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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:

Net neutrality is embarassingly absent from Democrat's tech policy agenda

Declan McCullagh of CNET has a very insightful piece called: "Missing : Politicians who take a clear stand on tech" where he spotlights that net neutrality is not on either the Democrat or Republican tech policy agendas.

  • It is not at all surprising that the Congressional Republican agenda does not have Net neutrality on its agenda, since Republicans almost universally see net neutrality for what it is: an unnecessary and dangerous back door attempt to regulate the Internet for the first time.
  • However, it is suprising and downright embarassing that Moveon.org and Google, eBay, Amazon, Yahoo, and IAC could not manage to get net neutrality on the Congressional Democratic tech policy agenda.

Takeaways from SaveTheInternet's "first anniversary" conference call

I listened in to SaveTheInternet's conference call with reporters in celebration of their one year anniversary.

  • It was an illuminating "window" into the nature and status of the current Net neutrality "movement."

Senator Dorgan (D-ND) author of the pending Dorgan-Snowe Bill was the keynote and star.  

  • He framed net neutrality as  "Internet freedom" and "open architecture" and breathlessly stated that "the future of the Internet is at stake." 
  • He announced that he was seeking a hearing on his legislation with the goal of moving it to the Senate floor implying he had the votes to pass it.
  • He also anticipated and asked himself the core question of "why is the legislation needed?"
    • His only answer was to read the December 2005 Business Week quote by then SBC Chairman Ed Whitacre about how it was "nuts" for Google to use its pipes for free.
    • I was stunned that he as the keynote and the name author of the legislation that he could not come up with a more recent or better piece of "evidence" or at least come up with a real world example of a problem or instance he is concerned about.
      • This is obviously all politics; they have no substance or they would present it.

Craig Newmark was second to speak and he asserted everyone he knew was for NN. (I guess we should give up now.)

JeffersonNet...EdisonNet... How about NoRegulationNet?

Curt Monash in his blog suggests a "third way" for net neutrality to go -- applying regulation to the "JeffersonNet" or "bandwidth-light" parts of the Internet while not applying it to the "EdisonNet," the more "communications-rich" applications where regulation would be an impediment.

  • Others have picked up on this thread, Slashdot, and Computerworld, intrigued with the middle way or third way thinking.
  • Before people get carried away that there is merit in this wishful thinking thread of discussion -- lets add a dose of reality.

With all due respect, the "middle way" thinking is seriously flawed because it assumes a compromise between views with equal merit.

  • Fast forwarding to a compromise of what or how much the Internet is regulated assumes the case has been made for any new regulation of the Internet.
    • That case has not been made at all.
    • Net neutrality is a pathetic ragtag collection of buzzword-blackmail assertions, unsubstantiated allegations and bogus claims.
  • Sure the net neutrality side would like to compromise because they have lost in every official and legal forum they have raised the issue.
    • Sure they would like to compromise because that would give desperately-needed validation to a bankrupt idea that is on the ropes.
    • Sure they would like to get the proverbial "camels nose under the tent."

In order to talk net neutrality compromise, net neutrality proponents have to make the case that they have legitimate concerns to begin with.

Why not ask GAO to settle debate over validity of OECD broadband rankings?

Listening to the House and Senate Democrats in yesterday's congressional hearings say "there can be no debate" "or dispute" that the U.S. is falling behind in broadband, when House and Senate Republicans, expert witnesses and the Administration were debating the validity of that very point directly before them, indicates that this "debatable point" is the exact type of "assessment of the facts" for which the Congress created the GAO to sort out.

Congressional Democrats appear to be embracing the findings of the OECD on broadband as gospel when the OECD has obvious competitive motive to put EU countries in the best light and the U.S. in the worst light.

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Q&A One Pager Debunking Net Neutrality Myths