FCC’s Open Internet Order Is Turning the Internet of Things into a Hal 9000

by Mike Wendy on March 20, 2017

Your home or office is quietly undermining the Internet, like a low-tech version of Hal 9000?

As the Wall Street Journal reports:

While Bea Lowick ’s customers were busy folding clothes last year, the security system at her Carbondale, Colo., laundromat was also hard at work.

Though she didn’t know it, Ms. Lowick’s Digital ID View video recorder was scanning the internet for places to spread a strain of malicious software called Mirai, a computer virus that took root in more than 600,000 devices last year.

Expect more of this to occur as our appliances and other household items go online with the Internet of Things.

Although the information and communications industry works 24 / 7 / 365 to combat cyber scourges, those efforts could be better. According to the report, “[b]roadband providers say their hands are tied because their customers choose what to plug into the internet.

The Internet of Things does not need to be a Hal 9000.

Their hands are also tied by the last FCC’s Net Neutrality / Open Internet Order, which forbids ISPs to do anything more than reasonable network management to buckle down on security threats. This means that priority service / “paid prioritization” cannot be employed to innovatively beat back at malicious Internet actions.

Wouldn’t it be great if your ISP partnered with a company like Brinks – through a priority agreement or “fast lane” of a sort – to help you lock down your home or office system, alerting you to potential intrusions, blocking bad actors, and otherwise improving your Internet experience?

You bet it would.

“The 9000 series is the most reliable computer ever made,” said Hal flatly in the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey.  “No 9000 computer has ever made a mistake or distorted information. We are all, by any practical definition of the words, foolproof and incapable of error.”

“Now, the fridge over there – I can’t vouch for that.” (No, Hal didn’t say that, but…)

Call your Congressional Representatives and Commissioners at the FCC, and urge them to get rid of Net Neutrality / utility regulation of ISPs. Help them help network providers create a better, more secure Internet for all Americans (especially for the average Dave).

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