Tech at Night

So, LightSquared. It’s a funny turn this whole thing has taken. Way back at the start, when I was excited for LightSquared’s potential as a 4G competitor, I was told that they were the next Solyndra. Then, when the Obama administration and LightSquared both reacted badly to requests for oversight, I was convinced. Now, though, defenders on the right are cropping up again for LightSquared. I’ll say this: transparency in the FCC is worth fighting for, but a solution that leads LightSquared build a terrestrial 4G network is also worth finding.

See if you can spot the problem: As AT&T warns that FCC meddling is raising prices, the FCC is off expanding wireless subsidies.

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Tech at Night

In an example of lucky timing, the GSA scandal proved why Darrell Issa’s DATA act was needed. Transparency in government allows for oversight. So the bill passed the House by voice vote.

I first floated a while back the idea that this sudden, strident CISPA opposition was roote d in a desire to distract the public from the much stronger and more dangerous Lieberman-Collins bill in the Senate. It’ll work with the libertarian left because hey, they’ll believe whatever the left says about eeevil Bushitlerian Rethuglicans. But it disappoints me when the right, including FreedomWorks, is tricked and puts effort into CISPA instead of Lieberman-Collins. Did we learn nothing from Net Neutrality?

But yeah, when the usual whiny groups along with Barack Obama and the administration are joining together to talk exclusively about CISPA but not at all about Lieberman-Collins, I’m right.

House Republicans may in fact limit the bill in response to the veto threat, but the fact is we need a flexible legal framework to empower the good guys to have information which is critical when countering bad guys who share information all the time.

International attacks are real though. In fact, everyone may want to check into this account by the FBI about a thwarted attack that may still infect your computer.

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Tech at Night

The FCC’s excuse for delaying the AT&T/Qualcomm spectrum deal was to work on the AT&T/T-Mobile deal. The latter has been withdrawn, so what’s the excuse now?

AT&T and Sprint both get bad reviews. Sprint’s Nextel deal went through. AT&T’s T-Mobile deal is getting blocked. Hmm. Looks shady, which is why I support Chuck Grassley’s push for FCC transparency involving LightSquared, even though so far their claims on spectrum make sense to me and John Deere and the GPS industry are getting rural pushback against their LightSquared opposition.

Yeah, I never thought I’d mention John Deere in Tech at Night, either.

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Tech at Night

Last week I noted that the FCC is officially moving ahead with its new subsidy program. The administration will convert the Universal Service Fund – currently taxing the public and handing it out to rural telephone carriers – into a grab bag of Internet subsidies. The rural phone companies are unhappy, and everyone else is racing to get a cut. C Spire, apparently serving many rural southern customers, says the order “runs counter to the administration’s goal of promoting broadband deployment.” The Tech/Users Coalition, a group that includes Obama allies Google and Sprint, calls the USF “antiquated” and cheers the reform effort, while pressing for as much subsidy of Internet connectivity as possible. IIA also supports the effort.

Look, I don’t blame any business for looking to get a cut here. The money’s there, it’s perfectly legal, and that’s the way it is. Nobody squawked at the rural carriers collecting checks all these years. But that said, I hope Republicans will look to repeal all of this in 2013.

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Tech at Night

Late start tonight for Tech at Night. Sorry, but I’ve started a plan to get myself out of California, and to be honest I’m more than a bit nervous about the whole thing. Looking for new work in the Obama economy? Yeah.

But at least Marsha Blackburn wants to help the tech job situation by taking on Barack Obama’s twin regulatory nightmares of the FCC and the FTC. The EPA isn’t so hot, either.

Seton Motley is still plugging away against Net Neutrality, too, referencing Phil Kerpen’s new book: Democracy Denied on the Obama regulatory scheme to bypass the Congress when implementing radical ideas.

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Tech at Night

Columbus Day winds to a close, a cold slows me down, but Tech at Night marches on somehow. You know what’s also marched on? The New York Stock Exchange’s website. The anarcho-terrorists of Anonymous promised to take that website down (note: just the website, not the actual trading computers). Well, they failed, unless you count a two minute outage as success. Heck, RedState pretty much goes down for about 5 minutes every night, and we’re not even trying.

Speaking of security: in theory I love the idea of government focusing on government Internet security, while leaving the private sector alone. It doesn’t surprise me though if it turns out Obama’s brain trust can’t even do that right. Barack Obama’s disastrous regulatory record doesn’t suggest competence.

Which is why Mary Bono Mack needs to drop her ongoing privacy investigations, because it can only lead to more power for the government online, and that won’t end well.

Remember when I gave a little cheer for the supercommittee’s plans to auction off some spectrum? that plan is getting some criticism from people who want to keep some unlicensed spectrum free. If the spectrum can’t be put to use for high-speed Internet, then maybe it’s not worth bothering. If it can, though, let’s do it.

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