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Tech at Night: You were expecting something other than Net Neutrality?

Tech at Night

Now that the FCC has made itself the center of attention by planning a big power grab online, it may be the case that the FCC gets some unwanted attention. The Free State Foundation is calling out the FCC for not being very open even as the FCC is calling for an Open Internet™. Here’s the punchline, but read the whole thing, and that’s not something I say often in this space:

But preserving the Open FCC is much more fundamentally important to the public, over the short, medium, and long term. I have my doubts concerning how the FCC’s dumping of 1900 pages of documents into the public record on the eve of the date it cuts off public participation is consistent with preserving an Open FCC.

The last time I saw a data dump this bad was when Saddam Hussein was toying with the UN Security Council. That’s just great company for Julius Genachowski, FCC Chairman, to have put himself in.

Of course even as we challenge the FCC’s openness, we need to remember that the radicals still see themselves on the verge of getting the Internet takeover they hope for. That’s why they’re pressuring Michael Copps to back only a radical step. Quoth Hillicon Valley:

The participants included Jeffrey Blum, Dish Network; Parul Desai, Consumers Union; Michael Drobac, Netflix; Harold Feld, Public Knowledge; Michael Forscey, Writers Guild West; Joel Kelsey, Free Press; Sascha Meinrath, New America Foundation; Emmett O’Keefe, Amazon.com; Staci Pies, Skype; Andrew Jay Schwartzman, Media Access Project; Gigi Sohn, Public Knowledge; Aparna Sridhar, Free Press.

Notice how Free Press appears twice in that list? They sure seem to have a loud voice in the Copps office, don’t they? That’s why I call him Free Press’s pet commissioner. The burden is on him this month to show he has a will of his own.

Another amusing quote: Free Press has now gone so extreme here that while Al Franken is still with them, John Fitzgerald, er sorry, Forbes Kerry has turned:

Senate Commerce Communications Chairman John Kerry (D-Mass.) has urged Copps to support the plan even though it is not “perfect.” Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) said a weak proposal could do more harm than good.

Incoming Republican leadership is getting active against the FCC as well. We’ve long heard from Cliff Stearns and Joe Barton on this, but Barton’s successor as lead Republican on the Energy and Commerce Committee (and therefore incoming Chairman) Fred Upton has written the FCC telling them not to use the proposed NBC Universal/Comcast merger to bring in Net Neutrality through the back door. Good on him to be on top of that.

Mike Wendy and Seton Motley have made a video about Net Neutrality and why you should care about it. Seeing these two names on it, I’m confident enough to link to it without even having time to watch it tonight.

In other news, Microsoft shamelessly becomes in favor of activist antitrust enforcement now that it’s against competitor Google and not against itself. Shame on you for that hypocrisy, Steve Ballmer and co. Shame on you.

The SARTRE Road Train concept shows that even when Europeans use personal cars they don’t get the personal liberty benefits of them. Why turn a car into a train?

We continue to leave patent law in civil court, so why again do we need copyright law to have a criminal element?

LTE iPhone rumors swirl around Verizon and Apple. I do wonder if Verizon’s backhaul is ready for the flood that could result from such a development so soon. We all remember AT&T’s growing pains.

And to close off the night, Daniel Foty calls out the greenies for their logical shortcomings. It simply makes no sense to foreclose nuclear plants as an option for power generation, while at the same time claiming concern about Carbon Dioxide emissions. That the green left in Vermont, in Germany, and elsewhere continues to do so just lends more weight to the theory that this isn’t about Saving The Earth™ at all, but rather about crippling the economy of the US and of the whole developed world.

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