TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: Vonage's Citron Says VoIP Blocking Is 'Censorship'

Re: Vonage's Citron Says VoIP Blocking Is 'Censorship'

Dean (
2 Mar 2005 22:09:46 -0800

Jack Decker wrote:

> By Paul Kapustka
> Courtesy of Advanced IP Pipeline

> SAN FRANCISCO -- According to Vonage Holdings Corp. CEO Jeffrey
> Citron, intentional blocking of Voice over IP traffic is more than
> just a competitive dirty trick -- it's an act of censorship against
> free speech.

> In an exclusive interview here Tuesday [March 1], Vonage's chief
> executive said the issue of the company's recent incident of having
> some VoIP traffic blocked reaches beyond the market for IP-based voice
> communications and into the realm of free speech -- and as such,
> should be protected by the courts, the FCC, or by new telecom
> regulation that ensures free and open access over the Internet.

> "What is this [port blocking] really all about?" said Citron, who was
> in San Francisco Tuesday for the Reuters Technology Summit. "It's
> really censorship in a way."

> Though Citron would not identify the ISP that Vonage is claiming to
> have blocked its VoIP service, he did provide some additional details
> about the incident, as well as some opinions on where the online world
> might be headed if technologic tactics like port blocking or traffic
> manipulation are not actively discouraged or made illegal.

> [.....]

> Citron also said that some of Vonage's customers involved in the
> incident called their ISP, which admitted it was blocking Vonage.

> "They [the ISP] came out and said [to the customers] 'yes, we are
> doing this.' So there is no dispute," Citron said. "We were
> intentionally, willfully, blocked."

> Full story at:

> How to Distribute VoIP Throughout a Home:

> If you live in Michigan, subscribe to the MI-Telecom group:

In the sited article, Citron says: "What are people using broadband to
do? Communicate," Citron said. "They [network operators who block
VoIP] are restricting your ability to communicate with another
person. And that's censorship."

I dislike port blocking as much as the next guy. However, I have to
ask: is there any possibility for such an argument to stick or is he
simply posing? I'm no expert but I don't think the 1st amendment cares
about the technology of your bullhorn does it?



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