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For Smartphone Users, Spectrum Is Speed -- My Daily Caller Op-ed

Please don't miss my latest Daily Caller op-ed -- "For Smartphone Users, Spectrum is Speed."

  • It spotlights how the Administration/FCC strong bias for wireline Internet over wireless Internet conflicts with what consumers want.

 

For Now… Netflix Has Mastered Regulatory Arbitrage

Imagine if one company out of the Fortune 500, #474 with ~$6b in revenues, and 2,000 employees, representing about .03% of U.S. GDP, and .06% of the population, comprised 36% of all the vehicle traffic going in one direction on our interstate highway system on any given day.

Now imagine that one company’s lobbying was instrumental in convincing the government to grant that company’s business model the right to commercially use the highway system forever for free, by not ever having to pay a standard gas tax or private highway tolls, like other businesses or people do to pay for the relative wear and tear that their usage causes on the highway systems.

Imagine further that the government justified this special one-way highway traffic treatment, by saying it would be better and fairer for everyone if the companies that use and profit most from using the most one direction of the highway system never had to pay for that delivery benefit – that consumers should subsidize their commercial use and profits in “perpetuity.”

The company’s situation you just imagined is Netflix’. The government agency is the FCC. And the perverse government arrangement is the FCC’s mandate of a permanent zero price for all Internet downstream traffic.  

Why Entitle-ify Special Access If There’s No FCC Utility Rate Regulation?

We will learn quickly and unequivocally at the FCC’s August 6th meeting, if the FCC is true to its word -- that there will be no “utility-style rate regulation” of broadband.

While the FCC’s Open Internet Order fact sheet stated: “the Order makes clear that broadband providers shall not be subject to tariffs or other form of rate approval, unbundling, or other forms of utility regulation,” will the FCC majority -- in its first post-Open-Internet-order ruling -- cynically do the exact opposite by imposing de facto “utility-style rate regulation” to the IP transition from copper to fiber networks?

The FCC’s Title II Trifecta Gamble -- My Daily Caller Op-ed

Please don’t miss my latest Daily Caller op-ed: “FCC’s Title II Trifecta Gamble.”

  • It explains why the FCC’s Title II trifecta bet politically and legally could not be more risky.

 

Google-Facebook-Apple’s Law-Evasive Encryption Risks

In the coming months, Google, and to a lesser extent, Facebook and Apple are on a collision course with American and foreign law enforcement over their pervasive, law-evasive, encryption of Internet traffic by default, which increasingly means law enforcement with a legitimate court-ordered-warrant, cannot search a Google, Facebook, or Apple users’ communications to investigate, prevent and prosecute terrorism or felony crime.

All three, to different degrees, are seeking to regain user trust lost by Snowden’s exposure of ubiquitous NSA spying, by deceptively trumpeting their encryption of traffic as a panacea for privacy vulnerabilities.

[Please don’t miss the summary below of that encapsulates how more pervasive, law-evasive, encryption is not a privacy/security panacea but a grave threat to both public safety and the global free and open Internet we know today.]     

The FCC has Lost Its Credibility Internationally

 

What is the Internet?

Simple question, one would think the FCC could give a simple, straight and accurate answer when talking to their international regulatory counterparts, but they won’t.

That’s because they don’t want them to regulate the Internet like the FCC just has regulated the Internet in its Open Internet Order.

To try and justify regulating just the ISP-telecommunications-side of the Internet, but not regulating the Silicon-Valley-telecommunications-side of the Internet, the FCC’s, diplomatic message is as hypocritical as it is embarrassing: ‘do as we say, not as we do.’ (Translation: Adopt America’s Silicon-Valley-industrial-policy as your country’s policy.)   

The FCC has lost its credibility internationally because to claim that they are not regulating the Internet, the FCC must torture the definition of “the Internet” beyond recognition.

America’s international counterparts get the joke, they weren’t born yesterday.

And the joke is the FCC’s spin.

Widespread Wiretapping is “How Google Works”

Google’s wiretapping is back in the news. The Guardian reportsGoogle [Chrome] eavesdropping tool installed on computers without permission.”

This is not an isolated incident. It is a part of a broader Google pattern of behavior.

What should be big news and scandalous here is that the company that has gathered the most Internet users in the world based upon public representations of being pro-privacy and open -- is secretly engaged in widespread wiretapping.  

Wiretapping is illegally intercepting and recording people’s communications without their knowledge or consent. In the U.S., wiretapping is a criminal offense punishable by a fine and up to five years in prison.

FCC Changed “Can-do” Internet into “Can’t-do” Internet – Daily Caller Op-ed

Please don’t miss my latest Daily Caller op-ed, “FCC Changed “Can-do” Internet into “Can’t-do” Internet.

  • It puts into perspective how the FCC’s assertion of Title II utility regulation of the Internet changes the ethos of America’s Internet.

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FCC Open Internet Order Series

Part 1: The Many Vulnerabilities of an Open Internet [9-24-09]

FCC’s “Gotcha” Game of ISP Regulation & Enforcement

The FCC’s just operative Open Internet Order, with its classification of broadband as Title II common carriage and vague Internet conduct standard, sets ISPs up for FCC “gotcha” or contrived regulation and enforcement.

FCC Commissioner O’Reilly exposed the FCC’s “gotcha!” game: “I will be vigilant in resisting any attempts by the agency to act as a referee enforcing rules known to none of the players and made up along the way.”

And the FCC’s Enforcement Chief, Travis LeBlanc, tacitly admitted to playing the contrived “gotcha!” game in an article with the National Journal entitled: “The FCC’s $365 Million Man.”

Will FCC Lock-in Net Neutrality Gains in Legislation or Risk All in Court & Ballot Box?

The appellate process will only get tougher for the FCC’s Title II Open Internet Order from here, which means both legal and electoral uncertainty over the permanence of the FCC’s net neutrality authority will only grow as the appellate process plays out and the 2016 Presidential election approaches.

Simply, do the FCC and its congressional supporters essentially cash in and keep their net neutrality gains long term for consumers in bipartisan net neutrality legislation now, or do they double down by waiting and maybe losing it all in either the Supreme Court or the 2016 Presidential election?

From their current position of relative strategic negotiating strength, an operative Open Internet Order empowering the FCC to enforce protection of net neutrality, the FCC and its congressional supporters, need to take stock of their situation and ask themselves if they want to lock-in their bright-line net neutrality protections now and permanently protect consumers against blocking, throttling, and paid prioritization, in bipartisan legislation?

Or do they want to roll both the court and electoral dice that their relative strategic negotiating position will improve from here and risk losing most all their net neutrality gains and authority, in the next 18-24 months to an ultimate court loss in the Supreme Court or to a Republican elected President in 2016, who would likely overturn the Order in 2017?  

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Q&A One Pager Debunking Net Neutrality Myths