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Tech at Night: FTC joins the FCC in overreaches with Twitter, Anonymous hackery lives on, Al Qaeda reels

Tech at Night

When it comes to the FTC beginning to persecute Google, I think conservatives have mixed feelings because the problem of overbearing government is one of Google’s making. So while we do need to keep government in its place here, the situation is understandable.

The FTC going after Twitter, though? That just doesn’t make sense. It’s not even the largest “social media” software around, not at all. Facebook’s the big boy, but Twitter’s the one that get investigated. Adam Thierer suggests there’s an ulterior motive involved, one of creating a “threat regime” where the government threatens and bullies as a matter of policy, a theory put out by Tim Wu.

With Google, I know to win the day we’ll have to fight understandable conservative feelings against the firm. With Twitter though that shouldn’t be a problem, so we need all hands on deck to expose the FTC’s overreach here.

Finger pointing back and forth between LightSquared and GPS makers continues. LightSquared is a would-be new 4G wireless provider, being held up by fears that its spectrum use would interfere with GPS use. LightSquared says its changes are sufficient, and remaining issues are the fault of GPS makers. Of course, the GPS makers say the opposite.

It’s not exactly breaking news, but it’s interesting news given the source:
(Republican) FCC Commissioner Robert McDowell expects Net Neutrality to be thrown out in court
. He also says the delays in publishing Net Neutrality rules have been in Paperwork Reduction Act requirements, which isn’t a great sign. Just how burdensome and bureaucratic is this scheme?

How about some good hacking news? Al Qaeda’s online network has collapsed. I have a feeling bin Laden’s role is a lot greater than some have been trying to make it out to be, calling him the old crank nobody listens to. But, of course we’ll never know the whole story here for years to come.

Of course it’s not all good hacking news. Anonymous offshoot Lulzsec has scattered under pressure from law enforcement, but the new group Antisec continues to make trouble for honest people. The new site Hackerleaks should make a prime law enforcement target, though.

Quick hits: If we really are worried about how much wireless Internet costs and how accessible it is, how about we cut those taxes on wireless service?

And House Republicans continue to plug away at issues like spectrum (see LightSquared above) and regulatory reform (see FCC and FTC above). These are critical issues and I look forward to satisfactory solutions.

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