Why Monthly Internet Usage Caps are a Lie

If you ask an Internet service provider why they cap your usage at 50 or 100 GB per month, they will say something like:
"The cap is necessary to prevent heavy users from hogging all the bandwidth and degrading service for everyone else".
This is a flat-out lie. Here's why.

Network links, routers, switches, orbiting satellites and other hardware are sized - and priced - by their rated maximum speed (Mbit/s or Gbit/s). The cost of deploying and maintaining a network is almost entirely determined by its maximum speed and by the length and difficulty of the cable runs.

Redefining Privacy

We are in the process of redefining privacy. More shadowy actors than we can count, in both corporate and government sectors, have dedicated themselves to hoovering up, archiving and cross-referencing every bit of information they can about our personal lives.

We might not be able to stop them. We may, however, be able to enact changes, as individuals forming a society, that would render them relatively powerless.

The power of metadata

Lost knowledge, and the sheer volume of crap on the Internet

Have you ever looked at the Internet's seedy underbelly?

I'm not talking about the scammers, the porn peddlers, the file sharers, email spammers and political party operatives. They're just part of the landscape, we see them all the time, most of us know how to handle them.

No, this time I'm talking about the sheer volume of completely, utterly useless robot-generated crap that sits around, doing nothing at all except to make it harder to find what you're looking for.

Who's watching you?

By now, you've probably heard the news that the USA's National Security Administration is, with help from various telecom and Web service companies, spying on just about everyone. It's likely that Canada and many other countries are doing the same.

The mass media coverage of this story has, sadly, been rather short on detail regarding exactly what data these agencies collect and store, how they analyze it, and what they know about you and your friends as a result. This has led to the startling result that roughly half of Americans think that this surveillance, despite being explicitly forbidden by the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, is both legal and OK.

For democracy to work, the voting public needs to know what is going on and why. So, in that spirit, here's a list of articles that are very much worth your while to read, ponder and discuss.


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