Good evening. I'm starting on tonight's Tech at Night earlier than usual. That's because I have much to cover. Sometimes a whole bunch of interesting stories just pop up all at once, and I don't want to leave any out. So let's hurry up and start.
For all the way the far left is flipping out over the Fox/Cablevision dispute – in which Cablevision refuses to pay for Fox's content, and so Fox in turn threatens to
take that content away – the FCC let the cat out of the bag by pointing out that Cablevision customers
have four or even five alternatives, depending on where they live.
Competition protects the public better than government ever, ever could.
Of course, some on the left are beginning to realize that their utility-driven arguments are wrong, and are being demolished routinely, so they're going with other, more emotional appeals. The ACLU is claiming now it's a "rights" issue:
The First Amendment, of course, protects speech only from the government. But access to the Internet is provided by private corporations enabled by government, and protecting the same interests and values that the First Amendment protects, requires in this case that the government create strong policies against incursion by companies that are, at root, profit-seeking
rather than civic-minded. That is why the ACLU has long supported network neutrality.
So yes, the ACLU thinks you have a right to have things taken from others for your benefit, so that you won't have a shrieking, hysterical fit from missing an episode of QuincyHouse.
Of course, as mentioned by Olympia Snowe's otherwise mixed commentary on government regulation of the Internet, we still want to try to stop a radical FCC-driven Title II
reclassification based Net Neutrality. To do that we need legislation. Legislation trumps regulation. Seton Motley has more on the need to do that in the lame duck session and how the TEA party ought to get loud on this issue.
As bad as you may think the Democrats are on this, the FCC is worse, I promise you.
If only Carly Fiorina, who is directly on point here against Title II reclassification Net Neutrality, could be in the lame duck session:
And two quick hits to close the night: Toby Dials has some nice commentary on biased enforcement of the rules over at Facebook, while NASA and DARPA are talking about actual starships. 100 year journey starships. Wow.