If you don't believe me, listen to Mythbuster Adam Savage.
Here's where the anti-SOPA blackout started:
If you don't believe me, listen to Mythbuster Adam Savage.
Here's where the anti-SOPA blackout started:
Posted at 07:08 AM in Advertising, Censorship, Communication, Competition, Consolidation, Content, Copyright, Corruption, Current Affairs, Distributed Participation, Economics, Education, Government, History, Hosting, Innovation, International acces, Internet Access, Internet freedom, Internet History, Piracy, Politics, Principles | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
Tom Evslin wrote on Fractals of Change at some unknown data, SOPA and PIPA are Bipartisan Bad Policy, Really Bad Policy
In China you can't get to some Internet sites: no Facebook, no YouTube, no Twitter. Search engines can't find the "Falun Gong" or "Tiananmen Square massacre". We would never do that kind of blocking here in the US, you say. Well, not so fast. If either House bill SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) or Senate bill PIPA (Protect IP Act) or something in between passes both houses of Congress and is signed by the President, Internet censorship, unreachable websites, and forbidden searches will be the law of this land.Why? The DC lobbying revolving door banana republic, of course, made even worse by the SCOTUS Citizens United decision.
The Arab Spring has been enabled by the inability of some governments to block Internet communication. SOPA and SIPA both require that Internet blocking tools be developed and deployed here. Maybe we trust our own government not to misuse these (I don't!); but do we really want to be responsible for the proliferation of censorship and blocked communication?
Why, you ask, would our Congresspeople want to impose censorship anywhere? Why would they want to slow down the most vigorous parts of the US economy?
The answer, at least, is simple. These are bills that Hollywood wants to protect its movies from online piracy, and Hollywood makes mega-campaign contributions and even gives Congresspeople bit parts in its movies. There is nothing partisan about campaign contributions.
As for the Arab Spring, the powers that be here don't want that here. Remember who propped up Mubarak all those decades.
When even Patrick Leahy pushes PIPA, something is seriously wrong with the U.S. government. SOPA or PIPA or something watered down that their pushers can claim isn't as bad will pass unless the people stand up and stop it.
Posted at 11:50 AM in Distributed Participation, Filtering, Government, History, Innovation, International acces, Internet Access, Internet freedom, Internet History, Public Policy, Stifling | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
MythBuster Adam Savage wrote for Popular Mechanics 20 December 2011, SOPA Could Destroy the Internet as We Know It
Right now Congress is considering two bills—the Protect IP Act, and the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA)—that would be laughable if they weren't in fact real. Honestly, if a friend wrote these into a piece of fiction about government oversight gone amok, I'd have to tell them that they were too one-dimensional, too obviously anticonstitutional.He goes on to correctly compare SOPA and PIPA unfavorably to the already bad Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) of 1998. You remember, the DMCA that big copyright holders used to sue pre-teen video and audio "pirates" and to take down websites on suspicion. Savage cites a case where somebody with no copyright still got YouTube vidoes taken down under DMCA. Yes, SOPA and PIPA are even worse.
Make no mistake: These bills aren't simply unconstitutional, they are anticonstitutional. They would allow for the wholesale elimination of entire websites, domain names, and chunks of the DNS (the underlying structure of the whole Internet), based on nothing more than the "good faith" assertion by a single party that the website is infringing on a copyright of the complainant. The accused doesn't even have to be aware that the complaint has been made.
I'm not kidding.
If you like YouTube, twitter, facebook, blogs, etc., it's time to speak up. Call your Senators and House members. Send them email. Write them paper letters. Petition them. Show up at their offices. Petition the White House to veto it if Congress passes it, and any other bills like it. Right now we still have the Internet to organize these things.
Posted at 11:48 AM in Censorship, Content, Copyright, Corruption, Distributed Participation, Government, History, Internet freedom, Internet History, Net Neutrality, Piracy, Principles, Radio, Television | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
Technorati Tags: Adam Savage, blogs, Congress, corruption, DMCA, DNS, domain, facebook, House, Internet freedom, MPAA, Mythbusters, net neutrality, petition, PIPA, Protect IP Act, RIAA, Sentate, SOPA, Stop Online Piracy Act, twitters, website, White House, YouTube
Today, a group of 83 prominent Internet inventors and engineers sent an open letter to members of the United States Congress, stating their opposition to the SOPA and PIPA Internet blacklist bills that are under consideration in the House and Senate respectively.The signatories are people such as Vint Cerf you may have heard of even if you know nothing about the technical details of Internet, and many other people who helped produce the network you are using now. I know many of them, and they are right. If you want a free and open Internet, call or write your Senators and Congress members today, and tell them to vote against PIPA and SOPA.
The full text of the letter is appended below.
We, the undersigned, have played various parts in building a network called the Internet. We wrote and debugged the software; we defined the standards and protocols that talk over that network. Many of us invented parts of it. We're just a little proud of the social and economic benefits that our project, the Internet, has brought with it.
Last year, many of us wrote to you and your colleagues to warn about the proposed "COICA" copyright and censorship legislation. Today, we are writing again to reiterate our concerns about the SOPA and PIPA derivatives of last year's bill, that are under consideration in the House and Senate. In many respects, these proposals are worse than the one we were alarmed to read last year.
If enacted, either of these bills will create an environment of tremendous fear and uncertainty for technological innovation, and seriously harm the credibility of the United States in its role as a steward of key Internet infrastructure. Regardless of recent amendments to SOPA, both bills will risk fragmenting the Internet's global domain name system (DNS) and have other capricious technical consequences. In exchange for this, such legislation would engender censorship that will simultaneously be circumvented by deliberate infringers while hampering innocent parties' right and ability to communicate and express themselves online.
All censorship schemes impact speech beyond the category they were intended to restrict, but these bills are particularly egregious in that regard because they cause entire domains to vanish from the Web, not just infringing pages or files. Worse, an incredible range of useful, law-abiding sites can be blacklisted under these proposals. In fact, it seems that this has already begun to happen under the nascent DHS/ICE seizures program.
Censorship of Internet infrastructure will inevitably cause network errors and security problems. This is true in China, Iran and other countries that censor the network today; it will be just as true of American censorship. It is also true regardless of whether censorship is implemented via the DNS, proxies, firewalls, or any other method. Types of network errors and insecurity that we wrestle with today will become more widespread, and will affect sites other than those blacklisted by the American government.
The current bills -- SOPA explicitly and PIPA implicitly -- also threaten engineers who build Internet systems or offer services that are not readily and automatically compliant with censorship actions by the U.S. government. When we designed the Internet the first time, our priorities were reliability, robustness and minimizing central points of failure or control. We are alarmed that Congress is so close to mandating censorship-compliance as a design requirement for new Internet innovations. This can only damage the security of the network, and give authoritarian governments more power over what their citizens can read and publish.
The US government has regularly claimed that it supports a free and open Internet, both domestically and abroad. We cannot have a free and open Internet unless its naming and routing systems sit above the political concerns and objectives of any one government or industry. To date, the leading role the US has played in this infrastructure has been fairly uncontroversial because America is seen as a trustworthy arbiter and a neutral bastion of free expression. If the US begins to use its central position in the network for censorship that advances its political and economic agenda, the consequences will be far-reaching and destructive.
Senators, Congressmen, we believe the Internet is too important and too valuable to be endangered in this way, and implore you to put these bills aside.
- Vint Cerf, co-designer of TCP/IP, one of the "fathers of the Internet", signing as private citizen
- Paul Vixie, author of BIND, the most widely-used DNS server software, and President of the Internet Systems Consortium
- Tony Li, co-author of BGP (the protocol used to arrange Internet routing); chair of the IRTF's Routing Research Group; a Cisco Fellow; and architect for many of the systems that have actually been used to build the Internet
- Steven Bellovin, invented the DNS cache contamination attack; co-authored the first book on Internet security; recipient of the 2007 NIST/NSA National Computer Systems Security Award and member of the DHS Science and Technology Advisory Committee
- Jim Gettys, editor of the HTTP/1.1 protocol standards, which we use to do everything on the Web
- Dave Kristol, co-author, RFCs 2109, 2965 (Web cookies); contributor, RFC 2616 (HTTP/1.1)
- Steve Deering, Ph.D., invented the IP multicast feature of the Internet; lead designer of IPv6 (version 6 of the Internet Protocol)
- David Ulevitch, David Ulevitch, CEO of OpenDNS, which offers alternative DNS services for enhanced security.
- Elizabeth Feinler, director of the Network Information Center (NIC) at SRI International, administered the Internet Name Space from 1970 until 1989 and developed the naming conventions for the internet top level domains (TLDs) of .mil, .gov, .com, .org, etc. under contracts to DoD
- Robert W. Taylor, founded and funded the beginning of the ARPAnet; founded and managed the Xerox PARC Computer Science Lab which designed and built the first networked personal computer (Alto), the Ethernet, the first internet protocol and internet, and desktop publishing
- Fred Baker, former IETF chair, has written about 50 RFCs and contributed to about 150 more, regarding widely used Internet technology
- Dan Kaminsky, Chief Scientist, DKH
- Esther Dyson, EDventure; founding chairman, ICANN; former chairman, EFF; active investor in many start-ups that support commerce, news and advertising on the Internet; director, Sunlight Foundation
- Walt Daniels, IBM’s contributor to MIME, the mechanism used to add attachments to emails
- Nathaniel Borenstein, Chief Scientist, Mimecast; one of the two authors of the MIME protocol, and has worked on many other software systems and protocols, mostly related to e-mail and payments
- Simon Higgs, designed the role of the stealth DNS server that protects a.root-servers.net; worked on all versions of Draft Postel for creating new TLDs and addressed trademark issues with a complimentary Internet Draft; ran the shared-TLD mailing list back in 1995 which defined the domain name registry/registrar relationship; was a root server operator for the Open Root Server Consortium; founded coupons.com in 1994
- John Bartas, was the technical lead on the first commercial IP/TCP software for IBM PCs in 1985-1987 at The Wollongong Group. As part of that work, developed the first tunneling RFC, rfc-1088
- Nathan Eisenberg, Atlas Networks Senior System Administrator; manager of 25K sq. ft. of data centers which provide services to Starbucks, Oracle, and local state
- Dave Crocker, author of Internet standards including email, DKIM anti-abuse, electronic data interchange and facsimile, developer of CSNet and MCI national email services, former IETF Area Director for network management, DNS and standards, recipient of IEEE Internet Award for contributions to email, and serial entrepreneur
- Craig Partridge, architect of how email is routed through the Internet; designed the world's fastest router in the mid 1990s
- Doug Moeller, Chief Technology Officer at Autonet Mobile
- John Todd, Lead Designer/Maintainer - Freenum Project (DNS-based, free telephony/chat pointer system), http://freenum.org/
- Alia Atlas, designed software in a core router (Avici) and has various RFCs around resiliency, MPLS, and ICMP
- Kelly Kane, shared web hosting network operator
- Robert Rodgers, distinguished engineer, Juniper Networks
- Anthony Lauck, helped design and standardize routing protocols and local area network protocols and served on the Internet Architecture Board
- Ramaswamy Aditya, built various networks and web/mail content and application hosting providers including AS10368 (DNAI) which is now part of AS6079 (RCN); did network engineering and peering for that provider; did network engineering for AS25 (UC Berkeley); currently does network engineering for AS177-179 and others (UMich)
- Blake Pfankuch, Connecting Point of Greeley, Network Engineer
- Jon Loeliger, has implemented OSPF, one of the main routing protocols used to determine IP packet delivery; at other companies, has helped design and build the actual computers used to implement core routers or storage delivery systems; at another company, installed network services (T-1 lines and ISP service) into Hotels and Airports across the country
- Jim Deleskie, internetMCI Sr. Network Engineer, Teleglobe Principal Network Architect
- David Barrett, Founder and CEO, Expensify
- Mikki Barry, VP Engineering of InterCon Systems Corp., creators of the first commercial applications software for the Macintosh platform and the first commercial Internet Service Provider in Japan
- Peter Rubenstein,helped to design and build the AOL backbone network, ATDN.
- David Farber, distinguished Professor CMU; Principal in development of CSNET, NSFNET, NREN, GIGABIT TESTBED, and the first operational distributed computer system; EFF board member
- Bradford Chatterjee, Network Engineer, helped design and operate the backbone network for a nationwide ISP serving about 450,000 users
- Gary E. Miller Network Engineer specializing in eCommerce
- Jon Callas, worked on a number of Internet security standards including OpenPGP, ZRTP, DKIM, Signed Syslog, SPKI, and others; also participated in other standards for applications and network routing
- John Kemp, Principal Software Architect, Nokia; helped build the distributed authorization protocol OAuth and its predecessors; former member of the W3C Technical Architecture Group
- Christian Huitema, worked on building the Internet in France and Europe in the 80’s, and authored many Internet standards related to IPv6, RTP, and SIP; a former member of the Internet Architecture Board
- Steve Goldstein, Program Officer for International Networking Coordination at the National Science Foundation 1989-2003, initiated several projects that spread Internet and advanced Internet capabilities globally
- David Newman, 20 years' experience in performance testing of Internet
infrastructure; author of three RFCs on measurement techniques (two on firewall performance, one on test traffic contents)
- Justin Krejci, helped build and run the two biggest and most successful municipal wifi networks located in Minneapolis, MN and Riverside, CA; building and running a new FTTH network in Minneapolis
- Christopher Liljenstolpe, was the chief architect for AS3561 (at the time about 30% of the Internet backbone by traffic), and AS1221 (Australia's main Internet infrastructure)
- Joe Hamelin, co-founder of Seattle Internet Exchange (http://www.seattleix.net) in 1997, and former peering engineer for Amazon in 2001
- John Adams, operations engineer at Twitter, signing as a private citizen
- David M. Miller, CTO / Exec VP for DNS Made Easy (IP Anycast Managed Enterprise DNS provider)
- Seth Breidbart, helped build the Pluribus IMP/TIP for the ARPANET
- Timothy McGinnis, co-chair of the African Network Information Center Policy Development Working Group, and active in various IETF Working Groups
- Richard Kulawiec, 30 years designing/operating academic/commercial/ISP systems and networks
- Larry Stewart, built the Etherphone at Xerox, the first telephone system working over a local area network; designed early e-commerce systems for the Internet at Open Market
- John Pettitt, Internet commerce pioneer, online since 1983, CEO Free Range Content Inc.; founder/CTO CyberSource & Beyond.com; created online fraud protection software that processes over 2 billion transaction a year
- Brandon Ross, Chief Network Architect and CEO of Network Utility Force LLC
- Chris Boyd, runs a green hosting company and supports EFF-Austin as a board member
- Dr. Richard Clayton, designer of Turnpike, widely used Windows-based Internet access suite; prominent Computer Security researcher at Cambridge University
- Robert Bonomi, designed, built, and implemented, the Internet presence for a number of large corporations
- Owen DeLong, member of the ARIN Advisory Council who has spent more than a decade developing better IP addressing policies for the internet in North America and around the world
- Baudouin Schombe, blog design and content trainer
- Lyndon Nerenberg, Creator of IMAP Binary extension (RFC 3516)
- John Gilmore, co-designed BOOTP (RFC 951), which became DHCP, the way you get an IP address when you plug into an Ethernet or get on a WiFi access point; current EFF board member
- John Bond, Systems Engineer at RIPE NCC maintaining AS25152 (k.root-servers.net.) and AS197000 (f.in-addr-servers.arpa. ,f.ip6-servers.arpa.); signing as a private citizen
- Stephen Farrell, co-author on about 15 RFCs
- Samuel Moats, senior systems engineer for the Department of Defense; helps build and defend the networks that deliver data to Defense Department users
- John Vittal, created the first full email client and the email standards still in use today
- Ryan Rawdon, built out and maintains the network infrastructure for a rapidly growing company in our country's bustling advertising industry; was on the technical operations team for one of our country's largest residential ISPs
- Brian Haberman, has been involved in the design of IPv6, IGMP/MLD, and NTP within the IETF for nearly 15 years
- Eric Tykwinski, Network Engineer working for a small ISP based in the Philadelphia region; currently maintains the network as well as the DNS and server infrastructure
- Noel Chiappa, has been working on the lowest level stuff (the IP protocol level) since 1977; name on the 'Birth of the Internet' plaque at Stanford); actively helping to develop new 'plumbing' at that level
- Robert M. Hinden, worked on the gateways in the early Internet, author of many of the core IPv6 specifications, active in the IETF since the first IETF meeting, author of 37 RFCs, and current Internet Society Board of Trustee member
- Alexander McKenzie, former member of the Network Working Group and participated in the design of the first ARPAnet Host protocols; was the manager of the ARPAnet Network Operation Center that kept the network running in the early 1970s; was a charter member of the International Network Working Group that developed the ideas used in TCP and IP
- Keith Moore, was on the Internet Engineering Steering Group from 1996-2000, as one of two Area Directors for applications; wrote or co-wrote technical specification RFCs associated with email, WWW, and IPv6 transition
- Guy Almes, led the connection of universities in Texas to the NSFnet during the late 1980s; served as Chief Engineer of Internet2 in the late 1990s
- David Mercer, formerly of The River Internet, provided service to more of Arizona than any local or national ISP
- Paul Timmins, designed and runs the multi-state network of a medium sized telephone and internet company in the Midwest
- Stephen L. Casner, led the working group that designed the Real-time Transport Protocol that carries the voice signals in VoIP systems
- Tim Rutherford, DNS and network administrator at C4
- Mike Alexander, helped implement (on the Michigan Terminal System at the University of Michigan) one of the first EMail systems to be connected to the Internet (and to its predecessors such as Bitnet, Mailnet, and UUCP); helped with the basic work to connect MTS to the Internet; implemented various IP related drivers on early Macintosh systems: one allowed TCP/IP connections over ISDN lines and another made a TCP connection look like a serial port
- John Klensin, Ph.D., early and ongoing role in the design of Internet applications and coordination and administrative policies
- L. Jean Camp, former Senior Member of the Technical Staff at Sandia National Laboratories, focusing on computer security; eight years at Harvard's Kennedy School; tenured Professor at Indiana Unviersity's School of Informatics with research addressing security in society.
- Louis Pouzin, designed and implemented the first computer network using datagrams (CYCLADES), from which TCP/IP was derived
- Carl Page, helped found eGroups, the biggest social network
of its day, 14 million users at the point of sale to Yahoo for around $430,000,000, at which point it became Yahoo Groups
- Phil Lapsley, co-author of the Internet Network News Transfer Protocol (NNTP), RFC 977, and developer of the NNTP reference implementation
- Jack Haverty (MSEE, BSEE MIT 1970), Principal Investigator for several DARPA projects including the first Internet development and operation; Corporate Network Architect for BBN; Founding member of the IAB/ICCB; Internet Architect and Corporate Founding Member of W3C for Oracle Corporation
- Glenn Ricart, Managed the original (FIX) Internet interconnection point
Posted at 09:18 AM in Censorship, Communication, Competition, Content, Copyright, Corruption, Distributed Participation, Economics, Education, Filtering, Government, History, Internet Access, Internet freedom, Internet History, Law, Net Neutrality, Politics, Principles, Public Policy, Public Safety, Regulation, Research, Rural Access, Throttling | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
Scott Bradner almost gets it about the opposition to net neutrality in Eyes in their ankles: The congressional view of network neutrality:
Posted at 12:59 PM in Censorship, Communication, Competition, Consolidation, Content, Corruption, Distributed Participation, Filtering, Government, International acces, Internet Access, Internet freedom, Net Neutrality, Politics, Press, Public Policy, Regulation, Rural Access, Stifling | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
Technorati Tags: civil rights, civil rights, corruption, Egypt, free Internet, free press, free speech, free trade, Internet freedom, lobbyist, net neutrality, plutocrat, politician, reactionary, revolution, Scott Bradner, Tunisian, unions, Wisconsin
"Because of the Internet, the truth prevailed.
And everyone knew the truth.
And everyone started to think that this guy can be my brother."
Here's a post from that facebook page on 3 March 2011:
"I really want you ALL to understand that your support to Free Egypt & Egyptians is vital. Don’t you ever think that sitting on FaceBook supporting & commenting help help Egypt. A whole revolution started on Facebook & is now bringing Freedom & starting a new modern Egypt."
Other Egyptian organizers say similar things:
"Online organising is very important because activists have been able to discuss and take decisions without having to organise a meeting which could be broken up by the police," he said.'( "Internet role in Egypt's protests," by Anne Alexander, BBC, 9 February 2011.)
Many of the Egyptians involved were poor and not usually thought of as Internet users, but David D. Kirkpatrick expalined that in the NY Times 9 Feb 2011, Wired and Shrewd, Young Egyptians Guide Revolt:
The day of the protest, the group tried a feint to throw off the police. The organizers let it be known that they intended to gather at a mosque in an upscale neighborhood in central Cairo, and the police gathered there in force. But the ...organizers set out instead for a poor neighborhood nearby, Mr. Elaimy recalled.The NY Times story goes into detail about how the online organizing interfaced with and instigated the initial meatspace protests.
Starting in a poor neighborhood was itself an experiment. “We always start from the elite, with the same faces,” Mr. Lotfi said. “So this time we thought, let’s try.” '
And you don't need a laptop or a desktop computer to use social media. As Reese Jones points out,
in 2010 75% of the population of Egypt had cell phones (60 million phones in service likely with SMS) possible to message via Facebook via SMS at http://m.facebook.com/.And this was all after similar efforts in Tunisia had successfully exiled their tyrant and inspired the Egyptians, who in turn inspired the Lybians, etc. And what inspired the Tunisians to start was Wikileaks posts of U.S. cables showing the U.S. thought the Tunisian dictator was just as clueless and corrupt as the Tunisians thought.
So yes, social networking on the Internet has fomented multiple revolutions.
Posted at 04:11 PM in Corruption, Current Affairs, Distributed Participation, Education, Government, History, International acces, Internet Access, Internet freedom, Internet History, Net Neutrality, Public Policy, Public Safety, Rural Access, Senior Access, Society, Stakeholders | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
Imagine that when we started Apple we set things up so that we could charge purchasers of our computers by the number of bits they use. The personal computer revolution would have been delayed a decade or more. If I had to pay for each bit I used on my 6502 microprocessor, I would not have been able to build my own computers anyway.He also details examples of how difficult it was to start a new service the way the telephone system used to be, how radio used to all be freely receivable, and how cable TV is mis-regulated. He summarizes his case:
I frequently speak to different types of audiences all over the country. When I'm asked my feeling on Net Neutrality I tell the open truth. When I was first asked to "sign on" with some good people interested in Net Neutrality my initial thought was that the economic system works better with tiered pricing for various customers. On the other hand, I'm a founder of the EFF and I care a lot about individuals and their own importance. Finally, the thought hit me that every time and in every way that the telecommunications careers have had power or control, we the people wind up getting screwed. Every audience that I speak this statement and phrase to bursts into applause.Then he asks for all that not to happen to the Internet:
We have very few government agencies that the populace views as looking out for them, the people. The FCC is one of these agencies that is still wearing a white hat. Not only is current action on Net Neutrality one of the most important times ever for the FCC, it's probably the most momentous and watched action of any government agency in memorable times in terms of setting our perception of whether the government represents the wealthy powers or the average citizen, of whether the government is good or is bad. This decision is important far beyond the domain of the FCC itself.Ain't that the truth.
Posted at 12:09 PM in Broadband, Cable, Censorship, Communication, Competition, Devices, Distributed Participation, DSL, Economics, Government, Innovation, Internet Access, Internet freedom, Internet History, Internet Speed, Net Neutrality, Principles, Public Policy, Radio, Regulation, Rural Access, Stakeholders, Telephone, Television, Video | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
The simple fact is that net neutrality was the condition under which the Internet grew to be what it is today, which is the last bastion of free speech and a free press in much of the world, especially in the United States. The only reason net neutrality is an issue is that the duopoly (telcos and cablecos) succeeded in their regulatory capture of the FCC during Kevin Martin's term as chairman and did away with much it. The U.S. used to have among the fastest Internet speeds in the world. Since the duopoly got their way, the U.S. has fallen far behind dozens of other countries in connection speeds, availability, and update. While the U.S. NTIA claimed at least one user per ZIP code counted as real service.
We can let the telcos and cablecos continue to turn the Internet into cable TV, as they have said they want to do. Under the conditions they want, we never would have had the world wide web, google, YouTube, flickr, facebook, etc.
And left to their plan, the duopoly will continue cherry-picking densely-populated areas and leaving rural areas, such as south Georgia, where I live, to sink or swim. Most of the white area in the Georgia map never had anybody even try a speed test. Most of the rest of south Georgia had really slow access. Which maybe wouldn't be a problem if we had competitive newspapers (we don't) or competing TV stations (we don't). Or if we didn't need to publish public information like health care details online, as Sanford Bishop (D GA-02) says he plans to do. How many people in his district can even get to it? How many won't because their link is too slow? How many could but won't because it costs too much?
John Barrow (D GA-12) has a fancy flashy home page that most people in his district probably can't get to. Yet he signed the letter against net neutrality.
I prefer an open Internet. How about you?
Why did the 73 Democrats sign the letter? Could it have to do with the duopoly making massive campaign contributions to the same Democrats and holding fancy parties for them?
The same lobbyists are after Republican members of Congress next.
Call your member of Congress and insist on giving the FCC power to enforce net neutrality rules.
Posted at 11:57 PM in BPL, Broadband, Cable, Capacity, Communication, Competition, Corruption, Distributed Participation, Duopoly, Government, Innovation, Internet Access, Internet freedom, Internet History, Internet Speed, Law, Net Neutrality, Opportunity, Politics, Press, Principles, Public Policy, Rural Access, Voting | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
Technorati Tags: cable TV, duopoly, facebook, flickr, free press, free speech, GA-02, Georgia, google, innovation, Internet freedom, lobbying, net neutrality, newspaper, press, radio, Sanford Bishop, TV, world wide web, YouTube
Question from a provider: VoIP traffic prioritization from essentially our own service?
Moderator: One thing that won't be allowed is prioritizing your own service over someone else's similar service; that's almost the whole point. FCC person: This is contemplated in the document. Existing services wouldn't have to be reworked rapidly. Seeking input. Reasons to be concerned. Monopoly over last mile has a position to differentially treat such a service. This is one of the core concerns.
Q: Giving the same priority to somebody else's similar VoIP service is essentially creating a trust relationship; how much traffic will the other service provider send?
Posted at 12:48 PM in Broadband, Cable, Capacity, Censorship, Communication, Competition, Content, Devices, Distributed Participation, DSL, Filtering, FTTH, Government, Innovation, International acces, Internet Access, Internet freedom, Monopoly, Net Neutrality, Opportunity, Packet Shaping, Principles, Public Policy, Regulation, Stakeholders, Wireless Internet | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
Technorati Tags: access, applications, Austin, broadband, competition, content, devices, eyeballs, FCC, Internet freedom, NANOG, net neutrality, nondiscrimination, NPRM, services, Texas, transparency, users, wired, wireless
A huge number of comments have been received already, by Jan 15 deadline. More comments are solicited. See also openinternet.gov.
The general idea is to take six proposed principles and turn them into rules that are enforceable and not unreasonable:
The first four principles have been around for several years. The last two, nondiscrimination and transparency, are the same as the ones Scott Bradner's petition recommended back in June 2009. Back then I mentioned as I always do that the FCC could also stop talking about consumers and talk about participants. Interestingly, their slide at this talk did not use the word "consumer", so maybe they've gotten to that point, too.
Proposed Rules: 6 Principles
- Access to Content
- Access to Applications and Services
- Connect Devices to the Internet
- Access to Competition
The FCC is also making a distinction between broadband and Internet. There are existing rules regarding "managed" vs. "specialized services" for broadband Internet access, but for net neutrality in general, maybe different rules are needed.
Posted at 11:47 AM in Applications, Broadband, Cable, Censorship, Communication, Competition, Content, Copyright, Devices, Distributed Participation, DSL, Filtering, Government, Innovation, Internet Access, Internet freedom, Net Neutrality, Principles, Privacy, Public Policy, Regulation, Stakeholders, Wireless Internet | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
Technorati Tags: access, applications, Austin, broadband, competition, content, devices, eyeballs, FCC, Internet freedom, NANOG, net neutrality, nondiscrimination, NPRM, services, Texas, transparency, users, wired, wireless
But in Japan cable Internet service is of declining popularity, because 30 or 40 Mbps for $50 or $60 per month is not really fast there.
DSL in Japan goes up to 50 Mbps for also around $50-$60/month.
But for actual fast, cheap, Internet connections, people in Japan buy Fiber to the Home (FTTH), which actually costs less and delivers from 100Mbps to 1Gbps.
Meanwhile, back in the U.S.A., EDUCAUSE has proposed 100Mbps national broadband using a funding method that already failed in Texas.
Japan didn't get to 100Mbps by a single government-funded network. It did it by actually enforcing competition among broadband providers. Why did it do this? Because a private entrepreneur, Masayoshi Son, and his company Softbank, pestered the Japanese government until it did so.
No obstacle was enough to stop the coverage. Even when China cut off CNN from Beijing, CNN reported repeatedly that they were cut off. BECAUSE IT IS NEWS WHEN A NEWS ORGANIZATION IS SHUT DOWN. When tanks hit the streets in Moscow in 1991, cameras were there, regardless of safety concerns, in one of the most closed societies on earth at the time, as the outcome was in grave doubt. Reporters risked their lives.At least one news organization has been shut down, El Arabiya. Plus cell phone service is out and facebook, youtube, Voice of America, and BBC World Service are being blocked or jammed in Iran.
There are news organizations covering all this, most notably the BBC. But if you really want to know what's going on you have to turn to twitter or bloggers like Andrew Sullivan.
The biggest problem with the decline of the traditional news media is the accompanying decline in real reporting. Yet how hard could it be to report that the official election statistics are preposterous, the Iranian state's own election monitors say the election had problems, and the opposition (which apparently actually won) is very organized and is planning demonstrations today and a general strike Tuesday?
If the traditional media can't cover something as obvious as this, what good is it?
Maybe using the Internet to shine a little light on Congress can lead to a more open Internet and maybe even a more open society.
The solution here is not tinkering. You can't fix DNA. You have to bury it. President Obama should get Congress to shut down the FCC and similar vestigial regulators, which put stability and special interests above the public good. In their place, Congress should create something we could call the Innovation Environment Protection Agency (iEPA), charged with a simple founding mission: "minimal intervention to maximize innovation." The iEPA's core purpose would be to protect innovation from its two historical enemies—excessive government favors, and excessive private monopoly power.Lessig gets the connection with his old topic of intellectual property and copyright. Those are monopolies granted by the federal government, and they have been abused by the monopoly holders just like the holders of communication monopolies:
—Reboot the FCC, We'll stifle the Skypes and YouTubes of the future if we don't demolish the regulators that oversee our digital pipelines. By Lawrence Lessig, Newsweek Web Exclusive, 23 Dec 2008
Posted at 03:49 PM in Antitrust, Broadband, Communication, Competition, Consolidation, Copyright, Corruption, Distributed Participation, Duopoly, Economics, Government, History, Innovation, Internet Access, Internet freedom, Net Neutrality, Politics, Public Policy, Regulation, Research, Rural Access, Science, Spectrum Allocation, Wireless Internet | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
This column is dedicated to the top managers of American business whose policies and practices helped ensure Barack Obama's victory. The mandate for change that sounded across this country is not limited to our new President and Congress. That bell also tolls for you. Obama's triumph was ignited in part by your failure to understand and respect your own consumers, customers, employees, and end users. The despair that fueled America's yearning for change and hope grew to maturity in your garden.She identifies Apple as one of the few companies that has actually gotten it about how to do business, with its iPod and iTunes. As we've previously seen, this is because Apple gets it that Porter's Five Forces model of competition breaks when open distribution channels are introduced.
Millions of Americans heard President-elect Obama painfully recall his sense of frustration, powerlessness, and outrage when his mother's health insurer refused to cover her cancer treatments. Worse still, every one of them knew exactly how he felt. That long-simmering indignation is by now the defining experience of every consumer of health care, mortgages, insurance, travel, and financial services—the list goes on.
Obama's Victory: A Consumer-Citizen Revolt, The election confirms it's time for sober reappraisal and reinvention within the business community. If you don't do it, someone else will, By Shoshana Zuboff
It appears that Mark Anderson, Odile Richards, and William Gibson were right: "See-bare-espace... it is everting." Cyberspace just elected a president of the United States. And he knows it.
Obama has been publicly in favor of net neutrality for at least a year. And he has not backed off. He's put Susan Crawford and Kevin Werbach in charge of reviewing the FCC. Now that's cyberspace inverted indeed!
People discovered that to "Change Congress," you simply need a ballot box - or the threat of one.Dinosaurs were probably shocked by mammals, too.
All this was reflected on political sites, forums and blogs - but not a hint of this sentiment was expressed by the professional media. So when Congress rejected the Bill on that Monday, America's punditocracy expressed its shock. It also reported that the markets were "astonished" - the markets being presumed to have a better grasp of what American citizens want than American citizens themselves.
All week, the media had refrained from comment that might embarrass the political class. In fact, the first professional column I read which was reflected the true feelings of many US citizens around me was written from 3,500 miles away and published in London's Sunday Times.
Sudden outbreak of democracy baffles US pundits, By Andrew Orlowski, The Register, Posted in Government, 3rd October 2008 18:47 GMT
Amazingly, not a single one of the 25-30 people we tried to interview would speak to us about who they were, how they got invited, what the party's purpose was, why they were attending, etc. One attendee said he was with an "energy company," and the other confessed she was affiliated with a "trade association," but that was the full extent of their willingness to describe themselves or this event. It was as though they knew they're part of a filthy and deeply corrupt process and were ashamed of -- or at least eager to conceal -- their involvement in it. After just a few minutes, the private security teams demanded that we leave, and when we refused and continued to stand in front trying to interview the reticent attendees, the Denver Police forced us to move further and further away until finally we were unable to approach any more of the arriving guests.The video includes Denver police repeatedly asking accredited press to move away from a public sidewalk.
— AT&T thanks the Blue Dog Democrats with a lavish party, Glenn Greenwald, Salon, Monday Aug. 25, 2008 11:15 EDT (updated below (with video added) - Update II) Thursday, Aug 28, 2008
At another party,
an ABC News reporter was arrested while "attempting to take pictures on a public sidewalk of Democratic senators and VIP donors leaving a private meeting at the Brown Palace Hotel."
Parties like this are part of the lobbying revolving door that
makes the U.S. look like a banana republic.
I'm picking on Democrats, here, but at least 75% of Senate Democrats
(including Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden, but not Barack Obama)
voted against the recent bad FISA bill.
A much higher percentage of Republicans voted for it.
If he were alive today, Robert Burns would say:
'We are bought and sold for telecom gold'
Such a parcel of rogues in a nation!
Parties like this are part of the lobbying revolving door that makes the U.S. look like a banana republic. I'm picking on Democrats, here, but at least 75% of Senate Democrats (including Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden, but not Barack Obama) voted against the recent bad FISA bill. A much higher percentage of Republicans voted for it.
If he were alive today, Robert Burns would say:
Three quarters of the American people and even a majority of Republicans oppose Bush's warrantless wiretaps. Two thirds oppose warrantless wiretaps even for communications between U.S. citizens and overseas persons, and almost 2/3 oppose immunity for telcos. Aome people call that a minority. I don't think that word means what they think it means.
Instead of standing up to Bush as the Constitution requires, Congress capitulated and gave the worst president in history still more powers to spy on the people. And the people do know about it:
"Congress rolled over on FISA" --LA TimesNews.google.com finds about 960 other stories much like those.
"Democrats voted for FISA out of fear" --Chicago Tribune
"Obama gives telecoms a pass" --Hartford Courant
"Senate approves bill to broaden wiretap powers" --NY Times
"Senate vote backs Bush on wiretaps" --Salt Lake Tribune
"Senate vote gives Bush what he wants on surveillance bill" --Seattle Times
Is the FISA bill the only reason Congress's numbers tanked? Nope, but I don't think it's coincidence that they dropped immediately after the Senate passed that bill.
Why isn't Larry Lessig working to convince Obama he was wrong and getting him to fix it, instead of trying to put lipstick on that pig of a bill?
But, to be Chicago kind of candid, whatcha gonna do about it?When did the U.S. lurch so far to the right that jetissoning the Fourth Amendment is considered running to the center?
Today, the freshman senator from Illinois voted in favor of the FISA bill that provides retroactive legal protection to cooperating telecom companies that helped the feds eavesdrop on overseas calls. Up until a few weeks ago -- let's see, that would be shortly after the last primaries settled the Democratic nomination and terminated what's-her-name's once frontrunning campaign -- Obama adamantly opposed the bill. "Unequivocally" was the word his people used.
— Nomination in hand, Obama stiffs the Dem left on FISA vote, Andrew Malcolm, L.A. Times, 9 July 2008
The "compromise" the bill was supposed to represent is nonexistent;
After fighting and winning a war at long odds against the greatest empire on earth, at the demand of the people, the Founders of U.S. added a Bill of Rights to the Constitution, the fourth of ten of which is:
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.That is what the Congress proposes to give away next week, by saying telcos like AT&T and Verizon can spy on you as long as they have a note from the president saying it's OK.
—Fourth Amendment, U.S. Constitution, effective 15 Dec 1791
The Internet provides us tools to bring the Senators to their senses.
To quote a fighter against that same world-spanning empire, Mohandas K. Gandhi:
ya really notes a blog posting up at Wired reporting that foes of the Telecom Amnesty Bill have mounted a campaign on Barack Obama's own website. Though the group was created only days ago, on June 25, it has grown to be the fifth largest among 7,000 such groups, just short of Women for Obama. Although it is widely known that Obama changed his stance from opposing telecom immunity to supporting it, many have not given up hope of getting him to switch once again.And today the group has more than 9,000 members and is #2 among all MyBO groups.
Telecom Amnesty Foes On the Move, Posted by kdawson, slashdot, on Tuesday July 01, @08:02AM from the one-week-and-counting dept.
It's everywhere else, too, Time, WSJ, Wired, Huffington Post, TPM, DailyKos, MyDD, OpenLeft, digg, reddit, and of course facebook. Read all about it on the wiki.
(Yes, I'm a member of the group, since about the second day, and here's what I think about the issue.)
This group is a goldmine of information about which telecoms gave what money to whom.
The most significant part to me is that people are using a candidate's own organizing tools to attempt to organize the candidate. Not stopping there, either, attempting to organize allies for the candidate. Obama claims to be people-powered. Let him say that while other politicians follow money from lobbyists, he listens to the people who give him money, who are the people, and when they said think again he did, and discovered the bogus House FISA "compromise" bill is no such thing, and now he's against it. We'll see.
The "two sides" referenced there means the House Democratic leadership and the telecoms. Congressional leaders are "negotiating" with the telecoms -- the defendants in pending lawsuits -- regarding the best way for immunizing them from liability for their lawbreaking, no doubt with the help of the former Democratic members and staffers now being paid by the telecoms to speak to their former bosses and colleagues about what they should do. To describe the process is to illustrate its oozing, banana-republic-like corruption, but that's generally how our laws are written.Remember, AT&T and the other telcos and cablecos are the same companies that want to nuke net neutrality in the name of competition and progress; two other flags they behind, just like the banana republic flag of national security.
None of this is particularly new, but it's still remarkable to be able to document it in such grotesque detail and see how transparent it all is. In one sense, it's just extraordinary how seamlessly and relentlessly the wheels of this dirty process churn. But in another sense, it's perhaps even more remarkable -- given the forces lined up behind telecom amnesty -- that those who have been working against it, with far fewer resources and relying largely on a series of disruptive tactics and ongoing efforts to mobilize citizen anger, have been able to stop it so far.
— How telecoms are attempting to buy amnesty from Congress, Glenn Greenwald, Salon.com, Saturday May 24, 2008 06:48 EDT
WASHINGTON - Telecommunications carrier T-Mobile USA Inc. spent nearly $700,000 in the first quarter to lobby on spectrum matters and other issues, according to a disclosure report.The T-Mobile lobbyist pictured is Michelle Persaud, former Democratic staff council for the House Judiciary Committee.
T-Mobile, which is owned by German telecommunications company Deutsche Telekom AG (nyse: DT - news - people ), also lobbied the federal government on legislation involving wireless taxes, privacy and various consumer protection issues.
The company, the nation's fourth largest cellular carrier, also lobbied lawmakers on the issue of "Net neutrality," or the principle that all Web traffic be treated equally. Some Internet providers want to charge content providers extra to get their Web sites to load faster. Lawmakers have proposed legislation to make Net neutrality the law of the land.
— T-Mobile spent $700,000 lobbying in first quarter, Associated Press, 05.30.08, 5:26 PM ET
...the true price of letting corporations shape government policy: free speech.The NYRB gets into some of the underlying political machinations:
— Going Postal, Callie Enlow, New York Review of Magazines, 2008
Even Time Warner was taken aback. Halstein Stralberg, co-creator of Time’s rate proposal, said, “There was a new chairman at the commission and there was a totally new environment, and they adopted it, to my surprise.”The NYRM noted the sudden parachuting in of a new chairman just before the decision as unusual:
In the corporate world, The Progressive Populist would most likely be forced out of business. But should the same rules apply when the product is ideas and the conduit is a government-owned monopoly? To the current administration, the answer is yes, said Cullen. The president appoints the five commissioners that compose the Postal Regulatory Commission. Between the 2005 Time Warner complaint, when the PRC rejected the corporation’s proposed rate restructuring, and the 2006 rate hearings, when the PRC adopted the suggestions almost verbatim, two new commissioners joined the PRC. One of them, Dan G. Blair, replaced George Omas as chairman just one month before the end of the rate cases, a move that Bob Cohen described as “pretty unusual.”However, the NYRM didn't follow up on the other chairman, the chairman of the Postal Board of Governors from January 2005 to January 2008, James C. Miller III, and his 27-year-old theory:
"...none should be favored and none benefited. Each party pays the cost of service it consumes, not less, and does not bear the cost of others’ consumption."Curious how someone with that philosophy should be chairman just at the time the decision was made.
The NYRM does say what happened, why it was unusual, and who it affected:
Technorati Tags: American Conservative, Ben Franklin, Ben Scott, Dan G. Blair, Free Press, free speech, Halstein Stralberg, James C. Miller III, New Republic, New York Review of Magazines, periodicals, Postal Board of Governors, postal rate hikes, Progressive Populist, Time Warner, USPS
Federal lawmakers have introduced yet another network neutrality bill, but this time with a focus on fair trade issues.And does this fix the problems Google and Ebay complain about?
This week, U.S. Rep. John Conyers, who chairs the House Judiciary Committee, has introduced legislation that addresses the issue by labeling it an antitrust matter. Conyers' H.R. 5994 would ban discriminatory network management practices by amending the Clayton Act.
The bill, labeled the Internet Freedom and Nondiscrimination Act, would require carriers to promote competition and allow people to use any device they want to on the carriers' networks. The bill makes exceptions for emergencies, criminal investigations, parental controls, marketing, and improvements to quality of service.
Under the Detroit Democrat's proposed legislation, ISPs could give preference to certain types of data, but they must give the preference regardless of the data source. It would ban ISPs from discriminating based on content, applications, or services.
— Lawmakers Eye Net Neutrality As Anti-Trust Issue, The Internet Freedom and Nondiscrimination Act would require carriers to promot e competition and allow people to use any device they want to on the carriers' networks. By K.C. Jones, InformationWeek, May 9, 2008 05:42 PM
Meanwhile, a cosponsor sums it up:
U.S. Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., has co-sponsored the legislation.
"Recent events have shown that net neutrality is more than a hypothetical concern. We need a meaningful remedy to prevent those who control the infrastructure of the Internet from controlling the content on the Internet," Lofgren said. "This legislation will help guarantee that the innovative spirit of the Internet is not trampled."
Posted at 06:55 AM in Antitrust, Competition, Consolidation, Government, Innovation, Internet Access, Internet freedom, Net Neutrality, Public Policy, Regulation | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)
( INDEED I AM NOT A LAWYER AND SO I ASKED PROF. YOO, ON THE FACULTY OF PENN LAW AND ONE OF THE AUTHORS OF THE EDITORIAL, TO REPLY TO THIS NOT -- IN PARTICULAR PROF. CHERRY'S COMMENTS. DAVE FARBER)
— re-distribution of op-ed on Net Neutrality -- a reaction and a reply from one of the authors, David Farber, Interesting People, Fri, 9 May 2008 15:23:10 -0400
Here's Prof. Yoo's response:
From: "Christopher S. Yoo" <firstname.lastname@example.org>The rest of Dr. Yoo's response after the jump, and my response in a following post.
Date: May 9, 2008 2:51:40 PM EDT
To: "David Farber" <email@example.com>
Cc: "Faulhaber, Gerald" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Dave Farber forwarded me a recent e-mail asking for a lawyer's reaction to Barbara Cherry's recent presentation and paper questioning whether antitrust law can protect against the harms envisioned by network neutrality proponents. As the only lawyer among the co-authors of the op-ed that Dave, Michael Katz, Gerry Faulhaber, and I worked up for the Washington Post, I am happy to offer a few thoughts. (Those interested in a different take on the relationship between network neutrality and antitrust law may want to look here: http://ssrn.com/abstract=992837.)
Barbara's work is based on a theory advanced by Neil Averitt and Robert Lande that would place consumer choice at the center of antitrust policy. As Averitt and Lande explicitly recognize, their theory would represent a fairly significant break (they would call it a paradigm shift) away from current antitrust law, which focuses on maximizing economic (and particularly consumer) welfare.
Interestingly, antitrust law once was quite friendly toward the consumer choice perspective that Barbara favors. (I review these developments in vol. 94 of the Georgetown Law Journal at pages 1885-87, http://ssrn.com/abstract=825669.) Early cases like FTC v. Brown Shoe (1966) and Times-Picayune Publishing v. United States (1953) invalidated exclusive dealing and tying contracts (which are among the types of antitrust practices most similar to network nonneutrality) because they infringed on unfettered consumer choice.
Posted at 06:54 AM in Broadband, Competition, Consolidation, Distributed Participation, Government, Internet Access, Internet freedom, Law, Net Neutrality, Public Policy | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
...what is it about individual freedom that "conservatives" like the Spectator and Armey don't like?The clue is "servants of corporate ... interests". (Unions occasionally get into this act; corporations much more frequently.) And it's not simple greed for corporate lobbyist money or kickbacks or the revolving door: many politicians and people really believe the "free market" will solve all problems. That's the origin of the doctrine of "market failure" that has pervaded all U.S. federal departments and agencies. Nevermind that when it's a major airline or automobile manufacturer or, even worse, a financial institution such as Citibank, these same people support all sorts of governmental market manipulations and bailouts. We're talking mythology here, kind of like the "rational actor" myth of economics.
To be fair, the debate is larger than the Spectator and Armey. Most congressional Republicans oppose the idea of giving consumers freedom on the Internet. They take shelter in their anti-government, anti-regulation rhetoric, preferring to allow Internet freedom to apply to the corporations which own the networks connecting the Internet to consumers, rather than to consumers themselves. There could, of course, be a larger discussion about the meaning of "conservative" and Republican, and whether the two are synonymous.
(To be fairer still, it's not only Republicans. Many a Democrat also speaks out against Internet freedom. They don't have the fig-leaf of misbegotten ideology to hide behind, as they largely back worthwhile government action in many other areas. They are simply servants of corporate and/or union interests. The question applies equally: What about freedom don't they like?)
— Why The 'Right' Gets Net Neutrality Wrong, Art Brodsky, HuffingtonPost, Posted May 5, 2008 | 10:21 AM (EST)
Brodsky digs into the misconceptions behind this myth:
[Peter] Suderman's analysis: "In fact, not only were all of these companies [eBay and Google] born in an era with no mandated net neutrality, it's utterly unclear that a lack of neutrality would've impeded them in any way whatsoever."That is not how it happened. This is how it happened:
Technorati Tags: Art Brodsky, AT&T, Barbara Cherry, Carterfone, Christian Coalition, Comcast, competition, Cox, duopoly, free market myth, Internet freedom, Internet history, market failure doctrine, Michele Combs, net neutrality, private property, regulation, Time Warner, Verizon
The Bush administration is refusing to disclose internal e-mails, letters and notes showing contacts with major telecommunications companies over how to persuade Congress to back a controversial surveillance bill, according to recently disclosed court documents.
The existence of these documents surfaced only in recent days as a result of a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit filed by a privacy group called the Electronic Frontier Foundation. The foundation (alerted to the issue in part by a NEWSWEEK story last fall) is seeking information about communications among administration officials, Congress and a battery of politically well-connected lawyers and lobbyists hired by such big telecom carriers as AT&T and Verizon. Court papers recently filed by government lawyers in the case confirm for the first time that since last fall unnamed representatives of the telecoms phoned and e-mailed administration officials to talk about ways to block more than 40 civil suits accusing the companies of privacy violations because of their participation in a secret post-9/11 surveillance program ordered by the White House.
At the time, the White House was proposing a surveillance bill—strongly backed by the telecoms—that included a sweeping provision that would grant them retroactive immunity from any lawsuits accusing the companies of wrongdoing related to the surveillance program.
— Just Between Us, Telecoms and the Bush administration talked about how to keep their surveillance program under wraps. by Michael Isikoff and Mark Hosenball, TERROR WATCH, Newsweek, Apr 30, 2008 | Updated: 6:09 p.m. ET Apr 30, 2008
It's sad to see professional military men like Lt. General Ronald L. Burgess, Jr., Office of the Director of National Intelligence, shilling for an administration that is so blatantly protecting itself and big corporations against justice for its own wrongdoing. White House stonewalling over first the existence of these documents, and now, since a judge ordered them to reveal that, release of the documents, isn't about any "war on terror". It's about protecting lawbreakers and control of the people:
At a Senate Commerce Committee hearing entitled "The Future of the Internet" on Tuesday, Democratic politicians argued for passage of a law designed to prohibit broadband operators from creating a "fast lane" for certain Internet content and applications. Their stance drew familiar criticism from the cable industry, their Republican counterparts, and FCC Chairman Kevin Martin, who said there's no demonstrated need for new rules, at this point.Some of the senators seemed to think the Comcast debacle indicated there was need for legislation:
— Net neutrality battle returns to the U.S. Senate, by Anne Broache, C|Net News.com, 22 April 2008
"To whatever degree people were alleging that this was a solution in search of a problem, it has found its problem," said Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.). "We have an obligation to try and guarantee that the same freedom and the same creativity that was able to bring us to where we are today continues, going forward."
Kerry is one of the backers of a bill called the Internet Freedom Preservation Act, chiefly sponsored by North Dakota Democrat Byron Dorgan and Maine Republican Olympia Snowe, which resurfaced at the beginning of 2007 but has gotten little attention since. A similar measure failed in a divided Commerce Committee and in the House of Representatives nearly two years ago.
Unsurprisingly, Martin says he doesn't need a law to enforce, because he can make it up as he goes along:
Posted at 11:08 AM in Consolidation, Content, Corruption, Distributed Participation, Duopoly, Government, Internet freedom, Law, Net Neutrality, Regulation, Stifling | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals has overturned the guilty verdict in the criminal insider trading case of former Qwest CEO Joe Nacchio and ordered a new trial before a different judge.What else will a new trial reveal about the government's dealings with Qwest about warrantless wiretapping?
The 2-1 decision cited U.S. District Judge Edward Nottingham's exclusion of expert testimony by Northwestern University law professor and private consultant Daniel Fischel.
Fischel was allowed to testify on Nacchio's behalf about the facts behind his stock sales, but was excluded from providing economic analysis.
— Nacchio conviction overturned, By Andy Vuong, The Denver Post , Article Last Updated: 03/17/2008 10:33:03 PM MDT
an invitation-only intensely interactive workshop on the topic of Internet infrastructure economics. participants included economists, network engineers, infrastructure providers, network service providers, regulatory experts, investment analysts, application designers, academic researchers/professors, entrepreneurs/inventors, biologists, oceanographers. almost everyone in more than one category.and wrote up a report including this summary of the political situation:
— internet infrastructure economics: top ten things i have learned so far, by webmaster, according to the best available data, October 7th, 2007
...and it turns out that in the last 5 years the United States — home of the creativity, inspiration and enlightened government forces (across several different agencies) that gave rise to the Internet in the first place — has thoroughly jettisoned 8 centuries of common carriage law that we critically relied on to guide public policy in equitably provisioning this kind of good in society, including jurisprudence and experience in determining ‘unreasonable discrimination’.That's right folks: "resource sharing" was the buzzword back then, and every node was supposed to be potentially a peer to every other.
and our justification for this abandonment of eight centuries of common law is that our “government” — and it turns out most of our underinformed population (see (1) above) — believes that market forces will create an open network on their own. which is a particularly suspicious prediction given how the Internet got to where it is today:in the 1960s the US government funded people like vint cerf and steve crocker to build an open network architected around the ‘end to end principle’, the primary intended use of which was CPU and file sharing among government funded researchers. [yes, the U.S. government fully intended to design, build, and maintain a peer-to-peer file-sharing network!]
Technorati Tags: architecture, CAIDA, common carriage, contract law, economics, end-to-end principle, habeas corpus, invisible hand, market forces, measurements, media consolidation, P2P, peer-to-peer, public utility law, resource sharing, Steve Crocker, Vint Cerf
In the end, it turns out it's all about the emails.The blogger goes on to point out that almost all of the recent fearmongering, which has been about telephone calls, is just plain wrong. Duh! Half the fearmongers don't understand what they're talking about (e.g.,
— Spying Fight about Emails, Not Phone Calls, DOJ Reveals, By Ryan Singel ThreatLevel, Wired, March 04, 2008 | 4:47:36 PMCategories: NSA
Posted at 09:23 AM in Censorship, Corruption, Distributed Participation, Espionage, Filtering, Government, Internet freedom, Postal Service, Research, Wiretapping | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
Technorati Tags: AT&T, checks and balances, Congress, Constitution, DARPA, dissident opinions, DOJ, email, fearmongering, file transfer, FISA, illegal, Kenneth Wainstein, McConnell, NSA, oversight, Poindexter, recipient, Saxby Chambliss, TIA, Total Information Awareness, unitary executive, web search, wiretapping
So that's that. Register your domain name through a U.S. company and your business goes kaput if the U.S. Treasury Department decides it doesn't like you. It doesn't matter if you're based in Spain, your servers are in the Bahamas, your customers are mostly European, and you've broken no laws. No warning. Just kaput.This blogger bases his opinion on a NYTimes story:
— Just Kaput, Kevin Drum, Political Animal, 4 March 2008
Meanwhile, Patrick Philbin, identified in the on-screen legend only as a "Washington-area attorney" (the introduction did say he was formerly a Bush appointee in various positions), kept claiming that there wasn't even any proof that any telcos had cooperated without warrants, while arguing that without retroactive immunity they wouldn't cooperate. In addition to those positions being somewhat contradictory, if I'm not Cheney has said on the air recently that the telcos did cooperate, so I don't know why Philbin continues this sort of obfuscation. Well, unless it's the obvious: he's protecting his former bosses.
The Communicators is very interesting because it one or two people half an hour to say what they mean in their own words. YMMV, but in this case it sure looked to me like Rotenberg was being very reasonable and standing for the rule of law, while Philbin was stonewalling using every legal subterfuge that came to his mind. This impression wouldn't have been nearly as clear from a few sound bites.
(i) access, use, send, receive, or offer lawful content, applications, or services over broadband networks, including the Internet;Let's see, if "consumers" can send their own content, applications, and service, they're not really consumers in the traditional sense, now are they?
This is all very nice, in that Markey and Pickering apparently get it about what Internet freedom is about. However, why does this bill have no teeth, unlike Markey's bill of last year or the Snowe-Durgan bill before that?
Posted at 09:49 AM in Censorship, Competition, Consolidation, Content, Copyright, Corruption, Distributed Participation, Duopoly, Government, Innovation, Internet Access, Internet freedom, Net Neutrality, Public Policy, Regulation, Stifling | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
Technorati Tags: AT&T, BitTorrent, Chip Pickering, Comcast, commerce, competition, Cox, duopoly, Ed Markey, free speech, Internet freedom, Internet Freedom Preservation Act of 2008, monopoly, NARAL, net neutrality, participation, Snow-Durgan, Tim Wu
This is ironically exactly the mechanism used by the Great Firewall of China. When China does it, we call it "censorship".She points to a paper that details that the Great Firewall of China uses exactly the same forged TCP Reset method that Comcast uses, and how to work around such damage:
— Re: [IP] Comcast FCC filing shows gap between hype, bandwidth, Jean Camp, Interesting People, 14 Feb 2008
Posted at 10:41 AM in Censorship, Competition, Content, Corruption, Distributed Participation, Government, International acces, Internet freedom, Net Neutrality, Stifling | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
Aswin Navin by David Shankbone
Rep. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee's subcommittee on telecommunications and the Internet, plans to introduce a bill today calling for an Internet policy that would prohibit network operators from unreasonably interfering with consumers' right to access and use content over broadband networks. The bill also calls for the FCC to hold eight meetings around the nation to assess whether there is enough competition among network providers and whether consumers' rights are being upheld.Markey gets it. Too bad the FCC doesn't.
"Our goal is to ensure that the next generation of Internet innovators will have the same opportunity, the same unfettered access to Internet content, services and applications that fostered the developers of Yahoo, Netscape and Google," Markey said in a written statement yesterday.
— Comcast Defends Role As Internet Traffic Cop By Cecilia Kang, Washington Post Staff Writer, Wednesday, February 13, 2008; Page D01
Meanwhile, part of Comcast's defense is:
By December 2006, 91.5 percent of ZIP codes had three or more competing service providers and more than 50 percent of the nation's ZIP codes had six or more competitors.So any provider that has service available to at least one user in a ZIP code is counted as a "competitor".
— Gutierrez Hails Dramatic U.S. Broadband Growth, Government Technology, Feb 1, 2008, News Report
EDUCAUSE, the association whose mission is to advance higher education by promoting the intelligent use of information technology, today proposed bringing the federal government, state governments, and the private sector together as part of a new approach to making high-speed Internet services available across the country.Back in the 1980s, in the time of standalone dialup Bulletin Board Systems (BBSes), the National Science Foundation (NSF) deployed a nationwide backbone network called NSFNet that eventually ran at the blazing fast for the times speed of 1.55Mbps. NSF also promoted development of NSFNet regional networks, many of which eventually figured in the commercialization of Internet that took off in 1991 when former dialup network UUNET started selling Internet connectivity and former personnel of an NSFNet regional formed PSINet and also started selling Internet connectivity.
The group, whose membership includes information technology officials from more than 2,200 colleges, universities, and other educational organizations, said that a new "universal broadband fund" would be necessary so that "Big Broadband" — services of 100 mbps — could be made widely available.
— EDUCAUSE Proposes New Approach to Broadband Development, Wendy Wigen, Peter B. Deblois, EDUCAUSE, 29 Jan 2008
Nowadays, when the fastest most people can get as so-called broadband is 1-3Mbps DSL from telcos or maybe 3-5Mbps from cablecos, maybe it's time to do it again. Is this a plan that would work?
Posted at 10:57 AM in Broadband, Censorship, Competition, Copyright, Duopoly, FTTH, Government, Internet Access, Internet History, Internet Speed, Net Neutrality | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
“The real question is what to do about industry,” McConnell told me. “Ninety-five per cent of this is a private-sector problem.” He claimed that cyber-theft accounted for as much as a hundred billion dollars in annual losses to the American economy. “The real problem is the perpetrator who doesn’t care about stealing—he just wants to destroy.” The plan will propose restrictions that are certain to be unpopular. In order for cyberspace to be policed, Internet activity will have to be closely monitored. Ed Giorgio, who is working with McConnell on the plan, said that would mean giving government the authority to examine the content of any e-mail, file transfer, or Web search. “Google has records that could help in a cyber-investigation,” he said. Giorgio warned me, “We have a saying in this business: ‘Privacy and security are a zero-sum game.’ ”Bruce Schneier has already demolished the "privacy vs. security" canard: it's really liberty vs. control.
— The Spymaster, by Lawrence Wright, The New Yorker, 21 January 2008
It figures that it would be Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell pushing monitoring the whole Internet, since he's one of the key figures behind retroactive telecom immunity for illegal warrantless wiretapping. That was a bad idea, and this is also a bad idea.
But it's also why AT&T may have good reason to believe there'd be no liability for filtering the entire Internet.
Technorati Tags: AT&T, Bruce Schneier, Internet filtering, liberty vs. control, Mike McConnell, monitoring the Internet, policing cyberspace, privacy vs. security, warrantless wiretapping, zero-sum game
Telecoms already have immunity under existing FISA law where they acted pursuant to written government certification or where they prove they acted in good faith (see 18 USC 2520 (d)). There is no reason that the federal courts presiding over these cases can't simply make that determiniation, as they do in countless other cases involving classified information.There's even a two year statue of limitations in the Code.
— Jay Rockefeller's unintentionally revealing comments, Glenn Greenwald, Unclaimed Territory, Salon.com, Thursday January 24, 2008 07:33 EST
Here's one version of what this is really about:
Technorati Tags: 18 USC 2520, administrative discipline, competition, FISA, George W. Bush, Glenn Greenwald, impeachment, Jay Rockefeller, net neutrality, promiscuous filtering, Richard B. Nixon, Richard M. Cheney, Saxby Chambliss, telecom immunity, warrantless wiretapping
Bipartisan leaders of the House Energy and Commerce Committee launched an investigation of the Federal Communications Commission on Tuesday, three weeks after the agency's controversial vote to ease media ownership restrictions.Maybe Congress will slap the FCC with another stern letter. I'm sure Kevin Martin is quaking in his boots.
In a letter sent to FCC Chairman Kevin Martin, the committee asked that all electronic records and personal e-mails related to FCC work be saved.
The committee has "initiated a formal investigation into FCC regulatory procedures to determine if they are being conducted in a fair, open, efficient, and transparent manner," said the letter written by Chairman John Dingell, a Michigan Democrat, and ranking Republican Joe Barton of Texas.
"This investigation will also address a growing number of allegations received by the committee relating to management practices that may adversely affect the agency's operation," the letter said.
— House panel launches probe of FCC practices, Reuters, Tue Jan 8, 2008 4:15pm EST
Net neutrality concerns mount but politicians do not respond.No smokescreen about we can't regulate the net. straightforward as to who is causing the problem: ISPs busily implementing throttling while complacent politicians look the other way.
Net neutrality, which has been simmering as an issue in Canada over the past three years, will reach a boiling point this year as leading ISPs implement traffic throttling technologies that undermine the reliability of some Internet applications and experiment with differing treatment for some content and applications. Despite consumer concerns, politicians and regulators will do their best to avoid the issue.
— Tech law issues to watch in 2008, Michael Geist, thestar.com, Jan 07, 2008 04:30 AM
He wants Cabinet officials, government executives and rulemaking agencies to hold meeting that are open to the public and transmitted with a live feed. The CTO’s mandate will be to ensure this happens. Specifically, Obama wants the public to be able to comment on the White House website for five days before legislation is signed.Well, that would be a bit different from the current FCC, which doesn't even announce hearings on its own web pages.
— Exclusive: Barack Obama to name a "Chief Technology Officer", By Matt Marshall, VentureBeat, 13 November 2007
the "hollowing out" of U.S. manufacturing of satellite components. Although he said the design capability for the vehicles has remained in this country, "so much production has moved offshore that potentially has left us weaker."In his current job as deputy director of national intelligence, what he's recommending will drive more production offshore, because fewer qualified people will want to work in the U.S. Plus a government that wants to know everything about everyone online is not a government that will facilitate competition among ISPs, so the U.S. will continue to fall farther behind in Internet access, speed, and applications.
— Reconnaissance Office Role to Be Reviewed, Satellite Agency's Place Is Uncertain, By Walter Pincus, Washington Post Staff Writer, Friday, September 2, 2005; Page A27
Privacy no longer can mean anonymity, says Donald Kerr, the principal deputy director of national intelligence. Instead, it should mean that government and businesses properly safeguard people's private communications and financial information.The article is full of bad arguments by Kerr. I suppose real arguments don't matter when you're taking the gloves off and revealing the true hand of government intervention in private matters.
— Intel official: Expect less privacy By Pamela Hess, Associated Press Writer, Updated: 11/11/07 11:47 PM
Technorati Tags: angels, anonymity, Burma, credit cards, Donald Kerr, espionage, facebook, James Madison, junta, myspace, national intelligence, national security, privacy, social networking, theocratic
If I pay to connect to the Net with a certain quality of service, and you pay to connect with that or greater quality of service, then we can communicate at that level.Implementing it is difficult, whether technically (stifling, throttling, blocking, proxying, etc.), legally (spam, phishing, other abuse, fraud, theft, etc.). And politically perhaps even harder. Witness the network neutrality legislation proposed by Senators Dorgan and Snowe:
— When I invented the Web, I didn't have to ask anyone's permission. Tim Berners-Lee
`SEC. 12. INTERNET NEUTRALITY .OK, that's basically TBL's definition. But what about devices (think Carterfone)?
`(a) Duty of Broadband Service Providers- With respect to any broadband service offered to the public, each broadband service provider shall--
`(1) not block, interfere with, discriminate against, impair, or degrade the ability of any person to use a broadband service to access, use, send, post, receive, or offer any lawful content, application, or service made available via the Internet;'
— Internet Freedom Preservation Act (Introduced in Senate), S 215 IS, 110th CONGRESS, 1st Session, S. 215, To amend the Communications Act of 1934 to ensure net neutrality . Mr. DORGAN (for himself, Ms. SNOWE, Mr. KERRY, Mrs. BOXER, Mr. HARKIN, Mr. LEAHY, Mrs. CLINTON, Mr. OBAMA, and Mr. WYDEN) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, January 9, 2007
... as a normative guide to policy, network neutrality transcends domestic politics. The network neutrality debate addresses the right of Internet users to access content, services and applications on the Internet without interference from network operators or overbearing governments. It also encompasses the right of network operators to be reasonably free of liability for transmitting content and applications deemed illegal or undesirable by third parties. Those aspects of net neutrality are relevant in a growing number of countries and situations, as both public and private actors attempt to subject the Internet to more control. Because Internet connectivity does not conform to national borders, net neutrality is really a globally applicable principle that can guide Internet governance.Basically, instead of getting mired in discussions of bandwidth or technical methods of stifling, throttling, or censorship, let's get back to deriving net neutrality from general political and economic principles, which turns out to make net neutrality a convenient lens by which to view those principles and to apply them to the Internet.
— Net Neutrality as Global Principle for Internet Governance, Milton Mueller, Internet Governance Forum, 5 November, 2007
Mark Klein going to Washington to blow the whistle some more on AT&T on giving NSA unfettered access to AT&T's network:
"If they've done something massively illegal and unconstitutional -- well, they should suffer the consequences," Klein said. "It's not my place to feel bad for them. They made their bed, they have to lie in it. The ones who did [anything wrong], you can be sure, are high up in the company. Not the average Joes, who I enjoyed working with."While the Washington Post, for example, does get at one main point:
— A Story of Surveillance, Former Technician 'Turning In' AT&T Over NSA Program, By Ellen Nakashima, Washington Post Staff Writer, Wednesday, November 7, 2007; Page D01
Contrary to the government's depiction of its surveillance program as aimed at overseas terrorists, Klein said, much of the data sent through AT&T to the NSA was purely domestic. Klein said he believes that the NSA was analyzing the records for usage patterns as well as for content.It neglects to mention an even bigger point:
The United States is starting to look like a slowpoke on the Internet. Examples abound of countries that have faster and cheaper broadband connections, and more of their population connected to them.On the one hand, this sounds like a popular approach to global warming by its deniers: now let's ask some scientists to study it. After all, the Okefenokee and surrounds burned more acres than in living memory, western wildfires have increased fourfold since 1970, 30 million people in half a dozen southwest states may run out of water in the next decade or so, and 12 million people in the Atlanta metro area are less than 3 months from having no water. And hundreds of climate scientists have already turned in their verdict. But, hey, now let's ask some scientists to study it.
What's less clear is how badly the country that gave birth to the Internet is doing, and whether the government needs to step in and do something about it. The Bush administration has tried to foster broadband adoption with a hands-off approach. If that's seen as a failure by the next administration, the policy may change.
In a move to get a clearer picture of where the U.S. stands, the House Energy and Commerce Committee on Tuesday approved legislation that would develop an annual inventory of existing broadband services -- including the types, advertised speeds and actual number of subscribers -- available to households and businesses across the nation.
— U.S. sees some countries overtake it in broadband speeds, but is there a problem? Associated Press, 30 Oct 2007
On the other hand, this is Ed Markey's committee, and he has seemed serious about doing something, so maybe he's just cojmpiling a case. Sure, he's probably reacting to people like this who are taking the same tack as outlined above:
Posted at 09:01 AM in Broadband, Competition, Government, International acces, Internet Access, Internet freedom, Internet History, Internet Speed, National Security, Net Neutrality, Public Policy, Regulation | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
Two Senators on Friday called for a congressional hearing to investigate reports that phone and cable companies are unfairly stifling communications over the Internet and on cell phones.While the Senate doesn't have much of a track record of actually doing anything about problems, at least this bipartisan pair of Senators sees there's a problem.
Sens. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., and Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, said the incidents involving several companies, including Comcast Corp., Verizon Wireless and AT&T Inc., have raised serious concerns over the companies'"power to discriminate against content."
They want the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee to investigate whether such incidents were based on legitimate business policies or unfair and anticompetitive practices and if more federal regulation is needed.
— Senators Want Probe on Content Blocking, AP, finance.MyWay.com, Saturday October 27, 5:59 AM EDT