[buug] Free DSL?

Zeke Krahlin ezekielk at iname.com
Wed Feb 16 18:08:22 PST 2000

Hi Christopher Sullivan, you wrote on 2/16/2000 12:06:21 PM:

>First off, you will need local phone service to subscribe to DSL in most
>areas.  I do not believe it is possible to get DSL without having
>conventional dial tone.  I may be incorrect in that assertion, however.

I have been told otherwise, by some Unix-heads. Though the actual
fact on this remains to be tested.

>You touched on one of the points I was (subtely) trying to make.  Free
>access providers will be under no obligation to provide you with any
>quality of service.  

I have found, as have others, that quality of service is no better for
fee-based services...unless, perhaps, the fee you pay is way higher
than the many generic services out there, that do not charge a lot.

>Even removing that portion of the argument, their
>argument (which will be successful in court, I'm afraid) would be that you
>agreed to that term and condition when you applied for the service.  

Their terms re. this matter, are so general, as to be open to abuse by
this company...and thus, if they become so draconic as to censor
so broadly as to omit large segments of reasonable web sites (such
as non-porno gay sites; as well as pagan links, left-leaning activist 
resources, etc)....the law as it now stands in our country, could 
override such restrictions. Assuming, of course, a reasonable (non-
homophobic, non-right-wing) judge and jury. This is similar to private 
BBS's, which reserve the right to refuse or censor any topics or visitors 
they so desire. But there are limits to this, where basic laws re. civil 
override such limits if deemed "extreme". Likewise, any shop's "right
to refuse service to anyone". Example: If a shop run by an Aryan Nation
owner refused to sell its products to people of color and Asians...you bet
they'd be challenged in court, and lose.

>In a common law sense, you are also the loser.  Since you are not paying
>for the service, you cannot dictate terms of it being provided to you.  In
>the Libertarian movement, we have a saying "He who pays, says."  

We also pay taxes and subsidies to maintain communication infrastructures,
not least of which is the Internet. As for the "terms dictated"...there is 
no clause
present that distinctly says "no gay sites allowed". If they should include 
a clause later on, it is open to challenge, as their definition of future 
(but not described) censors could easily be questioned. Again...if they 
censor sites catering to African Americans (as example), you bet they'd be
in hot water. There are basic laws which *no private or non-fee company can
violate, or shape to their whims. The notion of "he who pays, says", can
wrongly be used to further violate the innate civil rights of the low 
the poor, and the homeless...who in fact *do pay subsidies to both local
and federal gov't whenever they purchase a taxed item, or pay income tax
for menial or temporary labor.

>You are not 100% correct on this.  First off, there are laws preventing
>Pacific Bell (read: a common carrier) from collecting and distributing
>personal data without my explicit permission.  

I understand...but businesses are now rife with violations of their 
to customers. So we are forced to strengthen laws, and be more vigilant
than ever. (Example: the Banks' attempts to share customer data with
other institutions.) Unfortunately, at this time, we customers have the odds
stacked against us. I do not breathe any sigh of relief re. my privacy, just
because I pay for some service or product.

>I'd be interested in any evidence you
>have of Pacific Bell Internet doing the same to their (paid) customers,
>because that would be a deusey of a lawsuit.

If a person does not pay his long distance fees, Pac Bell will discontinue 
their local 
service...even though the LD Company is not part of Pac Bell. While they 
been forced by law to do so, I'd say this is an example of sharing personal 
between two distinctly different companies...without first requesting 
from the customer.

>Somebody skilled enough at the ISP can still hack your traffic.  

Of course. But paying for an  ISP still does not protect you from all the 
*other activities 
online, which attempt to gather data w/o your permission or knowledge. You 
be assured by your ISP, that they will never give anyone else access to 
subscription data. But they do *not, usually, provide you with security 
armor to
protect you from all the *other impositions on your privacy while 
connected. And
their *own security of customers' personal data may leave much to be 
desired. I believe
they *should provide security armor, as part of the package. However, they 
do not. Thus, 
even those who pay super-bucks for the hottest and fastest service 
around...must still 
secure her privacy on her own, with constant learning and use of additional 
probably, with more fees.

>I won't mention the fact that providing somebody with an address that is
>not your own is actually a felony under the postal regulations.  :)

Even the most generic PC and Internet columnists are advising Internet 
users to key in false data, to protect their privacy. So I'm in good 
company. If I am ever charged with a felony for this, I'll bring in the 
news clippings of being advised to do this, by savvy reporters.

>I don't believe that.  Having worked in the direct-marketing business at
>one point, I can tell you that low-income people are often targets of
>specific ad campaigns.  

Many companies become wealthy by selling massive amounts of inexpensive 
items or services. I call this the "Pet Rock Phenomenon". For low income 
types, the Internet has proven a very cost-effective tool. I just bought a 
sound card via the WWW for $29, that would have cost me $59 at any local 
retail store. So, yes, on second thought I have to agree with you.

>Unfortunately, in this day and age, you do have to pay for privacy.

Agreed. But this is a violation of one's civil rights, regardless. We have
laws to protect everyone's privacy...they just need to be enforced.
The keystones to individual freedom should not be up for sale, as
they have now become. Even reasonably affluent folks cannot 
afford the best privacy...a right that is supposed to be one's right from
birth, with no consideration for one's financial status or property.

>Unfortunately, the majority of people in
>this country are willing to sell their souls for a $1 discount on their
>$300 grocery bill, and so we end up with this garbage being foisted upon
>us.  I don't shop at Safeway anymore primarily because of this crapola.

I don't shop at any large chain markets, with rare exception. Primarily,
for the reason you just mentioned. And I am definitely pro-active re.
privacy and civil rights. There are some who are fighting this, like
myself, who also do use plenty of free services...but they do so,
well-armed and informed, and thus preserve their privacy.

>The problem isn't with the companies, they're just finding a way to build
>a better mousetrap.  It's the people that are willing to sell their
>privacy for such a low cost that sucks.

"The government is only as good as the people". I think that's a quote from 
Pres. Truman.

>Any rate, back to talking about UNIX.  :)

Sounds like a plan.

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