On Monday February 17 2014, the Diane Rehm show on National Public Radio tackled the proposed Comcast + Time Warner Cable merger in a segment entitled What A Proposed Cable Mega-Merger Might Mean For Consumers. The proposed new entity would have approximately 30 percent of all national pay television subscribers and also about a third of all broadband Internet subscribers. Some consumer advocates say that if the merger is approved, cable TV bills will go up and the new company will have too much control over program content, high speed Internet access and price. Diane’s guests were Berin Szoka President, TechFreedom; Susan Crawford Visiting Professor, Harvard’s Kennedy School and Harvard Law School; and Gautham Nagesh, reporter, The Wall Street Journal. Audio is below:
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Verizon vs #FCC oral arguments, #TheInternetMustGo mockumentary, WU, Lessig, Crawford @reddit_AMA #netneutrality
On September 9 2013, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals hears oral arguments in Verizon v. FCC. The court is being asked to decide whether Internet access providers (Comcast, Verizon) should be subject to the FCC’s “Open Internet” rules adopted in December 2010. Verizon argues that the FCC doesn’t have statutory authority to regulate Internet access, because the Commission has labeled Internet access an unregulated “information service” rather than a regulated common carriage service under the Telecommunications Act of 1996. It will also argue that Verizon is a First Amendment speaker that should have “editorial discretion” over Internet traffic that passes through its wires. A recording of the oral argument is available online today here.
Also on September 9, to coincide, over a dozen organizations including Free Press, Public Knowledge, ColorOfChange, Center for Media Justice, and Future of Music Coalition joined in launching the film.The Internet Must Go, a short online mockumentary using Colbert-style interviews with Internet luminaries to expose the absurdity of familiar arguments against net neutrality. View below.
- View on YouTube: http://youtu.be/Pp1MAMkIa6A
- Transcribe on AMARA: http://www.amara.org/en/videos/wytd18O6CFbd/
Lastly, later that day, Professors Susan Crawford, Larry Lessig, and Tim Wu did Reddit AMA, celebrating the release of The Internet Must Go.
Reuters has published its recent interview with Susan Crawford, author of “Captive Audience: The Telecom Industry and Monopoly Power in the New Gilded Age”. Reuters notes that, since the interview, Google has announced an expansion of its Kansas City fiber project. Video is below. No captions.
Susan Crawford, author of Captive Audience: The Telecom Industry and Monopoly Power in the New Gilded Age was interviewed on the Moyers & Company that aired on PBS on Sunday Feb 10 2013. The show was called ‘Who’s Widening America’s Digital Divide‘. The video is below. It has closed captions.
VIDEO: Susan Crawford ‘Captive Audience’ book launch in NYC #CaptiveAudience @scrawford #nyc #newnetworks
On January 16 2013 Susan Crawford, author of “Captive Audience: The Telecom Industry and Monopoly Power in the New Gilded Age” presented the theme of the book at Cardozo School of Law in NYC. The presentation was followed by a Q&A. Many ISOC-NY members attended and contributed to the discussion. Video is below. No captions as yet, but see the AMARA links below and, if you can, please contribute a few minutes of your time to the transcription process.
VIDEO: Susan Crawford “Captive Audience: The Telecom Industry and Monopoly Power in the New Gilded Age” #CaptiveAudience #telecomreform
Ever since, in Feb 2011 at NYU, Susan Crawford presented a preview – The Big Squeeze: The Looming Cable Monopoly – of her upcoming book, publication of same has been eagerly awaited. It would, one hoped and expected, be an eyeopener, shaking the complacency of the underserved and gouged United States public, serving as the catalyst, the herald, of a popular movement to demand telecom reform and fairer, faster, broader High Speed Internet options for all.
Now, at last, retitled “Captive Audience: The Telecom Industry and Monopoly Power in the New Gilded Age” the book is in our hands. Let the fireworks begin!
On Wednesday, October 10, 2012, the Center for Technology Innovation at Brookings presented Fostering Internet Competition in Washington DC. The event explored policies to maintain Internet competition. A panel of experts discussed policy recommendations that encourage innovation without stifling competition. The panel comprised Susan Crawford, Douglas Rushkoff, and antitrust expert Spencer Waller. The event was webcast live, and the video can be seen below.
On April 27 2012 Susan Crawford gave a keynote at the Next Web Conference in Amsterdam. In her talk she gave a preview of the theme of her forthcoming book “Captive Audience: The Telecom Industry and Monopoly Power in the New Gilded Age”
@martingeddes @gigaom: “It’s the end of the line for telco”. – joins @bobfrankston @scrawford #muni chorus!
Last OneWebDay – Sep 22 2011 – ISOC-NY hosted the Bob Frankston talk: Infrastructure commons – the future of connectivity in which he laid out the “Frankston Doctrine” – the heretical view that communities should build and operate their own communications infrastructure, entirely dispensing with telcos and usage-based billing. Long a lone voice in the wilderness, Frankston’s ideas are now beginning to get some love. On Valentine’s Day – Feb 14 2012 – OneWebDay founder Susan Crawford used her Bloomberg column The Case for Publicly Owned Internet Service to rail against State laws that prohibit municipal broadband initiatives.
Now, on Feb 25 2012, comes a searing GigaOM opinion piece from UK analyst Martin Geddes titled It’s the end of the line for telco .
The telecom industry has reached its peak. This is it. Look around you. Whatever you are doing in telecom, however you are making money in the field, it isn’t going to get better than this. This industry has acquired its maximum share of the economy. We are the digital railroad business at the height of the railroad barons. The only way now is down. We’ll see maybe one or two more mini-booms, a few more troughs, but the long-term trend has just gone into reverse.
Home networks don’t need service providers. You just buy a box and plug it in. Street-level networks don’t either — you can build a simple resilient mesh. Nor do town networks that join the kids with their school. We fundamentally don’t need communications service providers to manage data transmission. As long as we have a means to fund infrastructure, just as we manage with roads, we can do it for ourselves.
This is the beginning of the end of the Information Superrailroad, where all the bits are scarce and billable. Broadband ISP service is a branch line to nowhere.
Unlicensed wireless is the automobile, and local open fibers are the roads. It doesn’t carry very much very far right now, but it will. And with it, the fate of the telecom industry as constituted today is sealed. Like with the railroads, telcos will carry ever more traffic, and will protect themselves with political power. But their heyday is over, and a new disruptive model has emerged.
Bob Frankston will speak at the ISOC-DC event Connecting Everyone! Mesh Networks, Public Internet and the Drive Towards Universal Access on March 1 2012. There will be a webcast.
Susan Crawford in a Jul. 24 Bloomberg column Cyberwar Hysteria Hurts U.S., Helps Consultants notes how security hype, fueled by consultants spreading FUD couched in military language, is driving wholesale compromises of privacy and freedom.
The administration’s draft cybersecurity bill released in May would result in regulation of private Internet access providers by the Department of Homeland Security. The DHS approach maps to the framework under which chemical plants handling hazardous substances are regulated, signaling that some sector of the administration views the Internet as akin to an informational toxic-waste dump.
Most importantly, the bill would allow unrestrained “voluntary” sharing of any information by private operators with DHS, no matter how it was acquired and no matter how existing law would otherwise restrict disclosure of the information. Such sharing would be justified for cybersecurity purposes, if the operator made efforts to remove irrelevant identifying information and complied with not-yet-written privacy protections. This government- centered structure bypasses the Fourth Amendment’s right to privacy. The stated limitations are no real limitation at all.
The White House proposal would also broaden the scope of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, make the CFAA part of a racketeering prosecution (triggering harsh penalties), and generally enhance the sentences available under that statute. The CFAA already is interpreted breathtakingly broadly. All computers connected to the Internet are protected by the CFAA against undefined “unauthorized access,” which has made it possible for disgruntled employers to go after employees who use any information for purposes the employer doesn’t like. Expanding an already unconstrained scheme is the D.C. equivalent of jumping the shark; it calls the entire cyberwar enterprise into question.