Tech at Night: They want to try again on Net Neutrality.

On January 29, 2014, in General, by Neil Stevens
Tech at Night

So the FCC is meeting soon, and that’s probably going to produce some news. Some of us are hoping for the best under the new FCC Chairman, but he may yet be a radical extremist who will try yet again on Net Neutrality, after the FCC has lost twice in court when attempting that power grab.

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Tech at Night

Remember when they told you Net Neutrality was needed? Remember when we said it was really about favoring online firms over telecoms? Told you so, told you so, told you so. Netflix now blocking select ISPs, trying to use market power in order to bully their way to sweetheart bandwidth deals, knowing ISPs can’t fight back under Net Neut regs, aka the Open Internet order.

PS Told you so.

It remains ridiculous that the Aaron Swarz suicide continues be politicized to the point that we’re putting innocent prosecutors under pressure, pressure that defies cross-examination due to the death of the key witness.

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Tech at Night

Slow month so far. Last Tech at Night was quick, and so will this one be a short trip through my browser windows.

The anti-SOPA coalition could return, because it’s the one weird time that the left wing also seems to have an anti-regulatory element to it. Legislators are right to fear it.

I like this: Darrell Issa investigating FTC and how its Google investigation leaked just so much to the public. Whose agenda was served there?

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Tech at Night

Message to The New Republic: The left-right antiSOPA coalition isn’t getting back together because the right half still opposes Internet regulation, while y’all keep pushing stuff like privacy regulation and Net Neutrality.

Also, in case you missed it, FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai returned to RedState, this time to talk about government’s oversized spectrum holdings.

Here’s a brief conversation with Marsha Blackburn about tech policy.

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Tech at Night

It’s funny how the same House Judiciary Committee that took up SOPA is now taking up IRFA, opposed by a growing list of groups including Taxpayers Protection Alliance, ATR, CAGW, and ACU. SOPA of course would have grown government in the name of strengthening copyright. IRFA makes government meddle more in a way that weakens copyright. And not in a good way, either: IRFA would not encourage innovation or content creation. It just favors Internet broadcasters over everyone else.

Also yeah, the RSC paper on Copyright that I backed before it was wrongly pulled, it is not a statement against property rights nor is it against copyright at all. If the side favoring ever-lengthening copyright cannot argue honestly with us, and has to mischaracterize those of us who favor an approach to copyright that balances the interests involved, then that to me suggests a deficiency in their position.

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Tech at Night

Oh man, I forgot to finish this Friday night. Oops.

Funny how Google says they can’t fix Googlebombs when the fact is, Google is constantly improving its search algorithms. After all, the Bush-era Googlebombs of WhiteHouse.gov disappeared pretty quick after Obama was elected.

Stuff like this is why I don’t expect Google’s regulatory problems to go away in the event of a Romney win. Google has left its systems open (Blogger, Search, Youtube) for the left to abuse the right, and has been slow to react. It’s going to be very easy for the left wing of the GOP to get talked into expanding government to come after them, unfortunately.

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Tech at Night

Top story: the FCC is moving forward with spectrum auctions, providing incentives for television stations to auction off their spectrum for wireless Internet use. We could see the auctions completed by the end of 2014.

Everyone admits there’s a spectrum crunch, and on the right and left of the FCC they say it’s a difficult question of how to transfer spectrum to alleviate it. Greg Walden is right though that this is good “if implemented well.” Bruce Mehlman of iia calls it “a terrific start” and that’s also true.

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So, the FCC put out another report (the “706 report”) that just pushes an agenda rather than reporting the true facts about high speed Internet in America. Commissioners McDowell and Pai tell it like it is. We’ve also got Broadband for America telling the story. I’m not even worried about the details: the FCC is saying what they feel they must say to justify expanding government.

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Tech at Night

We had no Tech at Night on Friday becuase I was at the Gathering in Jacksonville. Hope those who went enjoyed it, and that those who weren’t able to attend can make it next year!

So, Harry Reid offered to let Republicans fix Lieberman-Collins. Republicans took him up on that, and he was unhappy. So he tried to ram it through after all. Republicans objected, and the cloture vote failed. I’d say my support for this tactic by Republicans has been vindicated.

Harry Reid, the embattled Senate majority leader under a cloud of serious allegations about his behavior lately, has continued to try to politicize the Cybersecurity Act. Republicans tried to be good legislators. That was embarrassing to Reid, so he had to cut it off.

Proof Democrats have been bargaining in bad faith the whole time comes from Barack Obama’s consideration of rule by decree on this. This of course is a bad idea.

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Tech at Night

You want more proof that every single private industry privacy debate in DC is completely wrong headed? MSIE 10′s do not track default is unpopular. People don’t care. They value cheap/free stuff and convenience over privacy protection.

Other countries are looking to tax American businesses online. Does Barack Obama have the guts to fight for us? Or will he bow once again?

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