You are here
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Thu, 2015-02-19 11:05
Last November, President Obama effectively abandoned America’s longstanding free trade Internet policy established by President Clinton, in favor of a protectionist Internet industrial policy to benefit America’s national champions, Silicon Valley, under the guise of “net neutrality” policy.
Flipping U.S. Internet policy from global digital free trade to maximal national Internet regulation could end up hurting Silicon Valley the most, because they most benefit from, and depend on, the current free flow of information globally on the Internet.
Ironically, America also is forfeiting the digital free trade policy high ground by leading the world toward a “Splinternet” vision of more nationalistic maximal utility regulation of the Internet and its content.
In particular, it will be much harder for the U.S. to credibly object that the EU’s: creation of a European Digital Single Market (DSM), tightening of the EU-U.S. Data Protection Safe Harbor, and its aggressive enforcement of EU antitrust, privacy, and tax laws against Google, Amazon, Facebook and Apple, is protectionist, when America’s new FCC utility regulation of the Internet is a transparently protectionist American industrial policy to advantage America’s national champions in Silicon Valley.
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Fri, 2014-03-21 12:25
Billionaire Netflix CEO Reed Hastings objects to Netflix having to pay anything at all for Netflix’ gorging on 30% of the Internet’s North American bandwidth. In a Netflix corporate blogpost billionaire Reed Hastings rails against the perceived injustice of Netflix paying Internet usage-based pricing like consumers do.
At core, Mr. Hastings now derides traditional consumer-defined net neutrality, which ensures consumers the freedom to access the legal content of their choice – as “weak” net neutrality.
Meanwhile, he is attempting to rebrand his new self-serving, corporate-defined net neutrality, which ensures the largest corporate users of the Internet pay nothing for their largest usage of interconnection bandwidth -- as “strong” net neutrality.
Mr. Hastings’ position clearly prioritizes corporate welfare above consumer welfare.
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Tue, 2013-11-19 15:24
America's dominance of the Internet has peaked. Read why and what it means.
World Changing Internet Series
Part 1: Seven Ways the World is Changing the Internet
Part 2: Twitter’s Realpolitik & the Sovereign-ization of the Internet
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Tue, 2013-07-23 12:31
Google-YouTube’s Internet Video Distribution Dominance -- Part XII of Googleopoly Research Series
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Tue, 2013-03-05 14:22
Rhetoric aside, the Administration drew an underappreciated and principled line in defending property rights in its deft partial support of the Free Culture petition to the White House to “make unlocking cellphones legal.”
For those paying attention to the whole Administration statement, the Administration included a critical caveat protecting property and contractual rights: i.e. one should be able to legally unlock a cellphone “if you have paid for your mobile device, and aren’t bound by a service agreement or other obligation.”
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Thu, 2012-10-18 11:49
Like most analysts, I am not persuaded by the stated rationale and synergies SoftBank has put forth to justify its acquisition of Sprint. At bottom the deal is financial engineering: balance sheet and exchange rate arbitrage; and market timing. It appears to be a financial partnership, not the stated strategic partnership.
SoftBank hopes its shareholders will imagine that the 2013 and beyond U.S. experience of a maturing wireless smart-phone market and Sprint's late-iPhone-entrant role will somehow be analogous to SoftBank's iPhone first-mover experience in 2008 Japan. That's like asserting rock-climbing uphill is analogous with sliding downhill because they both involve hills.
What made Apple's Steve Jobs so Angry with Google-Android? -- Part 12 of Google's Disrespect for Property SeriesSubmitted by Scott Cleland on Thu, 2012-09-06 19:04
What made Apple's Steve Jobs so Angry with Google-Android? The simple answer is Google's leadership profoundly betrayed the longtime personal trust and friendship of Apple's leadership in stealing what Steve Jobs believed were Apple's most prized possessions. The fuller answer is below, in a telling timeline of the once exceptionally-close Apple-Google relationship.
This discussion is timely given Google's current PR effort to convince the public/media that Google and Apple are likely to negotiate a patent "truce" and make Google's Android's patent liabilities go away. Thus it makes sense to drill down to learn more about the real likelihood of Apple being party to any patent-litigation "truce" or grand Apple-Android patent-licensing settlement.
Four Under-Appreciated Implications for Google from Apple-Samsung Verdict -- Part 11 of Google's Disrespect for Property SeriesSubmitted by Scott Cleland on Wed, 2012-09-05 18:46
Apple's major $1.05b patent court victory over Google-Android partner Samsung has four under-appreciated implications for Google going forward.
1. The purported Google-Apple settlement talks are going nowhere.
Think about it. Whose interest is it to spotlight a phone conversation between Google's CEO Larry Page and Apple CEO Tim Cook and characterize the conversation as an indicator of a coming "truce" or "détente" in the thermonuclear war" between Apple and Google? Google's alone.
Google Mocks the FTC's Ineffectual Privacy and Antitrust Enforcement -- Google Unaccountability Series Part 3Submitted by Scott Cleland on Fri, 2012-08-10 14:15
"We set the highest standards of privacy and security for our users," Google said in response to the FTC fining Google $22.5 million: for hacking a competitor's system in order to short-circuit a competitor's privacy protection of its users; and for violating the FTC-Google-Buzz enforcement Order without any admission of liability whatsoever. In addition, Google characterized the problem as a minor unintentional technical mistake (like it originally characterized its Street View WiSpy privacy violations), and then patted itself on the back that no personal information was collected by its actions.
Google's public reaction mocks the FTC's mission statement -- "to prevent business practices that are anti-competitive, deceptive, or unfair to consumers" -- which ironically is featured in the FTC's announcement of the Google privacy fine. Google acceded to a small misrepresentation fine for Google, as simply the cost of doing business the Google way.
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Thu, 2012-07-12 11:56
If one fact-checks and puts in perspective the FTC's expected $22.5m privacy fine of Google -- for bypassing millions of Apple Safari users' privacy and security settings to add a tracking cookie to track users browsing activity -- it looks like faux FTC accountability of Google. Close scrutiny of the FTC's oversight record of Google's exceptionally bad consumer record and very long privacy rap sheet suggests that Google could have little to fear from the FTC on pending privacy or antitrust enforcement going forward, despite PR and optics to the contrary. Unfortunately, the evidence to date indicates the FTC's enforcement oversight of Google has had minimal accountability or deterrent effect on Google's behavior.
To be fair to the FTC, the FTC does not have all the legal authority it needs to fully address the Google privacy enforcement problem, but that being acknowledged, many poor FTC decisions have further self-limited the FTC's ability to confront the exceptional Google enforcement problem.
I. Google appears to enjoy faux FTC Accountability.