Anyone who has used firefox has probably noticed that when entering a url without it’s TLD you are redirected to where you want to go. For example if I enter twitter into the address bar and hit enter I get twitter.com not a page of search results or a page not found error.
Firefox achieves this by sending the request to google’s “I’m Feeling Lucky” button which simply sends you to the number 1 result on your queries search page. For myself this all changed today.
Apparently between the time I left for work and the time I got home Time Warner’s Road Runner internet access instituted a change where upon they do some packet sniffing and instead of allowing my request to go to google they take it their page where they can serve up search results and advertisements. This is an easy feature to turn off (click on why am I here and then on preferences then when you see the question above click disable) but my problem is really what else Time Warner might be doing via this packet sniffing.
Don’t get me wrong I expect some form of internet history to be maintained by my ISP (for a very limited amount of time for various reasons) but to sniff into it without cause or court order is wrong period. Which brings me to my fear that this could be a beginning of Time Warner abandoning the idea of net neutrality.
For those who do not know, net neutrality is the basic ideal that all internet traffic should be treated the same whether I am searching for at&t internet or Direct TV service the speed of my connection should be the same as if I am searching for the same service at Time Warner.
If I call someone on at&t from a Verizon phone there is no discernible difference than if both were lines on the same network, and that is how the internet should be. All traffic should be treated the same without my ISP forcing me to opt out of their stupifying plans.
I have been prepared to switch away from Time Warner to FIOS once it moves into my area, now I might instead move prematurely.
Hands off my Internet Time Warner, please.
For more on neutrality please click here, it’s a very important issue.