A Clarification From George Ou and Richard Bennett.

During the VonTV Debate, I stated that I was “sensitive to the arguments of George Ou and Richard Bennett that mandatory disclosure might allow people to circumvent network management tools, but I believe we can strike a balance.” I received an email from George Ou stating that he believed I misrepresented his and Bennett’s position.

Certianly it was not my intention to misstate anyone’s position. I therefore asked both George Ou and Richard Bennett to provide me with a statement of their position to reprint on my blog. They are reproduced below in their entirety.

From George Ou:

Let me first say that philosophically, I’ve ALWAYS been for more transparency and disclosure. I’ve even written publicly about this position in the past and I’ve stated publicly at the Net Neutrality Summit in USF earlier this year. I’m also for reasonable mandatory disclosure of things like accurate performance characteristics, limitations of the network, what’s blocked, throttled, or prioritized/deprioritized.

I’m also in heavy agreement with Richard Bennett that disclosure of the actual implementation (the means) should be up to the network provider and the Government shouldn’t micromanage the free market much less network engineering. This type of micromanagement-level detail should NOT have to be disclosed.

I’m also in heavy agree Brett Glass that transparency and disclosure should apply to ALL parties and not just the network provider. If the network provider should be FORCED to be transparent, companies should not use protocol obfuscation techniques to hide their usage. User data should always remain hidden, but the control mechanisms needed for proper network management that shouldn’t be hidden.


Brett Glass runs the WISP Lariat.net. You can find his principles for disclosure here.

From Richard Bennett:

I don’t know how this meme got started about my being opposed to all forms of mandatory disclosure, because in reality there’s not a dime’s worth of difference between my position and Harold’s. I’m in favor of letting users know about all the restrictions on their network access, such as hard caps on upload and download speed, restricted activities such as spamming, viruses, bandwidth hogs and whatnot. I draw the line between mandated disclosure at the user level and disclosure at the level of techniques, such as how the ISP detects prohibited or regulated activities and how it deals with them. And I oppose that level of disclosure because I think it’s harmful to experimentation.

I hope that clears things up.


Stay tuned . . .

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