The Electronic Frontier Foundation believes that there are gaps in the current FCC plans to allow Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to manage network bandwidth with tools that would ensure service levels operate given the services sold to a consumer. The EFF believes this create a "loophole" in proposed rules which allows the ISPs to fully manage their networks in this manner and potentially allows ISPs to then block copyrighted streamed internet traffic without a consumer's knowledge or consent.
The FCC's proposed rules generally prohibit ISPs from discriminating or blocking lawful content, but include a loophole for 'reasonable network management' by ISPs. The proposed rules then define 'reasonable network management" to include measures taken by ISPs to block unlawful content or transmissions. This exception would effectively permit ISPs to violate net neutrality rules and block lawful activities in the name of copyright enforcement.
The EFF created a petition concerned with this potential gap. Over 7,000 people have signed it. The FCC is currently reviewing the national broadband strategy and the role of the commission.
Network monitoring and management tools inspect the I.P. headers and payload and can throttle the speed which the data travels from the source to its customers network access.
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