Tech at Night: Kill SOPA. Now.

On December 23, 2011, in General, by Neil Stevens
Tech at Night

Nothing in this post shall be construed to impose a belief that Lamar Smith would round up every American into MPAA-run detention centers if Chris Dodd suggested it would be good for big business.

Does that sound like a stupid way to begin a post, and does it suggest that I’m about to say the opposite? Well, that’s how the Manager’s Amendment version of SOPA starts off, claiming that no matter what the bill says, it’s not a prior restraint on free speech.

Of course, restrictions of results provided by Internet Search Engines amount to just that: prior restraint of their free expression of future results. Google and others, under SOPA, are told what they can or can’t publish before they publish it.

Kill. The. Bill.

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Tech at Night

There’s a new story developing. I’ve touched on it now and then, but the pieces are coming together. The FCC temporarily blocked the AT&T/Qualcomm deal to let AT&T buy spectrum using the excuse that they wanted to evaluate it together with the AT&T/T-Mobile deal. Well, the latter deal has been withdrawn from the FCC, so now what’s the hold up?

It turns out that the Obama FCC under Julius Genachowski is looking to change the rules of the game. Genachowski wants to make it harder to for firms to pick up the spectrum they need to serve an ever-growing demand for wireless Internet. He and the FCC are calling it a change to the “spectrum screen.”

Why the timing? Well, it turns out that Democrat commissioner Michael Copps, despite being an ardent supporter of the radical George Soros-driven Media Reform agenda, has spoken out against changing the rules midstream. but it may not matter, as he’s quitting, and his replacement is going through the confirmation process right now in the Senate. Though that replacement may be delayed as Chuck Grassley fights for transparency in the FCC, there are no other obstacles to confirmation foreseen.

So while Copps has made a due process argument against what Genachowski is doing, Genachowski may be counting on Copps’s departure to prevent that from being an issue. With him gone, the Chairman will apparently be free to do what he wants, declaring what the rules will be anytime he wants, picking one set of rules for one company, and another set of rules for another, with nothing to stop him.

Chuck Grassley is fighting for transparency with respect to the FCC and LightSquared. The House Energy and Commerce committee is looking into FCC’s Spectrum Screen treatment. Even FCC Democrats are having to speak up. The FCC is completely out of control, and it’s taking all we’ve got in the Congress just to try to keep up, and to force the Obama administration to submit to oversight and respect the rule of law.

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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: Welcome to Net Neutrality

On March 15, 2011, in General, by Neil Stevens
Tech at Night

Good evening. I’m going to start tonight with a clarification from Friday. While I identified last week’s Net Neutrality push poll with Consumer Reports, the poll was actually signed on by CR’s publisher, Consumers Union, and conducted by the Consumer Federation of America. As that one television network says, I have now made a report, and you can decide for yourself what to make of it.

Meanwhile we still have a bunch of Net Neutrality fighting going on. Republicans are on to something with the Congressional Review Act plan of repeal, and the forces of Net Neutrality are worried. Al Franken wants to start putting people in jail over it, this despite the FCC’s failure even to publish the rules of the Net Neutrality game.

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Nima Jooyandeh facts.