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Re: Comcast throws down gauntlet to residential accounts

--- On Mon, 8/10/09, Ted Smith <teddks@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> Martin Fick wrote:
> > If they couldn't do this, to stay competitive, they 
> > would charge more money for everyone and you would 
> > suffer more. Cheap internet access and "serving" is 
> > not some inherent human right, so let's not complain 
> > about the price of gas here. ;)  (unless it is to
> > propose ways to make tor use less gas...)
> > 
> > -Martin
> On the contrary, it was my impression that we are here
> working on, contributing to, and using Tor because we 
> believe that internet access is a human right. This 
> includes end-to-end connectivity. Pricing a real
> internet connection (what is being referred to as a
> "business account" or the like) out of reach of 
> common folk is equivalent to the overt denial of this 
> human right.

A right is something someone should not be able to 
prevent you from doing, not something that should be 
provided to you.  I believe that "you have the right 
to be a space tourist if you want to be", but, of
course, that does not imply that I believe that you 
should be able to become a space tourist for $10 
(unless someone offers it to you at this price 
voluntarily).  The right to do something and the 
means to do it are two completely separate issues.

Despite that fact that the term is commonly
miss-used, if someone has to actively do something 
to give you something, it can never be properly 
labeled a "right".  If you are stranded on an island 
somewhere alone (by no fault of others), it is 
illogical to suggest that someone or some 
organization can violate your rights without
interacting with you are your island's environment.

If you define something as a right which requires
action on someone else's part, it obviously cannot
be fulfilled without violating this principal.  By
violating this principle, a lone human survivor
on earth after a holocaust would have his rights
violated by the non-existence of others or a 
government to act.  Clearly this is non-sense and 
illogical.  If you think that something is
a basic human right, perhaps you should reconsider
if it does not play well with this logic.  And, yes
I do realize that this throws out many of the 
commonly accepted "rights" that many people believe
should be "rights".  This simply illustrates many
of the common politically illogical (but 
potentially well meaning) beliefs.

You are perhaps correct to assume that some here on
this list and some of the developers share the larger
desire that you express, but I do not believe that
you could make the claim that this is what tor is 
about or attempting to achieve.  If the tor project
became so misguided that it attempted to achieve your
expressed goal politically, (which is the only logical
end point to your belief since you declared it a 
"human-right"), I would quickly drop support for it 
and stop running my relay since this would inevitably
mean forcing ISPs to provide people with a service 
they are unwilling to pay for -> theft.

But surely, as you do, I hope that people can get 
cheap internet access, this hardly means it deserves
the status of "right", or a long pricing discussion
here on or-talk.  I am not suggesting that the topic
is off-limits either, just that is seems 
inappropriate for long rants here...  Of course,
I am not related to the project, this is just my

Cheers, and hopefully via technology, cheap 
anonymous internet to all, :)