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Challenging Google's unsubstantiated claims that its policy best serves consumers

The Google blog continues to essentially argue: what's good for Google is good for America and consumers. We have all heard that self-serving hubris and bunk before...  

  • Mr. Rick Whitt, in the latest post on the Google Public policy Blog  concluded:
    •  "We think the Internet offers the optimal model for what best serves the interests of all consumers. To that end, we hope the FCC sticks to its guns as it tries to introduce the open ethos of the 'Net to a small segment of the closed wireless world."

Let's unpack the hubris and deception behind these assertions.

  • Google is implying that anything that occurred in wireless in the past (B.G. -- "Before Google" entered the wireless world) did not serve consumers well -- and that we should scrap the existing competitive wireless model and adopt the Internet model that... surprise... most benefits Google.

Given Google's assault on the supposed failures of the current system, it is important to review the facts of what the existing competitive model actually has produced for American consumers.

The outrageous hypocrisy behind Net Neutality support of Free Speech

Someone needs to call the SaveTheInternet/FreePress/net neutrality crowd on their outrageous hypocrisy in politically claiming that being for "net neutrality" is being for more "free speech" protections.

When the SaveTheInternet organization and their net neutrality allies were offered very specific legislative language that would explicitly protect "free speech'' on the Internet -- they actively blocked it from passage in the Senate Commerce Committee in August of 2006 and from it passing into law last Congress. 

The legislative text below was in the HR5252 Amendment proposed by then Chairman Stevens in the telecom reform bill in June of 2006.

  • SaveTheInternet and the net neutrality movement opposed that protection of free speech language (Sec. 904. Application of the First Amendment) because what they really wanted was to make broadband subject to common carrier regulation.

 "SEC. 904. APPLICATION OF THE FIRST AMENDMENT.

Why are mainline consumer groups AWOL on Google-DoubleClick privacy issues?

I continue to be surprised and saddened that the mainline consumer groups, Consumers Union and Consumer Federation of America remain completely AWOL on arguably one of the most important privacy issues threatening consumers --the pending Google-DoubleClick merger.

I can't seem to square the following facts.

Internet's creators call it outdated -- evidence why net neutrality is anti-innovation

The Wall Street Journal's article today: "It's creators call Internet outdated, offer remedies" offers some powerful insights for those following the net neutrality debate and who care about promoting innovation.

  •  "We can no longer rely on last-generation technology, which has essentially remained unchanged for 40 years, to power Internet performance," says Mr. Roberts..." (who is one of the pioneers who in 1969 oversaw the development of the ARPAnet which was the foundation of the Internet.)
  • "The Internet wasn't designed for people to watch television," he says. "I know because I designed it." Said Roberts.

More whining from "Whiny Techies" at SaveTheInternet

The charge that many supporters of net neutrality were economically illiterate by Washington Post's lead business columnist Steve Pearlstein in "Whiny Techies II" a few weeks ago which I posted on, prompted more whining from Tim Karr of FreePress/SaveTheInternet Coalition in a Letter to the Editor.

  • Karr: "Supporters of net neutrality aren't asking that users pay one fee for all grades of access. We want a truly competitive marketplace where people can choose from numerous broadband companies offering access at different speeds and costs."

Let's have some fun un-packing Mr. Karr's disingenuousness.

"Ultimate Internet Gatekeeper" -- My Washington Times Op-Ed

http://washingtontimes.com/article/20070930/COMMENTARY/109300009/1012/commentary


 


Article published Sep 30, 2007
Ultimate Internet gatekeeper?


September 30, 2007


Scott Cleland - Imagine one company was allowed to become the world's de facto editorial filter by which Internet content gets found, the only revenue collector for most Web sites and the dominant gatekeeper for any business seeking to reach Internet users and Web sites.

Imagine further that one company had "private dossiers" on most all Internet users that could, with substantial accuracy, tell the company any individual's religion, politics, health status, income level, sexual preference, gender, age and personal secrets — and had an economic incentive to secretly exploit those individuals' private information for financial gain. Finally, imagine that company had little accountability to consumers, competition, regulators, or independent third-party oversight.

AP: "Ethics group urges Congress to examine Google's Copyright controls"

Google's copyright kleptomania just can't stay out of the news for long. Per the AP/San Jose Mercury News last week:

  • "In letters sent to several lawmakers Wednesday, the National Legal and Policy Center excoriated Google for allowing its video-hosting service to become an online theater for showing and promoting illegally copied movies."

  • "The nonprofit group, which says it has no financial ties to the movie industry..."

  • "The grievances made to Congress focused exclusively on content found on Google's Web site rather than the company's more popular YouTube subsidiary that is being sued by Viacom Inc. for alleged copyright infringement."

My Senate Judiciary Testimony why the Google-DoubleClick merger should be blocked

Below is the summary of my testimony before the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust yesterday on why the Google-DoubleClick merger should be blocked.

  • I find the Google-DoubleClick merger review process to be one of the most illuminating and fascinating ways to explore the future of the business of the Internet.
    • I also strongly believe the trajectory of Internet content business will be profoundly affected by the outcome of this merger review.
  • I highly recommend you review the six charts I prepared which provide a very useful visual overview of why this merger is so far-reaching, little understood and important. 
  • My full testimony and my previous white paper, "Googleopoly" can be found at www.googleopoly.net.

I'm testifying today before Congress on the Google-DoubleClick Merger

I’ll be testifying today at the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on “An Examination of the Google-DoubleClick Merger and the Online Advertising Industry: What Are the Risks for Competition and Privacy?" You can watch the hearing live at 2:30.

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Q&A One Pager Debunking Net Neutrality Myths