GillmorThis tweet exchange (pictured at right) was started by Dan Gillmor, who, according to his website, teaches digital media literacy and promoting entrepreneurship at Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. He’s also a self-proclaimed First Amendment scholar, and a strong proponent of Net Neutrality.

Briefly, he sees the (ostensible) terrorist threats that caused Sony to pull its new movie The Interview as an existential threat against “free speech”.  And, according to Gillmor, we have a duty to correct that, um, somehow.

It’s not clear what Dan is suggesting because no government censorship is going on here (as tweeter Jeff Douglass properly notes). I guess he wants to compel Sony to speak here. To show the movie. To express something that it doesn’t want to. Almost as if it is not Sony’s speech in the first place. Rather it’s the Collective’s speech, and its right. The movie will be shown regardless of the creator’s desires! We have spoken. And that doesn’t include Sony.

Some are calling for Uncle Sam to step in, buy the movie, and distribute it so that it reaches North Korea and beyond. This is wrong on a number of levels. First of all, the only help I want from Uncle Sam in protecting my free speech is to stay the f&<k out of it. Secondly, this is the exact tool used by activists to get the government involved in protecting the “larger principle” of free speech. The so-called Collective Right, which, in their view, outweighs anyone’s individual right to speak. The public interest demands that We fix [fill in the blank]. And next thing you know, the government now becomes the leveler, the speech regulator, the deliverer of “fairness”.

Hooey.

The larger free speech principle here is this: let Sony live with its decision because it’s its speech. It most certainly ain’t the Collective’s, or Uncle Sam’s.  Moreover, accepting Uncle Sam’s “help” presents a real risk for moral hazard that will lead to other unintended, speech-chilling consequences.

A case in point.  Tweets Dan, “we have a duty to protect free speech. can’t leave it to government, which is so often skeptical of the idea”.

His self-righteousness stops with Net Neutrality, of course, which is all about telling broadband providers what they may or may not do with the facilities they own.  For Dan, the Internet is just too important for companies like Verizon to operate. So, the government remains free to step in, kick ass, and take names later. That’s because when it comes to Net Neutrality, Dan sees companies like Verizon as essentially train companies, carriers. Which is odd, because the last time I checked, the company calls itself Verizon Communications (emphasis added).

The bottom line to all this is: Shouldn’t Sony and Verizon be allowed to communicate, or not, as they see fit?

Not in Dan’s world. “When We want your free speech, We will give it you.”

Oh please.

{ 0 comments }

Transcription – Free Press’ Craig Aaron on bullhorn:We’ve brought in a giant magnifying glass. ‘Cuz we are going to symbolize how closely we’re going to be watching these rules and this decision. And how carefully we’re going to be scrutinizing if this is real Title II. Not fake Title II. No loopholes. No poison pills. We will only settle for real Net Neutrality.

Demonstrator in background holding sign: “Title II is common carrier classification?

Voice off-camera:You got it.”

Aaron:That is. That’s right. Common carrier. This is a smart crowd.”

Smart crowd,” Aaron remarks, with a smirk.

What is “real” Title II? Or, “full” Title II. Or, “simple” Net Neutrality?

Demonstrator at FCC rally asking for "Full" Net Neutrality...whatever that is.

Demonstrator (right) at FCC rally asking for “Full Title II” Net Neutrality…whatever that is.

Well, there is no such thing, even though Free Press and Craig Aaron have to pretend there is so they can continue using (the bundled up) flower children protesters to get a trillion-dollar free ride for Silicon Valley.

Here’s how Free Press terms “real” Net Neutrality:

As we articulated in the 2010 Broadband Framework proceeding and the current Open Internet proceeding, the Commission should not forbear from and instead should retain all or part of Sections 201, 202, 208, 222, 251, 255 and 256. We noted in the 2010 filing that the Commission also should consider retaining Section 214 discontinuance provisions, and suggested there would be “significant difficulty in transforming the Universal Service Fund to support broadband for rural and low-income communities” absent Section 254.

Goodness, imagine Aaron spitting all that out at the rally. What a buzzkill.

Of course, the intentional under-disclosure was designed to ensure the troops are kept in the dark…and exploitable.

Perhaps the oddest part of all of this is the group’s perennial call for no discrimination of content, data, providers, etc. Whatever that no loophole term means today.

I say odd because in the (old fashioned) system that they’re pushing for – the one that protected state-granted, telephone monopolies – reasonable discrimination was allowed. Like volume discounts. 1-800 numbers. Private lines. Faster, more quality-assured levels of service for those willing to pay. Etc., etc., etc. These are all examples of “fast lane” agreements allowed under the old monopoly telephone system.

Legal competition wasn’t allowed in that system, hence the need to regulate to “protect consumers”. Now, it is. And it thrives like at no time in the history of communications markets (funny, the inverse relationship there). It stands to reason that what was reasonable in the old system would be even more so now, with today’s consumer being protect by actual competition.

But, no. They want “real” Net Neutrality. Not “fake” Title II. No loopholes. No poison pills.

A pondering FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler at the agency's open hearing, December 11, 2014.

A pondering FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler at the agency’s open hearing, December 11, 2014.

All of this has the Chairman looking like a pondering mess. What to do? Title II? A hybrid approach? A 706 approach? What do Silicon Valley and Google want? Will the flower children let me get out of the driveway so I can get to work today?

That’s why he’s delayed the rule. It will be litigated. More than likely it will be tossed out (again) by the DC Circuit and end up at the Supreme Court. That is, if Congress and a new President don’t get to it first. In any event, we’re looking at years of uncertainty before this is all settled.

And this has me thinking. What smart crowd would want that uncertainty, unless, of course, that’s the goal in the first place? That is – making the cost for American broadband providers so high it makes more sense to sell-out and let the government run the joint instead. I mean, who needs the hassle just to lose a couple of points on every dollar of private investment?

The only person in that type of profitless business would be Uncle Sam.

Hmmm…That’s not smart.  That’s just plain conniving.

Hand me that magnifying glass so I can see the fingerprints (these, too) of those perpetrating this crime.

{ 4 comments }

The impromptu speech above came from “Net Neutrality advocate” Marvin Ammori at a Save the Internet rally in front of the White House in early November. He was speaking to anti-corporate flower children who populated the rally, trying his best “little guy” approach so he could connect with them on why the FCC must mandate old fashioned phone regulations on broadband providers to, um, “save” the Internet.

“No longer will we have lobbyists running our government.  And no longer will we have just the old boys club and the old system we’ve had,” says Ammori in the video, explaining what Barack Obama meant to the public and how that helped him win the presidency in ’08 – and implying also that that same spirit must be employed to impose the salve of Net Neutrality regulation for the Internet’s future. 

Problem is, he can’t actually believe what he just told the naive flower children at the rally because, as Ammori himself knows and boasts about, he is as hardwired into the political system as any corporate lawyer / lobbyist could be here in Washington.  Further, his work, along with that of a small handful of other powerful Silicon Valley lobbyists, has hijacked U.S. communications policy like at no time in our history.

Marvin’s website notes, “I run a little law firm and public policy practice that promotes innovation and open platforms. I’m not a lobbyist and almost never do anything that would be considered lobbying.” (Emphasis added)

Except, of course, when he isn’t, which seems to be a lot, as illustrated in the links below (none of which were disclosed to the flower children at the rally, likely because he would have been tossed out on his ear had he done so):

Here’s poor ol’ lawyer Ammori the FCC lobbyist for “himself,” here and here.

Here’s Ammori the FCC lobbyist for his Ammori Group and as board member of Engine Advocacy.

Here’s the Ammori Group’s clients, which include Google and other Big Computing brands.

On any given day, when he’s not being hailed as an important “Internet activist” by the sycophant media, these are the interchangeable Net Neutrality hats he wears:

Affiliate Scholar” at Stanford Law School’s Center for Internet and Society.

Future Tense Fellow” at Google-supported New America Foundation.

Board member at Google-supported Engine Advocacy

Board member at Fight for the Future (a “dark money” FCC lobbying group, etc., and lead in the above-mentioned Save the Internet rally).

Board member at Demand Progress (another “dark money” FCC lobbying group, etc., and co-lead in the above-mentioned Save the Internet rally).

Counsel for pop-up Net Neutrality lobbying group, the Internet Business Freedom Alliance (its leading members being supported by Google).

Ideas guy” at Google-glass “analytics” provider, Silica Labs.

And, true to form for any Washington insider, here’s Ammori’s political campaign contributions, all to Barack Obama, who, in unprecedented manner, just urged the FCC to adopt essentially Ammori’s old fashioned phone regulations for the Net (funny how that works, eh?).

Quite simply, Ammori is the very symbol of the Valley’s shell game played on average Americans so that Big Computing can rake in billions of dollars in profits at our expense.

Net Neutrality is a scam. The “little people” should reject it – we’re being tooled by Ammori and his Silicon Valley puppet masters.

{ 0 comments }

With the change in government earlier this month – that is, Senate and House controlled by solid Republican majorities – you’d think this would present an opportunity for FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler to avoid the nuclear option of Title II for the Internet.  He could easily stop where’s going and say, “Heck, if I want a lasting legacy, one of building the Internet rather than destroying it, maybe I should work with my bosses over in Congress to get this right?” But, recent news stories suggest that President Obama’s naive call for Title II has thrown a monkey wrench into Wheeler’s work.  Yes, the Chairman has said he’s slowing down the process.  But, all indications are that he’s still got some form of harmful Title II phone regulation in store to “solve” the government-made Net Neutrality “problem.”

The message in the short video below, featuring Less Government’s Seton Motley, is pretty simple: Mr. Chairman, don’t poison the well with your politically motivated, Internet power grab, and work with Congress on new, sustainable communications policy which avoids screwing up the Internet with your FDR-era phone regulations.

{ 2 comments }

With Title II, If You Like Your Internet, You Can Keep It. Period.

November 19, 2014
Read the full article →

Americans Being “Grubered” on Title II Net Neutrality

November 14, 2014

Since at least 2010, those pushing the concept of Net Neutrality have sold it as “easy peasy,” because “[y]ou’re not talking about applying new, onerous regulations on companies and asking them to comply with a bunch of red tape…You’re essentially preserving the status quo.” Um, sure. On Monday morning, the President flat-out endorsed full application […]

Read the full article →

Statement: President (Wrongly) Demands Internet Be Regulated Like Old-Fashioned Telephones

November 10, 2014

The following statement may be attributed to Mike Wendy, Director of MediaFreedom.org: Washington, DC, November 10, 2014 – Today President Barack Obama released a statement that urges the FCC to reclassify wired and wireless broadband services as old-fashioned telephones. This request belies the nature of modern communications networks, and places the government in control of […]

Read the full article →

Statement: Election Results Will Force Much Needed Sunshine on Washington’s Tech Eeyores

November 5, 2014

The following statement may be attributed to Mike Wendy, Director of MediaFreedom.org: Washington, DC, November 5, 2014 – Last night’s election results will cast needed sunshine on the Tech Eeyores at the FCC, Senate and White House, hopefully improving their spirits and general outlook on life. Since 2009, these gloomy forces have gone out of their […]

Read the full article →

Statement: The Internet Should Reject FCC’s Lastest Title II Zombie Proposal

October 31, 2014

Washington, DC, October 31, 2014 – The Wall Street Journal reported last night that the FCC is about to offer a compromise proposal in its bid to curtail network providers’ provision of specialized service agreements for Internet consumers and edge companies.  According to the report, the proposal would separate broadband into two services: a consumer […]

Read the full article →

Campaign Finance Reform, Media Reform = Same Thing

October 28, 2014

Perhaps us “wingnuts” were right about the government trying to take over the Internet. First we warned that the radical, anti-property Left wanted the FCC to wrest control of the web through Net Neutrality – which looks like will happen in some form by the end of the year. And now it seems the FEC’s […]

Read the full article →