Tech at Night: Hurricane Sandy thoughts, Cybersecurity inconsistency from the administration

Tech at Night

Hello all. I was without power for 25 hours after Sandy, and so I’m a bit behind. So tonight’s edition of Tech at Night is going to be put together a bit quickly. Sorry about that. By the way, while obviously a hurricane can take out wireless towers, wireless was vital for keeping me in touch with the world when I was without power at home. It was great. I’m not sure exactly what good FCC monitoring could do though, except to use a crisis to expand the role of the state.

Watch as the administration plays games: on one hand it tries to use Iranian attacks on banks as an excuse to legislate cybersecurity mandates, instead of attacking Iran back, while on the other hand it opposes cybersecurity mandates at the ITU! How about we oppose all cybersecurity mandates, guys?

So, FTC is posturing about Google and antitrust, trying to paint itself as the poor little guy against the big, bad corporation, which is laughably backward in the relative powers of the Obama regulators and any private business. But at the same time I’m reminded of when Google painted itself the tiny victim of big, bad ISPs like MetroPCS and T-Mobile. Heh. I hope Mitt Romney drops the case entirely, because he really does need to appoint strong, reformist regulators across the board.

Get this: Obama won’t defend DoMA, but stop a coordinated left-wing effort to bias Wikipedia in favor of politicized unions. Wikipedia is not friendly, it is not neutral, and I reject the idea that conservatives have any stake in engaging or collaborating with the project. It’s their toy, and the burden is on them to be correct or not. And they choose a non-neutral point of view.

So here’s an interesting case: Will copyright be extended to the protection of region locking, in the case of the Thai textbooks? Very interesting and I’m not sure how it should be ruled legally, nor how I think it should be decided as a matter of policy. This isn’t some guy reselling his own stuff. This is a guy who was in the business of undercutting the copyright holders. I don’t know what to think. Clearly the Supreme Court took the case though, so they may make a major ruling here. It should be interesting to see. We may need legislation to fix a sweeping ruling that harms people,t though.

Yeah guys, spam texts are bad, mmkay? Even if you’re against Barack Obama’s re-election.

The European Union continues to come after Google. I think the EU wants to stifle the Internet on the grounds of privacy. First cookie regulations, and now this. Look: I’m perfectly comfortable with the idea that a private citizen would not trust Google. I use different accounts for different purposes, attempting to minimize Google’s tracking of me. I use their services only when it’s a clear best choice. But that’s just it: people have choices. People have lots of choices. There’s no benefit to government intervening, and there’s plenty of potential harm.

Funny how the precautionary principle the left claims to love in “climate science” gets thrown out the rest of the time.

Confession time: I’m not entirely up on what this “special access” matter is, but I keep reading that the FCC is really botching it. Then again, I don’t feel too bad about this. Wired regulations are a terrible mess, with layer upon layer of regulation, with motivations rooted in concerns that stopped mattering decades ago. We probably need legislation on this to sweep away the cruft, defang the FCC, and simplify the market in a way that protects investment, relying on new technology to provide competition.

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