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Tech at Night: Google, Daily Kos, Net Neutrality

Tech at Night

If there’s one thing Google guards closely, it’s the secrets of its search service. Despite praising the virtues for the customer of transparency online, Google’s anything but transparent. Take a look at their webmaster guidelines, which in part explain how to avoid the Google Death Penalty.

But one thing that is clear is that linking schemes, particularly those using shadow websites, are forbidden.

So the question is: Is Google watching the Chris Bowers pagerank scam? Will they delist him and the entire Daily Kos.com domain if they find that he’s breaking the rules? It’s clear they’re recruiting people to spam links to pre-selected pages across volunteer website owners’ sites based on their use of a SEO Blogger checkbox option on their signup page. This is precisely the kind of illegal cross-link scheme Google warns about being an unethical SEO practice.

So the ball’s in your court, Google. If you do not delist Daily Kos for this behavior you call unethical, then you have a partisan political bias.

Moving on, you didn’t think you’d get away without me mentioning Net Neutrality did you? Media Freedom reminds us of the dangers should the FCC act without legislation, which is why I think Republicans must proactively support the Henry Waxman Net Neutrality bill.

And in case you didn’t have enough reason to oppose online regulation, here’s another: there are new services out today that might be illegal under Net Neutrality because they are based on specially funded Internet access, that cannot be neutral if it is to pay the bills and recoup investment costs. Entire lines of devices would become impractical and illegal. That’s a substantial killing of innovation and good American jobs.

Further, we cannot afford to discourage investment in the Internet’s basic infrastructure. As long as ISPs can profit, that investment will happen. But thanks to the FCC, that investment could slow up. Internet firms are already pushing the limits of how much video they can push online, but those limits will stagnate if the FCC forces a one-size-fits-all, all-sites-go-equally-fast pipe dream of technical mediocrity.

We have to pass a bill stopping the FCC as soon as we can, even if it’s under the Democrat-run Congress. We have to commit to passing a bill, and make sure the FCC understands that there will be a reckoning if they so much as flinch at doing Title II reclassification.

I want Republicans on the floor of the House and the Senate, shouting of the fire and brimstone that await every single member of the FCC that dares to defy the Congress and the Courts on this. There is no margin for error, and there is no room for less than total commitment here. The Internet is that important for all Americans’ liberty and prosperity.

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