There is a post up today at Microsoft’s www.on10.net that came up with a pretty good point. There is alot of discussion going on about net neutrality and what that is going to mean for everyone. For those of you who don’t know net neutrality is a topic that is eventually going to make its way into legislation one way or another. Those who are for net neutrality, as I am, want to keep the Internet out of the hands of large telecommunications companies and in the hands of the people who make and use the Internet. Non-Net neutrality followers want to allow the large telecommunications companies to allow “selective” controls on how information flows around. Among other items, a potential downfall of this is that smaller websites could face problems of not being able to support the demands of the companies in charge. The smaller websites could potentially go away and new website owners would be discouraged from creating their content. This could have some very negative consequences for the continued development of the Internet. You can read more about net neutrality here.
Now back to the packet thing. The post I mentioned above talks about how Verizon has been disconnecting users recently that have been pushing their “unlimited” concept to the limit. Verizon has also had some issues with people using VOIP. So, Verizion is monitoring what types of traffic is being pushed with their bandwidth. Potentially everything you do on the Internet could be examined through those packets. Credit card info, websites you’ve visited. All the personal information anyone could ever need about you would be passed through those packets. The post makes the point that your phone company would not monitor your phone calls so why does your ISP have the right to monitor your packets? This is a large issue for personal information, but it can be a really big deal when you start thinking about what it could mean for businesses.