Saturday, October 08, 2005



By Elaine Meinel Supkis

I live on the net. It is my alternate/alternate home aside from Dream World and Waking World. It is the Pyscho Ward of our international culture, namely, the inmates run the joint, sort of, like...heck. We, the many people writing, putting up data, sharing information, selling stuff, explaining things, examining things, poking noses into things, we are the content of the internet but we all depend on physical machines run by electricity run by goofy humans to keep this massive, brain boggling, byzantine structure operational.

On Tuesday to Wednsday, I had a number of problems including the government sticking its nose into my rear, back off, back off, bad doggies! Well, some people trying to access my site couldn't, at one point none of us could access many of us, it was all really weird and so I poked around the tech end of the net to see what the hell was going on.

Seems we just phased through a battle of two behemoths that stomped on some of our webby little toes. Damn. So I spent the day trying to figure out what went on and after succeeding found that the mainstream press compressed the whole story into this little thing that doesn't do it any justice at all: From Boston Globe:
By Bloomberg News | October 8, 2005
Level 3 Communications Inc. restored Internet service to customers of Cogent Communications Group Inc. and offered to negotiate a dispute over prices and network sharing terms that disrupted some websites.

Level 3 will reconnect its network to Cogent's until Nov. 9, Sureel Choksi, executive vice president of Broomfield, Colo.-based Level 3 Communications, said yesterday in a statement. The pair stopped handling each other's traffic two days ago, the companies said earlier.
Cogent had 60 days' notice that Level 3 would stop carrying the company's Internet traffic, Choksi said in the statement. The cutoff affected Time Warner Inc.'s RoadRunner Internet subscribers Thursday, though service was rerouted, Time Warner Cable spokesman Keith Cocozza said.
My kids use RR. And it was screwy, midweek. Seems that even though it affected mainly the geek community, as always, even slight irritations in this realm immediately cause many hibernating peope to spring into action and full scale assault on anyone or anything that interfers with the web.

From Slashdot:
Posted by Cliff on Wednesday October 05, @07:50PM
from the balkanization-of-the-'net dept.

slashmicah asks: "Internet partitioning and Tier 1 ISPs are something most people don't know much about (myself included). Today, however, some Slashdot readers might have run into some issues involving these two topics. Cogent Communications and Level 3, both Tier 1 ISPs, are apparently having some 'undisclosed' disagreements, causing an Internet partition by turning-off or deactivating their peering point.
Following this rather arcane posting comes a flood of interesting commentary which pretty much examines the strength/fragility of the net and what constitutes reciprical business and how to get around obstructions on the net and so on. Very interesting, all very much "shop talk" and I am not an IT pro so it is slow going reading-wise but there are much bigger issues. This posting interested me:
Level 3 = Failing Business = Retribution
(Score:5, Informative)
by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 05, @10:02PM (#13726864)
I worked there and its a deathmarch shop for IT and network people; they treat their peopel like crap, and leaving there was the best thing I ever did.

The arrogance of Jim Crowe [workign on his 7th manion and 8th large layoff at Level 3] and Kevin O'Hara (President, CEO) is only matched by the jailbird Bernie Ebbers. They only reason they have yet to decalre bankruptcy and liquidate thier debt (and clear away their bad business model with a fresh debt-free start) is that all their Omaha cronies have tied up money in the company stock, which would be flushed.

That they would resort to stunts like this against companies that undermine their pricing is not surprising. Level 3 have amassed BILLIONS in debt that they cannot service at current pricing levels, while Cogent and other more nimble competitors can sustain operations and drain Level3 into bankruptcy. So Level 3 execs do what arrogant desperate people do: lash out.

Level 3 is playing the "Sampson" card - if they cant make people price it their way, they will take the internet down with them.

And they did this trying to kill XO and now Cogent. Watch for more until they finally admit their business model is a failed one, and they declare bankruptcy, wipe the debt, and then begin to price lower and rake in the profits that their debt service is now eating.
Um, sounds like the American Business Model 2.0! Heh. Delphi is indulging in this, all our main airlines have or are doing this. Damn, our whole country is doing this! Make the misery so great someone has to bail the clowns out of messes they created!

Well, this is time to go...Arrrgh! I wanted Gore to be President. Alternate universes have him as President. Grinding teeth. Oh well. We are stuck in this time continuum.

Here is an ueber geek IT site discussing this issue: DSL Reports:
The quote from Leo on NANOG sums it up rather well:

As for those who want to re-architect the Internet to "fix" this
problem, please go away. It's not a technical problem. It's a
business problem. Two companies, each responsible for their own
bottom line couldn't find an economically feesable way to interconnect.
Any attempt to "force" the interconnection (either via regulation,
transit through third parties, etc) will RAISE prices for all
involved. The key here is that the peering was not economically
viable for some reason.
OK, guys, listen to me...Business problems can be holy hell! This is a grave danger because we see it in our media mess what happens when something begins to turn into a monster as rich people slave away day and night trying to turn everything they own into monopolies!!!! Get it? This is their nativist urge and they will destroy whole cultures in pursuit of this eternal Holy Grail--the Eternal Gravy Train whereby everyone pays through the nose for crap!

Got that?

The battle over the web is now beginning since the easy money is now gone and the grind to turn the web into a mill turning straw into gold is their goal and we have to stop them. Here is some news from Europe on this front: From my friend, Richard in England:
You would expect an announcement that would forever change the face of the internet to be a grand affair - a big stage, spotlights, media scrums and a charismatic frontman working the crowd.

But unless you knew where he was sitting, all you got was David Hendon's slightly apprehensive voice through a beige plastic earbox.

The words were calm, measured and unexciting, but their implications will be felt for generations to come.

Old allies in world politics, representatives from the UK and US sat just feet away from each other, but all looked straight ahead as Hendon explained the EU had decided to end the US government's unilateral control of the internet and put in place a new body that would now run this revolutionary communications medium.

The issue of who should control the net had proved an extremely divisive issue, and for 11 days the world's governments traded blows. For the vast majority of people who use the internet, the only real concern is getting on it.

But with the internet now essential to countries' basic infrastructure - Brazil relies on it for 90% of its tax collection - the question of who has control has become critical.

And the unwelcome answer for many is that it is the US government.
Everyone is now going to pull on the web in all directions. American companies servicing China have been cooperating with the Chinese dictators to keep control of the web in the hands of corporations and government not yeilding an inch to the users and creators. Our counterparts in China are not allowed to use the web like we do, so far.

But it is an hourly battle, fighting to prevent the web from being dominated by a few Murdochs for example. Or GE or Microsoft or anyone.

It is NOT my imagination about being censored this week, here is a fellow arcane site that covers much of the same ground I cover: From Prison Planet:
Has Time Warner's ISP, Road Runner, blocked access to all of Alex Jones' flagship websites across the entire United States or is this a wider Internet blackout issue?

We were first alerted to this problem early this morning when several locals in Austin reported that they were unable to access, or Prison

Austin Time Warner had previously shut down access to our websites on a whim, claiming they were 'hate material' but in all cases had quickly restored them after receiving complaints.

However, this latest attack on free speech is occurring nationwide, with Time Warner subscribers from New York to California reporting that their access to the websites is being blocked. Is this deliberate or an Internet-wide issue? Only time will tell.

The last attempt to shut us down came shortly after the London Bombings, which saw our traffic go through the roof after we released a plethora of articles exposing government involvement.

The consequence of this is that Prison alone on some days gets more hits than the Britney Spears website or Rush Limbaugh.

Previously we reported that UK ISPs like Tiscali were blocking their subscribers from accessing the website after the 7/7 bombings.

It is obvious that those in high places are showing their disapproval. This only vindicates all the information we have been putting out.
The full scale attacks and shut downs haven't begun but they are prying, they are conspiring with the owners of the media who hate us all, to shut us down, one by one.

They can't allow free speech especially for free free speech. The NYT is trying to make us pay for their garbage and I notice their editorial writers are no longer cited or argued about....GOOD is no longer a platform for left or right and indeed, the NYT influence is fading fast due to this.

So they will, and all these media morons will, shut us down. They don't want to talk about the stuff we explain. They want silence.

They hate the web. Let's hope we can keep the web a land of anarchy, Linux Rulz.

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