Richard Bennett, NANOG posting, and Integrity

Owen DeLong owen at delong.com
Mon Jul 28 18:45:37 UTC 2014


Astroturfing doesn’t require a fake organization, just fraudulent use of an organization claiming to be grass roots.

I guarantee you that the majority of the communities represented by those organizations probably don’t even understand the issue. Of those that do, I suspect that if you polled them, you’d find most of the not backing the position contained in the document.

Somehow, the anti-internet-freedom collection of monopoly/oligopoly interests managed to coopt the leadership of those organizations into this astroturf.

Owen

On Jul 27, 2014, at 5:28 PM, Richard Bennett <richard at bennett.com> wrote:

> So we're supposed to believe that NAACP and LULAC are phony organizations but pro-neutrality groups like Free Press and Public Knowledge that admit to collaborating with Netflix and Cogent are legit? Given their long history, I think this is a bit of a stretch.
> 
> It's more plausible that NAACP and LULAC have correctly deduced that net neutrality is a de facto subsidy program that transfers money from the pockets of the poor and disadvantaged into the pockets of super-heavy Internet users and some of the richest and most profitable companies in America, the content resellers, on-line retailers, and advertising networks.
> 
> Recall what happened to entry-level broadband plans in Chile when that nation's net neutrality law was just applied: the ISPs who provided free broadband starter plans that allowed access to Facebook and Wikipedia were required to charge the poor:
> 
> "A surprising decision in Chile shows what happens when policies of neutrality are applied without nuance. This week, Santiago put an end to the practice, widespread in developing countries <http://techcrunch.com/2014/05/29/twitters-emerging-market-strategy-includes-its-own-version-of-a-facebook-zero-like-service-called-twitter-access/>, of big companies “zero-rating” access to their services. As Quartz has reported <http://qz.com/5180/facebooks-plan-to-find-its-next-billion-users-convince-them-the-internet-and-facebook-are-the-same/>, companies such as Facebook, Google, Twitter and Wikipedia strike up deals <http://qz.com/69163/the-one-reason-a-facebook-phone-would-make-sense/> with mobile operators around the world to offer a bare-bones version of their service without charging customers for the data.
> 
> "It is not clear whether operators receive a fee <http://techcrunch.com/2014/05/29/twitters-emerging-market-strategy-includes-its-own-version-of-a-facebook-zero-like-service-called-twitter-access/> from big companies, but it is clear why these deals are widespread. Internet giants like it because it encourages use of their services in places where consumers shy away from hefty data charges. Carriers like it because Facebook or Twitter serve as a gateway to the wider internet, introducing users to the wonders of the web and encouraging them to explore further afield—and to pay for data. And it’s not just commercial services that use the practice: Wikipedia has been an enthusiastic adopter of zero-rating as a way to spread its free, non-profit encyclopedia."
> 
> http://qz.com/215064/when-net-neutrality-backfires-chile-just-killed-free-access-to-wikipedia-and-facebook/

Actually, I don’t see this ruling as such a bad thing.

> Internet Freedom? Not so much.

We can agree to disagree. I don’t think leveraging one semi-captive audience to build a captive audience for other companies is a good thing. It reduces the potential for new entrants to compete on an even footing. (Not that there aren’t already plenty of barriers to competing with Facebook and/or Google, but adding cross-subsidies from TPC shouldn’t be an additional one.

Owen



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