This talk wasn’t any better than the sixth.

I understand the idea of encrypting all traffic, but it relies on two assumptions:

  1. All traffic needs to be private, and;
  2. End-user connectivity is every-expanding.

Let’s look at those assumptions one-by-one.

What’s the problem if I fetch Facebook’s favicon.ico? Why does that need to be private? There’s lots of things that people do online that aren’t the least bit objectionable. Does it matter to anyone that I ordered Pizza Hut for dinner last night? Whatever. I brushed my teeth twice yesterday, too, and used different brands of toothpaste. (The tube I took to Shmoocon was still in the suitcase, so I used the other one in the bathroom.)

Perhaps if I was looking at some nice, wholesome porn, I wouldn’t want people to know about it, but for the vast majority of my Internet use, I really couldn’t care less who could see. That that favicon.ico gets fetched multiple times per day by multiple people on my network is not a problem. Maybe there should be a way to cache that common content, so it doesn’t have to be fetched from the source every time. Like a shared cache? Squid, perhaps? Oh, but that doesn’t work when all content is encrypted. My professional experience shows that there’s many times when bandwidth availability does not increase, which brings me to point two.

There’s lots of instances where, despite your cable company bumping your cable modem speed, significantly that bandwidth has not increased.

In one of my not-too-distant past projects, we had remote sites connected by a 9600bps satellite connections. Much of the bandwidth available on these fifteen-minute-per-hour connections was spent just sending and receiving SMTP traffic How much less traffic would have been exchanged with the encryption overhead? Yes, maybe, there’s faster methods of communication available that would enable encrypted communications, but there’s also contracts in place binding payment of the slow services for years to come. Even on the ground, there’s contracts with telcos that can’t be broken, even in light of faster options. So maybe having cashe-friendly web content, and unencrypted email makes sense there? Maybe?

The EFF, and the blind promotion of arcane “net neutrality” rules don’t take any of that into consideration; they assume everyone is using a fast cable modem, or US-based cell network. No, there’s tons of people who aren’t.

So the solution is to hand the decision-making process over to an unelected group of bureaucrats relying on technology from the middle of last century?


But, then, I guess I’m just not woke enough to know that I’m paying less for my mobile phone with far better data than I was before NN was repealed. Sorry ’bout that. I suppose, also, that the places with defined contracts also got faster with the FCC controlling things. Oh, they did. Totally. Those 9600bsp connections are now 10M full-duplex. Guess I missed that.