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Freedom of Speech

More guilty-until-proven-innocent regulation from Google's Poodles; new petition on texting regulation

The Washington Post reports that a consortium of Google's closest net neutrality allies: FreePress/Moveon.org, Public Knowledge, New America Foundation, Media Access Project, are poised to petition the FCC again, this time to mandate that wireless carriers deliver all text messages to their customers, even including text messages by wireless competitors trying to sell their competing wireless services.

How Principled is Google about free speech when it opposes the "Global Online Freedom Act"?

An editorial by the New York Times on free speech points out that Google and other big Internet companies in fact oppose legislation that promotes free speech for those who most need it around the world.

  • "Last January, Representative Christopher Smith of New Jersey reintroduced the Global Online Freedom Act in the House. It would fine American companies that hand over information about their customers to foreign governments that suppress online dissent. The bill would at least give American companies a solid reason to decline requests for data, but the big Internet companies do not support it. That shows how much they care about the power of information to liberate the world." [emphasis added]

It seems all this Google-funded effort to cloak net neutrality as a "freedom of speech" issue by Moveon.org, FreePress, Public Knowledge and other Google-supported pressure groups, is just a cynical tactic and political ploy because Google actually opposes free speech when the rubber meets the road -- like with the "Global Online Freedom Act."

  • In other words, Google supports freedom on speech when it benefits Google's business, but opposes it when it does not help Google's business.
  • I just wish Google would be honest and forthright about their supposed "don't be evil" principles...  

 

Kudos to Ou/Bennett for slam dunking the bogus FreePress Comcast petition!

I most highly commend George Ou and Richard Bennett for bringing some much-needed adult supervision and technical excellence to the issue of Comcast's network management. Please read George's latest blogpost.

  • FreePress...read it and weep -- you have laid another high profile net neutrality egg.

George has produced the must read piece on this issue. In "A rational debate on Comcast's Traffic management" George explains, with the assistance of Richard Bennett's exceptional expertise, what is really going on with Comcast's traffic management. 

  • In a nutshell, they explain the real world design limitations of a shared cable network, especially on the upstream path, and how those limitations practically require network managers to limit how much traffic goes through a particular network point, just like traffic lights must do on highway ramps during rush hour to ensure that the highway does not degrade into a parking lot. 

The already low credibility of net neutrality proponents will fall even further as the FCC investigates this allegation and determines Comcast's network management to be well within the bounds of "reasonable." 

  • While net neutrality proponents and their activist reporter friends may like to play engineers on TV, noone would want to entrust them with operating anything more complicated than a mouse.   

The reason we have due process in this country is precisely to protect against this type of spurious allegation.

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.

Googlegate?

Moveon.org and Google appear to be to back-pedaling from their conspiracy of last week to block the political free speech of a U.S. Senator up for reelection. 

    Moveon.org's Google coverup?

    Art Brodsky's of Public Knowledge recently posted his long defense of Moveon.org and Google for their blocking the free speech of U.S. Senator Susan Collins.

    • Brodsky claims that Moveon.org has called off its trademark protection dogs and is now allowing Google to place anti-Moveon.org ads now that they blocked last week at Moveon.org's urging.
      • How skulkingly magnanimous of them!

    What appears to be missing from this sleight-of-hand mea culpa, is Google/Moveon.org or both of them:

    • admitting they made an egregious mistake in conspiring to block the free speech of a U.S. Senate candidate;
    • taking full responsibility for the Internet free speech censorship;
    • pledging it won't happen again; and
    • explaining that they have taken sufficient actions (policy changes) so it won't reoccur.

    I doubt a congressional panel, the press or the blogosphere will drop this issue just because one of Google's Poodles organizations, Public Knowledge, posted a preemptive defense on the Huffington Post to try and frame this issue before their "progressive" base got a whif of their week-old anti-free speech droppings.

    Mr. Brodsky also claims that Google and Moveon.org have never limited free speech before.

    Let's see how principled Google's Open Internet Coalition is on protecting free speech

    How timely for the Google-backed Open Internet Coalition to be writing Congress asking for Congressional hearings on allegations of censorship of free speech on the Internet.

    Google bans Senator Collin's anti-Moveon.org ads -- Google's "Free Speech" double standard

    Robert Cox, the Founder and President of the Media Bloggers Association, a non-partisan professional standards group, reports that Google has blocked the running of U.S. Senator Susan Collins' anti-Moveon.org ads on Google.

    •  "Internet giant Google has banned advertisements critical of MoveOn.org, the far-left advocacy group that caused a national uproar last month when it received preferential treatment from The New York Times for its “General Betray Us” message."
    • "The ads banned by Google were placed by a firm working for Republican Sen. Susan Collins’ re-election campaign. Collins is seeking her third term."

      Google has a particularly tortured concept of "free speech" if it is willing to editorially ban Republican speech that opposes its most important and high-profile lobbying ally in the net neutrality fight.

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