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Net Neutrality: Lobbyist McCurry Raises Ire 251

Posted by Hemos
from the the-battle-of-words-is-joined dept.
BBCWatcher writes "Mike McCurry, former Clinton Administration Press Secretary turned telecommunications industry lobbyist, reacts to his many new critics in the battle over Net Neutrality: "There are millions and millions of good Democrats who get paid by corporations," he said, "and I think every time we bash corporations, we just turn off people who are in the middle of the political spectrum." Among others, top political blogger Markos Moulitsas Zúniga responded swiftly to McCurry's latest assertions: "What a dishonest piece of sh[..] McCurry has become. This is an anti-corporatist jihad, is it? Is that why we are aligned with Microsoft, Google, and eBay? And when did the Christian Coalition and the Gun Owners of America join the 'left'? What a pathetic attempt to marginalize those of us working for net neutrality....McCurry is now a sad, sad, pathetic man.""
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Net Neutrality: Lobbyist McCurry Raises Ire

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  • by cynicalmoose (720691) <giles.robertson@westminster.org.uk> on Monday June 05, 2006 @07:04AM (#15471305) Homepage
    Plenty of democrats are paid by corporations. But the unions continue to contribute a heck of a lot, as well as other groups who aren't great fans of corporate power. There's no reason for democrats to shy away from criticising corporations just because corporations fund some Dems, and some middle-of-the-roaders aren't opposed to corporation-bashing. OTOH, the reflexive bash-the-corporation responses that some Dems exhibit (and Republicans too - espc over oil prices, where "price gouging" - aka charging what the market will bear - gets screamed each time the gas price rises due to exogenous factors) do not make them seem very credible. It's hard to trust people who have routine scapegoats; it suggests they don't think enough.
    • Corporations that
      -Have explicitly said they plan to make Google et al pay twice to use "their" pipes
      -Have already blocked e.g. Vonage
      -Have (unconfirmed, someone check) reserved 80% of the bandwidth in their fiber for their own TV service
      -Have constantly said "There's no problem; the free market will work it out". Which to me translates as "We just want to make sure we have the power to degrade everyone's net service in order to benefit ourselves; we're not actually going to do if of course..."
      • -Have (unconfirmed, someone check) reserved 80% of the bandwidth in their fiber for their own TV service Ummm that coax cable that runs into your house serving you calbe internet does the exact same thing. I don't see whats the problem with running fiber TV service with internet piggybacking. So as long as the actual internet connection is open.
        • I think the problem would be when you roll out your fiber-delivered TV service, the best that any internet-based competing service could achieve is 1/4 the speed your own service gets. The competitor will look "broken" by comparison.

          Now, if the subscriber has the option to buy that bandwidth, without your TV service, then heshe can access GBC (Google Broadcasting Corporation) at a competitive speed. And your service competes with GBC on a level playing field.

          • Who was it that laid all the fiber?

            I'm not being facetious; I'm trying to figure out the argument that Verizon (for example) spends billions to lay fiber to everyone's house, and then they should sell access to that bandwidth on par with what they would use it for.

            Shouldn't they be able to recoup the cost somehow? Why should they be required to subsidize competitors?

            Having said that, I think that once they sell internet service at a given bandwidth (15 Mbps on my FIOS plan), they should not be allowed to

            • "Verizon (for example) spends billions to lay fiber to everyone's house"..."Why should they be required to subsidize competitors"

              Poor verizon. So unfair for them to invest their hard-earned money only to have the governments that granted them a geographic monopoly actually start enforcing the common-carrier rules that have been on the books for 30 years or so.

              Oh wait: Was that our hard-earned money? [muniwireless.com]

            • I may be wrong, but I thought most of the money for fiber in the US came from the government in the form of tax cuts and grants and such?
            • bitch please! (Score:2, Insightful)

              by Anonymous Coward
              You and I laid that fiber with our tax dollars and still Verizon and the other big telcos get sweetheart treatment from congress and FCC no matter what they do. In a perfect world, when you pay someone to do something for you that is mutually beneficial and then they try to abuse that in a way that fucks you over, you put the smack down on them. In this case Verizon, et. al. have decided that our efforts in helping them do something mutually beneficial to both of us were not enough for them and now they are
            • by wytcld (179112)
              Hate to break it to you, but it wasn't Verizon. It was outfits like Global Crossing and Metromedia Fiber and so on, most of whom built out much too fast and then went belly up. Their investors and creditors paid for that fiber. Now a lot of it has been bought up by Verizon (and, apparently, Google) at pennies on the dollar. Verizon's gotten it almost free, most all of it is laid through public right-of-way. So you're saying because they've had this windfall in fiber capacity (most of which they've held off
              • Hate to break it to you, but it wasn't Verizon.

                I'm not sure we're talking about the same fiber. In all the towns around me in MA, Verizon trucks were crawling down every street stringing fiber. When I ordered FIOS, they ran fiber from the pole to my house.

                Googling for "Verizon fiber cost" turns up this article [businessweek.com], which says Verizon plans to roll out fiber-optic connections to every home and business in its 29-state territory over the next 10 to 15 years...It will cost $20 billion to $40 billion.

                I suppose

      • All those corporate contributions are obviously bribes. They should be illegal - corporations shouldn't be allowed to bribe any public official.

        But some of them are stupid bribes. When the official doesn't produce results for the corporate briber, the official has not done anything wrong, except maybe allow the appearance of doing something wrong, which costs the system in ease of telling the difference.

        When the official continues (or starts) to work against that corporate interest or agenda, though receivi
        • All those corporate contributions are obviously bribes. They should be illegal - corporations shouldn't be allowed to bribe any public official.

          To be fair, can we agree to amend to the following:

          All those [corporate | union] contributions are obviously bribes. They should be illegal - [corporations | unions] shouldn't be allowed to bribe any public official.
          • Unions are corporations.

            To be "fair", or rather to be protected from abuse, no one should be allowed to bribe any public official.

            Humans (and only humans, not "artificial persons" like corporations of any kind) have to be allowed to donate money to politics. Otherwise, only the "media incumbents" will be known to voters enough to get elected. A real campaign finance law would allow only human American citizens to donate money only to the race itself, drawn upon equally by everyone registered on the ballot.
            • by Moofie (22272)
              I see what you're after, but that's not going to solve the problem.

              What if I really, really want Joe Smith to be elected, and I want that so badly that I'm willing to buy a TV commercial for him? I should be free to do so.

              And as long as that freedom exists, money will continue to pervert the process. I'm not convinced that less liberty is worth less perversion of the system.

              Of course, now we've got both.
              • And as long as that freedom exists, money will continue to pervert the process. I'm not convinced that less liberty is worth less perversion of the system.

                I'm convinced that a corrupt system is worse for the preservation of my rights in general than the loss of the right to buy an election for a candidate that I like. As long as bribery is legal, then the system will be corrupt and for sale to the highest bidder. I'm far from convinced that the highest bidder has my interests, or the interests of the co

              • So you buy a TV commercial for him. If you don't coordinate with him, you can say whatever you want - as long as your commercial includes the citation of who you are. That leaves Smith's opponents to reply with TV they buy with money they do raise. If you do coordinate, or you don't cite who you are, you're exposed to legal liability, and thereby bad publicity for your candidate. The Internet makes it much cheaper, easier and much more likely for voters to find out about those "friends", and reporters, too.
    • Oil prices have risen because the 6 oil companies that control our government have cut down production. No new oil refineries have been built in the US since 1976. We are at an 8 year high in supply for oil, we just don't refine it!

      A congressional investigation uncovered internal memos written by the major oil companies operating in the U.S. discussing their successful strategies to maximize profits by forcing independent refineries out of business, resulting in tighter refinery capacity. From 1995-200

      • First off, it's the gas refineries that are the problem, since there are so few.

        Considering that the Democrats have prevented new gasoline refineries from being built in the last 10 or 15 years and that the oil companies profits on one gallon of gas are around 9 cents, I find your arguments (and all those links you provide), completely unconvincing. Don't even get me started on the amount that ever single gallon of gas is taxed.

        We'd be better off building more refineries and eliminating some of the massi
        • I thought it was regular people who voted to disallow these ugly polluting structures near themselves. I guess the environmental nuts (OK, that must be the group you meant) wanted to protect our groundwater and other resources and so pressed to not build more.

          Maybe we could just USE LESS, ya think? Eat less food, burn less fuel...you know, don't be a hog.
        • First off, it's the gas refineries that are the problem, since there are so few.
          Yes, it is. (though you wouldn't know it from all the oil execs lying and blaming ethonol producers, the US Congress and OPEC a few months ago).

          Considering that the Democrats have prevented new gasoline refineries from being built in the last 10 or 15 years and that the oil companies profits on one gallon of gas are around 9 cents, I find your arguments (and all those links you provide), completely unconvincing.

          Nobody is prevent
      • No new oil refineries have been built in the US since 1976. We are at an 8 year high in supply for oil, we just don't refine it!

        Perhaps you could let the oil companies know of a location where they could set up a new refinery. It would need to be near existing oil distribution systems and the neighbors and local community ordinances will need to not oppose the development. Shouldn't be too hard, right?

        If you look at these oil companies investor reports, you will see it is price gouging. Take Exxon/Mobil.
        • "Perhaps you could let the oil companies know of a location where they could set up a new refinery."

          Actually, perhaps first you could persuade them to do so. As I understand it, they're not actually dying to build new refineries. That's B.S. that has been made up for you. Or is driving the cost of their product down somehow in their interest?

          • As I understand it, they're not actually dying to build new refineries. That's B.S. that has been made up for you.

            Your argument doesn't pass even basic muster. The issue isn't whether the incumbents are building refineries, but whether or not anyone is building refineries. When new entrepreneurs can't build refineries to cash in on the gasoline shortage, it isn't a lack of will, it's an impossibly high barrier to entry.

            Stated another way: if you are convinced that there are hundreds of millions to be made
    • "gets screamed each time the gas price rises due to exogenous factors"

      Well I think its safe to say that oil prices are more than a little vulnerable to manipulation. Now its nearly impossible to tell who is doing all the manipulating, but I would guess big oil companies and OPEC governments certainly have a part. OPEC is after all a cartel which is designed to collude to set production and manipulate prices though they are often not very good at it any more.

      Whomever the mysterious oil "traders" are who dr
      • I forgot to add that during the California electricity crisis a few years back the Bush administration and FARC refused to investigate charge of price fixing and gouging. They more or less said it was free markets at work, and to use your term "exogenous" forces at work. It was also California's fault for bad power generation policy.

        Well since then it came to light that energy traders at Enron, Dynegy and number of other electricity providers were in fact colluding to inflate the price and to create artif
  • by Lumpy (12016) on Monday June 05, 2006 @07:07AM (#15471323) Homepage
    "There are millions and millions of good Democrats who get paid by corporations,"

    Yup, by his definition they are "good".. By the rest of us they are paid off hooligans trading personal wealth and power for our freedoms and rights, and our freedoms and rights are a no cost giveaway for these guys.

    Good is a relative term and it has been proven for thousands of years that those in power have a very different view of good and evil than the rest of the population.

  • by Fhqwhgadss (905393) on Monday June 05, 2006 @07:16AM (#15471363)
    Is this official confirmation that not only do the corporations run the GOP, but also the "Democratic" party? I'm glad we have it out in the open.
    • Political parties are made up of the people who show up to them. If you don't like that the GOP or the Dems are "run by corporations" then get active in one of them.

      Either that or please offer some cheese with your pointless whines.
      • The problem with actively participating in either of the US political parties is that their primary (and pretty much only) goal is to beat the other candidate in the next election. This stems from the first-to-the pole election process that is amplified by the electoral college and gerrymandering. The senior members of both parties need not concern themselves with the needs of the people as long as both parties consistently ignore those needs. No amount of "participation" at the grassroots level will ch
        • You're talking about one office - the head of one branch of government.

          There are other offices. And right now there are people challenging what you point out. Ned Lamont is challenging Lieberman in CT. Winograd is challenging Harmen in CA. Tasini is challenging Clinton in NY. And Howard Dean is executing a 50 state strategy to re-energise local Democratic parties across America. Not to invest in individual campaigns but to invest in the party - to give people a place to debate and discuss ideas.

          You're
    • As Kos said, there are corporations on both sides of this debate. If you want to argue that the government is siding with the telcos, i.e. the corporations with the larger bankroll, fine, but I think even that's a tenuous point that has yet to be made in this case.

      FWIW, because they would be removing impediments to how the telcos do business, this sounds to me like deregulation...I have a hard time opposing that in most cases. It may suck for the consumer in the short term, but it will end up creating com
  • Two things... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by CashCarSTAR (548853) on Monday June 05, 2006 @07:21AM (#15471382)
    #1. Yes, DailyKos is a Democratic site. But at the same time, the DKos community is pretty much committed to lessening the influence of a whole wide variety of interest groups from the political process and increasing the power that the individual citizen has, on both sides of the aisle. From Unions straight through to Corporations.

    #2. Generally speaking, wider "left" political blogsophere supports net neutrality very strongly. And the reason for that, is actually a traditionally centrist viewpoint, namely in order to maximize the effect and forces of a free and open market. Eliminating net neutrality is a great threat to putting a full stop to innovation in business and technology on the internet. It stops new players and technologies from taking those first baby steps out.

    You have one area of business with high barriers to entry and a few companies, and you have another area of business with much lower barriers to entry and new companies forming every day?

    Which is the important one to protect here?
    • Funny I don't remember when Redstate.com became part of the left.

      The motivations are different but the results are the same.
      • My apologies. The intention wasn't to say that only the left side of things supports net neutrality. Only to respond to what McCurry said about an "Anti-corporate jihad" going on between "liberals and centrists".

        In reality, this is one of those issues that there's two sides. You have the DC/WallStreet community vs. The Rest Of Us.

  • Not helping! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ZSpade (812879) on Monday June 05, 2006 @07:35AM (#15471446) Homepage
    I'm not sure, but I'm pretty sure that quotes like "What a dishonest piece of sh[..] McCurry has become." do nothing but make you look like your foaming at the mouth. If you read the rest of that bloggers post (another slashdot member posted it above) you'll really see my point. Argument is good, but uncontrolled and uncensored anger will never be taken seriously in politics.

    Of course I agree with this blogger, but I don't think he is doing our cause any good by spouting off like this. On Slashdot we always poke fun at corporate bigwigs with anger issues(look at Steve Balmer), why should bloggers be any different. That said, I of course agree with net neutrality like anybody in their right mind would... unless of course they work for said corporations.
    • "If you read the rest of that bloggers post (another slashdot member posted it above) you'll really see my point."

      I think you might be confused, and talking about the Ultimate Flame? That wasn't really Zuniga's complete answer. It was a joke.

      As to controlling our anger, I sort of agree. But I also understand perfectly when people reach a tipping poing and get emotional. This article [mydd.com] starts with "That's it. Burn DC to the ground. " but becomes a very well-argued piece.

      • That may be true. Looking at it in context now it's easier to see that. It's almost impossible to see that if you were not familiar with Zuniga's blogs though. That is, it was taken out of context, in a way. That said, the original point doesn't change, but perhaps loses some substantiation.
    • If you read the rest of that bloggers post (another slashdot member posted it above) you'll really see my point. Argument is good, but uncontrolled and uncensored anger will never be taken seriously in politics.

      The giant flame posted above? Markos didn't write that. Rather, it was a slightly altered copy of the flame to end all flames which the writer helpfully included an oh-so-obvious link to down at the very bottom of the mass of text. [everything2.org]
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 05, 2006 @07:38AM (#15471450)
    Article text via bugmenot:

    WASHINGTON -- Former White House Press Secretary Mike McCurry is no stranger to well-aimed political attacks. After all, he held down the briefing room podium for Bill Clinton during the height of the Monica Lewinsky scandal, a task he compared to being a "human pinata."

    He was called "a stonewalling administration mouthpiece" who "perfected a plethora of dodges" and "was a master at speaking with charm, wit, self-deprecation and ease -- yet saying nothing."

    ADVERTISEMENT
    But even McCurry admitted surprise at the verbal shellacking he's received on the Internet lately. More shocking to McCurry is the end of the political spectrum doing most of the name calling: his traditionally supportive left.

    It's all because of his latest job working for AT&T Inc., BellSouth Corp. and some other communications companies to shape public opinion on perhaps the most controversial aspect of telecom legislation moving through Congress.

    "I've faced far worse in the past," McCurry said of the criticism. "Although the bad names I got called were from the other side."

    McCurry is co-chairman of Hands Off the Internet, a group arguing against so-called Net neutrality rules -- federal regulations preventing phone and cable companies from charging extra to zip some high-bandwidth services through their wires faster than others.

    The group is squarely in the middle of a brewing battle over the issue against big Internet companies, such as Google Inc., Yahoo Inc. and Microsoft Corp. With many congressional Democrats and liberal bloggers supporting Net neutrality, McCurry finds himself opposing his historical allies.

    In a highly charged election year, McCurry has been branded a turncoat, a Democratic Jedi lost to the dark side at a time of looming crisis across the Internet.

    The intense and personal flogging -- partly provoked by McCurry's sharp responses -- shows how contentious Net neutrality has become for some Internet users.

    He's been called a "sellout" and "stooge," a purveyor of "dishonest hackery" and "classic flack misdirection," and an "industry sock puppet."

    "I think people are reacting not just to the issue but to their disdain for a top-tier Democrat shilling in such an overt way for big-money interests," said David Sirota, a liberal political blogger and author of "Hostile Takeover: How Big Money and Corruption Conquered Our Government -- and How We Take It Back."

    McCurry said the response to his new job demonstrated the "constant jihad" of 21st century politics and the ongoing struggle between the liberal and centrist wings of the Democratic Party.

    "There are millions and millions of good Democrats who get paid by corporations," he said, "and I think every time we bash corporations, we just turn off people who are in the middle of the political spectrum."

    McCurry is one of those Democrats.

    After leaving the White House in 1998, McCurry became a partner at Public Strategies Group in Washington, developing communications strategies for corporate and nonprofit clients.

    He signed on earlier this year with a coalition of telecommunications companies battling an effort by large Internet companies to get Congress to pass rules that would outlaw any preferential treatment of data over the Internet.

    Some phone company executives want to charge extra to guarantee fast and reliable delivery of video and other data-heavy applications.

    As word spread of McCurry's role, bloggers started ripping him.

    Last month, McCurry ripped back.

    "On Net neutrality, I feel like screaming 'puh-leeeze,' " he wrote on the Huffington Post, where he sometimes blogs. "The Internet is not a free public good. It is a bunch of wires and switches and connections and pipes and it is creaky."

    He slammed his critics for "worshipping" Vint Cerf, a co-founder of the Internet and now a Google executive who has testified to Congress about the need for Net neutrality rules. McCurry said Cerf had "a clear
  • by Hackie_Chan (678203) on Monday June 05, 2006 @07:40AM (#15471465)
    Seems to me that Daily Kos [dailykos.com] is a website that's brought up quite frequently in Slashdot (political) stories these days, many times for an opinionated view. Why is this the case and not with, let's say - Redstate [redstate.com]? I know that Kos is a reader of Slashdot, but I don't think that has anything to do with it.
    • Hello? "Birds of a feather flock together." Social groups, networks, etc., tend to attract like-minded people. And guess what? Slashdot works on submissions from its readerbase. If you see a good story on a site, SUBMIT IT. Regardless of political affiliation. If you don't submit, you can't acq... no, wait, that doesn't work. But don't bitch if you ain't submitting.
    • I take it you haven't noticed the quasi-socialist bent to slashdot. toe the line of hating corporations and big business while enjoying the benefits of them! Big pay checks, fast computers, internet backbones, good jobs. See, it is ok to hate business but benefit from it, not hypocritical at all!
    • 'Effing liberal bias. I want to see Creation Science stories! And stories on how abortion causes breast cancer! And how we shouldn't prevent venereal disease because it would encourage people to have sex!

      What do we want? Equal access! When do we want it? Now! End the Slashdot liberal bias!
  • by Slartibartfast (3395) * <kenNO@SPAMjots.org> on Monday June 05, 2006 @07:44AM (#15471496) Homepage Journal
    C'mon, folks: the words "press secretary" are simply code for "weasel." Anyone who thinks otherwie -- and mind you, this is totally regardless of party affiliation -- is being silly. The one and only press secretary for whom I hold any respect is Reagen's, one Jim Brady. During the assassination attempt, he was shot in the head, with substantial brain damange. The work he's done to control the unfettered access to handguns is nothing short of remarkable; he and his wife are to be commended. All other press secreteries are simply PR figureheads, who never -- not ever -- present their own views, if, indeed, they even have any. (A fine and juicy movie that deals with similar people is Thank You for Smoking. See it.)
    • Anyone who thinks otherwie -- and mind you, this is totally regardless of party affiliation -- is being silly.

      Anyone? Really? Anyone who disagrees with your binary interpretation of all the people who have ever held the office of White House Press Secretary is being silly? I guess I'm silly, then.

      All other press secreteries are simply PR figureheads, who never -- not ever -- present their own views, if, indeed, they even have any.

      Wow. Not ever. Not once. I'm sure most of them have no party affilia

      • You're cute. And, yes, warm, fuzzy, and silly. While you make some valid points, the point *I* was making was one you failed to address: the simple fact that, by accepting the job of press secretary, one essentially disowns any views that one might have. IT IS PART AND PARCEL OF THE JOB. After one leaves the post -- or, say, in the case of Tony Snow, before one takes the post -- one is clearly free to state one's views, so long as said person hasn't taken yet *another* PR flak job. In which case, rewin
  • by tlabetti (304480) on Monday June 05, 2006 @07:50AM (#15471525) Homepage
    One of the big mistakes of the Net Neutrality discussion is that is has boiled down to a Legislation v No Legislation battle.

    If you take away the legislation part of this discussion I'm not sure that the lefties and free market guys wouldn't swap positions on Net Neutrality.

    The push for legislation has steered this discussion more than the issue itself.
    • by Draracle (977916) on Monday June 05, 2006 @10:25AM (#15472549)
      Most political issues are not a Left vs Right issue. Unfortunately many people find that the comfort of a simple left/right alignment releases them from the responsibility of actual critical thought. The argument get boiled down to a fight between the "loony-left" and the "self-righteous right" -- and I am sure the politicians would like to keep it that way. As long as the public keeps using this oversimplification (and often gross misrepresentation) of political theory, they policies will never be subject to much real thought. Both sides will just spew insults and half-truths to support or tear-down the position. In general, the moment people start claiming the leftness or rightness of a political theory I simply tune out, because obviously this person isn't interested in a conversation. The idea has already been pigeon-holed and the merit of the idea has been decided by the political group pitched it. So go back to your political demi-gods, get your brain back, and stop judging in Red vs. Blue, or left vs. right, and THINK!
  • As I see it, there is already many ways to purchase better access to your site. You can set up multiple servers throughout the network. You can buy or hire your own pipes, or even lease some bandwidth from an existing pipe, and carry your data on it. (I have read reports that google is doing just that with 'dark fibre'). If a megacorp wants to get better QOS for their customers, they can buy it, and the large telcos can sell it to them.

    Surely this obvious fact renders the arguments against NN null and void?
    • It's not about protecting the status quo. The status quo is already a bunch of well entrenched monopolies running most of the networks. It's about the people running those monopolies still being greedy, and trying to squeeze even more money out of their privledged position.

      The fact that it will stomp on start up web companies and whatnot is incidental for the telcos. Collateral damage in a war for profit, unfortunate, but not worth stopping for.

    • two ends of the pipe (Score:5, Informative)

      by Crashmarik (635988) on Monday June 05, 2006 @08:45AM (#15471862)
      What youre saying is correct but wrong. Youre proposals would increase a sites availibility on the network in general but it does nothing if the end of the pipe decides to shake you down for your lunch money.
    • The worry is not about the server's end of the pipe, but the customer's end. An organization can buy plenty of equipment and wires to speed up their connection to the net, but it is unlikely they are going to buy all their customers the equipment and wires to speed up the customer's end.
  • by MikeRT (947531) on Monday June 05, 2006 @08:38AM (#15471816) Homepage

    A lot of the network neutrality supporters don't even understand the issue at all. Take this [blindmindseye.com] for example, where the NYT and a lot of bloggers think of this as an attack on the web, as though telecoms really want to block off websites instead of regulate bandwidth to things that are going to consume terabytes or more of bandwidth like hi-def video services.

    The approach that would work best for assuaging free speech concerns is to beef up common carrier laws. Extend common carrier status laws to the point that any ISP or telecom that blocks legal speech in the United States loses all common carrier protection through every service it provides. Yes, make it a legal corporate death penalty statute so that the MPAA and RIAA can literally sue Verizon into irrecoverable bankrupcy through the DMCA if they start playing speech king-maker.

    And here's the funny thing about the "democracy" angle. When domain names were "democratically" controlled, they were much more expensive than they are today. Democracy sucks ass at allocating resources compared to a competitive free market. I'll take my chances with the market over protections for either side, thank you.

    • the NYT and a lot of bloggers think of this as an attack on the web, as though telecoms really want to block off websites instead of regulate bandwidth to things that are going to consume terabytes or more of bandwidth like hi-def video services.

      I don't know why you'd assume that's NOT what the telecoms really want to do.

      It's not like the future of online hi-def video services is going to be Anonymous FTP sites. That content is going to be distributed via the Web, and more specifically via video-centric we
    • As though telecoms really want to block off websites instead of regulate bandwidth to things that are going to consume terabytes or more of bandwidth like hi-def video services.

      Yes, they do. The telcos can see the writing on the wall. The phone companies are just starting to hemorrhage customers to VOIP, but they know it's going to change from a trickle to a torrent. They're already hurting because of cell networks (which is why they own big chunks of them) and VOIP is going to make it worse. And it

  • Wow (Score:5, Interesting)

    by segedunum (883035) on Monday June 05, 2006 @08:43AM (#15471847)
    What a dishonest piece of shit McCurry has become....McCurry is now a sad, sad, pathetic man. Completely stripped of all goodwill he had built over the years....McCurry, lying sack of shit that he has become....

    Don't hold back on the character assassination there Markos. However, if you read through his blog post it seems to be pretty well deserved. McCurry does seem to have run out of arguments on the issue in question and is now resorting to "Well, these people must just be anti-corporation lefties", somewhat ignorant of the fact that many corporations are seriously against all this. It would be hugely detrimental to Google

    "The internet has always had rules. One of those rules is that even if you own a pipe, you're not allowed to tell people what they can put through that pipe. You can't block web sites, you can't say 'don't stream video', and you can't dictate what people and can't say. You do have to pay for the pipe you use; Google pays millions a month on one end, and millions of consumers pay smaller amounts ($20-$60) a month on the other. But no one can tell you what you can do with those pipes. It's very much the opposite of cable TV. There are no gatekeepers, and that's by design. This has created a highly competitive marketplace."

    This is the way the internet works, and even if the Telcos get what they want the internet will definitely not work like this. There is simply no other way. It will simply collapse and people will bypass the telcos and go their own way, or the internet in the US certainly would be non-existant for most ordinary citizens while other countries surge ahead. Anyway, one can see why the telcos are reacting badly because in the long-run they are simply on a hiding to nothing, but it really doesn't matter one bit how much they spend. The only certainty in life and in business is change.
  • by Liam Slider (908600) on Monday June 05, 2006 @09:16AM (#15472042)
    Really? Did we need more proof of how corrupt our government is, do our politicians actually have to stand up and flat out say they are corrupt now and act proud of the fact that they are all in the pay of various corporate interests and not doing squat in the interests of the People?
    • "Did we need more proof of how corrupt our government is"

      To be fair, I don't think Mr. McCurry is currently serving as a direct member of "our government" any more.

      He may be a slimeball, but he's no longer a government slimeball -- that job's currently fulfilled by Messrs. DeLay, Santorum, Frist...
  • by hey! (33014) on Monday June 05, 2006 @04:32PM (#15475616) Homepage Journal
    "There are millions and millions of good Democrats who get paid by corporations," he said, "and I think every time we bash corporations, we just turn off people who are in the middle of the political spectrum."

    Oh, speaking as a Demcorat, I can agree that it's a bad thing to "bash" corporations, provided that by "bash" you mean "persecute in an arbitrary and unreasonable manner."

    However,it's profoundly against what it means to be a Democrat to call it "bashing" just because you aren't doing what an individual corporation or cartel would like. What it means to be a Demcorat is to belive that the government is the custodian of the public good, as measured by the effect on the welfare and freedom on a typical person. Sometimes this means standing in the way of private companies, sometimes this means stepping aside, and sometimes this means encouraging them. In the end the significance of the corporation's welfare is, in itself, zero. If a policy is good for the public and good for a corporation, that's nice. But if a policy is good for the public and bad for an individual corporation, or even corporations as a whole, it's still a good policy.

    That's what distinguishes us from the Republicans, who think this is very nearly a logical contradiction. You don't have to be anti-corporate to be a Democrat. You can still be a Demcorat an think that 99.9% of the time favoring corporations as a whole favors the public. You just can't think that favoring corporations and favoring people is the same thing.

    You can be a Democrat and make an argument against net neutrality -- it's an uphill battle, but it can be done. You just have to show a quid pro quo in which the public gives up the right to unfettered competition in Internet content, but gains something more valuable in return. It's hard to imagine what this would be though. With cable and the end of rules limiting ownership of broadcast outlets and newspapers, we're seeing the end of the traditional media as a marketplace of ideas, even if economic competition continues unabated. What will happen when corporations can favor their own Internet media as well?

    "The Internet is not a free public good. It is a bunch of wires and switches and connections and pipes and it is creaky."

    This is also completely wrong.

    The Internet is not a bunch of wires and switches. It's a shared consensus on how to interconnect networks and computers. Granted consumers connect to the Internet over and individual vendor's equipment; in fact when you plug your computer into the network your computer becomes, technically speaking, part of the Internet. This doesn't mean you own part of the Internet. It means your equipment is participating in it.

    It follows that no cartel of vendors should be allowed to sieze control of the Internet by aquiring control strategic pieces of it. That was what the medieval barons, who were really no than brigands, used to do. They'd build a castle on a river or at a mountain pass and bled the commerce that went through it.

There is nothing so easy but that it becomes difficult when you do it reluctantly. -- Publius Terentius Afer (Terence)

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