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Maine's Net neutrality whimper; bogus issue gets the "study" treatment

Maine's Governor signed Maine's non-binding resolution on net neutrality today calling for a "study" of the issue due next year and also stated that net neutrality is a Federal issue, not a state issue, due to the interstate nature of the Internet.

Nevertheless, I am sure the net neutrality movement will try and make a proverbial silk purse out of this sow's ear.

If they continue spinning the media like they have this past couple of weeks, they will continue to badly misrepresent what Maine actually did.

  • Misrepresentation and bogus claims is the standard MO of the net neutrality movement.
  • They manufactured an issue in net neutrality, basically by fabricating a problem that does not exist, and then hammering bogus allegations.
    • Like "chicken little" they scream that the Internet is in grave danger and will fall out of the sky, but they can provide no evidence of a real problem. And the sky clearly has not fallen.
    • When confronted with this evidence, they trump up another bogus claim, saying that if they were not making it an issue there would be a net neutrality problem.

Net neutrality is a bogus issue. I fully expect the net neutrality movement to make the bogus claim that they won in Maine when truth be told the Snowe-Dorgan-like bill they asked for went nowhere.

  • Folks that will manufacture a bogus issue have no problem claiming a bogus victory.

How net filtering is ok for misdemeanors, but not for felonies?

I have been watching with some amusement all of the SaveTheInternet-launched blogilantes ranting about the prospect of Internet backbone networks like AT&T or others, becoming a filtering technology solution to Hollywood's problem of rampant content piracy on the Internet.

Why am I amused?

  • Because net neutrality proponents are so predictably knee jerk in their reaction to anything that they see as a threat to their datatopian ideal of a net free of any broadband competition, differentiation or diversity of choice.
  • Net neutrality proponents have such a bad case of "myneutralopia" that they can't see the proverbial forest for the trees.
    • Over the last year, net neutrality proponents have had to make an increasing number of big concessions about what "bit discrimination" is acceptable in order to remain credible on Capitol Hill.
    • They have had to concede and support network management "discrimination" of bits:
      • To filter out viruses, filtering which is essential to protect the Internet and users from Net blackouts or shutdowns;
      • To filter out illegal spam, so the Internet and email remains unclogged and useful; and
      • To allow for law enforcement under CALEA, the ability to surveil criminal and terrorist activity on the Internet.
    • If all that network managment "discrimination of bits" is OK,
      • Then why isn't it OK for these same network managers to filter traffic for pirated content, i.e. trafficking in stolen goods?
    • In other words, if it is OK to filter the Internet for the misdemeanors and felonies of spreading viruses and spam, and it is longstanding law for the Goverment to be able to surveil the Internet to detect criminal behavior, how is new network filtering for illegal pirated content any different or any less necessary?

Once again, the net neutrality crowd's kneejerk reaction is to side with lawbreakers rather than with every day citizens and users of the Internet who are all ultimately harmed by allowing Internet-enabled crimes to go undetected and unnpunished.

Why protect the Webopolies with net neutrality corporate welfare?

The New York Times reported a very telling statistic today on one of the prominent Webopolies in the Open Internet Coalition -- eBay.

95% market share! If that's not a Webopoly, what is?

Despite puffery over 700 MHz "3rd pipe" -- the market is solving it

You gotta love how the free market works when left alone by the Government!

Just as Frontline and others are demanding that the government has to intervene in the 700 MHz auction to "create" a third broadband pipe, the free market finds another way to solve these market problems without the Government.

One of the most significant developments in the spectrum world today was not the hot air at the Senate Commerce Committee hearing, but what happened in the free market -- DirecTV and Echostar signing agreements with Clearwire to sell their WiMax broadband service.

WSJ lead article highlights tradeoff of competition vs regulation

The cover story in the Wall Street Journal today "A fight over what you  can do with your cellphone; Handset makers push free features for which carriers pay for" was obviously perfectly-timed and placed by open access/net neutrality proponents trying to influence the Senate Commerce Committee hearing today on the FCC's 700 MHz auction.

  • The article offers a list of complaints for net neutrality supportive Senators to browbeat competitive wireless carriers with.

What the article ignores is the broader and essential context of this issue and debate.

Spin can't magically turn the Maine net neutrality defeat into a win

Public interest groups supportive of net neutrality like Common Cause and The Maine Civil Liberties Union are trying to "spin" the press that the non-binding net neutrality resolution passed by the Maine Senate is somehow an important first for a state.

  • The reality is that supporters of net neutrality thought that the support of net neutrality by Dorgan-Snowe co-sponsor and Maine Senator Olympia Snowe would somehow increase the chances of passing net neutrality legislation for the first time in the state of Maine.
    • They were wrong. 
    • This legislative effort in Maine failed just like it did in Michigan and Maryland, and just like it did in every Federal forum it was raised in.   
    • This Maine Senate "non-binding resolution" is simply hortatory puffery, akin to naming a state insect or a state weed.  
  • The reality is that the Maine legislature did not pass legislation and that it clearly acknowledged in its resolution its understanding that the Internet is exclusively Federal jurisdiction.
    • There is nothing that could be more Federal or "interstate" than the "INTERnet!"

This episode in Maine really is emblematic of the whole net neutrality movement.

FCC Commissioner McDowell debunks OECD broadband rankings

FCC Commissioner Robert McDowell gave an outstanding speech today at the Broadband Policy Summit in which he did the single best job I have seen totally debunking the OECD rankings that purportedly indicate the US is falling behind on broadband.

Commissioner McDowell explains with example after example -- how skewed the OECD methodology is.

  • My personal favorite line in the speech was on how the OECD methodology is skewed against the US:
    • "...even if every existing broadband subscriber in America had a fiber-fed 100 mbps broadband connection, we would only rank 12th."

No shadowy spectrum earmarks for Dotcom Billionaires!

Like the discredited and shameful congressional practice of fleecing the American taxpayer with "earmarking" public funds for special interests, Frontline-Google and eBay-Skype are asking for the equivalent of special interest commercial "earmarks" from the FCC.

It is outrageous that the FCC is actually entertaining these proposed special interest scams against the American taxpayer. 

  • The FCC should keep the auction free of the corrupting influence of spectrum or policy "earmarks" for the obvious benefit of only one company lobbying the process for permission to pick the American taxpayers' pocket.

What am I talking about specifically? Two special interest spectrum/policy "earmarks" are getting a lot of press attention lately.

Markey-like Net Neutrality bill fizzles out in Maine Senate

Yet another state legislature has rejected passing a law mandating net neutrality -- this time in Maine, the home state of Senator Olympia Snowe, one of net neutrality's primary sponsors and highest profile proponents in the US Senate.

  • are now 0-3 in their hand-picked states where they thought they had the best chance of passing a version of the Senate Snowe-Dorgan bill or the House Markey bill from last year -- and where they focused their efforts.  
  • Previously, failed to pass net neutrality legislation in Michigan, and Maryland.

To let the net neutrality proponents save face, the Maine Senate passed a resolution, not legislation, that asks for a study on net neutrality to be completed next year.

  • This is the same outcome as has occurred at the Federal level as both the FTC and FCC are studying net neutrality and seeking comments.
    • Both the FTC and the FCC have said that they do not see a current problem in the marketplace concerning the alleged problem of net discrimination.
  • Moreover, the Maine resolution also recognizes that net neutrality is a federal issue and that Maine does not have jurisdiction over the net neutrality issue.

I fully expect that and SaveTheInterent will continue to waste valuable state legislative time and resources on a problem they cannot even define or prove exists.  

  • They don't seem to "get" or care that the Internet is Federal jurisdiction and Federal policymakers at every official level have rejected calls for net neutrality legislation.

President candidate Huckabee blindsided on net neutrality

Republican Presidential candidate Mike Huckabee was reported on a blog to have "supported" net neutrality in a conference call with bloggers.

  • Don't believe this is his "official" policy position for a minute.
  • When conservative Mike Huckabee learns both sides of this issue and is not blindsided on a conference call on a subject he was unfamiliar with, and which was then grossly mispresented, I am convinced he will not "support" net neutrality.
      • No legitimate economic conservative like Mike Huckabee, who wants to radically downsize the Federal Government, will support a Big Government program to regulate the Internet for the first time.
      • He clearly was not at all familiar with the issue nor that nearly all the biggest funding supporters of net neutrality are liberal groups like who believe in digital socialism and radically reducing intellectual property rights on the web.
      • When Mike Huckabee's campaign staff research this issue, (we recommend they read the one pagers at the top right hand side of the website) there is no way he will support net neutrality as part of his official campaign.
      • It would be totally inconguous with his other limited Government views.
      • The last thing conservative Mr. Huckabee would want is to put the current "free and open" Internet under Government control.
      • Not gonna happen.

This is another in a long line of supposed "endorsements" of net neutrality that result from NN proponents consistent misrepresentation of the facts and gross use of unsubstantiated allegations of a problem.


Q&A One Pager Debunking Net Neutrality Myths