the business of being yourself

August 12th, 2008 by Romeo Anghelache

So you get a Verizon residential DSL connection. Then, when you want to move your blog on a machine in your home, you discover that their terms of service contain this:

4.3 Restrictions on Use. The Service is a consumer grade service and is not designed for or intended to be used for any commercial purpose. You may not resell the Service, use it for high volume purposes, or engage in similar activities that constitute such use (commercial or non-commercial). If you subscribe to a Broadband Service, you may connect multiple computers/devices within a single home to your modem and/or router to access the Service, but only through a single Verizon-issued IP address. You also may not exceed the bandwidth usage limitations that Verizon may establish from time to time for the Service, or use the Service to host any type of server. Violation of this section may result in bandwidth restrictions on your Service or suspension or termination of your Service.

That means your right to free speech has become a business opportunity for Verizon and the likes. You would like to host a low traffic personal web blog at home, and if you’re knowledgeable enough, a mail server too for your personal needs. Verizon calls this business, I will call it the business of being yourself. To force you to pay more, Verizon artificially blocks the incoming requests to the port 80 (the default http port). So, to be able to express yourself you have to become a businessman. Until then, you pay for accessing the internet not for being connected both ways to the internet. If you pay more and go along their line, they will just unblock the port 80. Nice business model, clueless suit-and-tie losers; so much for the attitude of Verizon, which goes against the net neutrality.

I think this is an attack, from Verizon, on the right to free-speech, it is the equivalent of a mayor requesting a public demonstration to pay a fee to be allowed to happen.

I am looking for an alternative residential DSL connection, and once I find it, I will cancel completely my Verizon service. To me, this is one of the many bad social consequences of capitalist greed, and it has to be stopped. How? By switching your service to companies who don’t interfere with your right to be yourself without making a business out of it, companies which are not conditioning your way of being present on the Internet more than it has to be technically.

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