What Lessig’s Presidential Candidacy Did for Net Neutrality & Copyright

No surprise that political activist Larry Lessig, the intellectual leader of the net neutrality and anti-copyright movements, ran one of the most cynical, undemocratic, and stunt-driven Presidential candidacies ever, because that’s exactly the kind of cynical, undemocratic, stunt-driven campaigns his political followers have run to un-democratically dictate net neutrality and to undermine copyright protection online. 

The “common” thread of Mr. Lessig’s political grand strategies is his core elitist political assumption that people are stupid and that he can manipulate the masses into believing whatever he wants them to believe.  

It is supremely rich and ironic that Mr. Lessig would run a Presidential campaign with the stated singular purpose of ending “corruption” by passing his version of campaign finance reform legislation, with such an apparent corrupt political Presidential campaign strategy. 

Let’s review Mr. Lessig’s stated Presidential campaign strategy to see if it appears corrupt.   

Googlegate -- The FTC Cover-up Evidence Piles Up

The FTC’s Googlegate cover-up problem is that while the FTC may be telling the truth, they apparently are not telling the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

Don’t miss the brief summary below of the role political influence played in the politically messy closure of the FTC-Google antitrust investigation in 2013.

The evidence of FTC special treatment for Google, coupled with an apparent FTC cover-up of the political influence that may have defanged the FTC’s investigative process, is particularly relevant to: the European Commission’s current antitrust investigation of Google’s abuses of its <90% dominance in Europe; reported U.S. Senate oversight interest in the FTC’s closure of the Google investigation; and Mississippi AG Jim Hood’s State-led antitrust and consumer protection investigation of Google.

Reality Check on the Electoral Politics of Net Neutrality

The net neutrality movement is positioning to influence the FCC, Congress, and candidates in the mid-term election cycle, to support their version of net neutrality -- i.e. FCC reclassification of broadband Internet service as a telephone common carrier service.

It is instructive to look back at what happened in the last mid-term election cycle -- in both the 2010 election, and in 2009-2010 Congress -- when the net neutrality movement last tried this.

By way of background, this week the Progressive Change Campaign Committee (PCCC), a petition website to pressure the President and the FCC on their version of Net Neutrality.   

The 2010 Election:


Google is the spy tool of choice, the one stop-shop for spying, and the spymaster’s dream.

Google Chairman Eric Schmidt’s famously quipped: “if you have something you don’t want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn’t be doing it.” Given recent spying revelations, what Mr. Schmidt apparently means is: “if you don’t want to be spied upon, don’t use Google’s products and services.”

Why is that true? Let’s examine the top ten reasons.  


Internet Astroturf 3.0 -- Internet as Oz Series Part 3

Pro-piracy interests have been organizing globally to head off and defeat future anti-piracy legislation (like SOPA/PIPA), IP treaties (ACTA) and property rights enforcement, all while claiming to represent "the Internet" and all its users, when they do not. They collectively represent pro-piracy special interests.

They hijack popular political buzz-words like "Internet Freedom" and "innovation," to distract people from their fringe anti-property views and to simulate broad mainstream political support.

("Astroturf" in a public policy context connotes artificial grassroots, simply proclaiming to be something one is not in order to gain broader political support.)

This analysis spotlights the political interests and strategy of global pro-piracy interests. It also answers several key questions:

  • What unites pro-piracy special interests?
  • Who are the top ten Internet astroturf 3.0 players?
  • If this is Internet astroturf 3.0, what was 1.0 and 2.0?
  • What's the main difference with Internet astroturf 3.0?
  • What are the main political techniques of Internet astroturf 3.0?
  • What are Internet astroturf 3.0's three grand deceptions?

FreePress Continues to Divide Not Unite

FreePress' campaign director, Tim Karr, continues to overuse its main political tactic of demonizing anyone that disagrees with FreePress' goal of ridding the world of free market capitalism and property ownership.

FreePress' play book is all about the politicization of issues -- dividing people, not uniting them.

Net Neutrality, PCCC & the First Law of Holes

The PCCC's handling of its own 0-95 net neutrality record in the mid-term election is a political case study of what happens when one ignores The First Law of Holes: When in a hole, stop digging.

Even though the PCCC has no one else to blame for digging itself into a big hole by mass emailing their list of 95 candidates who pledged support for net neutrality to reporters and bloggers prior to the election, the PCCC appears intent on continuing to dig their political hole deeper.


Election Takeaways for the FCC

What do the mid-term election results mean for the FCC?

First, FreePress' version of net neutrality was completely repudiated in the election.


  • Every single one of the 95 House and Senate candidates that FreePress/PCCC got to publicly pledge support for net neutrality -- lost their election in the mid-terms. Yes, that is indeed a 0-for-95 record here.
  • The FCC should take note that the main "political" driver behind trying to make net neutrality into a national grass roots issue, FreePress/PCCC/, could not get the issue to register on the election radar screen, and where ever they did attract a candidate endorsement of their position, they failed 100% the time in having that candidate get elected.


Second, most of the FCC's business is not political or partisan -- and it need not be. (The 1996 Telecom Act was almost unanimous. And the overwhelming majority of FCC decisions are 5-0.)


Tuesday's Net Neutrality National Referendum

Radical supporters of net neutrality have chosen to try and make the mid-term election a national referendum on net neutrality.

To make it easier to track the electoral performance of candidates who have take the PCCC/FreePress net neutrality pledge, here is a Net Neutrality Election Tally Sheet, listing the 95 candidates so that one can print out and record the outcomes on election night.

To put this preview in perspective, net neutrality supporters have been able to get:

  • Only 10 candidates in the 37 U.S. Senate races to take their NN pledge -- all Democrats; and
  • Only 85 candidates in 435 U.S. congressional races to take their NN pledge -- again all Democrats.

To get a handle how the PCCC/FreePress net neutrality supporters are projected to fare on election night Tuesday, the Tally Sheet includes the election predictions of the non-partisan independent Cook Political Report:

OECD ranks US #1 in schools' broadband access

In another example of how many have overstated that the U.S. is falling behind the world in broadband, the OECD ranks the U.S. #1 in broadband Internet access to schools, with 97% of all American primary and secondary schools having broadband Internet access per the latest OECD data.

This data suggests that lack of broadband access may not a major reason why American students test lower than students in many OECD countries.

For more data and studies on why the U.S. is not falling behind the world on broadband click here.