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Tech at Night: SOPA unconstitutional?, AT&T under pressure, Verizon’s try for Netflix next?

Tech at Night

It’s Monday, so it’s time for that weekly self promotion of mine. This week at the Daily Caller I discussed NISO, an information sharing proposal by Dan Lungren that would get government in a role of improving our security online without compromising liberty and innovation.

And now back to SOPA. Now Eric Schmidt realizes we don’t want government to have a huge role online, complaining that SOPA would “criminalize linking and the fundamental structure of the Internet itself.” Yeah, I’d say DNS is part of the fundamental structure of the Internet, and that’s why I support Darrell Issa’s and Ron Wyden’s OPEN Act alternative. They would have us go after infringers abroad rather than attacking the Internet at home.

Jennifer Rubin pointed out that SOPA is overkill, which it is. Effectively undermining the fundamental structures of the Internet just to go after counterfeit handbags and Bittorrent streams of Scary Movie 3? Come on.

Notice how no matter how many people complain about SOPA, it’s always the MPAA with a response? Isn’t that a clue that this bill is being pushed to benefit one specific industry, just a little bit?

Never mind that even a former left-wing favorite for the Supreme Court says it’s unconstitutional prior restraint of speech. Cue the MPAA for a response to Laurence Tribe, here.

Hillicon Valley used two different titles for its recent post on AT&T. One said the T-Mobile deal was “on hold,” the other said it was “on life support.” It’s unfortunate that these days you have to be up on politics, as AT&T clearly wasn’t, in order to exercise property rights.

Verizon had better watch out when it comes to picking up Netflix, what with this precedent being set now.

Hold onto your hat: those government wireless subsidies are being abused. I know, such an outlandish conspiracy theory requires extraordinary evidence to support it, but that link’s all I’ve got. Cue the complaints that I’m on some Jihad against Sprint, because that’s the only way anyone would ever believe that government subsidies might line somebody’s pockets.

On the heels of the GPS side getting a hit in the press, now LightSquared takes a hit as a government study reportedly claims 75% of GPS will be disrupted. Now, ‘disrupt’ isn’t exactly a specific term, but the report concluded that “millions of fielded GPS units” would be incompatible. This doesn’t mean it’s LightSquared’s fault; I still haven’t seen a clear answer to LS’s claims that GPS devices are being designed to listen outside of the GPS band and inside LightSquared’s band. But this is going to sway some people, to be sure. Especially if the report was buried on purpose.

Can we just fix our spectrum situation so that we don’t have to have life-or-death struggles over every little bit, please? I know it’s not easy, but it’s important.

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