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Expanding on The Switch's 5 things that neither side of the broadband debate wants to admit.
Over at The Switch today, Timothy B. Lee offered his list of 5 things neither side of the broadband debate wants to admit. His list strikes me as mostly reasonable, although I think that you could find at least one side of the debate to endorse most of them. In any case, I wanted to take a moment to add a bit of color to the list, to try and give you a sense of how we think about some of these things. Here are Lee’s things, followed by a bit of commentary.
1. American wireless service is working pretty well.
Especially when compared to the wired broadband market, this statement is fairly accurate. We have four nationwide carriers and some decisions (like offering earlier upgrades) by one carrier clearly push the other carriers to match.
Elisa Kreisinger is our new Artist in Residence!
Back in May we, along with our partners at Eyebeam, made an announcement: we were looking for an artist for our new artists in residency program. As we said at the time, the goal of the residency program would be to make policy issues more compelling to the public through the use of the technology that we advocate for every day. We got a huge number of really fantastic applications, and today we’re excited to announce that we managed to narrow it down to one.
Elisa Kreisinger is our inaugural artist in residence. Elisa is a well-known video remix artist and activist. She will be spending some time here in DC going deeper into the issues at Public Knowledge and some time in New York immersed in the Eyebeam community finding ways to make her project even more interesting.
We’ll be documenting Elisa’s process over the course of the residency but in the meantime we're just excited to set her free on the world of technology policy.
Original image by Elisa Kreisinger.
There's a nagging point that copyright wonks might overlook in questions of broadcast and cable—that cable companies pay not just for the statutory copyright licenses to copyright holders, but also "retransmission consent" fees to local broadcasters—even if the content they're paying for isn't owned by the local broadcasters themselves.
When you watch network television channel (Fox, for instance), on cable, you're likely aware that your cable company is paying someone to bring you that channel. After all, the shows you're watching are coming from Fox, not Comcast or Time Warner or Dish. It would make sense if Comcast was then paying Fox for the rights to carry its programming.
If Monday's net neutrality oral argument in the DC Circuit foreshadowed the court's decision, opponents and supporters of the FCC's rules will each have something to cheer and something to fear.
While some have portrayed the likely outcome of Monday’s DC Circuit oral argument on Verizon’s challenge to the Federal Communications Comission’s Open Internet order as a victory for anti-net neutrality forces and a loss for its supporters, the reality is much more complicated. With the caveat that one can never rarely predict the ultimate outcome of a case – particularly one as difficult and multi-layered as this one – based solely on the oral argument, there are some pretty clear takeaways, some good, some bad and some just plain ugly. For a comprehensive report on what happened in the courtroom, read Harold’s excellent blog post.
The NSA is misusing an obscure trademark-like law to suppress online content critical of the NSA.
This is a story about the National Security Agency, trademark law, online content takedowns, and more irony upon irony than I could have come up with in fiction.
As we all know, the NSA has been under fire for the last few months, over its broad national spying campaign. The NSA is of the position that its surveillance programs do not constitute a breach of Americans’ interests in privacy—they are perfectly happy to listen to us talk. But when it comes to people criticizing the NSA, suddenly the NSA doesn’t want to listen to anyone talking about them.
Matthew Green, a cryptography professor at Johns Hopkins, wrote a post on his personal blog about the NSA’s activities in undermining Internet cryptography. He then received a call from his academic dean, directing him to remove the blog post from university servers.
The university told Ars Technica that it had ordered the removal of the blog post because the university had been informed that the post “contained a link or links to classified material and also used the NSA logo.”
What’s wrong with using the NSA logo?
After facing massive customer pushback and sharp regulatory scrutiny on its plan to force Fire Island residents to take Voice Link as a substitute for the copper network destroyed by Superstorm Sandy, Verizon agrees to bring FIOS to Fire Island.
Back in May, Verizon announced it would replace the copper phone network on Fire Island destroyed by Hurricane Sandy with their new “Voice Link” service. From the beginning,we expressed grave concerns with forcing storm victims to take an unproven technology in place of the traditional copper-line phone and DSL broadband they had before Sandy struck. Worse, Verizon warned Voice Link callers might not reliably reach 9-1-1, that fax machines, medical devices, and security systems might not work with Voice Link, and that customers would have to switch to much higher-priced mobile broadband plans to keep their Internet access.
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