Tech at Night: Susan Collins, Queen of Denial

On January 31, 2011, in General, by Neil Stevens
Tech at Night

Wow, my Tech at Night graphic is now out of date. I was already late to the iPhone 4 party because of the iPad and because I had waited for the legendary White iPhone 4. But now that I have an iPhone 4, having the 3GS in the graphic seems wrong somehow. Time for a new one if I get a good idea. Comments welcome.

Anyway, I want to be very clear about the Internet Kill Switch plan. The plan by Susan Collins and Joe Lieberman has now passed the Democrat-controlled Senate Committee claims to be a grand venture for “Cybersecurity,” but the plain fact is the plan as written is unworkable as a security venture, but only works as a tool to let the government control or even destroy the internet.

Yes, just like in Egypt.

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Tech at Night: Rapping at ya about the FCC and Google

On January 28, 2011, in General, by Neil Stevens
Tech at Night

I don’t want to go the full Jim Anchower on you all, but the end of the week has been a bit rough on my end. My Internet connection is going full on Neutral on me, by which I mean it’s been going offline as much as it’s online, including a big 8 hours of full downtime at one point. If it weren’t for my new iPhone 4 I’d be even worse off.

Maybe I should be like Netflix, who continues to ride the Net Neutrality fad to get its own subsidies. Yes, Netflix now wants all of us, everyone who pays for Internet access at home, to subsidize Netflix users. Hey, that’s good for me, since I’m a subscriber and even dropped to Internet-only as soon as it was available, but I wouldn’t feel right supporting it.

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Tech at Night

Apologies for missing the last two Tech at Nights. But unlike the paid staff of the well-funded Free Press, every word I’ve ever written here on technical issues has been on my own time, for free, because I care about the issues. And when work overwhelms me, as it did last week as a huge deadline approached, something had to give. And what gave was what I had to do at night when I just wanted to sleep.

So we start tonight with an update on the Waxman Net Neutrality bill. I wrote of it before in support of it, and proved prophetic as Henry Waxman used Republican opposition to justify radical, illegal FCC action on the issue.

It’s not too late, though. We can still build momentum to stop the FCC’s end run around the Congress, the Courts, and the Constitution. We need to talk up the Waxman bill because it is more limited than any other major proposal we’ve dealt with during this debate, because it would strictly, expressly forbid the FCC from doing the disastrous Title II reclassification which would give the FCC broad powers, and it’s just possible that the Congress taking the baton on this would encourage the FCC to back down until the process runs its course.

Politics matters, and there’s going to be a lame duck session. We can judo the Democrats on this, and use their bill in a bipartisan way to get the Congress behind a clear majority of the nation against massive Internet regulation. But we have to step up to the plate, ignore the Waxman name, and use the decent language of his proposal to make it happen. It’s time to put country first.

Especially when it gives even Barack Obama an out from a divisive issue, even as it gives American an out from regulation potentially more devastating to our economy than Obamacare, if it chokes off the Internet, one of our high growth, high potential areas.

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Nima Jooyandeh facts.