Feeds

Google 'open' nonsense brainwashes US gov

'Android is so open, it can save net neutrality!'

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Google has reached new heights in its effort to fool the world into believing that Android is so "open" it can singlehandedly deliver us from any and all forms of mobile tyranny.

In its first official "net neutrality" rules, the US Federal Communications Commission says it doesn't prohibit wireless providers from blocking or discriminating against network traffic in part because of the "openness" of Android.

As Mozilla man Asa Dotzler puts it: "WTF does android have to do with net neutrality?"

When the FCC uploaded its net neutrality rules on Tuesday, it pissed off even the net neutrality zealots, and much of this was down to its wireless leniency. The rules prohibit wireline providers from blocking "lawful content, applications, services, or non-harmful devices" or discriminating against network traffic, but wireless providers are merely prohibited from preventing "consumers from accessing lawful websites."

There is no anti-discrimination clause for wireless networks.

The rules take great pains to explain this discrepancy. The FCC says it took "measured steps for mobile broadband" because today's wireless networks are more difficult to manage than their wireline counterparts. "Existing mobile networks present operational constraints that fixed broadband networks do not typically encounter," the rules say. "This puts greater pressure on the concept of “reasonable network management” for mobile providers, and creates additional challenges in applying a broader set of rules to mobile at this time."

But the Commission also says that it decided against stricter wireless rules because "we recognize that there have been meaningful recent moves toward openness, including the introduction of open operating systems like Android."

The ironies are manifold. For one, Android isn't that open. Google develops the OS behind closed doors, open sourcing the code only after its available on handsets. And there are certain parts of essential parts of the stack that aren't open, including the Android app market, and manufacturers can't get access to the closed bits unless they play by Google's rules. A lawsuit from geolocation outfit Skyhook Wireless accuses Google of forcing manufacturers to using its location technology rather than Skyhook's.

What's more, the FCC's approach mirrors the net neutrality proposal laid down by Google and Verizon earlier this year. It, too, separated wireline from wireless. Prior to rolling out his official net neutrality rules, FCC Commissioner Julius Genachowski indicated he wasn't pleased with Google's unexpected compromise with strange bedfellow Verizon. But it appears that Mountain View had his ear after all.

Mozilla man Asa Dotzler wonders whether this should spark a change in Google's official motto: "'Don't be evil unless we think we can get away with it?'" ®

Bootnote

A tip of the hat to Engadget.

Business security measures using SSL

More from The Register

next story
Brit telcos warn Scots that voting Yes could lead to HEFTY bills
BT and Co: Independence vote likely to mean 'increased costs'
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone
No data plan? No WiFi? No worries ... except sluggish download speed
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Blockbuster book lays out the first 20 years of the Smartphone Wars
Symbian's David Wood bares all. Not for the faint hearted
Bonking with Apple has POUNDED mobe operators' wallets
... into submission. Weve squeals, ditches payment plans
This flashlight app requires: Your contacts list, identity, access to your camera...
Who us, dodgy? Vast majority of mobile apps fail privacy test
Apple Watch will CONQUER smartwatch world – analysts
After Applelocalypse, other wristputers will get stuck in
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.