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Tech at Night: The Return. Go home, John McCain.

Tech at Night

Between the Independence Day weekend, and being sick most of last week, I missed quite a few Tech at Night installments. so many in fact that I just ran out of time putting together Friday’s. So now I have 36 links in my queue sitting in front of me, so I’ll make tonight’s ‘main essay’ simple and to the point.

Arizona needs to start doing something about John McCain, because his love affair with regulation is just going way too far.

John McCain loves to rant about topics that seem to grate on him personally. That’s great, a lot of us do that online. But the problem is he takes it a step further, going from ranting about the topics to legislating on them. And that’s where he goes from harmless old crank to a dangerous Senator.

In the past, he would complain about how the summers in Arizona were so hot, and so clearly that must have been global warming, and therefore we needed to have legislation to combat global warming? Remember that? That’s just how McCain operates.

Well, now John McCain wants to add new government to control cable TV lineups, to force cable companies to unbundle their channel selections and let you buy only the specific channels you want. This is a bad idea.

What this is going is creating an even larger regulatory Jenga game, which always benefits existing players, harming innovators, giving an advantage to the big guy, and hurting the little guy.

You see, this version of the idea admits the biggest problem with forcing “a la carte cable”: It puts the cable companies over a barrel when it comes to negotiating to get those channels, which means the fees will go up. And the fees are already going to go up, because there are going to be fewer people paying for them and subsidizing them. And guess who would get the blame for this big rise in prices? That’s right, Comcast and the other cable companies.

Anyway, the bill admits this, so it goes and places yet another government restriction in place, restricting the ability of the channels to go all out in negotiating with the cable companies for rates. So what do we end up doing? Creating a ton of more government just so John McCain doesn’t have to pay for some obscure channel he hates, even though the net result may not even save him any money. Let alone the rest of us.


The rhetoric guys like Al Franken are using to describe Net Neutrality is deceptive.

Remember the Aereo case? It’s already being used to kill more choice and innovation.

The ‘Anonymous’ morons at 4chan are now threatening members of Congress.

If we want more competition for wired Internet, we need to deregulate to make new deployments easier, not create socialized, state-run Internet.

Back to Aereo, if it’s going to survive we probably need legislation to fix it.

The regulators who want to force disclosure of deals like that between Netflix and ISPs would hurt the public and the economy all to further their political agenda.

We’re going to spend billions to force wireless Internet into schools, great news for cyberbullies and sexting harassers. Bad news for kids.

More FCC idiocy: fighting federalism to give convicted felons lower bills.

I’m honestly surprised that Google is apparently staying quiet on Net Neutrality 3.0, the Zombie Return.

The Glenns Greenwald are playing with lives to hype a book. Believe him at your peril.

It’s been floated in the past that NSA broke Tor. Will we get confirmation that Tor is breakable, and that the network favored by human traffickers and drug dealers can be sniffed?

More proof TSA is terrible: Edward Snowden now portraying himself the champion of Muslims. Heh.

I’m not sure what to think of “e-signatures” honestly. Filing documents online is great, but a focus on “e-signatures” gives me pause.

I really, really hate the way internet sales tax laws are being sold. I think it really dooms the idea, being such an overreach and a transparently punitive swipe at Internet firms.


I know, this is a lot of links. But this is a week and a half of catch up here. Don’t worry, we’re about halfway done now.


As nice as it would be to bundle some meaningful deregulation, Senate Democrats may bargain it down to a ‘clean’ STELA bill to keep satellite video the same as it already is.

Ah, regulations. They so quickly become very obsolete, requiring physical marks when digital messages would make more sense to people.

The best weapon the good guys have against cybersecurity threats both foreign and domestic, is information sharing. That’s why CISPA was a good idea, and likely so is CISA though I haven’t seen much on the specifics of this version yet.

European censorship of the Internet marches on.

I understand the desires of the blind to be able to use gadgets, but putting this stuff in regulation is asking for trouble.

Germany is throwing a tantrum, playing to domestic politics.

Though, heh, apparently the political theater isn’t extending much into actions meaningful enough to to take Edward Snowden from Russia.

Russia wants Russia to spy more easily, and the NSA to spy with more difficulty. Shocking, I know.

Why on earth wouldn’t we just take away all DMCA powers from the Librarian of Congress in any phone unlocking bill?

So the rush is on to make it easier to publish anonymously to Tor, just as Tor may get broken and made no longer anonymous. Heh.

T-Mobile gets all the good press. Imagine if this were AT&T accused of overbilling for hundreds of millions of dollars.

Typical regulators: punishing innovation instead of rewarding it.

Oh look, Eurocensorship of Google is making important information go down the memory hole, just as predicted.

We need to stand up against socialized Internet, even at the city level.

Don’t enter passwords into strange computers, folks.

Is Netflix rigging its own traffic to create headline fodder to promote Net Neutrality subsidies? Hmm.

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