Tech at Night

Time and again I’m seeing analyses from the left about broadband competition in America, that show a complete lack of awareness about how wired broadband actually works in America.

Not all markets are created equal, and you have to understand how those markets work if you’re going to try to sound intelligent about the effects of mergers on competition.

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Tech at Night

Democrats used to be sound on Internet issues. They joined in on a number of bills in the old days that helped the Internet grow to be the huge economic driver that it is today. One of those was the Internet tax moratorium, preventing a pile of taxes from being placed on Internet access.

Now Democrats are standing aside to let a big middle-class tax hike come on Internet access.

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Tech at Night: The Return. Go home, John McCain.

On July 15, 2014, in General, by Neil Stevens
Tech at Night

Between the Independence Day weekend, and being sick most of last week, I missed quite a few Tech at Night installments. so many in fact that I just ran out of time putting together Friday’s. So now I have 36 links in my queue sitting in front of me, so I’ll make tonight’s ‘main essay’ simple and to the point.

Arizona needs to start doing something about John McCain, because his love affair with regulation is just going way too far.

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Tech at Night

I admit, when I see too much libertarian cheering about something, I look for the catch. So I had to take a closer look when I saw people disagree with aligned with people I sometimes agree with and sometimes disagree with, all cheering the Supreme Court’s decision in Riley v. California, which asserted that in a police stop, a warrant is required by police to search the data on the phone.

I have to say I agree with Justice Alito’s concurrence, more than I do with the opinion of the court by the Chief Justice. He points out that searching arrested persons predates the fourth amendment, was not altered by the fourth amendment, and is all about gathering evidence, not securing cops. So the court was right, but for the wrong reason.

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Tech at Night

So the Aereo case went to the Supreme Court, and it’s official: Aereo lost, and may be killed as the result of government. Naturally I agree with the three justice minority of Antonin Scalia, Sam Alito, and Clarence Thomas. Clarence Thomas is the kind of guy that, if he rules against what I thought was right, I’ll doublecheck to see if I was wrong. And he voted with Scalia.

Turns out there’s some real gold in the dissent, too. Justice Scalia could write Tech at Night.

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Tech at Night: A second look at Edward Snowden?

On June 23, 2014, in General, by Neil Stevens
Tech at Night

So before considering the new garbage coming from Эдвард Сноуден and his accomplices the Glenns Greenwald, let’s recap how far we’ve come with this pair.

The NSA has demonstrated that Snowden never did go through official channels with his alleged evidence of problems, and we certainly know he never did attempt to use legal means to alert the President or the Congress that there were issues at the NSA that needed investigation.

Instead, he ran to China, taking sensitive information with him and putting it at risk of being taken by America’s adversary, then he went to Russia and did the same thing. Then he conspired with serial sock puppeteer and extremist blowhard the Glenns Greenwald to dribble out information, most of it totally unrelated to any allegations of Constitutional or legal violations.

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Tech at Night

A big bill is in the air. Politicians are starting to talk about passing a new Communications Act. Lobbyists are drooling at the prospect of a new Communications act. Small government activists want a new Communications act, and they give good reasons for it.

I don’t want a new Communications Act. Here’s why.

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Tech at Night

Conservatives often talk about how government picks winners and losers, but sometimes it’s important to discuss just how that is done. It’s easy to see in cases like Solyndra where government picks winners, but sometimes it’s harder to see when government is making one industry win at the expense of another.

Laws related to technology are full of examples like that, and tonight I’m going to illustrate two important ways government makes broadcasters winners at the expense of cable companies and content producers.

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Ask the Redskins: Fighting for your values works.

On June 18, 2014, in General, by Neil Stevens
Washington Redskins Training Camp August 4,  2011

Conservatives are often painted as the out-of-touch meddlers in culture today. We boycott, we ban, we scold, we stand athwart history. We get laughed at by the left, but we fight anyway.

Hip, moderate, urbane folks tell us this is all wrong. Instead of criticizing culture, standing apart from it, and trying to reject its influences, we’re told we need to be in it, engage with it, and stand up for what we believe in from within.

Today’s politicized action by the US Patent and Trademark Office, canceling the trademark of the Washington Redskins, shows that actually, that restraint is what is all wrong. No matter how popular something is, no matter how much the general public at large is fine with it, concerted political activism can and will work.

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Tech at Night

Email technology has changed over the years, and some people hope you don’t understand why, and how that matters for the issues of the day. So tonight I’m going to discuss how the technologies have changed, and why that influences the debates over both the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) and the IRS missing emails scandal.

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