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Hitch-22: A Memoir

Hitch-22: A Memoir

By Christopher Hitchens

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Ear to the Ground

Google and Verizon Have a Plan to Wreck the Internet

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Posted on Aug 9, 2010
Flickr / The Pug Father (CC-BY)

Google and Verizon have decided they would do a better job writing the regulations that govern their Internet businesses, and so the two have come up with a “policy framework” that has progressive groups and net neutrality advocates steamed.

The main sticking point is whether companies are able to treat what travels through those Internet pipes differently. Can an Internet service provider block file-sharing, for instance, or make pay more for bandwidth?

Google has long been an advocate of net neutrality, and so this compromise, which appears tailored to protect Google’s interests while opening the door to “differentiated online services” stings of betrayal.

Like insurance company lobbyists pushing health care reform, Google’s announcement of this policy framework says a lot of nice things about its intentions, but it’s clear from the reaction of people we trust on this issue that it’s cut a deal with the devil.

The Google-Verizon plan would neuter the FCC just when, for the first time in years, we have an FCC that not only gets this issue but is working hard to address it in a pro-consumer way.

The Internet as we know it has made Google and Verizon billions. Shame on them for trying to squeeze even more out of us. 

Don’t take our word for it. Read the full Google-Verizon release here. And the full Free Press release, excerpted below, here. USA Today has more on the story. —PZS

Statement by MoveOn.Org Civic Action, Credo Action, the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, and Free Press:

“The Google-Verizon pact isn’t just as bad as we feared — it’s much worse. They are attacking the Internet while claiming to preserve it. Google users won’t be fooled.

“They are promising Net Neutrality only for a certain part of the Internet, one that they’ll likely stop investing in. But they are also paving the way for a new ‘Internet’ via fiber and wireless phones where Net Neutrality will not apply and corporations can pick and choose which sites people can easily view on their phones or any other Internet device using these networks.

“It would open the door to outright blocking of applications, just as Comcast did with BitTorrent, or the blocking of content, just as Verizon did with text messages from NARAL Pro-choice America. It would divide the information superhighway, creating new private fast lanes for the big players while leaving the little guy stranded on a winding dirt road.

“Worse still, this pact would turn the Federal Communications Commission into a toothless watchdog, left fruitlessly chasing complaints and unable to make rules of its own.

“This is not real Net Neutrality. And this pact would harm the millions of Americans who have pleaded with our leaders in Washington to defend the free and open Internet. President Obama, Congress and the FCC should reject this deal, restore the authority of the agency that’s supposed to protect Internet users, and safeguard Net Neutrality once and for all.”

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JohnWilliamUK's avatar

By JohnWilliamUK, February 1, 2012 at 10:33 pm Link to this comment

I have not been able to find such kind of information throughout the search engines and internet.

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uncleray's avatar

By uncleray, August 11, 2010 at 7:04 pm Link to this comment

The bottom line is that in a “post Supreme Court Citizens United” world “Money Talks and you-know-what walks.

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Blackspeare's avatar

By Blackspeare, August 10, 2010 at 9:23 am Link to this comment

You can’t fault Verizon——they just want to get even!  You see back in the days before the Internet there was just the phone company(s) and in order to promote their business they offered unlimited local and regional calling for a monthly fee.  Then along comes the Internet and the ISP’s, in order to promote their business, set up local phone exchanges so that their customers could stay connected all day without incurring a charge from the phone company.  The phone companies sizzled——even if they could have charged $0.05 per hour they would have made easy millions!  Now, it is their chance to get even and recoup all that lost money.  Capitalism has a way of self-correcting!

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G.Anderson's avatar

By G.Anderson, August 10, 2010 at 7:00 am Link to this comment

If our government had an balls at all, they would instead send their anti trust unit, to go after Verizon, At&T and Google…

These companies are virtual monopolies…

Time to ditch google as your browser…

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By diamond, August 9, 2010 at 10:33 pm Link to this comment

Verizon can’t be trusted and google, if it cares about net neutrality, should not do this deal.

On May 11, 2006, controversy arose when USA Today revealed that Verizon, along with AT&T Inc. and Bell South, had turned over the call records of millions of U.S. citizens to the National Security Agency. Verizon flatly denied turning over records to the government, but did not comment on whether MCI, which it had acquired in January, had done so. On October 12, 2007, the company admitted in a letter to the United States House Committee on Energy and Commerce that it had turned over customer information to the FBI and other federal agencies of the U.S. government approximately 94,000 times from January 2005 to September 2007, providing such information 720 times without being presented with a court order or warrant.

In September 2007, Verizon Wireless initially refused to make their mobile phone network available to NARAL Pro-Choice America for a program which allows people to sign up for pro-choice text messages, on the grounds that they had the right to block “controversial or unsavory” messages. They subsequently reversed the decision:

“It was an incorrect interpretation of a dusty internal policy, that ... was designed to ward against communications such as anonymous hate messaging and adult materials sent to children. ... [Verizon has] great respect for this free flow of ideas.”

Sure it does.

On February 4, 2010, 4chan started receiving reports from Verizon Wireless customers that they were having difficulties accessing the site’s image boards. 4chan administrators found out that only traffic on port 80 to the domain was affected, leading them to believe that the block was intentional. On February 7, 2010, Verizon Wireless confirmed that was “explicitly blocked”.

This company has form and does not believe in net neutrality.

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