Net Neutrality v2.0 – Google Demands the FCC Ban ISP Data Traffic Competition

by Mike Wendy on January 27, 2016

Google is an Internet ad company. A huge one. That’s its primary, profit-making gig. All the other stuff – like self-driving cars, or fiber, or running your home heating system, etc. – well, those ventures bring in peanuts. Ads, built on massive data collection, is its cash cow.

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Late last week, several Google-funded “pubic interest” groups (PIGs) urged the FCC to kneecap ISPs like Comcast, Verizon and AT&T with “strong” consumer privacy and data security rules. In the group’s (Google’s) estimation, ISPs are “gatekeepers” and have a “comprehensive view of consumer behavior,” thus increasing the potential for “surveillance,” which, among other things, can “chill speech” and harm Internet uptake.

The FCC must act “as soon as possible” so that ISPs don’t undermine consumer “confidence in conducting everyday business and exploring new services online,” they decried.

Apparently, the sky is falling (again).

In v2.0 of its Net Neutrality law, Google wants the FCC to ban new paths of ISP competition with it by essentially prohibiting the free and reasonable use of ISP customer data.

In v2.0 of its Net Neutrality law, Google wants the FCC to ban new paths of ISP competition with it by essentially prohibiting the free and reasonable use of customer data collected by ISPs.

Whatever minimal privacy practice burdens Google has from its captured FTC (and elsewhere), it, er, I mean, its PIGs want the FCC to throw the book at ISPs, making it difficult, if not impossible, to reasonably manage, use and, yes, profit from the data of their networks.

But, you know what they really want?

Though nothing’s broken to justify their costly demands, they want the FCC to use its new Net Neutrality / Title II powers over ISPs to essentially ban their competing with Big Data Google.

Period.

It’s as if Google (through its captured FCC) were saying: “ISPs, you may only stay in your silo. You can only ever be a common carrier. Nothing more. And, all that data you’ve got from your networks, well, that’s actually ours to freely use and profit from. Only. If you stray and try to serve consumers outside this framework, you will be hammered into submission.”

The FCC’s Net Neutrality law already stops ISPs from being all the communications companies they want to be, forbidding such practices that in the past were entirely acceptable for them to do under the law – like paid paid priority. This latest privacy push by Google’s FCC, if realized, creates v2.0 of that rigged, Net Neutrality (pro-Google) subsidy.

So, consumers be damned. That’s the law. I guess you can buy an ad from Google if you want to complain (they’ll gladly take your cabbage).

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P.S. – Google should have been careful what it wished for.  The very law – e.g., Net Neutrality – that it bought from the President and his FCC to promote uptake of the “Open Internet” has virtually no limiting principle.  Consequently, it’s just a matter of time before the regulatory kneecapping comes their way, too.  It’s not only inevitable, but it’s also legally logical, symmetric and, from a policy standpoint, fair.  It didn’t have to be this way, of course.  The Internet ain’t broke.  Never was.  But that’s the way Google, its Silicon Valley brethren, and the President / FCC played consumers and the “public interest” to get that specious law passed.  A classic Pyrrhic victory for them if ever there was.  Oh, well.  The Internet was nice while it lasted.

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