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Tech at Night: ALA, Wikipedia, Astroturf, Net Neutrality [updated]

Tech at Night

Earlier this week I mentioned a story at Safe Libraries exposing American Library Association astroturf promoting the radical Free Press agenda on Net Neutrality. Now, the ALA does not come into this debate with clean hands. The ALA has taken stands before, notably to protect terrorists from being caught by the FBI. But now they’re getting aggressive.

On the heels of this story about ALA astroturfing on Wikipedia, the ALA is attempting retaliation. They are attempting to block the Safe Libraries author from having any further access to edit Wikipedia unless his article is censored. Quoth Safe Libraries:

As a result of the publication of this blog post, apparent ALA supporters, if not ALA members or the OIF itself, have initiated action at Wikipedia that resulting in efforts to stop my editing there or to have me remove this blog post. Self-censorship, as the ALA would call it. At this moment, I have been indefinitely blocked from editing, likely in part because I have not removed this blog post.

The ALA will defend the “civil rights” of terrorists, but will silence anyone questioning the activities of the ALA. How convenient.

It’s clear that Deborah Caldwell-Stone, Wikipedia user Dcs47 and top executive at the ALA, feels she has something to hide, notably the connection between her name and the astroturf Net Neutrality edits she’s made at Wikipedia. She’d have us believe she’s ashamed of maintaining a Wikipedia page about a Star Trek: Voyager character, but we know better, don’t we? Especially when she has previously taken steps to hide her conflicts of interest at Wikipedia, when she fought for her agenda in editing the article about the late Judith Krug.

And in fact she has now enlisted Wikipedia aid to cover her tracks. Her user page has been blanked, edit histories have been redacted, and of course we are now at the point where the Safe Libraries editor, Wikipedia user LegitimateAndEvenCompelling, is banned from editing at Wikipedia while the army of ALA astroturfers is left to roam free.

Wikipedia admins are silencing ALA dissent at the behest of ALA leadership. This is why I not only hope Wikipedia fails in its donation drive, exposing it to the market forces that selling ad space would bring upon the site, but I don’t really see the point in conservatives and Republicans even participating. The site is biased, the admins are biased, and if we’d boycott entirely, then Wikipedia would lose that sliver of legitimacy that our presence gives it. Let’s expose Wikipedia as the biased media outlet it actually is.

And in case the core issue is lost: Wikipedia is helping cover up political activities by the ALA that could constitute illegal activity for a non-profit like the ALA. Whether this is conscious bias by Wikipedia, or a case of the ALA duping good faith Wikipedia administrators, it’s not yet clear. But if Wikipedia continues to silence opposition to the ALA on this, it will grow harder to take seriously the site’s claims of good faith.

Moving on while speaking of Net Neutrality, though, Reason TV has a message for the Obama administration and its FCC: Don’t touch the Internets.

It turns out that the Net Neutrality rules that the FCC passed don’t even make a lot of sense. George Ou says they’re inconsistent and possibly suggest a fundamental ignorance of how the Internet works because they make irrational distinctions between routing policies.

Even as public opinion is still sharply against Net Neutrality, with a poll giving opposition a 33 point advantage over the supporters, 54-21, one man has apparently declared his Mission to be Accomplished with the passage of the regulations. Former Google bigshot Andrew McLaughlin has quit his White House job just as the FCC made its move. He’s not even trying to pretend that wasn’t the only reason he was there: to act as a conduit between Vint Cerf and Google, and the White House and the Obama FCC. How shameless. Seriously: I know I’m a little late to this story, but I’m shocked at how brazen this move is.

It’s up to Republicans to stop more than the FCC’s Net Neutrality power grab, though. Fred Upton describes with Tim Phillips a plan [Link fixed, sorry!] to stop the EPA’s Carbon Dioxide power grab, as well. Good on them. The Congressional Review Act appears to be a central element in any Congressional strategy. When the Obama administration has lost Kay Bailey Hutchison, he’s moved pretty far left.

Here’s a weird bit of news: A man is being prosecuted for looking at his wife’s email from the shared computer she used to access that account. Prosecutors are calling him a “hacker.” The man says he was trying to protect some kids from future abuse from his wife’s previous husband. This whole thing sounds weird to me, like a terrible use of resources. But, it’s Detroit. A tactical nuclear strike could hardly make that city much worse.

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