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Why DOJ’s US v. Google Antitrust Lawsuit Is Likely to Win in Court

“The court of public opinion” is not a court of law.

The truth” is not sufficient in a court of law like it is in the court of public opinion. In a court of law, the well-known legal “truth” standard and oath is telling “the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.”   

The Internet Imperative Is Protect People by Restoring A Duty-of-Care

https://dailycaller.com/2020/10/19/cleland-the-internet-imperative-is-protect-people-by-restoring-a-duty-of-care/

DAILY CALLER

The Internet Imperative Is Protect People by Restoring A Duty-of-Care

SCOTT CLELAND CONTRIBUTOR                                                                      October 19, 2020 11:39 AM ET

How can American Internet law protect platforms from people but not protect people from platforms?

Rebalancing the Internet Imbalance of a 25-Year Utopian Policy Experiment -- Daily Caller Op-ed

https://dailycaller.com/2020/09/29/cleland-rebalancing-the-internet-imbalance-of-a-25-year-utopian-policy-experiment/

DAILY CALLER

Rebalancing the Internet Imbalance of a 25-Year Utopian Policy Experiment

SCOTT CLELAND CONTRIBUTOR                                                        September 29, 2020 11:38 AM ET

The Internet is now less a technological revolution and more of an unravelling, 25-year-old utopian policy experiment of freedom-without-responsibility.

There is no question that the Internet’s many technological innovations have been a phenomenal success given that everyone everywhere conducts everything over the Internet.

However, the Internet has also been a 25-year utopian policy experiment, and many of the Internet’s foundational utopian premises – i.e., a borderless, permissionless commons, open to everything and everyone, with no central or sovereign authority — have been unravelling or have largely collapsed.

In the 1990’s, the nascent Internet was viewed as a separate, virtual global dimension, ripe for utopian exceptions and experimentation.

America’s Internet Reset Opportunity for a Responsible, Prosperous Internet

Please don’t miss my Daily Caller Op-Ed (PDF here) on America’s Internet Reset Opportunity for a Responsible, Prosperous Internet.

It explains how America can and must do much better than a Wild West, Winner-Take-All, Internet law.

And it spotlights a bipartisan, popular Internet reset opportunity for Congress to restore a legal duty of care online to revitalize America’s civil society, competitive commerce, and productive prosperity.

 

How Section 230 Is Anticompetitive

Our polarized Internet world has generated at least one area of extraordinary bipartisan consensus: 77 percent of Americans agree Google, Facebook, and Amazon have too much power according to a Gallup survey.  

The near unanimous participation of Federal, State and Congressional antitrust authorities in probing  Google, Facebook, and Amazon, indicates extraordinary concern that their unchecked market power threatens competition for the consumer market.

Both political parties agree that Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which grants Internet platforms with immunity from liability for good faith moderation of online content, in practice provides Internet platforms unaccountable power that warrants reform.

Section 230’s intermediary impunity loophole provides these dominant consumer gatekeepers with anticompetitive advantages that facilitate the monopolization of access to consumer demand online, thus undermining competition for U.S. consumer spending that comprises 68% of U.S. GDP.

These gatekeepers, which do their best to avoid competing directly with each other, dominate competitive access to the online U.S. consumer market, leaving most potential competitors dependent on them to broadly reach online consumer demand.

How could this happen?

Coronavirus Is No Cure for Techlash

Big Tech tales that the Coronavirus Crisis somehow will mitigate their Techlash problem, totally miss the mark.

They miss that the crisis is not good and not about tech. They miss that to whom much is given, much is expected.

They miss how many other industries and companies have contributed and sacrificed during this crisis without expecting something in return.

Spontaneously this past week, a tech op-ed chorus broke out singing a new tune and tale, that the Coronavirus Crisis could benefit Big Tech and save it from much of the Techlash.

Consider: Coronavirus gives Big Tech an opportunity to shine – Axios 3-18-20; Has the coronavirus killed the Techlash? Wired 3-20-20; Big Tech has the cash to expand after crisis, Regulatory threat also likely to recede for now, FT 3-20-20; and What Techlash? Virus Could Remake Industry Giants Image, The Information 3-23-20.  

Like some catchy new tunes lyrics, these don’t make sense.

Why is the Coronavirus Crisis no cure for the Techlash?

First, Americans strong bipartisan views undergird the Techlash in the U.S.

Consider a recent Gallup poll of Americans published 3-11-20.

House Google Hearing Confirms Bipartisanship on Internet Platform Issues

Government scrutiny of Internet platform unaccountability is here to stay because it is a strong bipartisan concern and interest.   

Yesterday’s House Judiciary Committee hearing on “Transparency & Accountability: Examining Google and its Data Collection, Use and Filtering Practices” featured Google CEO Sundar Pichai as the lone witness.

The hearing provided a ~30 congressperson data-set and proxy for where Google specifically, and Internet platforms generally, stand politically at this point in the techlash gauntlet.   

Antitrust Pollyannaism: Google Facebook Amazon = New Entrants Not Incumbents

Are Google, Facebook, and Amazon, pro-competitive Internet “new entrants” or anti-competitive enduring monopoly Internet platform incumbents?

Apparently, that critical distinction depends less on evidence, and more on one’s antitrust predilections and prosecutorial presumptions – i.e. does one view the Internet competition glass half-empty (pessimistic) or half-full (optimistic).  

Recent evidence from the Trump DOJ Antitrust Division suggests it’s in the Internet competition optimist camp almost to the point of Internet competition Pollyannaism, despite the evident Internet platform antitrust enforcement drumbeat around the world, in Congress, and the White House, to the contrary over the last 18 months.

Google Facebook Amazon’s Non-Neutral No-Privacy Paid-Prioritization Models

We all have been played.

One of Google, Facebook, and Amazon’s greatest innovations to date may have been deceiving the U.S. government and voters with the narrative that their core Internet business models and practices were only good, innovative, pro-consumer, and worthy of no regulation, when they knew it was untrue, while at the same time lobbying that if an ISP pursued their same Internet business models and practices, that it would be anti-innovation, anti-privacy, and worthy of maximal telephone utility regulation, including a permanent, user-subsidized, price-of-zero for Google, Facebook, and Amazon’s outsized, pure profit,  commercial downstream Internet traffic usage.

Can you say: “winner take all” industrial policy?

Can you say: “regulatory arbitrage” game?

Can you say: “unlevel playing field?”

After this year’s revelations of Google, Facebook, and Amazon’s many bad, unfair, and deceptive practices, it warrants revisiting if their past forceful policy positions that only ISPs are a risk to consumers, privacy, and competition, and only ISPs warrant utility-grade net neutrality, non-discrimination, and maximal privacy regulation, were self-serving, anticompetitive, and deceptive distractions from their own anti-privacy, discriminatory, paid-prioritization practices?

We have all been played like a fiddle.

The Bipartisan Case for Modernizing Net Neutrality & Online Privacy Policy

What is the simple key to passing bipartisan net neutrality and online privacy legislation?

Put consumer interests first with a new Federal consumer-centric law, not last like today, where technology interests come first, in technology-centric law which minimizes responsibility to safeguard consumers’ choices, privacy, and security.

The tell for whether someone supports bipartisan Internet legislation to protect consumers and level the playing field or not, is whether they are focused on what is best overall for the online consumer or focused on special treatment for one technology over another. It is that simple.

Only people vote, bleed, or care. Technologies do not.

The Bipartisan Case

The origin of the term “Internet” is “inter-networking” per Robert Khan, co-inventor of TCP/IP, the Internet protocol that essentially enables and thus defines which networks are interoperable parts of the Internet’s overall network of networks, which now effectively encompasses ISPs, Internet services, Intenet platforms, cloud providers, apps, and others.  

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