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The Media Businesses Communications Government The Internet United States

Net Neutrality is Essentially Unassailable, Argues Billionaire Barry Diller (broadcastingcable.com) 82

An anonymous reader quotes Yahoo Finance: The billionaire media mogul behind such popular sites as Expedia, Match.com and HomeAdvisor has a one-word forecast for traditional media conglomerates concerned about being replaced by tech giants: serfdom. "They, like everyone else, are kind of going to be serfs on the land of the large tech companies," IAC chairman Barry Diller said... That's because Google and Facebook not only have such massive user bases but also dominate online advertising. "Google and Facebook are consolidating," Diller said. "They are the only mass advertising mediums we have..." He expects Facebook, Google and maybe Amazon to face government regulation, simply because of their immense size. "At a certain point in size, you must," he said. "It's inevitable."

He did, however, outline one positive for Big Tech getting so gargantuan. Big Telecom no longer has the economic leverage to roll back today's net-neutrality norms, in which internet providers don't try to charge sites extra for access to their subscribers. "I think it's hard to overturn practically," he said. "It is the accepted system."

Even if the U.S. government takes moves to fight net neutrality, Diller told CNBC that "I think it is over... It is [the] practice of the world... You're still going to be able to push a button and publish to the world, without anybody in between asking you for tribute. I think that is now just the way things are done. I don't think it can be violated no matter what laws are back."
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Net Neutrality is Essentially Unassailable, Argues Billionaire Barry Diller

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  • by VeryFluffyBunny ( 5037285 ) on Sunday November 19, 2017 @09:48PM (#55584301)
    WTF does Barry Diller know about how net neutrality works? What qualifies him to spout about the subject apart from being one of the USA's anointed ones, i.e. a billionaire and therefore the press prints whatever shit falls out of his mouth?
    • WTF does Barry Diller know about how net neutrality works?

      Clearly not as much as quasi-anonymous Slashdot commentator VeryFluffyBunny.

    • Clearly nothing. He doesn't think it can be violated while actively ignoring all the examples where it has been violated already. E.g throttling and data caps on video services not owned by the ISP.

    • by pots ( 5047349 )
      He's allowed to have an opinion, even if it's dumb. People say the same thing whenever a celebrity disagrees with whatever bullshit they think is important: "Celebrities are just there to look pretty. They should speak only when spoken to."

      The problem isn't that this guy says something or thinks something, the problem is that we are paying attention to him. He is not the problem, we are.
    • Since Net Neutrality is a manifestation of free market economics and his background in business and broadcasting he probably does have an informed perspective. That doesn't make him right, but his perspective and credentials are on the table.

      • ...his background in business and broadcasting...

        His background doesn't appear to cover how net neutrality works, i.e. the telecoms control the medium of communication and, if left unregulated, can impose whatever prioritisation and constraints on any specific packets of data from any source and to any destination they choose.

    • by twebb72 ( 903169 )
      Truly an example of fake news.

      To paraphrase Barry Diller "LOOK OVER HERE! OVER HERE!" (while I remove protections and regulations while you are distracted by the vomit coming out of my mouth)
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 19, 2017 @09:57PM (#55584335)

    It seems very naive to believe that tech companies will always back net neutrality. Once Google reaches critical market share providing home Internet service, either by deploying their own solution or buying up existing companies, their position on net neutrality will reverse.

    Looking at it from another perspective, net neutrality favors startups. If Google and Facebook can work out deals with cable companies that will impede any startup that challenges their market dominance their concern for net neutrality will evaporate.

    • by ShanghaiBill ( 739463 ) on Sunday November 19, 2017 @10:04PM (#55584381)

      It seems very naive to believe that tech companies will always back net neutrality. Once Google reaches critical market share providing home Internet service, either by deploying their own solution or buying up existing companies, their position on net neutrality will reverse.

      Indeed. Facebook already tried to do this with their "Free Basics" service in India, that would have prioritized their own services. Tech companies support NN when, and only when, it is in their interest to do so. Expecting them to be our saviors and protectors from the evil Telecoms is naive.

      • And yet I'm not sure I disagree with this. I'm inclined to believe an non-neutral net is preferable to no net at all. However non-neutral has no place in a well connected world.

    • by whoever57 ( 658626 ) on Monday November 20, 2017 @01:14AM (#55584937) Journal

      Google and Facebook don't even need a deal.

      Who is going to sign up for an Internet plan in which Google and Facebook don't work well?

      • by MobyDisk ( 75490 )

        Who is going to sign up for an Internet plan in which Google and Facebook don't work well?

        The day Apple makes a search engine and a social network.

      • You are not wrong here, where I am you can get perfect Netflix streaming and Facebook browsing but everything else is slow as shit. NN died here long ago, by popular demand no less. Oh yeah, Youtube usually works fine as well, even when a local news site is timing out. Not many people here would be interested in an ISP which did not give those "essential" services priority. So in my mind NN died a long time ago anyways, they are just trying to make it legal to make more money.
      • Google and Facebook don't even need a deal.

        Who is going to sign up for an Internet plan in which Google and Facebook don't work well?

        Oh, this one's $10 less and Facebook doesn't work well [all else being equal]? Sign me up!

    • by swb ( 14022 )

      The big players like Google, Apple, and Facebook already evade the problem of startups by buying them out. I read someplace they've perverted the so-called startup culture by making getting bought out the number one goal.

      And when they don't bother, they just take a page from Microsoft's book and add the startup's features to their own product.

  • Look for motive (Score:5, Informative)

    by Antique Geekmeister ( 740220 ) on Sunday November 19, 2017 @10:11PM (#55584413)

    What companies is Barry Diller involved in that will benefit from the loss of "Net Neutrality"?

    It looks like USA Network and Fox Network, both of which he helped found. AC/InterActiveCorp, and Expedia. What possible motive would someone whose billions of dollars are tied to such media giants gain from getting people to ignore the issues of Net Neutrality? What control by business lobbyists might be gained if an informed citizenry pays no attention to it?

    I believe this also answers the question of "what does Barry Diller know". He knows that the loss of Net Neutrality can benefit his highly capitalized companies in which he has enormous personal investments: favoring particular, paying media companies over other Internet traffic is highly beneficial to his large, existing companies.

  • The more big brand social media limits, controls, blocks, removes content, stops ads, the more people will rediscover the fun of the internet they can support.
    The more SJW guided tech giants push for censorship, ad control, limit ad payments, the more site will go direct to their users for funds. No more big brand SJW gate keepers only wanting to allow ads on site that SJW approve of.

    Users of a site, forum, will just get a wallet code per site and spend some time using their cpu, gpu to create support.
    N
  • by epine ( 68316 ) on Sunday November 19, 2017 @10:35PM (#55584479)

    The price of housing never went down ... at least, not until people starting to go around endlessly repeating the maxim that the price of housing never goes down.

    This issue is just a titch too important to relegate to cartoon physics with a broad wave of a feckless "what, me worry?" ostrich paintbrush.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 19, 2017 @11:36PM (#55584651)

    For decades now China has poured money into hardware and software to control what people see and how they see it with their so-called "Great Firewall of China". This has created an entire cottage industry in specialized network appliances and software offering all sorts of content filtering, logging, monitoring and re-rerouting of traffic etc. It took time and billions of dollars, but China and other oppressive governments have managed to tame the Internet. Now that same software and hardware is available to private companies chasing more banal objectives, like charging you more for the right to watch Netflix vs their in-house streaming offerings. I don't agree with Mr Diller that Net Neutrality is unassailable. It's being assailed right now. The opening shots in this war were arguably fired by Comcast in 2007 with the spoofed TCP reset packet controversy [wikipedia.org]. The tools now are both more targeted and more effective. The threat is real and people ignore it at their peril. The Internet as we knew it is slipping into history and has been for some time now. If nothing is done, the end result will be something similar to cable television with access to Facebook, ISP branded video streaming and not much else.

    • IMHO the internet always was second to an improved Fidonet or something similar. Considering the internet "free" always seemed a little naive. It's 2 decades ago that commercial online services controlled access to the web, you had to be always online, it was hideously expensive and slow and E-Mail has always been a shitty non-private service, as has the usenet.

      These days Google and Facebook have taken over the position of AOL and Compuserve for a larger part of the population. Plus we all now that three-le

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Big media needs to lock this shit down. Once the poor are back to read-only, things you read about will be better.

  • Already happening (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Todd Knarr ( 15451 ) on Monday November 20, 2017 @12:06AM (#55584739) Homepage

    The telecomms already are charging companies for access, and the big companies like Google and NetFlix are fine with it because the cost for them isn't prohibitively high. That still leaves the small companies facing having to pay for access to end users, and it'll be harder for them because the precedent's already there that having to pay for access to your customers is OK.

    • "The telecomms already are charging companies for access, and the big companies like Google and NetFlix"

      For Google, the by far largest contributor to bandwidth use is Youtube. And they way I understand it, Google has deploy thousands of caching servers in the networks of most of the world's ISPs. That makes sense, since the ISP don't incur inbound network cost on those streams, and the end-user gets the content faster.

      There are stories about a few banana republic ISPs which have tried to charge Google for h

  • The billionaire media mogul behind such popular sites as Expedia, Match.com and HomeAdvisor

    All of those are now mostly obsolete, their business models completely disrupted by new players. I'm not sure that guy is a reference when it comes to predicting the future.

  • Says the guy (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward

    That also worked for ABC, Parmount, and Fox. He will make a fortune if net neutrality goes away. Ignore the "just give it up" message.

  • by jeti ( 105266 ) on Monday November 20, 2017 @01:51AM (#55585089) Homepage
    It won't be Big Tech vs Big Telecom. It will be Big vs small.
  • ...has a one-word forecast...

    He sure uses a lot of words in his one-word forecast.

  • I don't think it can be violated no matter what laws are back.

    He should have just ended the sentence with "I don't think".

    I think it is pretty obvious that net neutrality can and is being violated by many parties already.

    • Agreed, the entire argument is like closing the barn door after the horse has bolted. I am not a network guy, I am a programmer, but I have done a fair amount of network related programming and to find your own bugs you have to know how everything fits together and so I have read a fair amount of literature. In my experience there has NEVER been an uncapped internet. Priority has always been given to certain ports depending on requirements. That is not net neutrality. Fine, what they are arguing about
      • by sheph ( 955019 )
        It gives the biggest companies an unfair advantage squeezing out the little guy. It will ultimately stifle competition which is never good for the public at large.
    • by TheSync ( 5291 )

      I think it is pretty obvious that net neutrality can and is being violated by many parties already.

      Where is your evidence for this?

      • I think it is pretty obvious that net neutrality can and is being violated by many parties already.

        Where is your evidence for this?

        Pick an ISP and let's talk about their practices. We can talk about those charging differently for anyone peering with Netflix. We can talk about download caps which don't apply to their own streaming video services. We can talk about free access to Facebook and only Facebook on mobile phones. And these are just the 3 that my own personal ISPs have been guilty of. I'm sure if I switched ISP again I can find another example to add to the list.

        You think the desire for net neutrality legislation just popped up

        • by TheSync ( 5291 )

          We can talk about those charging differently for anyone peering with Netflix

          Yes, networks are charging Netflix fair market value for the HUGE amount of traffic they are dumping onto the Internet, and in the process raking in tons of cash from subscriptions. But in truth, these carriers are really just asking Netflix to BUILD THE INFRASTRUCTURE needed to dump their traffic on other networks, including dropping content caches inside end-user ISPs.

          And wah, zero rating. Giving someone something for free. Tha

      • How about when comcast throttled bittorrent and admitted it. Or when AT&T blocked 4chan. I believe both incidents were covered extensively on slashdot.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    American public puppets. Watch the show. Enjoy the ride. We will not discuss the internet backbones, and what rules and regulations they run under. No, only the last mile, that's what is important. Debate that, look at the shiny. DNS, caching, edge networks...no no...net neutral net neutral

  • That's easy for him to say, but those norms will change with coordinated effort. If all the telecoms start charging what's everyone going to do? They're going to pay. Because to not pay means you don't get your content and no one is going to accept that (or at least not enough that it will make a difference). Choice doesn't matter when all the choices suck. We'll all piss and moan about it, but we'll never collectively hit them in the wallet where it would really matter.

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