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Submitted by Scott Cleland on Wed, 2006-11-01 14:50
Something that Alan Davidson, head of Google's Washington office, said at our NVTC net neutrality debate yesterday has been troubling me. He said Google believed in "innovation without permission."
While "innovation without permission" may be a useful mantra in encouraging Google folks from not getting bureaucratic and to "think outside the box" -- it's very troubling because it seems it is their public policy too.
I guess it means Google doesn't need any property owners' permission to innovate.
What a buzz kill to have to ASK for permission to innovate. Doesn't everyone understand that Google is just "liberating" that property for the common good and just earning a little commission along the way for their altruism? What's the harm in that? They are not "doing evil" are they?
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Tue, 2006-10-31 18:16
I launched the debate this morning at the NVTC forum on Net Neutrality with the following comment: "Net neutrality is an online fundraising ploy masequerading as public policy." It certainly focusedÃ‚ the debate onÃ‚ the real reasonÃ‚ why this issue has become so big so quickly.Ã‚ I pointed out that on substance it was a bogus issue. No substantiated problem or consumer harm and that all the substantive assertions made byÃ‚ net neutrality proponents have proven false. When the substance was so weak andÃ‚ the threat only theoretical, there had to be more going on.
I focused on the dirty little secret that partially-motivated many net neutrality proponents --which is how super-productive it is for groups that want to raise money onlineÃ‚ to scareÃ‚ people that there are boogymen that want to takeÃ‚ the Internet away from them. Net neutrality has clearly become one of the most efficient ways to "shake the money tree." Ã‚
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Tue, 2006-10-31 17:45
Attached is a link to Alfred Kahn's (of Airline deregulation fame) views on Net neutrality.Ã‚ Thanks to PFF for posting this gem.
It's a very relevant read because Mr. Kahn considers himself: "a good liberalÃ‚ Democrat." He is also one of the most respected figures on the subject of regulation and de-regulation regardless of party or political persuasion.
Here are a couple of good quotes:
If Noam's right that the future of Internet is telecom-like regulation -- everyone should be very afraidSubmitted by Scott Cleland on Mon, 2006-10-30 14:07
Read Eli Noam's recent FT editorial "TV regulation will become telecom regulation", becuase if he is rightÃ‚ (and I don't think he is)Ã‚ you should beÃ‚ afraid for the future, very afraid.
I have always respected ProfessorÃ‚ Noam of the Columbia Business School even if I oftenÃ‚ don'tÃ‚ agree with him.Ã‚ He is a rare person who sees this complex space as a whole and has clarity of thought.Ã‚
His basic point is thatÃ‚ TV regulation will become to resemble telecomÃ‚ regulation more are and more. He concludes that "the present debate over net neutrality is a harbinger of more to come." Ã‚ Ã‚
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Mon, 2006-10-30 12:07
I wanted to make sure folks did not miss a classic comment byÃ‚ a leading net neutrality proponent last week which shows their stubburn refusal to acknowledge the reality and "proof" of competition.
In Communications Daily last week in the lead article on the AT&T-Bell South merger was the following quote:
Until competition can be proven? Hello? Gigi you are obviously ignoring all the existing proof and playing the Washington game of "moving the goalposts."Ã‚
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Fri, 2006-10-27 16:36
Robert Scoble of Naked Coversations fame (great book Robert! Thank you.) posted a very interesting 7 minute video of Google's Lobby on his widely readÃ‚ Scobleizer Blog:
After initial fascination like Scoble with reading realÃ‚ random searches as they were occurring, upon reflection I found it very troubling.Ã‚ Why itsÃ‚ interestingÃ‚ is exactly why its troubling.Ã‚ It's interesting because none of us in the public domain ever get to see what anyone else is searching for at a specific point in time, because that is potentially very personal/private search information -- which I thought until now --Ã‚ was supposed toÃ‚ be guardedÃ‚ asÃ‚ private information by Google.Ã‚
What's troubling is that if GoogleÃ‚ handles American's private information so cavalierly as to use itÃ‚ for perfomance art in public, what other private information are treating cavalierlyÃ‚ that we don't know about?Ã‚
Is anyone elseÃ‚ troubled that Google doesn't see anything wrong withÃ‚ "search peeping"Ã‚ or a public "search peep show?" What do privacy advocates think?
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Thu, 2006-10-26 18:34
What's going on at ItsOurNet?Ã‚
Google, eBay, Amazon, Yahoo are still listed, what happened to Microsoft which was one of the five big companies bankrolling the effort?
Could the organization be getting a little too radical, regulatory, government intrusive, or anti-market-forcesÃ‚ for their taste?
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Thu, 2006-10-26 10:32
Net neutrality proponents love to wax eloquentlyÃ‚ aboutÃ‚ respecting the "principles of democracy and freedom' -- for others that is -- but not themselves, becuase that would interfere with accomplishing their agenda.Ã‚ Apparently, for many net neutrality proponents, the "ends justify the means."Ã‚ Ã‚ Ã‚
The Itsournet coalition isÃ‚ effectively "mugging" the AT&T-Bell South merger over net neutrality. TheyÃ‚ are pressuring the Democratic Commissioners to hold up the merger which has already been approved by the DOJ and all the states, over a "fifth net neutralityÃ‚ principle."
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Thu, 2006-10-26 09:18
Please read Nick Carr's brilliant post on Lessig's "Web 2.0lier than thou". It gets to the heart of what Stanford Professor Lawrence Lessig, one of the leading net neutrality functionaries, is really all about: "digital communalism." I couldn't agree more with Nick on this point! I have long called net neutrality a "Socialized Interent" so I think the term digital communalism is right on point.Ã‚ Lessig clearly trusts the state more than he trusts people.
Here's a great snippet from Nick's post that capture's the problem with Lessig's worldview:
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Tue, 2006-10-24 19:17
A must read for anyone following net neutrality or Google closely is the excellent NYT's article "We're Google. So Sue Us." by Katie Hafner. It helps lay bare the moral relativism in Google's business ethics -- where there is nothing wrong with selling other's property without their permission.
As "arguably the most powerful Internet company" and the corporate ringleader for net neutrality regulation of all things broadband, it is instructive to delve into what kind of leader the net neutrality movement has hitched its wagon to.