Thursday, December 07, 2017

Without net neutrality, telecom companies could impose mandatory website safety ratings and https on content providers; would it happen?

Here’s a “Dangerous” idea that Milo Yiannopoulos would come up. If network neutrality regulations are removed, one possible action by a telecom company could be to offer security screening of all sites that it connects to and sends to customers.

That’s a bit of a problem because most anti-virus companies take a long time to rate all sites, especially smaller ones.  Some will not rate the small sites at all (they remain gray).  Many rate sites inaccurately.

A possible action could be to warn the user before going to any unscreened site.  That sounds like what could be down the road eventually. 

Another possibility is that bloggers who attach purchased domain names to “free service” blogs (through Google’s own domain registration for Blogger) would remove the domain names and go back to the subdomains, which allows https to be easier.

Another possibility is that only sites with full https would connect.  Right now that’s a problem, say, on BlueHost because only one site on an account can be https. 

The video above from the  Wall Street Journal is old but it mentions this case of Verizon’s blocking text messages regarding abortion in 2007, although the details are a little nuanced than the video says, Washington Post archive.

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