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Conflict of Interest

Why "White Spaces" is just corporate welfare innovation

The Hill has a good article highlighting the growing "battle" over "White Spaces", or the potential for use of the buffer spectrum bands in-between TV channels to ensure that there is no interference with TV signals.

more back and forth with Techdirt on Google fleecing American Taxpayer of $7 billion

I want to thank Mike Masnick for his good comment to my blog post. This post is part of a string responding to Mr. Masnick's criticism of my original blog post entitled: "Google unabashed about gaming FCC auction process to fleece the American taxpayer of $7 billion."

I accept his gracious apology for starting his original critique with an ad hominem attack and I in turn want to apologize to Mr. Masnick for incorrectly assuming that he was on Google's side when he says he has no side -- I take him at his word.

Responding to criticisms of my $7 billion estimate that Google fleeced taxpayers.

Martin Geddes of Circle ID challenged my estimation methodology in reaching that Google fleeced the American taxpayer for $7 billion.  

With all due respect to Mr. Geddes, first his analogy of taking "a tasty apple, a yummy banana and a mouldy pear, is simply not analogous here. One doesn't pay $4.7b for a "mouldy pear." The regulations did not make the spectrum itself bad to eat, but simply restricted the use of the spectrum or in Mr. Geddes example how someone would be allowed to eat a good pear. People will pay less for a fruit if they are restricted on when and how they can eat it. 

Second, Mr. Geddes suggests I am confusing the American taxpayer with the American public. I most certainly am not. I am recognizing that there is a very specific law, the 1993 Budget Act, which effectively defines that the American public is the American taxpayer because the purpose of these spectrum auctions are to reduce budget deficits. One may not agree with how the law defines the American public in this instance, but that opinion doesn't change that it is the operative law here.  

My estimate in my blog was trasparent and simple so everyone could see how I got my figure.

  • The important point here is that Google fleeced the American taxpayer of several billion dollars, was it $7b? $5?b $9b? $3b? -- it depends on the estimating method.
  • My estimating method was straightforward, transparent, logical, simple and easy to understand. 
  • I stand by it until someone else comes up with a more defensible estimate.    

Google unabashed about gaming the FCC auction process to fleece the taxpayer of ~$7billion

Many have broadly swallowed Google's "spin" that Google really "won" by losing the 700Mhz auction -- without digesting the serious implications of Google's public admission.   

  • So needy to convince everyone that Googlers, yet again, proved themselves to be the smartest people alive, Google hasn't realized that they have unabashedly admitted to de facto gaming and manipulating an official Government auction statutorily-created to fully reward taxpayers for commercial use of public airwaves. 
  • Miguel Helft of The New York Times has the best coverage of Google's actions in the auction in his article: "An Auction That Google Was Content to Lose." 
    • Our primary goal was to trigger the openness conditions,” said Richard Whitt, Google’s Washington telecommunications and media counsel."
    • The article goes on to explain its nonsensical bidding strategy of bidding against itself: "For much of the first week, Google gradually topped its own bids. With no competitors emerging, anxiety grew."  

So what's wrong with what Google did?  

First and foremost, Google's flagrant manipulation of the auction rules and process fleeced the American taxpayer out of at least $7 billion, by my estimate.

Google is not warning its users of its role in one of largest cyber-security breaches ever on the Net

USA Today broke a much under-appreciated and potentially blockbuster Internet security breach story: "Google searchers could end up with a new type of bug." Kudos to Byron Acohido and Jon Swartz, who reported it in USA Today, and also blogged on it at ZeroDayThreat.com, a site for their book "Zero Day Threat" which defines a Zero day Threat as "a threat so new that no viable protections against it exists." 

  • In a nutshell, the article and blog post explain how cybercrook hackers have figured out how to use and leverage Google's search engine results "to spread spam, and carry out scams. Typically it also lets the attacker embed a keystroke logger, which collects and transmits your passwords and any other sensitive data you type online."
  • This new cyber scam ring is expected to spread rapidly, increasing from a "few dozen major websites" today, to  "hundreds of high-profile websites" in the next few weeks.
  • "...in March alone... security researchers found several hundred thousand corrupted Web pages returned in common Google search queries."

Why this is a big deal:

More on Google opposing net neutrality for Google; and Google's radical Burning Man Festival roots

In my previous blog post I flagged a Reuters article that highlighted that Google asked its shareholders to oppose a shareholder vote that Google should abide by net neutrality itself, even though it is the single biggest proponent of mandating net neutrality for all its competitors -- on the planet.

Today I came across a quote in Investors Business Daily's section on quotes, "Wisdom to Live By" and found one that the radically-liberal founders of Google should ponder:

  • "Its not fair to ask others to do what you are unwilling to do yourself."  Eleanor Roosevelt, former First Lady to the ultimate uber-liberal Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

Alas, I don't hold out much hope that Google will ever see this as a double standard because they are so committed to Google's Motto: "Don't be evil" and because they like to insinuate that most every other corporation is evil...

If you think I am being "unfair" in labeling Google's founders radically-liberal, check out The Burning Man Festival gathering that Google's founders avidly and regularly have attended.

Google Board recommmends against applying Net Neutrality to Google

Per Reuters, Google's board is recommending that its investors vote against a shareholder proposal from the New York City Employee Retirement System that asks Google to commit to abiding by Net Neutrality.

  • Why would Google, which avidly supports:
    • All pending net neutrality legislation in Congress;
    • the Save the Internet and Open Internet coalitions which were created to promote net neutrality;
    • Open access/Net neutrality rules for wireless in the FCC's 700 MHz auction;
      • oppose living by the same rules as it wishes to apply to its competitors?
  • Why would Google avidly support the FCC's net neutrality principles, which explicitly apply to: "network providers, application and service providers, and content providers", but not agree to apply them to Google itself? 

Bottom line Questions:

Surprise! Google is concerned a Microsoft-Yahoo merger would hurt the Internet

Google's CEO Eric Schmidt must have an extremely dry sense of humor.

 

Google's growing undisclosed "conflicts of interest" are bearing their teeth

New evidence exposes that Google has much more serious financial conflicts of interest and is much less of an "honest broker" of online advertising than most appreciate. 

Where's the outrage over Google-YouTube's free speech double standard?

Kudos to Warner Todd Huston for picking up on the outrageous free-speech double standard: "Google-YouTube Yanks Pro-Life Video, Allows Planned Parenthood Vids" that cpicked up on the Catholic News Agency's story that "American Life League video yanked by YouTube."

  • The hypocritical double standard here is doubled:
    • Google censors pro-life videos, but not pro-choice videos containing some of the exact same material, with no explanation or justification of this blatant content discrimination based on political views; and
    • Google's advocacy groups make a scene whenever an ISP is alleged to have violated free speech but they go underground and hide when their primary corporate patron and advocacy ally Google is alleged to have violated free speech.  
      • Two. Two. Two hypocrisies for the price of one!

It is the height of irony and hypocrisy that the House Judiciary Committee is having a hearing on "Net Neutrality and free speech on the Internet" Tuesday March 11th and there hasn't been a peep of concern or outrage from all the net neutrality/freespeech proponents, the marauding pack of so-called public/Google advocates that I affectionately refer to as "Googles Poodles." 

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Q&A One Pager Debunking Net Neutrality Myths