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Excellent ACI study proves how net neutrality harms consumers

Kudos to Steve Pociask of the American Consumer Institute on his excellent paper on: "Net Neutrality and the Effects on Consumers."

  • It should be required reading for all consumer groups.
  • It exposes how net neutrality does not benefit the average American consumer, but benefits special interests like high-volume Internet users... like consumer "groups."   

Steve's clear, insightful, and easy-to-read paper explains how net neutrality would harm consumers by:

The Economist's global digital rankings differ from OECD's rankings

If you care about the reality of American competitiveness and innovation be sure to check out the recent Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) global digital rankings.

  • "The EIU e-readiness rankings for 2007 ranked 69 countries in terms of six criteria. In order of importance, these are: consumer and business adoption; connectivity and technology infrastructure; business environment, social and cultural environment, government policy and vision; and legal and policy environment."

What's most interesting, is that this objective ranking by the respected Economist, does not show the negative broadband outlook or assessment of the US that the OECD ranking does

  • In this EIU overall ranking, the United States ranks #2, not 12th or 15th like in the OECD rankings.
  • The EIU full report also has North America ranked higher than Western Europe in broadband affordability!
  • Listen to this quote from the full report:
    • "The US, with its heavily entrepreneurial culture, penchant for innovation and highly IT-literate workforce and student population, stands clear at the top of the group." 
  • Concerning "Consumer and business adoption: The report says:
    • "In the sheer scale of individual and business Internet use, the US certainly dwarfs all other countries."
    • "There is some concern that the great weight of the US in online activity makes it a sponge for the world's available digital resources, including talent and funding."

So why is this EIU report important? 

Good ClickZ article on pros & cons of Google-DoubleClick

Harry Gold on ClickZ gives a good and balanced review of the "Pros and cons of Google and Doubleclick."

  • As an industry insider, he gives a sophisticated analysis that is worth the read.  
  • This was the most interesting factoid to me:
    • Doubleclick's "DART does have a hold on over 70 percent of the ad-serving marketing, according to a March 2007 CIMA/William Blair study. Also on the paranoia side of the equation: the data Google and DART collectively have on the population at large are already rather Big Brotherish, never mind Google extending its cookies' reach onto DART's network of sites.

Schwartz' brings adult supervision to Wu's sophomoric NN analysis

It is always a joy to read clear thinking rigorous analysis. I have known and respected Marius Schwartz's mind and work for several years, and I am delighted that he brought the heft of his intellect and  DOJ experience to the question of "wireless net neutrality" in his white paper:

For anyone who cares about the merits or substance of net neutrality as a proposed public policy, it would be hard to find a better debunking of Columbia Law Professor Tim Wu's sophomoric and vacuous work on wireless net neutrality than Marius'.

Exposing DoubleClick's misdirection on Google-Doubleclick merger

The WSJ yesterday had an illuminating interview with David Rosenblatt CEO of DoubleClick about its acquisition by Google.  

Mr. Rosenblatt engaged in some pretty effective "spin" so I thought it would be helpful to shine a brighter light on some of his pat answers that were... how should I say it... less than forthcoming.

In response to a question about whether he could reassure web publishers that Google did not have too much market power, he said: "Google shares revenues with publishers so it makes sense that their interests are pretty much aligned." 

listen to Larry Irving's podcast on America's broadband challenges

I recommend listening to Larry Irving's, (President of the Internet Innovation Alliance) keynote at the Killer App expo that can be heard by podcast.

  •  On one point near to my heart, not taxing the Internet, Irving asked, "Why is telecommunications such a highly taxed product (3rd behind alcohol and gambling) when it's such an important tool for growth and competition?" Two of those products can hurt people, but better communications access can only help the economy.

He makes a great point. It makes no sense to tax an engine of economic growth as mucha s we do.  

Translating Google's real meaning in the Viacom Copyright suit

Google blasted Viacom today in the press for suing Google in court for "building a business on a library of copyrighted video clips without permission," according to the NYT today.

Let's have some fun and dissect some of the Google quotes and translate what they are really thinking behind their PR spin...

  • "We are not going to let the lawsuit distract us." Michael Kwan Google lawyer.
    • We are very worried we can't buy off this company like we bought off all the others.
    • We are in deep do-do if Viacom is smart enough to gain access -- through the discovery process -- to the many internal emails that show Google senior management was supportive or complicit in their systematic copyright heist.

Google's filing said:

Google has an "Open Net Coalition" Problem... already!

I always love to juxtapose a couple of stories to point out irony.

Yesterday, I blogged that Tech Daily reported that the Google gang, AKA ItsOurNet ... will be relaunched in May as the "Open" Net coalition.

Well today I laughed out loud when I read in Tech Daily, that Wikipedia cofounder Jimmy Wales is promoting a new collaborative search process like the wiki online encyclopedia.

  • Wales said: "I believe Internet search is currently broken and the way to fix it is to build a community whose mission is to develop a search platform that is open and totally transparent."   

Seems like those who really know "open" don't think Google is worthy of its self annointed name of the "Open" Net Coalition.

Another "secret" way Google spies on your private lives

Danny Sullivan of Advertising Age spotllights another systematic Google privacy invasion in his great new article: "Google's latest power grab."

Check this out:

  • "Millions have installed the Google Toolbar, which includes a PageRank meter that rates sites' popularity on a scale of zero to 10. To work, that meter has to report to Google which page is being viewed. That means Google sees every site some toolbar users are visiting."

    "Until last week, the meter was switched off by default. Now Google pushes a version with the meter enabled and encourages surfers who already have the toolbar to flip the switch. The enticement? Doing so allows those surfers to view a log of all their web visits. In addition, that web history will influence how pages rank in the search results they see."

One more way Google spies on you, but of course it's only for your own good!

Google is amassing an amazing profiling database on people that would be extremely frightening if it fell into the hands of bad people: criminals, stalkers, predators, con artists etc.

  • This private vault of information better be guarded better than Fort Knox.
  • If it isn't, they will have a whole lot of explaining to do.
     

The "Open Net Coalition" -- "ItsOurNet" Part II -- They're back!

The ItsOurNet coalition is relaunching under a new name the "Open Internet Coalition" in May according to Todays' National Journal's Tech Daily .

  • The article intimates that the new incarnation of the online giant coalition may not include Microsoft.
    • Since ItsOurNet formed last year Google was much more radical and hyper-regulatory than Microsoft was comfortable with.
    • After coming out swinging the antitrust bat when Google outbid Microsoft, it will be very surprising if Microsoft rejoins Google's gang after parting ways with ItsOurNet last fall.

I must say I am sad to see the ItsOurNet name fall by the wayside, it was a glorious pinata of a concept.

  • I needled ItsOurNet when they announced their name that it was a tad bit greedy for the online giants to claim in their name that they "owned" the Internet.
  • I suggested it would have been a little wiser and fit with their "democratic" message to have called it "ItsEveryonesNet" or "ItsEverybodysNet".
  • But no, they apparently are calling it the "Open Net coalition" or "OpenNetCoalition.com."
  • Not bad but for grins, quickly checkout an Internet artifact before they pull it down: opennetcoalition.org.

It also will be interesting to see if they have retooled the substance of their message and if they will abandon Moveon.org and the Dorgan-Snowe bill to try and appear more reasonable and practical.

Reading between the lines of the article it seems Moveon is "on" the defensive so to speak.

lastly it will be interesting to see if:

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Q&A One Pager Debunking Net Neutrality Myths