News Posts matching #ISPs

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YouTube and Netflix Begin Rationing Their Bandwidth as Lockdowns Surge Online Traffic

Popular video streaming sites YouTube and Netflix have reportedly started rationing their bandwidth by limiting video quality, as online traffic to their services surge to record levels. With COVID-19 lockdowns forcing people to take to online entertainment, the sites are reporting an unprecedented strain on their finite Internet bandwidth. In Europe, the two sites have capped their video quality to 480p, or slightly worse than DVD quality.

Despite the mighty backing of AWS, the world's largest CDN, Amazon's Prime Video is also finding itself having to cap quality based on regional bandwidth constraints. Google is already engaging with governments and ISPs to minimize strain on available Internet bandwidth. Streaming video remains the number one bandwidth consumer. Governments would want to prioritize bandwidth for companies operating remote- or virtual desktops for their employees working from home. Perhaps there's no better time to upgrade online video codecs to newer bandwidth-efficient ones like AV1.

Microsoft Part of Global Operation to Disrupt World's Largest Online Criminal Network

Microsoft today announced it was part of a global operation meant to disrupt the world's largest online criminal network. Dubbed Necurs, the network functioned as a botnet - a number of computers infected by malware or otherwise malicious software that are functioning on behalf of a botmaster. The botmaster is basically akin to an administrator - but for nefarious purposes.

Thought to be controlled by criminals based in Russia, Necurs spanned more than nine million computing devices across 35 countries, making it one of the largest spam email threat ecosystems known to authorities - besides being used for pump-and-dump stock scams, fake pharmaceutical spam email and "Russian dating" scams. Necurs was such a well-oiled machine that it was seen sending 3.8 million spam messages to over 40 million targets across a 58-day long time frame in the investigation.

Entertainment Software Association Puts Its Hat in Court Against Net Neutrality Repeal

The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) has gone to court to fight against the FCC's plan at averting net neutrality. This is a deep, important issue that's seen rivers of ink flow already; but this take from the association that represents companies such as Sony, Nintendo, Microsoft, Bethesda, Capcom, Disney, EA, Epic Games, Konami, Magic Leap, Nvidia, Ubisoft, Square Enix, and Warner Bros. comes out to show the impacts that the end of net neutrality could bring about for gamers.

The concerns put forward stand at various levels: one, internet speed throttling could end up giving players negative experiences in connected gaming scenarios (and most games nowadays employ - or try to employ - some sort of online portion as it is). Two, online gaming, by its very nature, sees what could be some solutions to the problem that can be used by other services (such as buffering) unavailable to it. Moreover, the ESA refers the court to troubles in digital game distribution (as ISPs could throttle time and data-consuming digital game downloads.

US House of Representatives Confirms Senate's Privacy Stance on ISPs

Only yesterday, the United States' House of Representatives carried the US Senate's joint resolution to eliminate broadband privacy rules. These rules, which are now seemingly on their way to political oblivion, would have required ISPs to get consumers' explicit consent before selling or sharing Web browsing data and other private information with advertisers and other companies. Much like last week's Senate joint resolution, the House's voting fell mainly along partisan lines (215 for, 205 against, with 15 Republican and 190 Democratic representatives voting against the repeal) to scrap the proposed FCC rules.

President Trump's desk (and the President himself) are now all that stand before the ISP's ability to collect geo-location data, financial and health information, children's information, Social Security numbers, Web browsing history, app usage history, and the content of communications - information that gives the most unthinkable leeway in understanding your daily habits. However, President Trump's administration have issued a statement whereas they "strongly support House passage of S.J.Res. 34, which would nullify the Federal Communications Commission's final rule titled "Protecting the Privacy of Customers of Broadband and Other Telecommunication Services".
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