there was a lot of random interpretation of what the Verizon/Google talks mean, we noted on Friday that the goal of the talks were to to pre-empt tougher consumer protections with voluntary measures that likely wouldn't do much of anything (Verizon's usual tactic in DC).Google and Verizon spent last week engaged in damage control, Verizon insisting that their closed-door meetings with Google were about "openness," then insisting no real arrangement had been made.

Google in turn denied they'd struck any paid prioritization deal and reiterated a vague commitment to an open Internet, but didn't really deny that a private deal was struck. Internet, schminternet. I am baffled by the Google-Verizon agreement on nonnet-nonneutrality. I’m mostly baffled by why Google would put its name to this. What does it gain? As I see it, the agreement makes two huge carve-outs to neutrality and regulation of the internet: mobile and anything new. So ol, grandpa internet may chug along giving us YouTube videos of flaming cats, but you want to get that while you’re out of your house?

Well, that’s the nonnet. “Oh, no, sir. You want something new? “Schminternet, sir.” And transparency in essence creates a third carve-out: So long as the phone company tells you it’s screwing your bits, it’s ok. But wait. Why The Silence From Vint Cerf, Father Of Internet And GOOG Senior VP? Posted by Tom Foremski - August 10, 2010 Why is Vint Cerf, Google's chief Internet Evangelist and father of the Internet silent on this issue of Internet neutrality? It's an issue that has blown up over the past few days yet Mr. Cerf has been absent. Just over a year ago, Mr. Is the Google-Verizon Plan a Setback for Net Neutrality? As recently as last week, Google Inc. was generally known as the nation's largest and most vocal advocate of Net neutrality — the principle that any bit of data online should be allowed to travel just as fast as any other bit, allowing the high school kid in his bedroom to compete on the same viral playing field as a multinational corporation with a server farm.

BBC Tech Brief. Wireless Is Not Different. You Can’t Be Half-Open. Google and Verizon's announcement. Google's statement . A Review of the Proposal by EFF. Efforts to protect net neutrality that involve government regulation have always faced one fundamental obstacle: the substantial danger that the regulators will cause more harm than good for the Internet. The worst case scenario would be that, in allowing the FCC to regulate the Internet, we open the door for big business, Hollywood and the indecency police to exert even more influence on the Net than they do now. Google-Verizon Pact Worse than Feared. WASHINGTON -- In response to Google and Verizon’s “policy framework” unveiled today, MoveOn.Org Civic Action, Credo Action, the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, and Free Press, all members of the Coalition, issued the following joint statement:

Free Press Urges Policymakers to Reject the pact. Emergency Petition to Google: Don't be evil. BREAKING UPDATE (Mon, Aug 9, 1:35pm): Google just proposed new rules that allow for discrimination on the Internet -- killing Net Neutrality and the Internet as we know it. We can't let big corporations take control of the Internet. Join 300,000 others in signing our letter to Google pressuring them to back out of this deal and keep the Internet a level playing field for all. Net Neutrality: Threat or Menace? I had a dream.