Tech at Night: Verizon, FCC, Net Neutrality, Google

On January 22, 2011, in General, by Neil Stevens
Tech at Night

The big story as we close out this week is Verizon appealing the FCC’s Net Neutrality order. Verizon is choosing to go back to the DC Circuit Court of Appeals, the site of the last Net Neutrality legal fight. That was the Comcast v FCC case, lost by the FCC because the FCC simply doesn’t have the legal authority to do it. Some say it could set up the FCC for another loss for Net Neutrality II to be fought out there.

In fact, Verizon is doing all it can to get this decided the right way. Verizon is arguing the DC Circuit is the only place this should be resolved, on the grounds that the FCC is essentially modifying Verizon’s wireless spectrum licenses. Clever. Also interesting is the request that the Comcast v. FCC panel be assigned to this appeal, on the grounds that the judges involved won’t have to waste time getting up to speed on the issues. A friend told me Verizon had some clever lawyering going on with this. Not being especially familiar with regulatory litigation, or even a lawyer at all, my ability to judge that is limited, but what I’m reading suggests it’s true.

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An FCC Net Neutrality sunset is a no-win scenario

On November 30, 2010, in General, by Neil Stevens

In my Tech at Night series at RedState we’ve been waiting on the FCC to tell us what they intend to do in December about Net Neutrality. Rumors say that the FCC may come to a compromise on the issue. Instead of declaring war on industry and attempting to take over the Internet under Title II, Chairman Julius Genachowski may try to pass a set of regulations similar to the draft bill Henry Waxman put out that I supported.

One of the provisions of that bill was a sunset clause, forcing us all to reevaluate the industry as it develops, instead of passing a set of regulations that immediately become obsolete and possibly even harmful. Verizon is now pushing for that same sunset to apply to the FCC compromise.

Despite the fact that I wish the FCC would take a lighter touch with wireless ISPs going forward, I think the sunset would be a bad idea for the FCC compromise. It gives Republicans no benefit, but it gives Free Press and the radicals possibly a second bite at the apple that we can’t afford to give them.

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Tech at Night: Red Alert

On November 20, 2010, in General, by Neil Stevens
Tech at Night

I know it’s a big day for Net Neutrality when I wake up and my Email Inbox is jammed full with links, so many basically saying the same thing: The FCC is on the move. I’m told it all goes back to a November 15 speech by FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, in which he expresses an urgency for the FCC to pass a bunch of new rules quickly. It’s a crisis, he says.

He then called out Google and Verizon, saying that their temerity to contribute to the debate “slowed down some other processes.” You see: the whole process of talking to industry is apparently a sham, and the only speech that counts is speech that leads the FCC closer to the Obama administration’s predetermined outcome.

And it’s that Net Neturality outcome we may be nearing after all. That’s the Red Alert.

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Tech at Night: Post-Election Edition

On November 4, 2010, in General, by Neil Stevens
Tech at Night

Sorry for missing Tech at Night on Monday, but I had to rest up for Election Day. And of course, as you may have heard, Republicans ended up having a good night. What you may not have heard though, was that the forces of radical Internet regulation had a very bad night. Democrats went for broke on Net Neutrality but as covered by Moe Lane and RS Insider, support for unilateral regulation of the Internet killed Congressional jobs. Every single member who signed the PCCC pledge to support the FCC on Title II reclassification, lost. Every one of them!

It’s time the FCC owned up to the rejection the American people dealt their plans, and pledged to wait for Congress to act.

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Tech at Night: Net Neutrality, Google, For The Children

On October 29, 2010, in General, by Neil Stevens
Tech at Night

Good evening. Through the magic of Claritin, my favorite drug, I’m able to bring you tonight’s edition. On the Net Neutrality front, the progressive left is getting delusional. They’re pretending that it matters what their members of Congress think when their President has done not one thing to stop his FCC from going off on its own to break the law, defy the courts, and go ahead with Title II Reclassification. This is not Sparta. This is madness.

Of course, the online petition? Meaningless of course except as a trap to build mailing lists. And it’s not me who says that, it’s Clay Johnson who says that, founder of Blue State Digital and the New Media Director of Barack Obama’s Presidential campaign. The Progressive Change Campaign Committee’s petition is nonsense upon stilts.

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Tech at Night: Google, FCC, Net Neutrality

On October 26, 2010, in General, by Neil Stevens
Tech at Night

Yes, we’re talking about Google again tonight. Of course they never did delist Daily Kos after the Chris Bowers manipulations, despite having gone after Kay Bailey Hutchison for breaking their rules. But we have more to ride them about:

They’re blocking pro-life ads again. These ads are running on local television in DC for Republican Missy Reilly Smith who is challenging Delegate Holmes Eleanor Norton, or Norton Eleanor Holmes, or whatever her name is. I mean really, she doesn’t even get a vote. Local television will run the ads, but Youtube will not. Interesting, eh?

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Tech at Night: Google, Daily Kos, Net Neutrality

On October 11, 2010, in General, by Neil Stevens
Tech at Night

The Chris Bowers pagerank scam using a linking scheme driven by recruited websites is still in the works, but Google has not delisted Daily Kos. Interesting bit of bias there, huh?

And all I need say about Net Neutrality this week, and the urgent need for legislation to stop the runaway FCC, was said by Seton Motley at the Washington Examiner.

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Tech at Night

Catch future episodes of The Needle for a special discussion of Tech at Night and my other project, Be warned, though, The Needle is a bit rowdier than RedState.

I’ve said it in this space before, and I’ll keep saying because the Lame Duck session is coming: Republicans need to get out in front on Net Neutrality and we need to do it quickly. We cannot hinder the Internet by forcing ISPs to go to court over Title II reclassification.

Imagine if every video you play online, every download you make, every OS upgrade you run, every podcast you play, all got slower, skipped more, and just became a greater drain on your time. That’s just the beginning of we face if Title II reclassification happens, and investor dollars are scared away from building private Internet infrastructure in America.

But that’s the situation. Henry Waxman is using Republican inaction to argue for radical FCC action. It shouldn’t be the case as Seton Motley points out, but that’s what he’s saying. So let’s judo this and fight back by using his own bill against him.

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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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Tech at Night

Hello. The longer the Democrats are in Washington, the more the mask slips with respect to their true beliefs regarding freedom online. They claim they don’t want a government takeover, they claim they don’t want to regulate content, they claim they don’t want a kill switch, they claim they want to respect privacy, but time and again all of these issues just keep coming up.

Witness the new disaster coming out of the White House which would force private firms like Facebook, Skype, and RIM to assist the government with spying on you. They are to cripple, deliberately, any safeguards they have on your privacy to make it easier for government snoops.

Remember: already nothing prevents them from listening in on the Internet. What they are demanding now is a huge expansion of power to require encryption in America to be crippled for the benefit of domestic Internet spies. Or at least, that’s the phrasing the left used throughout the Bush administration, so I’m going to throw it back in their disingenuous faces every single chance I get.

Remember when fining Janet Jackson’s breast was the worst thing going on in Washington with respect to this stuff, and how horrible that was? As the sign goes, “Miss me yet?”

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Nima Jooyandeh facts.