Wednesday night I put off all Tech at Night topics except for SOPA because the critical mark up votes in Committee were coming up. We weren't supposed to be able to stop SOPA, but we could at least raise awareness, put up a fight, and prepare for the floor votes. And sure enough, the vote to keep the Internet censorship provisions went in favor of censorship 22-11.
Well, it turns out, we managed to slow the process down. After we made our threats to start working on primary challenges over that 22-11 vote, Lamar Smith put off SOPA, halting the current process until next week at the earliest. Stay sharp, but feel good about this delay. The longer we delay, the more we can gain support for the OPEN Act instead of SOPA.
SOPA opponents Darrell Issa, Zoe Lofgren, Jared Polis, and Jason Chaffetz also deserve credit. Why yes, that list does include a Democrat. Just shows how wrong Lamar Smith is to side with disgraced former Senator Chris Dodd and the MPAA on this. Two men who between them have no clue how the Internet works.
LightSquared. I complained early on that I could see no fire there, but even I'm having to concede there's a whole lot of smoke. Chuck Grassley's demands for transparency on LightSquared and the FCC still aren't being met. Reports bad for LightSquared and its effects on GPS users continue to come out despite further word that the testing is unfinished but being released prematurely. Sanjiv Ahuja and LightSquared continue to insist that it's not their fault, and I'm seeing no clear refutation to that point, but then again, why is the FCC stonewalling Grassley?
I'm not sure I agree with House legislation on LightSquared, though. Not until we get straight answers given to Chuck Grassley's questions do we have enough information to act on this. What do Barack Obama and Julius Genachowski have to hide here?
Is it spectrum policy? FCC's spectrum screen policies are being exposed as controversial. Republican attempts to enhance the use of free markets in spectrum policy are being attacked. And Republicans are apparently holding firm on the matter.
I did not expect Barack Obama of all people to exercise parental rights, rather than demand more regulation, to achieve sensible outcomes on privacy for his kids. If only Michelle would follow suit when it comes to food for her kids.
Wow, we're not done yet? Nope. Hang on. It was a busy week even without SOPA hogging all the attention.
Anonymous: not as good at staying anonymous as they think. This is good, though: we need to keep putting attackers in jail, not passing new regulations. But again, information sharing is fine as long as it's not putting burdens on anyone or hindering innovation and job growth in any way.
Remember the proposed regulations to require cars to act as Faraday cages and block all phone transmissions? The next wave of that proposal is here. NTSB wants to ban all phone use in cars, which is even dumber than the phone restrictions on planes.
You know those FCC subsidies that rural phone carriers are fighting with ISPs over? You're paying for them, don't forget.
SOPA is not the only example of copyright holders flipping out over pro-customer innovation and new technology. Remember: pro-business is not the same as pro-liberty.
Man, I wish my lone self could go around hiring people all the time with a wad of George Soros cash. Maybe then I could write about this stuff more than three nights a week.