Gemini version available ♊︎

Internet Companies Are Becoming De Facto Governments and There Are Almost No Laws and Constitutions to Regulate Them

Posted in Law at 9:56 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

An important conundrum we’ll need to talk more and more about in the coming years

Summary: Techrights videos about Internet policy will likely become a regular feature/topic; it seems abundantly clear that over time (at an accelerated pace when people are stuck at home due to a pandemic) Internet companies are becoming like unaccountable and unelected governments; working around them is becoming difficult and subjected to retaliation/deterrence tactics

OUR prediction, which seems like a rather safe prediction, is that censorious tendencies will rapidly increase with corporate media manufacturing consent for it (using straw man arguments and scare tactics). That being the case, last year we did a lot of work towards making Techrights a decentralised site which is difficult to censor. No ClownFlare or Twitter or any of that other outsourced nonsense. Google’s YouTube is also increasingly censoring entire channels, sometimes based on what viewers are doing rather than what the producers of the videos say or do. It’ll get worse as social control mechanisms are “sold” to us as absolutely necessary for some perceived “safety” (usually keeping the powerful people in their position of privilege; see Putin’s response to recent revelations, culminating in many arrests and assassination attempts against journalists).

To carefully separate the general issue from my personal issue [1, 2, 3, 4] I will attempt to only speak in general terms (and in broader context) about the underlying issues [1, 2] because quite a few companies are silently and covertly attacking Net Neutrality (NN) in an effort to superficially shape the face of the Web and the Internet as a whole. Nobody holds them accountable. In the US, the media at least talk about it, sometimes (it extends to related issues like zero-rating). Based on my research, many people have been having the same problems; those who have not will inevitably notice the same and it’s just a question of time. Companies try to discourage in-depth exploration into their tactics, sometimes by settlement.

Last month when Parler got banned by pretty much every company (as if every user of the platform was culpable and everyone needed to be collectively punished rather than the culprits and offenders surgically removed) the media rushed to paint what Parler claims to be as many as 8 million people as seditious nazis. What an incredible over-simplification. Google used similarly-awful reductionist ‘logic’ to ban Element (that’s what happens when people come to rely on centralised ‘stores’ and a platform controlled by one single company), so the slippery slope is now well behind us. This is becoming a norm

Sharing, decentralisation and federation are being equated with “crime” and/or “suspicious activity” as if anything not controlled by governments or companies that are de facto informants of the governments must be banned and discriminated against at the least.

This morning I spent an hour arguing with BT. This is a high escalation point (management) after nearly a month of telephone disputes (I’ve lost track of how much time/effort was invested in it, but certainly over 24 hours all in all). To finally speak to them (they made excuses and didn’t phone back on time) I had to skip breakfast, delay exercise, and sit in the cold (literally). But I don’t mind it much anymore; this issue isn’t just about me. They throttle people’s lines, I know this for a fact now, and they do this in retaliation for certain traffic types. Obviously they don’t want to acknowledge that as that might lead to class action. I demanded a new letter with factual details (it’s part of the evidence) and I am going ahead with a formal complaint (forwarded publicly and relayed over time; it’s an Ofcom/ombudsman complaint, which is not confidential and is in the public interest). The interesting thing is that they still want to pretend there’s no throttling and they’re even sending out hardware and engineers just to claim that someone is “working to resolve” the issue, somehow.

But enough about my situation; what we have here raises many concerns about the future of the Internet, VPNs aside (they too aren’t guaranteed to offer what they claim). They harvest packets (DPI), they censor lots of stuff, and they even refuse or slow down particular types of traffic. It’s not about copyrights, it is about power. Companies like BT are protecting foreign monopolies and a centralised Internet, including peer-to-peer botnets like Windows Update (apparently some decentralisation is “better” or more “benign” than others). To suppress proper investigations those faceless and barely accountable corporations relay complaints/issues to less and less technical staff. They become “polite corporations” with no technical knowledge to avoid having to argue about the actual substance and facts. They barely even escalate internally. They persist with “sales” and “products” and attempts at settlement (e.g. settling with one-off compensation payment). They don’t try to actually tackle the issue of high-priority lanes (or fast lanes) and they’ve resorted to collective punishment over a relatively miniscule share of the network’s capacity (less than 5%). Who’s going to stop them? What’s going to stop them?

There are many “big issues” at hand here. It’s not even about BT or about my experience. It’s not about COVID-19, either (they’ll likely carry on doing this after the worst of this pandemic ‘blows over’). This is a fight over how information is delivered over the Internet or how the network is structured in practice. They want people to hit “like” buttons like a bunch of pigeons and get farmed like cattle. The last thing they want is people contacting one another over the network directly. Their latest routers have no option for password-free login (for local Wi-Fi; it used to be an option) and by default they use a firewall that prevents incoming connections. They stubbornly warn about turning that off. I saw that for myself a fortnight ago. It’s only getting more and more restrictive every year and even some VPN services become incompatible with such gear (half a decade ago, for example, OpenVPN stopped working with the latest router/hub — apparently a common and known issue, as documented online).

Right from the start I told BT (on every call) that they had been throttling me, only to have my line disconnected to “test the line” (almost 20 times all in all) and then some gaslighting, denying the simple observations. Shallow attempt to exhaust the client, making it seem like an isolated case? Cult tactics?

Microsoft is a lot like a cult, as a former insider recently noted. One person recently took note of Microsoft cult isolation tactics[1,2]. “Cults often use isolation tactics to gain control over its victims,” said the person.

“Shallow attempt to exhaust the client, making it seem like an isolated case?”“One method that Microsoft uses for that has long been to change the name of technologies away from standard and or traditional names to ones referenced only in Microsoft documentation. No reference to the real names is ever given, so that the cult victims become isolated and thus much more controllable.”

  1. Isolation to facilitate abuse – Wikipedia
  2. Cult Indoctrination | HowStuffWorks
Share in other sites/networks: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Reddit
  • email

Decor ᶃ Gemini Space

Below is a Web proxy. We recommend getting a Gemini client/browser.

Black/white/grey bullet button This post is also available in Gemini over at this address (requires a Gemini client/browser to open).

Decor ✐ Cross-references

Black/white/grey bullet button Pages that cross-reference this one, if any exist, are listed below or will be listed below over time.

Decor ▢ Respond and Discuss

Black/white/grey bullet button If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

DecorWhat Else is New

  1. Links 21/10/2021: PostgreSQL JDBC 42.3.0 and Maui Report

    Links for the day

  2. [Meme] [Teaser] “Judge a Person Both by His Friends and Enemies”

    Fervent supporters of Team Battistelli or Team Campinos (a dark EPO era) are showing their allegiances; WIPO and EPO have abused staff similarly over the past decade or so

  3. 'Cluster-Voting' in the European Patent Office/Organisation (When a Country With 1.9 Million Citizens Has the Same Voting Power as a Country With 83.1 Million Citizens)

    Today we examine who has been running the Finnish patent office and has moreover voted in the EPO during the ballot on unlawful "Strike Regulations"; they voted in favour of manifestly illegal rules and for 8.5 years after that (including last Wednesday) they continued to back a shady regime which undermines the EPO's mission statement

  4. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XVIII: Helsinki's Accord

    The Finnish outpost has long been strategic to the EPO because it can help control the vote of four or more nations; evidence suggests this has not changed

  5. [Meme] Living as a Human Resource, Working for Despots

    The EPO has become a truly awful place/employer to work for; salary is 2,000 euros for some (despite workplace stress, sometimes relocation to a foreign country)

  6. Links 20/10/2021: New Redcore Linux and Hospital Adoption of GNU Health

    Links for the day

  7. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, October 19, 2021

    IRC logs for Tuesday, October 19, 2021

  8. Links 19/10/2021: Karanbir Singh Leaves CentOS Board, GPL Violations at Vizio

    Links for the day

  9. [Meme] Giving the Knee

    The 'knee' champion Kratochvìl and 'kneel' champion Erlingsdóttir are simply crushing the law; they’re ignoring the trouble of EPO staff and abuses of the Office, facilitated by the Council itself (i.e. facilitated by themselves)

  10. Josef Kratochvìl Rewarded Again for Covering Up EPO Corruption and the EPO Bribes the Press for Lies Whilst Also Lying About Its Colossal Privacy Violations

    Corrupt officials and officials who actively enable the crimes still control the Office and also the body which was supposed to oversee it; it's pretty evident and clear judging by this week's press statements at the EPO's official Web site

  11. [Meme] Sorry, Wrong Country (Or: Slovenia isn't Great Britain)

    Team UPC is trying to go ahead with a total hoax which a high-level European court would certainly put an end to (if or when a referral is initiated)

  12. How Denmark, Iceland, Finland, Norway and Sweden Voted on Patently Unlawful Regulations at the EPO

    We look back and examine what happened 8 years ago when oppressed staff was subjected to unlawful new “regulations” (long enjoyed by António Campinos, the current EPO autocrat)

  13. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XVII: The Non-Monolithic Nordic Bloc

    We start our investigation of how countries in northern Europe ended up voting on the unlawful “Strike Regulations” at the EPO and why

  14. Proof That Windows “11” is a Hoax

    Guest post by Ryan, reprinted with permission

  15. Firefox Becomes as Morally Reprehensible as Apple, Facebook, or Uber

    Guest post by Ryan, reprinted with permission

  16. Links 19/10/2021: GNU dbm 1.22 and Godot 3.4 RC 1

    Links for the day

  17. [Meme] [Teaser] GitHub an Expensive and Dangerous Trap (Also: Misogyny Hub)

    The ongoing Microsoft GitHub exposé will give people compelling reasons to avoid GitHub, which is basically just a subsidised (at a loss) trap

  18. Norway Should Have Voted Against Benoît Battistelli's Illegal (Anti-)'Strike Regulations' at the European Patent Office

    Benoît Battistelli‘s EPO faced no real and potent opposition from Norwegian delegates, who chose to abstain from the vote on the notorious and illegal so-called ‘Strike Regulations’ (they’re just an attack on strikes, an assault on basic rights of labourers)

  19. Links 19/10/2021: Sequoia PGP LGPL 2.0+, Open RAN Adoption

    Links for the day

  20. [Meme] [Teaser] Benoît Battistelli, King of Iceland

    Later today we shall see how the current deputy of the head of the EPO‘s overseeing body was in fact likely rewarded for her complicity in Benoît Battistelli‘s abuses against EPO staff, including staff from Iceland

  21. IRC Proceedings: Monday, October 18, 2021

    IRC logs for Monday, October 18, 2021

  22. Links 19/10/2021: MyGNUHealth 1.0.5 and Ubuntu 22.04 Now Developed

    Links for the day

  23. [Meme] [Teaser] Thrown Under the Bus

    Tomorrow we shall look at Danish enablers of unlawful EPO regulations, Jesper Kongstad and Anne Rejnhold Jørgensen

  24. The World Needs to Know What Many Austrians Already Know About Rude Liar, the Notorious 'Double-Dipper'

    Today we publish many translations (from German) about the Austrian double-dipper, who already became the subject of unfavourable press coverage in his home country; he’s partly responsible for crushing fundamental rights at the EPO under Benoît Battistelli‘s regime

  25. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XVI: The Demise of the Austrian Double-Dipper

    Friedrich ‘Rude Liar’ Rödler is notorious in the eyes of EPO staff, whom he was slandering and scandalising for ages while he himself was the real scandal

  26. Links 18/10/2021: Porteus Kiosk 5.3 and Ventoy 1.0.55

    Links for the day

  27. [Meme] [Teaser] More to Life Than Patents

    Greedy sociopaths oughtn’t be put in charge of patent offices; this is what’s dooming the EPO in recent years (all they think about is money

  28. Microsoft GitHub Exposé — Part II — The Campaign Against GPL Compliance and War on Copyleft Enforcement

    Microsoft contemplated buying GitHub 7.5 years ago; the goal wasn’t to actually support “Open Source” but to crush it from the inside and that’s what Microsoft has been doing over the past 2.5 years (we have some details from the inside)

  29. Links 18/10/2021: Linux 5.15 RC6 and 7 New Stable Kernels

    Links for the day

  30. [Meme] The Austrian School of Friedrich Rude Liar

    With reference to the Austrian School, let’s consider the fact that Friedrich Rude Liar might in fact be standing to personally gain by plundering the EPO‘s staff by demonising them while helping Benoît Battistelli crush them

RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

Recent Posts