Feeds

Google 'open' nonsense brainwashes US gov

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

Boost IT visibility and business value

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.

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Don't call it throttling: Ericsson 'priority' tech gives users their own slice of spectrum
Actually it's a nifty trick - at least you'll pay for what you get
UK fuzz want PINCODES on ALL mobile phones
Met Police calls for mandatory passwords on all new mobes
Three floats Jolla in Hong Kong: Says Sailfish is '3rd option'
Network throws hat into ring with Linux-powered handsets
Netflix swallows yet another bitter pill, inks peering deal with TWC
Net neutrality crusader once again pays up for priority access
Fifteen zero days found in hacker router comp romp
Four routers rooted in SOHOpelessly Broken challenge
EE: STILL Blighty's best mobe network, says 'Frappucino' Moore
Fresh round of network stats fisticuffs possibly on the cards here
New Sprint CEO says he will lower axe on staff – but prices come first
'Very disruptive' new rates to be revealed next week
US TV stations bowl sueball directly at FCC's spectrum mega-sale
Broadcasters upset about coverage and cost as they shift up and down the dials
Tech city types developing 'Google Glass for the blind' app
An app and service where other people 'see' for you
Canadian ISP Shaw falls over with 'routing' sickness
How sure are you of cloud computing now?
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.