Possible Changes to the InternetThe Internet itself is no longer viewed as a communications vehicle in the eyes of the government, but rather a trade vehicle for commerce and content. This means that recent laws requiring the taxation of goods interstate, services provided that could be taxed, and premium fees for services can now be better enforced, and potentially new taxes to be levied. These are hidden possibilities with the changes voted on today.
The Ramifications of Ending Net NeutralityBesides these facts, ISPs now have the potential to throttle services in favor of their own partnerships and fees collected. If a new startup like Hulu or Netflix came to be, they could be subjected to fees from an ISP to supply the bandwidth necessary for their services to operate. Consumers today enjoy no restrictions on receiving that content but that could change in the near future. While ISPs will be required to “announce” when this occurs, and to ensure none of the throttling is anti-competitive, it does stand to reason that the FTC will have to police these policies. This will be difficult – we saw similar problems when cellular carriers announced unlimited data but throttled users when thresholds where reached... unannounced.
What’s Next for the Internet as We Know it?The net net (pun intended) – this is not over. A myriad of lawsuits regarding this change will surface and ultimately this decision will be decided in the courts. As my colleague, Scott Carlson, Technical Fellow, BeyondTrust, has stated, “ISPs will have full control over their internet pipe, they could start to modify the information security characteristics of the connection too. They could force encryption, or even inspect all traffic for throttling decisions. With these changes, that is certainly possible.” As always with any news that breaks regarding the Internet, cybersecurity, and the state of businesses on the web, BeyondTrust will continue to monitor developments and provide commentary on the state of affairs.
Morey J. Haber, Chief Security Officer, BeyondTrust
Morey J. Haber is the Chief Security Officer at BeyondTrust. He has more than 25 years of IT industry experience and has authored three books: Privileged Attack Vectors, Asset Attack Vectors, and Identity Attack Vectors. He is a founding member of the industry group Transparency in Cyber, and in 2020 was elected to the Identity Defined Security Alliance (IDSA) Executive Advisory Board. Morey currently oversees BeyondTrust security and governance for corporate and cloud based solutions and regularly consults for global periodicals and media. He originally joined BeyondTrust in 2012 as a part of the eEye Digital Security acquisition where he served as a Product Owner and Solutions Engineer since 2004. Prior to eEye, he was Beta Development Manager for Computer Associates, Inc. He began his career as Reliability and Maintainability Engineer for a government contractor building flight and training simulators. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from the State University of New York at Stony Brook.