Yup, I'm back. And I have roughly a week's worth of stuff to cover, so let's go.
Top story seems to be that The Obama/Holder Justice Department has no problem with Google's vertical integration takeover of Motorola Mobility. Interesting. I also await word on whether Google will drop all aggressive patent lawsuits, as they claim to use patents only defensively.
Some people never learn. Google and Microsoft support the runaway FCC against Republican attempts to constrain the regulators to using clear, consistent, fair rules for spectrum policy. Sure, I understand that some such as Darrell Issa are unhappy about the unlicensed spectrum restrictions, but my view on this bill is mend it, don't end it. What we do need to end is the ability of the FCC to micromanage industry by managing the FCC in a reasonable and responsible way. Greg Walden's bill should pass in some form.
I'm just going to go ahead and do the rest of what I have queued up here as a series of quick links, because I'm behind and I don't really have a coherent narrative in my head for any of it.
One study claims freely available movies online via BitTorrent sites don't impact box office sales. Probably true, but highly misleading. More relevant would be whether BitTorrent-distributed movies impact DVD and BluRay sales.
Communist China continues its war on iPads even as it does nothing to protect American property. Communist and racist.
I don't link to Media Freedom enough, and I don't just say that because I had a role on the tech side of setting up the site. I do agree with the content quite a bit. Mike Wendy's hammering a point I tried to hit hard, that we do more heavy lifting on Internet freedom than the left has, no matter what the embattled Andrew McLaughlin, who left the White House under a cloud of ethics scandal, has to say about it.
A Google/Verizon story this week reminds me of the Isaac Asimov story "The Dead Past." Verizon was the big, evil, no-good meany for blocking Google Wallet. Then oops: Wallet was as insecure as Verizon said. Google says it's fixed now, but score one for Verizon, it seems.
Look, I know that sometimes good tech policy crosses partisan lines, but re-think this push toward a privacy power grab, Mary Bono Mack. Please! The best cure for privacy ills is common sense combined with a smaller government.
The reason the FCC's Net Neutrality orders are illegal is that the Telecommunications Act, a joint effort of the Gingrich Congress and the Clinton White House to protect the Internet from harmful regulations. The result was prosperity. So I look very skeptically at the recent push from more than one place to scrap and replace the bill.
In 1996 the Democrats joined the Republicans in wanting a light touch of government online, but that moment has passed. The Media Marxists, many George Soros-funded, want a government takeover online. It's part of the "Media Reform" movement, and they have many Democrats in their pockets. Any tampering with the Telecommunications Act would risk key safeguards in place. Be careful!
Because we don't want to do what authoritarian governments want, which is global Internet censorship through the UN.