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Net neutrality is NOT Green!

The American Consumer Institute did some more great work on the importance and impact of broadband. Kudos!

  • I recommend you take a look at their eye-opening new study: "Broadband Services: Economic and Environmental benefits." 
  • The premise is that promoting broadband is smart national policy because of the tremendous cumulative productivity and energy savings that more broadband use enables.

The summary table on page 48 encapsulates the study's findings well.

Why is net neutrality not Green?

  • The current free market broadband policy is succeeding greatly in rapidly deploying broadband to all Americans and in promoting facilities-based broadband competition.
  • Even the serious prospect of net neutrality legislation becoming law would chill investment and discourage continuation of the broadband success that the current free market policy has generated.
    • Net neutrality is not Green because it would slow the extremely environmentally beneficial trend of increased broadband use, which creates massive national energy savings as the American Consumer institute study attests.  

 

 

More evidence U.S. competitiveness is NOT falling behind & OECD broadband report is bunk

I guess the World Economic Forum folks did not "get the memo" from net neutality proponents that the U.S. is supposed to be falling behind competitively because of broadband. 

The Wall Street Journal reported today that: "U.S. tops Report on Competitiveness By World Economic Forum.

The OECD's questionable methodology  ranks the U.S. 15th in the world on broadband; however, FCC Commissioner Robert McDowell gave a great speech that systematically debunked the OECD's agenda-driven methodology and rankings.   

  • Neutrality proponents often cite the OECD rankings as "proof" that net neutrality regulation is needed in order to improve American competitiveness in the world.

However, both the World Economic Forum and the Economist Intelligence Unit rank the US at or near the top of the world in competitiveness.

Unanimous Internet Tax Ban proves Net Neutrality is outside the political mainstream

The unanimous passage of a new seven-year Internet Tax Moratorium, is powerful evidence of how far out of the political mainstream the net neutrality movement is.

  • The fact that everyone in Congress, from the right and the left, came together and supported extending the Internet tax ban for twice as long as Congress did in the past, proves unequivocally that political consensus is possible in Congress on mainstream Internet issues.
  • Moreover, the near unanimous passage of the 1996 Telecom Act by Congress was another powerful example of how the left and right could come together and agree overwhelmingly on sound Internet/communications policies like:
    • "...preserve the vibrant and competitive free market that presently exists for the Internet... unfettered by Federal or state regulation;" and 
    • "To promote competition and reduce regulation in order to secure lower prices and higher quality services for America telecommunications consumers and encourage the rapid deployment of new telecommunications technologies."

Sound mainstream policies can attract near unanimity in Congress -- despite rampant partisanship. 

If net neutrality was truly a long-standing "principle" of the Internet, like its proponents have claimed, it would attract strong political consensus.

Guardian reports: "Google Earth used to target Israel" with attacks -- Google's increasing liability...

The British paper, The Guardian, reported recently that: "Google Earth used to target Israel."

  • "Palestinian militants are using Google Earth to help plan their attacks on the Israeli military and other targets, the Guardian has learned. Members of the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, a group aligned with the Fatah political party, say they use the popular internet mapping tool to help determine their targets for rocket strikes."  
  • "It is not the first time that Google has been accused of unwittingly abetting the activities of militant groups or terrorist organisations. In January, British officials claimed that insurgents sympathetic to al-Qaida were using aerial photography in Google Earth to locate potential targets inside British bases around the southern Iraqi city of Basra."

What is really scary about this coverage is the chillingly "open" video by the Guardian next to the written story that shows (about two-thirds of the way through the 4 minute video) how the "Palestinian militant" actually targets rocket attacks on Israel using Google Earth -- ostensibly to try and terrorize, kill and maim Israelis within Israel.  

In another similar high profile problem, Google Earth was also careless in releasing restricted photos of the White House roof on Google Earth. 

More eBay-Skype hypocrisy!

Isn't it illuminating that eBay, the online auction monopoly with 95% market share per Jupiter Research, and the owner of Skype that is lobbying hard for regulation and legislation to force the "unlocking of phones" and mandate net neutrality regulation -- is so uncooperative with law enforcement trying to crack down on organized theft?

  • Could it be that calling for others to be "open" is just code, cover and justification for stealing other's property or property rights?

Reuters reported last week: "U.S. retailers want online sellers to fight theft." 

  •  "U.S. retailers and police called on Congress on Thursday to require online auction sites such as eBay to post the serial numbers of items for sale to help crack down on gangs of professional shoplifters." 
  • ""Operators of sites such as eBay have historically failed to provide any meaningful information to retail investigators," said Karl Langhorst, director of loss prevention for Randall's and Tom Thumb stores, a division of Safeway Inc.""

Seems like more hypocrisy and situational ethics from eBay, where they seek corporate welfare from government, while not cooperating fully with law enforcement to fight "organized theft."

  • Maybe there is "Honor among thieves."

an emerging backlash against unaccountable Internet openness?" .

I think I see the beginning of a backlash trend against those advocating unfettered "openness" on the Internet. 

According to the Columbus Dispatch, the Ohio Fraternal Order of Police is pushing for legislation to limit the availability of police and firefighters' property records to anyone on the Internet.

  •  ""Our major concern is the criminal element that's using the Internet for a number of criminal ventures, one of which is to seek retribution on law enforcement," said Mark Drum, a lobbyist for the Ohio FOP."

I'll be surprised if their isn't a growing number of people, from all walks of life, who will want to protect their privacy/safety and be able to remove some of their information from public view on the Internet.

 

 

 

A hair-trigger standard for Net regulation? Rebutting the Business Week column

With all due respect to all the folks I read often at Business Week, I have to challenge the thinking behind Stephen Wildstrom's column in Business Week where he shares that he switched his year-long position opposing new net regulation, largely because of Verizon's admitted mistake in delaying by one-day a text messaging approval code to NARAL. 

After Verizon and the rest of the industry have handled literally billions upon billions of communications for years without significant similar incidents, one company makes an admitted mistake, takes full responsibility, immediately fixes it, changes its procedures so it won't happen again, -- and Mr Wildstrom's answer is to now throw the common-carrier regulatory book at Verizon and the whole industry? 

Googlegate? The Examiner documents Google coverup of close Google-Moveon.org relationship

The plot thickens. Robert Cox of The Examiner has produced another must-read piece uncovering much more detail of the closeness of the Google-Moveon.org relationship: "New questions raised on Google, Moveon.org relationship."

  • The piece documents a detailed timeline of the infamous Moveon.org New York Times' General Betray-us? advertisement and then Google's subsequent efforts to help and protect Moveon.org from anti-Moveon.org advertisements on Google. 

What's new and fresh in this piece is the very detailed timeline that connects-the-dots of all of the coverage to assemble a compelling chonology that shows how Google did not follow its own policies and procedures, or even trademark law and practice, in order to censor other's free speech that would be critical of their close political ally Moveon.org.

Were AP's Comcast traffic stories "news?" or "balanced?"

Given the Associated Press' mission is to be the essential global news network, providing distinctive news services of the highest quality, reliability and objectivity with reports that are accurate, balanced and informed;" it seems fair to test whether or not AP Peter Svensson's series on Comcast's network management have lived up to AP's high standards. 

  • The AP series in question involves:

First, is this news or did this border on advocacy?

Should Broadband Networks Be Managed?

The recent AP story "Comcast blocks some Internet traffic" has refocused many on the real question at the core of the net neutrality debate -- "should broadband networks be managed?"

  • This is a debate we are more than happy to have because it is obvious to most all who truly think about this question that broadband networks must be managed to preserve quality of service and to protect users.  

The pro-net neutrality point of view, which the AP reporter ably represented in his article, is essentially making the standard net neutrality movement case that:

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Q&A One Pager Debunking Net Neutrality Myths