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Advertising Businesses EU Google Your Rights Online

European Telecoms May Block Mobile Ads, Spelling Trouble For Google 198

Mark Wilson has news that may have a big impact on both advertisers and end-users who use their phones as portals to ad-supported websites. Several European telecom providers are apparently planning to use ad-blocking software at the data-center level, which would mean benefit for users (in the form of less obnoxious advertising, and less data being eaten by it) but quite a pickle for online advertisers, and sites that rely on advertising revenue. From BetaNews's article (based on this Financial Times article, paywalled): Talking to the Financial Times, one wireless carrier said that the software had been installed at its data centers and could be enabled by the end of the year. With the potential to automatically block most ads on web pages and within apps, the repercussion of the ad boycott could be huge as mobile providers try to wrestle control from the likes of Google. I just wish my mobile provider would start testing this out, too.
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European Telecoms May Block Mobile Ads, Spelling Trouble For Google

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 16, 2015 @05:26AM (#49704411)

    Are you annoyed by youtube videos that cannot be viewed from a mobile device? Expect more of that. Provides will simply not serve content to the ad-free devices. Why should they?

    Vajk

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by penguinoid ( 724646 )

      Provides will simply not serve content to the ad-free devices.

      Good for them. Remember that thing about how someone who's only in it for the money does a worse job than someone who does it because they want to? This means it doubly filters spam.

      • by squiggleslash ( 241428 ) on Saturday May 16, 2015 @09:36AM (#49705109) Homepage Journal

        There's a gaping difference between people who do it just for the money, and people who want to do it, but only have time to because they can make it their living.

        I love software development, but frankly I'd be doing very little of it if I had to drive taxis all day in order to actually earn enough money to put food on my family's table.

        • There's a gaping difference between people who do it just for the money, and people who want to do it, but only have time to because they can make it their living.

          True but there's also much more content on the internet than anyone has the time to read, and the main constraint is in filtering out the gems from the crap.

      • This line of logic is awful. I love free content as much as the next guy, but would you say that fire fighters, teachers, or software developers ought to forgo salaries entirely? I mean, according to your logic they would produce better work if they did it for free.
  • Sounds good (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 16, 2015 @05:29AM (#49704419)

    until they start injecting their own adds. I'm sure such technology would never be used!

    • This. Or do you think telcos would do something like that out of the good of their heart? Please. Where's the profit in doing something for your customer?

      • by dkman ( 863999 )
        Getting more customers. In business they call it "the cost of acquisition of a customer".

        But that's not what I came here to say. I came to say that I have mixed feelings about this. On one hand I use ad block on my computers. I don't generally on my phone, but I also don't browse from my phone often. And I like the idea of blocking ads so they don't consume my data allowance.

        On the other hand I don't like my ISP filtering through my content. There's nothing to stop them from playing MITM (looking
    • Re:Sounds good (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Shakrai ( 717556 ) on Saturday May 16, 2015 @07:10AM (#49704663) Journal

      Sounds good? How is this remotely compatible with the spirit of network neutrality?

  • Bad good idea (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 16, 2015 @05:29AM (#49704421)

    It looks like a good idea (for end users anyway). But this is not. My operator should not decide what I want to see on not on a webpage. If I don't want adds, I use add-free versions of webistes or use an add blocker.
    Next time, telco will decide that anti-telco articles in newspapers are not worth downloading either...

    • Re:Bad good idea (Score:5, Informative)

      by Carewolf ( 581105 ) on Saturday May 16, 2015 @06:27AM (#49704565) Homepage

      It looks like a good idea (for end users anyway). But this is not. My operator should not decide what I want to see on not on a webpage. If I don't want adds, I use add-free versions of webistes or use an add blocker.
      Next time, telco will decide that anti-telco articles in newspapers are not worth downloading either...

      Well, it IS opt-in. It is an extra service they offer. Still it is likely to cause trouble with content providers when they offer it generally, especially if they go through with trying to get money from ad-providers, but at this point that is only speculation.

      • Actually, I think a bigger issue is that as long as ad blockers are optional extensions used by a small percentage of browsers, advertisers and Google are likely to ignore them. But the moment ad blockers become implemented wide-scale (like at the ISP level), the arms race will progress one step further and advertisers will come up with methods which break such ad blockers. e.g. Code their site so the content of their page won't load until their ads have first loaded. I've already run across a few sites
        • by hawk ( 1151 )

          It only preserves their ads when they're coming from the same server or domain . . . of course, there would then be an arms race between the ad companies and blockers for obfuscation, a la 1980s copy protection . . .

          hawk

          • by dave420 ( 699308 )
            It ensures the content holding the ads is the real content (as otherwise a certificate error would appear if a MITM attack was happening), including the links to Google's Ad code, which also would be protected against MITM attacks via certificates. So no, it preserves all adverts served over HTTPS.
    • mobile browsers don't allow adblockers. Besides Advertising currently takes up between 30-90% of the data transmitted compared to actual content.

      • Re: Bad good idea (Score:5, Informative)

        by B2382F29 ( 742174 ) on Saturday May 16, 2015 @07:02AM (#49704649)
        Wrong. You are using the wrong browser. Firefox mobile works fine with adblock plus...
        • by chihowa ( 366380 )

          Actually, APK is totally right on this count. Adblock Plus on Firefox mobile is a dog on older, or lower end, phones. A hostfile based adblocker makes for a much better experience in this context. Of course, your phone has to be rooted, which isn't the case with Firefox + adblock.

        • Unlike the desktop version of Firefox, though, mobile Firefox downloads the ads and merely hides them, meaning that on a platform where you really don't want to waste unnecessary data, FF mobile's adblock is merely an exercise in aesthetics.

      • by pjt33 ( 739471 )

        I just disable JavaScript. Works beautifully at blocking ads on the sites I visit from my smartphone.

      • I admin the proxies for a mid-size company (~1800 users). The "Advertising" category is always the highest bandwidth category, and about 50% of used bandwidth. We're considering blocking the category company-wide.

  • by QuasiSteve ( 2042606 ) on Saturday May 16, 2015 @05:37AM (#49704433)

    Seems tempting, but then you realize that they actually plan on taking money from the advertising companies to start allowing ads again:

    The idea is to specifically target Google, blocking advertising on its websites in an attempt to force the company into giving up a cut of its revenues.

    Also keep in mind that this almost requires them to play MITM with certs, inspect your traffic, etc. which can then further be monetized, and new content injected. Phorm comes to mind.

    Add to that the slippery slope, and it should be evident to anybody that this is a bad idea - and one that has been struck down in the EU in the past already.

    As much as people may dislike ads, having them blocked at the ISP level is a patently terrible idea. I, for one, am hoping the legal weasels haven't found loopholes that would make legislators nod in agreement that this would be a-ok.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      It could easily backfire - Google could just stop including sites using those ISPs.

      With the result of the customers of those ISPs being unable to get any traffic.

      Of course, the ISPs could then not block ads for their own sites again... which would then allow Google to provide ads again...

    • by Barsteward ( 969998 ) on Saturday May 16, 2015 @05:48AM (#49704449)
      I expect it may just be a play to get a share of the ad-money, "Hey Google, give 10% of the share of advertising and we'll unbiock the adverts"
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by mysidia ( 191772 )

        The next stage is for Google to provide an Apache plugin and some custom Javascript to detect if a client has been downloading certain pages without displaying the ads; if your IP address gets in the "Ad Blocker" blacklist, then all the content provider websites can just query the blacklist and refuse to serve content until you unblock the ads.

        • by itzly ( 3699663 ) on Saturday May 16, 2015 @11:29AM (#49705583)

          The next stage is for users to download the ads, but don't show them on the screen.

          • Google will simply prioritize bandwidth of its services to IP blocks by **revenue**. When your ISP's revenue numbers plummet, so does the bandwidth / latency for your ISP's network. As ISPs are rated by customers for providing service, this will lead to competitors that are more neutral to be preferred among customers. Imagine the scenario of two strangers on a bus, one of which using ISP A seems to have an outage with Google Maps or News or Mail or YouTube because his service filters content and Google res

          • by mysidia ( 191772 )

            The next stage is for users to download the ads, but don't show them on the screen.

            Big data analysis will show when the number of legitimate clicks drops below expected levels for a /20 or more of IP space.

            When it drops below acceptable tolerance; we'll replace content with a Captcha submission form that requires looking at an image or text shown in the Advert frame in order to successfully answer the Captcha.

            If the Ad is not shown, then the user won't be able to complete the Captcha.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      > As much as people may dislike ads, having them blocked at the ISP level is a patented terrible idea

      FTFY

    • by msauve ( 701917 ) on Saturday May 16, 2015 @06:18AM (#49704539)
      " this almost requires them to play MITM with certs, inspect your traffic, etc."

      Not necessarily. One fairly effective ad blocker on Android works entirely by using the hosts file to point ad sites to loopback. Requires root, though. But for an ISP to simply break DNS for ad sites would be pretty simple. No cert treachery or DPI required, and phones typically don't give the user any control over which DNS servers they use.
      • Ah, yeah, got mangled in some editing around of my comment - that was supposed to come after the replacing of ads with other content :) Good catch, and good point as well :)

      • Then the ad companies just stop using DNS. That would work for about 2 seconds.

    • by stephanruby ( 542433 ) on Saturday May 16, 2015 @06:30AM (#49704579)

      The headline is missing the point.

      When you buy an app on Google Play, 30% automatically goes to the carrier, and only 2% goes to Google as a transaction fee (Google doesn't even take that extra 2% if carrier billing was used instead of Google Wallet).

      Google's main cash cow is really advertising anyway. But even with advertising, Google also gives a revenue-share to carriers. Google has been giving them this money without even being asked. Google knew from the very beginning that if it was going to be allowed to do business and advertising on cell phone networks, it was going to need the willing cooperation of the cell phone carriers.

      If this announcement is going to affect anyone, it's really going to affect Microsoft and Blackberry. These two do not share their spoils with carriers. In the case of the iPhone, Apple doesn't share revenues with carriers either, but at least Apple still has some decent leverage against carriers.

      So what should expect from this announcement? Ad-blocking may become a reality soon on cell phone networks, but don't expect this opt-in feature to come to the consumer for free against Google ads. Whatever cost it will end up being, it will have to be more money than Google is already paying carriers.

      • by AK Marc ( 707885 )

        When you buy an app on Google Play, 30% automatically goes to the carrier, and only 2% goes to Google as a transaction fee

        30% goes to Google, who splits it between "distribution partner" and "operation expenses", though the exact ratio is not published. Do you have actual inside information you just violated an NDA to share, or are you just guessing?

        • 30% goes to Google, who splits it between "distribution partner" and "operation expenses", though the exact ratio is not published. Do you have actual inside information you just violated an NDA to share, or are you just guessing?

          I'm not guessing. I'm just repeating what I've heard.

          If someone is violating an NDA, it's not me. I would never do that, even under a pseudonym. I've sourced this information from multiple people (granted, that information is several years old, so things may have changed, I don't know), but at the time even they didn't tell me this was private information (although in hindsight, it may make sense that it could be).

          Thanks to me anyway, a television satellite network even abandoned its plans to develop its ow

        • Here is the exact wording used from the Android Google Play developer console. The emphasis in bold is mine.

          For applications and in-app products that you sell on Google Play, the transaction fee is equivalent to 30% of the price. You receive 70% of the payment. The remaining 30% goes to the distribution partner and operating fees.

          It doesn't say "goes to Google". You're the one who conjured up that wording.

          In fact when carrier billing is involved, the full amount doesn't even go to Google first, it can first go to the carriers, which then return the 70% commission back to Google for the app developers.

          In any case, please note that this text you selected was not the original source for my information. I'm just clarifying it beca

      • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

        When most of the world buys an app on Google play Google gets 30%, and the rest goes to the app author. The carrier gets nothing, 0%, nada. Just like if you bought an app from the Amazon app store, or physical goods for that matter.

        Is it different in your country?

        • by mysidia ( 191772 )

          I noticed there are a lot of incidents of "people providing carriage" these days looking for any possible revenue streams they can get, legitimate or not. Mafia-Like. The big near-Monopoly residential broadband providers in the world want to change their role from common carrier to Mafioso Middlemen.

          Without Title II / Network neutrality regulation by the FCC.... the time has fast been approaching in the US, where if you want to go to http://www.amazon.com/ [amazon.com] in your web browser, you would not be

        • Google gets 30% and then gives it to the carrier. I know that for a fact. This is happening in your country as well.

    • Seems tempting, but then you realize that they actually plan on taking money from the advertising companies to start allowing ads again:

      The idea is to specifically target Google, blocking advertising on its websites in an attempt to force the company into giving up a cut of its revenues.

      Well, it could have been worse [youtube.com].

      Also keep in mind that this almost requires them to play MITM with certs, inspect your traffic, etc. which can then further be monetized, and new content injected. Phorm comes to mind.

      And "Phorm" it is!

      Add to that the slippery slope, and it should be evident to anybody that this is a bad idea - and one that has been struck down in the EU in the past already.

      We Europeans are very good with our bad ideas - and don't forget that what has been struck down in the past has a "right to be forgoten"...

      As much as people may dislike ads, having them blocked at the ISP level is a patently terrible idea. I, for one, am hoping the legal weasels haven't found loopholes that would make legislators nod in agreement that this would be a-ok.

      Since we are both Europeans as i understand, and since you seem to know enough about the subject, can you answer me this: I am pro-European, but... WHO DECIDES in our union my fellow European? Who is in charge? I am afraid that our (Con)-Federalism is going too fast and without citizens even knowing the basics about it.

      • Extremely off-topic, but just to touch on the 'who decides' - those with deep pockets, of course. That's not me - it might be you, but I suspect not :)

        Let's face it, we can ask the same thing about our national governments, regional governments, municipal governments and local pseudogovernments.

        That's something that always strikes me as hilarious about U.S. politics. Case in point: same sex marriage. Several state legislators are arguing the case that the Federal Government should have no say in this and

  • Do not want (Score:5, Insightful)

    by peppepz ( 1311345 ) on Saturday May 16, 2015 @05:43AM (#49704443)
    So they are going to peek inside my network packets, looking for ads? And modify them, in order to remove those ads? Sorry, but I don't need yet another big brother looking at my private stuff, whether it’s for my own good, for maintaining the order of society or for the sake of whatever replaced the STASI nowadays.

    Besides, what if I’m using TLS? Are they going to require me to install rogue certificates just to make their inspection more comfortable? No thanks. Telecom companies had better learn already that with the advent of the Internet, their trade is to sell dumb pipes, competing with the others over the price of that service; the good times when they could milk their customers for “value added services” is over.

    • Telecom companies had better learn already that with the advent of the Internet, their trade is to sell dumb pipes, competing with the others over the price of that service; the good times when they could milk their customers for “value added services” is over.

      They've never been in the dumb pipe business, and never will be, at least not as long as they can avoid that. They're in the business of making money off of whatever data flows through their pipe and will always look for ways to increase that revenue; wether it's charging for faster delivery of content or getting a cut of ad revenue. That becomes more critical as content companies seek to find ways to sell content to consumers beyond the traditional cable model and start competing more directly with cable s

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Network neutrality and the EU principle of free movement of goods and services comes to mind as counter arguments to the blocking of ads at the service provider level.

    • by phayes ( 202222 )

      It isn't necessary to decrypt TLS to block third party advertising networks like Google as the DNS names the certificates protect are passed in the clear during TLS negotiation.

      ISP level blocking like this is a very bad idea and if it becomes widespread expect to see many of the ad supported free sites on the internet disappear & much of what's left end up behind paywalls. I use all of the relevant tools to block ads in general but whitelist the sites I want to support. That'd be nigh impossible for ISP

      • by mysidia ( 191772 )

        as the DNS names the certificates protect are passed in the clear during TLS negotiation.

        A privacy issue.... Hopefully, in the future, we'll add negotiation using DH of a shared secret between client and server, then exchange a Hash of the DNS name encrypted with a shared secret during TLS negotiation, instead of the actual name.

        That way, a third party cannot passively snoop on the TLS negotiation and work out the proper certificate name being expected by the client, without causing the SSL ses

        • by phayes ( 202222 )

          I don't see your proposal gaining enough support to become standard. You seem to think that DNS names being exposed in TLS negotiation was an accident. It wasn't, it was compromise. There are legitimate reasons for some people being able to selectively block web traffic and your proposal would make things worse, not better. For example, there are laws in many countries that prohibit grade-school children from using the school's Internet to surf porn (though we all realise that they can do so on their home I

          • by mysidia ( 191772 )

            You seem to think that DNS names being exposed in TLS negotiation was an accident.

            The purpose of DNS names being exposed by the SNI extension is to facilitate name-based virtual hosting. It is not to expose additional information to 3rd parties sniffing the line; that part was clearly an accident. It can be fixed, and I see no reason why it won't be.

            There are legitimate reasons for some people being able to selectively block web traffic

            If someone's abusing SNI information for censorship purposes, the

            • by phayes ( 202222 )

              You seem to think that DNS names being exposed in TLS negotiation was an accident.

              The purpose of DNS names being exposed by the SNI extension is to facilitate name-based virtual hosting. It is not to expose additional information to 3rd parties sniffing the line; that part was clearly an accident.
              It can be fixed, and I see no reason why it won't be.

              Other than from just about every firewall vendor... People like Cisco, Fortinet, PaloAlto, Checkpoint, etc and all the people who use their kit and who are currently widely "abusing" it.

              There are legitimate reasons for some people being able to selectively block web traffic

              If someone's abusing SNI information for censorship purposes, then that's yet another reason this needs to be fixed. No a 3rd party sniffing to identify names and tampering with or "blocking" SSL traffic is not legitimate, for any reason.

              Ahhh, So it's just you that decides what is/isn't justified in common Internet implementations now. I'd always found the fact that there wasn't a central reference for all that to be sooo awkward. Good to know that you're on the job then.

    • So they are going to peek inside my network packets, looking for ads? And modify them, in order to remove those ads?

      Practically all advertising platforms push ads from their own servers not the website you are visiting for the simple reasons it is easy to do and more importantly ad networks don't trust site owners due to obvious direct conflict of interest. It is trivial to block most ads without inspecting traffic. A few ACLs in an ordinary router or blackholing several dozen domains in DNS would do the trick quite effectively. No exotic proxies or DPI required.

      Sorry, but I don't need yet another big brother looking at my private stuff, whether itâ(TM)s for my own good, for maintaining the order of society or for the sake of whatever replaced the STASI nowadays.

      The Interesting thing some types of filters are quite ef

  • by Anonymous Coward

    There are equivalent laws in the EU to "common carrier", which means the ISP's are responsible for the content delivered, they just provide the pipe.

    They start doing more than that and they become liable for that kiddy porn download as well.

    (Not real smart)

  • by nospam007 ( 722110 ) * on Saturday May 16, 2015 @05:49AM (#49704451)

    Because he will crush you or buy you.

  • If they block ads on moiles, then I will be abe to read Slashdot on my mobile. Currently, the ads completely obscure the story, and I have to resort to a desktop!

    Obviously an epic fail by /., but presumably they dont care about the loss of custom.

  • by pmontra ( 738736 ) on Saturday May 16, 2015 @06:02AM (#49704499) Homepage
    The workaround will be to proxy ads from the server. I bet that the ad networks will develop the technology for all the major frameworks. That will hurt servers' bandwidth, threads and CPU but it will make harder for ISPs to block ads because the URLs won't give away much. Unfortunately that will make the job harder for in-browser adblockers too so I don't welcome that move. I bet we'll end up with the same amount of ads and less ways of blocking them.
    BTW, how are they going to deal with https? Are they going to block the IPs of the ad networks?
    • The workaround will be to proxy ads from the server. I bet that the ad networks will develop the technology for all the major frameworks. That will hurt servers' bandwidth, threads and CPU but it will make harder for ISPs to block ads because the URLs won't give away much.

      Never going to happen. Site owners are not trustworthy.

  • by bazorg ( 911295 ) on Saturday May 16, 2015 @06:06AM (#49704515) Homepage

    I am not a huge fan of Google and what SEO/advertising has done to the www, but I have to say that these guys are in the wrong. Sabotaging the competitor and demanding "protection money" is not fair competition IMHO. I want my ISP to be a carrier, not a curator or a gatekeeper. I have Adblock and I know how to use it, thank you very much.

  • Today ads (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Tomorrow, consumer rights, customer forums and competitors websites.

    This net-neutrality business cuts both ways.

  • Thank you for published the news.. http://pembebabet.com/ [pembebabet.com]
  • by jolyonr ( 560227 ) on Saturday May 16, 2015 @06:28AM (#49704571) Homepage

    If they start doing this they better beware, there's never been a better reason for Google/Apple etc to get into the carrier business themselves.

  • Nice to heard about it
  • by Karmashock ( 2415832 ) on Saturday May 16, 2015 @07:18AM (#49704677)

    they can try... but they'll fail.

    First off, the only way they'll be able to tell one thing from another is by filtering ad domains. Well, if the ads all come from the same domain as the content then you can't filter out the ads without filtering out the content. So that's really easy to do... you can proxy stuff without any trouble. It means the ad companies need to trust google isn't inventing clicks but that shouldn't be a big problem.

    Second off, as other people have said, google could just pop up a message saying "sorry, due to actions by your local ISP, we cannot deliver this content"... and the consumer base in Europe would get their torches and pitchforks so fast the ISPs couldn't even maniacly cackle by arc light before their little castles were stormed.

    Third, the very nature of the internet is that information flows on it transparently. Forget net neutrality, what the european mobile ISPs are threatening here is more extreme. They're presuming to control web content. It isn't even a matter of speed or bandwidth... they want to literally control which ads show up. Their whole push is antithetical to the whole nature of the internet in the first place. Whomever is pushing this is doubtless someone that doesn't understand the internet at all. And that means they're incompetent to make these choices and shouldn't be in a position of power in the first place. Just boot those fools out and try again.

    • by Registered Coward v2 ( 447531 ) on Saturday May 16, 2015 @07:37AM (#49704727)

      Their whole push is antithetical to the whole nature of the internet in the first place. Whomever is pushing this is doubtless someone that doesn't understand the internet at all. And that means they're incompetent to make these choices and shouldn't be in a position of power in the first place. Just boot those fools out and try again.

      That internet died long ago. Just as with anything, the pioneers are pushed out once civilization arrives and starts paving streets, building stores and throwing up billboards.

      • That's mindlessly bitter. First off, the internet has a frontier still... the deep web or dark web or whatever they want to call it is entirely unregulated... you can go to it right now and buy heroine with bitcoins or something if you want.

        Second, how does something die because civilization arrives?

        Your entire post makes no sense. I'm sitting here rereading it trying to find some redeemable thought you're trying to express and... there does not appear to be one. You're conflating concepts that don't mean t

        • That's mindlessly bitter. First off, the internet has a frontier still... the deep web or dark web or whatever they want to call it is entirely unregulated... you can go to it right now and buy heroine with bitcoins or something if you want.

          Certainly, as when civilization arrive she frontier gets pushed farther and farther away.

          Also not when I say internet I don't mean it in the strict technical sense of the backbone that the web and other services use, but the vast ecosystem that has grown up around it.

          Second, how does something die because civilization arrives?

          I didn't say the internet died, I said That internet died - the one where companies weren't trying to get your information to market to you, where you could still advertising something for sale on USENET, send it off and actually get a check in

  • Whatever happened to the fight for net neutrality?
    Timothy can't have thought about this story for top many milliseconds before adding his 'insight' there..

    • Whatever happened to the fight for net neutrality?

      Net neutrality is only good when it does what we want, not when it prevents someone from doing what we want, such as blocking ads. It's like copyright, bad when used to prevent freely copying copyrighted works, good when it forces someone to comply with the GPL.

      Seriously, that is a common behavior. Just look at the small government Republicans that want the government to step in to force others to do things they view as right but to bug roff when someone wants it to stop them from dong what they want. Swap

    • by msauve ( 701917 )
      timothy can think? Now, that would be news for nerds!
  • They will inject paid stories to news sites with a very little "advertorial" marking. They will do secret agreements to sell user data and no, there is no way to prove they did it. They will become biased for certain political parties, opinions. They will be sponsored by billionaire political activists like Koch brothers, George Soros.

    EU started to act like a 14 year old Internet troll lately.

  • by tomhath ( 637240 ) on Saturday May 16, 2015 @07:33AM (#49704715)

    Doesn't this violate everything slashdotters hold dear regarding net neutrality?

    The telecom providers are planning to put a filter on what they will transport, and then charge extra to let it through again.

  • With HTTPS connections, which are now pretty much the norm everywhere, this just won't work without a man in the middle attack. If my telephone provider starts attempting this, I will just terminate my contract and take my business elsewhere. ISPs have no business interfering with the content of end users, even if it is advertising. If they are doing this to profit from providers, by trying to take a cut of profit from advertisers, that would be highly unethical. I am already paying for my bandwidth. What d

    • Since much of the advertisement content comes from a large but trackable number of hosted web servers and "content delivery networks" such as Akamai. Many of these web services have well defined URL's used to access their traffic, so quite a lot of filtering can be done by thoughtfully configuring proxies at the ISP, which need to handle and to cache this content anyway. The content stored in the proxy can also, itself be analyzed: HTTPS encryption doesn't help with avoiding that particular man-in-the-middl

  • What's stopping google from blocking an ISP/telecom that adopts this practice? I mean, if the telecom can legally block google, then google should be able to legally block the telecom.

    If the telecom's customers suddenly can't reach google search, gmail, g+ etc, they'd probably either switch telecom or ask for the ads back.

  • which would mean benefit for users

    No, it won't. I don't want my ISP mucking with my traffic. I want to get what I asked for, I'll filter the ads myself thank you very much. Today they're filtering ads, tomorrow they're filtering "unsuitable content", by the end of the week they're injecting their own ads and by the end of the month they've lost (the European equivalent of) common carrier status.

    An opt in system wouldn't be so bad, but I'd still be concerned about the potential legal (common carrier) implications.

  • by jmv ( 93421 )

    Just what we needed to convince websites to switch to https!

  • I love the long game thinking of the EU.... So, the solution to lower bandwidth usage is to eliminate most web content that end users want access to....nice! Ad revenue keeps those sites alive. This is stupid.

  • At the moment the plan is to provide customers with the ability to opt in to an ad-free experience; it's not clear whether there would be a charge for this.

    ISPs should only be screwing with customers packets if users ask them to. Don't see a problem with opt-in filtering services generally as long as they remain opt-in. The Internet is a hostile environment and people have the right of self defense.

    *IF* ISPs actually intent to extort money from content companies the respective governments where such ISPs operate might have something to say about that.

    Described as 'the bomb', a system-wide block on ads is designed to "specifically target Google, blocking advertising on its websites in an attempt to force the company into giving up a cut of its revenues," reports the Financial Times. There is a suggestion that ads could be blocked on an intermittent basis simply to get Google's attention and cut better deals for telecoms companies.

    I don't know what to make of this. It sounds like carefully worded propaganda to lead people to make assumpt

    • In the absence of net neutrality rules, it's an open question whether you could call it extortion.

      • by Drathos ( 1092 )

        "We're going to block your revenue stream unless you give us a piece of the action."

        Sounds like the Mafia protection racket of old.. "Nice shop you've got here. Would be a shame if something happened to it.."

  • So Google blocks you until you "opt in", and then the block has achieved nothing? I think users will opt in pretty quick if they can't access facebook.

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