Tech at Night: Snowden allies like China not quite getting their way on NSA. More Net Neutrality.
So the House ended up passing the (originally anti-NSA, pro-Russian-and-Chinese) “USA Freedom Act”. But fortunately the radicals are mad about it because of the compromises needed to win enough votes to pass it. This is a rare case where I hope the Senate follows its usual pattern and refuses to pass a House bill.
Write it down, though: I agree with Senators Rockefeller, McCain, and Coburn. We need to go after foreign attacks on American companies, and inform the private sector about probable threats. So I support the Deter Cyber Theft Act, as far as I can tell. Naturally China responds to this by playing off of the Edward Snowden propaganda, but we must not be deterred ourselves.
The radicals are putting on a Net Neutrality side show, meanwhile Netflix is “intentionally misleading” Americans about peering issues. So even as the extremists push for the Title II Reclassification by using the also-miselading Fast Lanes argument (see previous Tech), there’s no chance Senate Democrats will actually block Zombie Net Neutrality, the third attempt to do this by the runaway FCC.
Though unfortunately it’s not just the Obama FCC that has made a non-competitive mess of the TV market. We need to deregulate. However to be fair there’s plenty of regulations out there that benefit terrestrial broadcasters. We need to deregulate all of that, too. Just knock down the whole Jenga puzzle at once. The only real thing we need the FCC to do for TV is to keep people from trampling on spectrum. All the rest should go.
I do wish the Senate would pass the DOTCOM Act to protect American stewardship of Internet freedom.
Darrell Issa passing FITARA as a part of the defense appropriations bill, FITARA being a plan to provide controls on federal IT spending, is another win for transparency and accountability.
Bitcoin and Crime watch: A big Silk Road heroin dealer has pled guilty and forfeited his stuff.
John Thune wants to make permanent the Internet tax moratorium, preventing state and local government from taxing Internet access to the interstate and international markets. But will Democrats act? If the President doesn’t want to raise taxes on the middle class, he must use the bully pulpit for the Internet tax moratorium extension.
Did Google use its Android market power to force Samsung to close its Google Play competitor, Music Hub?
I still think it’s ridiculous that the Euros are pushing the ‘right to be forgotten’ which seems like an idea begging to be used by the wrong people. Again, should Nazi war criminals have had such a right?
Having taken on FISA and won, Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, and Facebook are taking on FBI which uses National Security Letters to get information without oversight.
I do support going after patent trolls because even if we do something about USPTO issuing too many bad patents, the old bad patents are still around, and we still need to stop the trolls who abuse them. I know there is disagreement on the right on this issue, but I think people with an engineering background don’t have to look hard to see just how many terrible patents are issued these days.