Censorship

Obama FCC Watch

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If you're interested in what policies to expect from Barack Obama's Federal Communications Commission, you've got more to go on than, say, unsourced reports that Hillary Clinton will take over the agency. The president-elect has named an FCC transition team to be led by the legal scholars Kevin Werbach of the Wharton School and Susan Crawford of the University of Michigan.

Both Werbach and Crawford are vocal advocates of the idea that network neutrality should be enforced by law, and Crawford has said she regards Net access as a "utility," always a disturbing choice of words when regulations are at stake. But they're interesting picks for other reasons as well. Crawford is a strong supporter of opening up the "white spaces" between TV signals for unlicensed broadband access, while Werbach has gone even further, advocating some radical ideas for spectrum reform (representing the open-commons wing of the reform community, not the spectrum-as-property wing). I haven't read a lot of Crawford's work, but I know Werbach is a sharp thinker with an appreciation for markets; I have my disagreements with him, but I'd much rather have the next FCC shaped by someone like Werbach than someone like, say, Democratic commissioner Michael Copps, the agency's strongest supporter of censorship and heavy-handed regulation. (Lest we get too sanguine, Obama's agency review team also includes former FCC chief Reed Hundt, who isn't exactly a First Amendment absolutist.)

Speaking of net neutrality: The always-interesting Tim Lee has written a smart paper for the Cato Institute on the subject. Breaking with both traditional camps in the debate, he offers an essentially Hayekian defense of the end-to-end principle as an architectural doctrine and a critique of the idea that the principle should be mandated by statute.

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  1. Tell me which one has closer ties to the Clintons and I’ll tell you which one gets the job.

  2. Both Werbach and Crawford are vocal advocates of the idea that network neutrality should be enforced by law, and Crawford has said she regards Net access as a “utility,” always a disturbing choice of words from a regulator.

    I imagine the fauxtarians over at Slashdot are creaming their pants over this new Obama Changelet.

  3. fuuuuuuuuuuck

    Chop and pile the wood
    Seal tight the windows
    and make the door fast
    Lay in the stores and preserves
    Winter is coming

    Prepare Ye for the coming PAIN

  4. Warren,

    LMAO! Where do you come up with this shit? I know you don’t read! It’s like you channel dead crazy poets or something.

  5. representing the open-commons wing of the reform community, not the spectrum-as-property wing.

    So, not having read his work, how does he propose dealing with the inevitable tragedy of the spectrum commons?

  6. (Lest we get too sanguine, Obama’s agency review team also includes former FCC chief Reed Hundt, who isn’t exactly a First Amendment absolutist.)

    What we want, of course, is more absolutists of all sorts. It’s our bread and butter. Fuck pragmatism and nimby-namby open-mindedness. Donate now!

  7. Another brilliant article from Jesse Walker!

    So, how soon until he starts selling you the reader on the benefits of “localism”?

  8. That’s right. I’m BACK, libtards. Suck it!

  9. I didn’t post that. Cut it out, assholes!

  10. This is the new love song I* wrote.

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    I’d love ewe to love me.
    I’ll shine up the old brown shoes, put on a brand-new shirt.
    I’ll get to the barn early if ewe bleat that ewe love me.

    Didn’t I, didn’t I, didn’t I hear you bleatin’?
    Oh, didn’t I, didn’t I, didn’t I hear you bleatin’?
    Feelin all alone without my dick, you know you feel like meetin’.
    Oh, didn’t I, didn’t I, didn’t I hear you bleatin?

    I want ewe to want me.
    I need ewe to need me.
    I’d love ewe to love me.
    I’m beggin ewe to beg me.

    I’ll shine up the old brown shoes, put on a brand-new shirt.
    I’ll get to the barn early if ewe bleat that ewe love me.

    Didn’t I, didn’t I, didn’t I hear you bleatin’?
    Oh, didn’t I, didn’t I, didn’t I hear you bleatin’?
    Feelin all alone without my dick, you know you feel like meetin’.
    Oh, didn’t I, didn’t I, didn’t I hear you bleatin?

    Oh, didn’t I, didn’t I, didn’t I hear you bleatin’?
    Feelin all alone without my dick, you know you feel like meetin’.
    Oh, didn’t I, didn’t I, didn’t I hear you bleatin?

    I want ewe to want me.
    I need ewe to need me.
    I’d love ewe to love me.
    I’m beggin ewe to beg me.
    I want ewe to want me.
    I want ewe to want me.
    I want ewe to want me.
    I want ewe to want me.

    * Real internet address, so obviously the real Lefiti.

  11. OLS: Click the very first link in the post. It goes to an article I wrote — an actual article, not a blog post — that discusses the localism issue in considerable detail, including the ways it could be used as a means of imposing content controls. Unlike the American Thinker essay that you linked to, it does this without dragging in a bunch of random references to Saul Alinsky, the CRA, and other current bugaboos of the right.

    You have already expressed strong opinions about this very piece of mine. It wouldn’t do you much harm to actually read it.

  12. RC Dean: Click the “radical ideas” link & you’ll see his answer.

  13. I don’t know that Internet “service” is a utility, but the infrastructure should be considered as such.

    Last mile cabling infrastructure is a natural monopoly just like the power and telephone lines. The government should own the infrastructure and allow private companies to access that infrastructure. Et voila! We have a free market in Internet service.

    That being said, “neutrality” legislation or regulation is better than the current system. The only thing worse than a government monopoly is a private monopoly.

  14. IF YOU’RE NOT A LEFTIST, THEN YOU ARE A CLOSE-MINDED ABSOLUTIST!

  15. The only thing worse than a government monopoly is a private monopoly.

    Please cite one harmful private monopoly that did not get that way through government privilege, charter or fiat. Include demonstration of why they were harmful and how they acquired their monopoly without the assistance of government.

    ‘Taint the railroad barons, who were granted vast tracts of land by the gumment. ‘Taint Microsoft, who isn’t really a monopoly (far too many thriving competitors), and who got their market share by leveraging gumment granted copyright.

  16. I stand corrected.

    But, merely saying that is not enough. In fact, what I’m going to do is – instead of linking to the AmThinker – I’m going to send people to Jesse Walker’s article.

    Please expect a surge of traffic any moment now.

  17. Whoever the FCC chairman is, I’ll eat my sneakers if he/she can read this darned map.

  18. Please expect a surge of traffic any moment now.

    lolz. You’re not being facetious, are you?

  19. Lest we get too sanguine, Obama’s agency review team also includes former FCC chief Reed Hundt, who isn’t exactly a First Amendment absolutist.)

    Really, who on the left is, anymore?

  20. Nathan A. Shine,

    The only thing worse than a government monopoly is a private monopoly.

    To echo Friedman, at the very least since a private monopoly has a far better chance of actually exiting the scene at some time as opposed to a government monopoly, government monopolies are far worse.

  21. John McCain would have been worse.

  22. “John McCain would have been worse.”

    Lovely comfort blanket you got there.

  23. John McCain would have been worse.

    You just keep repeating that to yourself for the next four years so you can still feel justified voting Obama again. Because god forbid you vote for those stodgy old Republicans, then you wouldn’t be hip and cool like all the other kids.

  24. The Fairness Doctrine! It’s coming back! They’re gonna roll it right down the NAFTA Superhighway.

    Oh, mercy, [say it with me!] our eight years of freedom and limited government are over!

    Fairness Doctrine is not happening. Stick it in the closet with the rest of the bogeymen. Obama isn’t going to take your guns away, he’s not going to put Rush Limbaugh into a prison camp, and he’s not going to nationalize production in the name of the proletariat.

    Here’s what is coming:

    1) Health care mandates
    2) Mass government involvement in private industry
    3) Cap and trade, or carbon taxes
    4) A large government movement/slush fund towards “green” power

    Might want to focus on the real fights and not so much the imaginary ones.

  25. I haven’t posted on this thread yet, fools!

  26. As trolls go, Lefiti has it made. He does not have to come here to troll, because others do it for him.

    Congratulations. Job well done, Lefiti.

  27. (Lest we get too sanguine, Obama’s agency review team also includes former FCC chief Reed Hundt, who isn’t exactly a First Amendment absolutist.)

    …and who may be the first FCC chair to have been parodied in a cartoon (as “Reef Blunt” in a Slappy Squirrel segment of “Animaniacs”).

  28. I guess I should have tried playing the video before linking to it.

    (It is, however, on YouTube [part 1; part 2].)

  29. Broadband as a “utility?” Uh-oh. That means a government-granted monopoly or duopoly, heavy regulation, and ultimately regulatory capture. This does not bode well for the future of the Internet, which USED to be a loose federation of connected (but independent) networks. Get ready for the Internet to start looking more and more like the Bell System if this very bad idea gets implemented.

  30. Copps is not only 100% for network neutrality, his regulation would keep the large companies from having a monopoly on the Internet that would make the net anything but neutral. He’s probably the most effective minority commissioner that’s ever been at the FCC, he kept Powell and Martin in check, and he absolutely should be chairman.

  31. truth,,,,obama people have no idea of the extent to which they have to be gulled in order to be led.”
    “The size of the lie is a definite factor in causing it to be believed, for the vast masses of the nation are in the depths of their hearts more easily deceived than they are consciously and intentionally bad. The primitive simplicity of their minds renders them a more easy prey to a big lie than a small one, for they themselves often tell little lies but would be ashamed to tell a big one.”
    “All propaganda must be so popular and on such an intellectual level, that even the most stupid of those towards whom it is directed will understand it. Therefore, the intellectual level of the propaganda must be lower the larger the number of people who are to be influenced by it.”
    “Through clever and constant application of propaganda, people can be made to see paradise as hell, and also the other way around, to consider the most wretched sort of life as paradise.”pelosi don’t see much future for the Americans … it’s a decayed country. And they have their racial problem, and the problem of social inequalities …obama feelings against Americanism are feelings of hatred and deep repugnance … everything about the behaviour of American society reveals that it’s half Judaised, and the other half negrified. How can one expect a State like that to hold TOGTHER.They include the angry left wing bloggers who spread vicious lies and half-truths about their political adversaries… Those lies are then repeated by the duplicitous left wing media outlets who “discuss” the nonsense on air as if it has merit? The media’s justification is apparently “because it’s out there”, truth be damned. STOP THIS COMMUNIST OBAMA ,GOD HELP US ALL .THE COMMANDER ((GOD OPEN YOUR EYES)) stop the communist obama & pelosi.((open you eyes)) ,the commander

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