22 Million Comments on Net Neutrality: What’s Next?

After months of anticipation, protests and harsh debates, the comment period for the FCC’s proposal to roll back the net neutrality rules is now over. The commission stopped taking responses last Wednesday, August 30, with a record of almost 22 million comments from net neutrality supporters.
Now the commission will look into this feedback (at least they are expected to) and start working on the final draft of the proposal, which Ajit Pai, the chairman of the FCC, announced earlier this year. However, it is still not clear exactly when and how the rules will be finalized as, according to Pai, the commission “will follow the facts and the law where they take us.”
Who Wants to Kill Net Neutrality?

Under consideration is the FCC’s decision to classify Internet service providers (ISPs) as “common carriers” under Title II of the Communications Act. These rules were necessary for the FCC to regulate the behavior of ISPs, ensuring that all web traffic is treated equally. According to these regulations, all ISPs are prohibited from blocking, throttling or prioritizing content when providing their service to customers.
The net neutrality rules, approved on February 26, 2015, were highly welcomed by many tech companies and internet users. However, not everyone liked the idea of the open and unrestricted internet. Although the net neutrality rules were approved by a 3-2 vote, the voting pattern showed a clear division between the two parties. While 3 of the Democrat representatives voted for net neutrality, the Republicans voted against it.
The current FCC chairman Ajit Pai, who was one of the FCC commissioners back then, was also against these rules, saying they “are bringing digital divide” and harming innovation. This, however, sounds controversial as many tech companies driven by innovation are in favor of keeping the net neutrality rules in place.
While the final version of the proposal is now being revised and hopefully modified, millions of internet users, tech companies and fresh startups that directly depend on net neutrality, are left out there to wait and see what’s going to happen next.
What Happens If We Lose Net Neutrality?

What FCC tries to achieve by ditching Title II, is to bring back a “light touch” Title I approach. Although chairman Pai claims that this will not leave internet users unprotected, it is not clear how any protection measures could be implemented. Over the last decade, the agency tried using a number of different laws for enacting reliable protection of net neutrality, and Title II appeared to be the only one to be effective.
If the proposal gets accepted, the FCC will return control of the internet to the ISPs – the ones who had violated users’ rights before the current rules were adopted in 2015. The biggest fear from net neutrality advocates is that this could divide the internet into two parts: one faster web for companies and individuals who will be willing to pay fast lane fees, and a slower version for the rest. Now it does not sound right that you may have to pay an extra fee in order to access the content you are used to getting for free, for e. g., streaming videos or using social networks. This, however, is very likely to happen if we lose the battle of net neutrality.
NordVPN strongly supports net neutrality. Activities such as content blocking and throttling deny the right to a free and open Internet, and we at NordVPN fully support the free flow of information. Our VPN service allows accessing the internet through an alternative path, bypassing ISPs and avoiding throttling and censorship.
Related: FCC Going Back on Net Neutrality and Subscriber Privacy
Related: FCC to Start Repealing Net Neutrality Rules
Related: FCC Votes to Begin Dismantling Net Neutrality

Net neutrality is important, and we need to fight for it

Net neutrality (before 2003, described as common carrier concept) is an important principle of internet regulation. Despite being regarded as a cornerstone of successful innovation in an open and free internet, the principle of net neutrality is under threat from Internet Service Providers (ISPs), large corporations, and governments.

What does net neutrality mean?

Net neutrality means that every packet of data transferred through the cables and switches of internet providers is treated the same, regardless of application, user, content or platform.

In practice, net neutrality means that your ISP is not allowed to detect your BitTorrent or Skype use and slow down, or throttle, these packets.

ISPs would not be allowed to favor companies that they have agreements with and, for example, speed up Youtube while slowing down Vimeo.

For reasons of neutrality, ISPs are often regulated similarly to public utility companies (common carriers), which are not allowed to discriminate their service. During a power outage or a water shortage, your utility company will likely be prohibited from favoring some households over others.

Why net neutrality is so important

The idea of net neutrality is seen as the most important principle to guarantee healthy competition between internet companies and make it easy for innovations to be adopted by users.

Without net neutrality, an ISP could collude with a video streaming service and deliver videos of their service with high speed and quality while limiting all other services to slow speeds and poor quality.

The high-speed video streaming service would then be able to raise prices, share the profits with the ISP and never have to worry about competition again.

Who is threatening net neutrality and why?

Internet conglomerates and ISPs threaten net neutrality. The two groups dislike the competition of a free and open market and would prefer to create a monopolistic environment where they can overcharge for inferior products—similar to how cable companies did (and still do!) before the internet.

Some examples of net neutrality breaches in the past:

Throttling of BitTorrent traffic
Offering free data, but only for a particular company (like Facebook or Spotify)
Disabling of Apple Facetime
Blocking of free internet calling services
Some large internet companies also stand accused of dismantling the principle of net neutrality. Facebook’s internet.org campaign aims to deliver free internet access to the developing world, but at the same time, it will restrict access to certain platforms and heavily favor companies owned by Facebook, including Whatsapp and Instagram.

The fear is that without the principle of net neutrality, nobody will be able to create an “internet startup” anymore because ISPs will favor the traffic of the major incumbent monopolies and no startup will be able to pay the ISP enough to offer adequate service.

The net neutrality solution?

Is net neutrality the perfect solution?

In theory, yes. But there are many instances when net neutrality is far from perfect. Some data simply has a different priority compared to other data. It seems absurd to route a computer backup at the same priority as a phone call, for instance, and the world’s bandwidth would be far more efficient if data used an express and low priority.

Sadly, we have no mechanism to assess the priority of data accurately. If we were to allow Internet Service Providers to determine priority, we would end up with monopolistic behavior, and if we allowed the users or companies to decide on the priority, we would likely face a dilemma in which everybody would flag their data as high priority.

How we could keep net neutrality

With the rise of cryptocurrencies, it might one day be possible to pay for bandwidth, not on a month-by-month or GB-by-GB basis, but rather attach a price to each requested packet based on priority.

The ISP would collect this fee as a reward, and be incentivized to deliver some data first. Of course, this might mean that a GB of online video conference footage would cost far more than a GB of backing up data, or a GB of BitTorrent, but is it a more efficient use of bandwidth.

As long as the user—not the internet service—pays for the data, ISPs and conglomerates would have little opportunity to collude. Streaming a movie in high speed from the biggest provider would cost just as much as streaming it from the smallest provider.

What you can do to save net neutrality

If you suspect that your ISP is throttling your bandwidth selectively or blocking certain services, you can use a VPN to get around it. Your ISP will not be able to look inside your encrypted VPN tunnel and will not be able to slow services down while prioritizing others.

To protect net neutrality, you can also contact your local regulator or Parliament to let them know that this is something you find important.

If you are in the U.S., you can use OpenMedia’s The Internet Fights Back form. In Europe, you

How banks or governments could wipe Bitcoin off the substance of the planet

How banks or governments could wipe Bitcoin off the substance of the planet

Its safeguards promote Bitcoin as a decentralized framework that can’t be controlled by anybody. Unquestionably, the advanced money test now regarded at more than US$70 billion is close hard to shut down, even its customers don’t know how to turn it off.

Some prominent things could stop Bitcoin, clearly. In any case, they consistently raise more disarrays and are themselves exceptionally caught.

Basically require a rundown? Tl;dr

What could an affiliation do to make Bitcoin pointless?

Shut down the web

How might one execute the web? Beside the high measure of joint effort this would require from private components and governments, we don’t know how to shut down the web. The framework was to a constrained degree proposed to keep going even after a nuclear strike, and it doesn’t have an off catch by design. The web is moreover itself incredibly adaptable against strikes, and information would essentially course around each part that we murder.

Notwithstanding the likelihood that colossal parts of the web were ceased or hurt, Bitcoin’s information exchange limit necessities (starting at now 1MB for like clockwork in any event) might be adequately little to impart over radio waves, or the telephone structure viably.

Over that, would any affiliation really need to slaughter the web? The web has various diverse uses, for example, sending cat photos. The money related damage from executing the web would be huge, and it likely would even cost lives.

Decimate each one of the centers and diggers

The Bitcoin mastermind is included individuals, social occasions, and affiliations that run the Bitcoin programming on their compact PCs, phones, and even raspberry pies. Some of these individuals furthermore run submitted PC chips, called Bitcoin excavators, to exchange control into Bitcoins. In a kind of automated lottery, the people who make the framework more secure by participating in it might get some Bitcoins.

While some of these Bitcoin diggers and center point directors are incredibly perceptible, they’re not going to be excited about shutting down their structures purposefully. It might be possible to seize or obliterate a couple of excavators or center managers, however this will simply make burrowing more beneficial for the people who work subtly.

As a response, Bitcoin mining will go underground, and center points will squat behind VPNs and the Tor Network. For whatever period of time that there is trade to be made out Bitcoin mining, people will peril their adaptability to share. For example, Bitcoin mining remains engaging in Venezuela, where Bitcoin is unlawful.

Make Bitcoin unlawful

In case a state were to make Bitcoin unlawful, it just so happens to be extensively harder for people to buy Bitcoin diggers, exchange Bitcoins into paper money, or recognize it as portions in a store.

However, as in the domain of online pharmaceutical markets (which are furthermore, to some degree, driven by Bitcoin), people are particularly prepared to encroach upon the law for a couple of advantages, and the pseudonymous thought of Bitcoin will make it hard to discover its agents, proprietors, and customers.

Mine fumes Bitcoin pieces

The principle guaranteed way to deal with pass on Bitcoin to an end, and make it pointless is to appreciate the framework yourself and bombshell it from inside.

It’s a bit of Bitcoin’s progressive nature that anybody can share in the system anonymously, as long as they acclimate to the measures laid out in the Bitcoin programming. For example, no choose states that squares must be stacked with trades to be generous, so an excavator could speculatively just mine empty pieces.

If all pieces were empty, nobody could execute on the Bitcoin Blockchain, and without the ability to send money, it would wind up observably futile.

With just 10% of the overall Bitcoin handling power, an affiliation could basically back off the Bitcoin arrange. As the mischievous operation develops, it will over the long haul accomplish half of the total hashing power, empowering them to keep ALL the squares release.

Bitcoin center points recognize the longest generous blockchain as genuine, so if a social occasion has over portion of the total hashing power, they can at last make a chain longer than the other, reasonable excavators, who might need to finish off their squares with trades.

Bitcoin’s coordinator, the pseudonymous Satoshi Nakamoto, clears up:

“The race between the authentic chain and an aggressor chain can be portrayed as a Binomial Random Walk. The accomplishment event is the genuine chain being connected by one square, growing its lead by +1, and the failure event is the aggressor’s chain being extended by one piece, decreasing the cleft by – 1.”

Here’s the way by which to decimate Bitcoin:

Step 1: Buy heaps of Bitcoin diggers

Starting at now, the Bitcoin orchestrate has a total hashing vitality of around 5,7 Exahash consistently. That is 5.7 x 10^18 Hashes each second. The latest model of a bleeding edge Bitcoin digger, like the Antminer S9, conveys around 14 Terrahash consistently, or 14 x 10^12.

That infers that there is for the most part what should be called 400,000 Antminer S9s at introduce in operation in the entire market, which at US$1099 each would cost about US$447 million.

To build half of the total enrolling power, you would need to incorporate the total of the world’s preparing vitality to the framework. As more diggers join the framework, it ends up being more troublesome for everyone to mine. In case the cost of Bitcoin does not rise, it will twist up evidently unrewarding for others to mine, and you wouldn’t have to make a fair endeavor to expect control half of the total framework. You may in like manner have the ability to create excavators for more affordable than what they offer for on the web, yet edges aren’t epic.

An affiliation should want to contribute around US$350-400 million to kick the strike off.

Step 2: Run the excavators

An Antminer S9 exhausts 1372 W, so 400,000 Antminers will eat up 548,800 kW. Consistently, that is 548,800 kWh (4,800 GWh consistently). For perspective, the greatest nuclear power station on the planet, the Bruce Nuclear Power Station in Ontario, Canada, makes around 47,000 GWh in a singular year.

Bitcoin’s vitality usage of 550 MW is around 1/tenth of that of a city like San Francisco. So Bitcoin is still adequately little that a social occasion could source control for the Bitcoin attack on the open market.

Expecting the assailant picked the minimum costly power supply available, it would cost around US$0.04-0.06 for each kWh, which suggests ~US$22,000-33,000 consistently for control, or for the most part US$192 million consistently—just to keep Bitcoin squares deplete.

Right when can will the advancing force costs stop?

As exchange excavators step by step vanish, the step by step control use can reduce a tad bit at once. It’s dim to what degree others would hold up—maybe a month is adequate, yet it could take a year or more. In a further addition to utilizes, the assailant may even need to buy more diggers and spend more on energy to keep an ambush going.

An attacker would trust diverse diggers would quickly slide into chapter 11. It is difficult to recuperate money on the diggers, in any case, as they can only mine Bitcoin (and Bitcoin is by and by dead), and will, thusly, have no resale regard.

Who could finance a Bitcoin ambush?

Bitcoin is a US$70 billion asset, with close US$1 billion of trades worldwide in a singular day. An affiliation could attempt to recoup a segment of the hypotheses by shorting Bitcoin at the right moment, as it will lose a great deal of its motivating force in the essential long extends of a strike.

Colossal banks have a market best of around US$340 billion (JP Morgan Chase), US$95 billion (Mitsubishi UFJ) or US$145 billion (HSBC). Between them, they may have the ability to raise enough money to subsidize a Bitcoin strike, though an extensive segment of a billion would be hard for them to swallow (and legitimize to their financial specialists).

In any case, if a lawmaking body or assembling of governments wish to cut down Bitcoin, it would likely be by and large basic for them to ensure the advantages from the resident. Likewise, the total aggregate required would in all likelihood be equivalent to the yearly U.S. resistance spending design.

How could a Bitcoin strike be stopped?

There are two or three things the Bitcoin social order could do to stop us, and secure Bitcoin. At first, they could anticipate that excavators will consolidate trades in each square, to which an attacker could respond by including unimportant trades between their Bitcoins.

At last, Bitcoin architects would change the check of-work computation of Bitcoin, and make attackers (and everyone else’s) Bitcoin excavators pointless. Diverse diggers would quickly have their spot, and more prominent theory would be relied upon to keep the attack going.

Tl;dr

The best way to deal with make Bitcoin trivial is to mine void squares and make it unfathomable for anybody to make trades, which would make Bitcoins futile.

It would cost about US$350-400 million frank to make enough Bitcoin excavators, and around 16 million consistently to make Bitcoin silly. An aggressor may have the ability to make some of that back by shorting the market, in any case despite for an immense bank, this will be difficult to raise.

The society would have a few traps up their sleeves to render a strike silly, which would require elevate dare to prop it up.