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geos 02/17/2008 4:24pm

no, what the Grange is saying is that “we will support the telco’s in their quest to extract more profit from the internet backbone if they promise to invest some of that profit in expanded rural access.”

my point is that instituting a regulatory environment which restricts the profits of the companies without appropriate subsidy isn’t doing anyone any favors: you assume that market incentives are going to lead to expanded bandwidth and access but you can already see that in comparison to other countries with stronger government involvement this isn’t happening in the US. i’m would be all for re-nationalizing the internet backbone, but that isn’t happening any time soon.

if your goal is an open internet accessible to everyone then you are going to have to put public money where your mouth is, and in this world, you are going to be giving that money to the backbone providers. the status quo is a de facto tiered system: with urban/wealthy areas getting fiber while the net stagnates everywhere else.

geos 02/17/2008 9:39am

Grange comes out against Markey Bill:

http://www.prnewswire.com/cgi-bin/stories.pl?ACCT=104&STORY=/www/story/02-14-2008/0004756105&EDATE=

the issue is really the same as when Clinton/Gore privatized the internet: are market incentives really sufficient to insure adequate investment in both access and bandwith?

it seems the answer is fairly clear: absent a permanent tech investment bubble, if the federal government wants an open internet accessible to everyone it is going to have to pay for it. the net backbone has really become a utility, like the electric power grid. if you have heavy regulatory requirements you will also need a seperate regulatory environment to insure investment and direct and indirect subsidies. a deregulated internet will never be ‘open.’

but read the Grange news release: rural access to broadband really is spotty and don’t think that the telco’s won’t try to tie tiered pricing and associated profits to investment in rural access to either get a bill through congress or prevent passage of bills like Markey’s. as long as there is a senate, you are going to have to appease all those small states.

geos 02/12/2008 2:34am

i’m not sure how onerous “developing a plan” is i.e. we plan to install a packet-filter at the top of the domain to block all p2p-flavored packets going out of the university network, even with more detail, is very different from actually implementing such a scheme. I’m not sure ‘plan’ necessarily implies something that can be rolled out even reasonably immediately if further legislation required it.

also, the ‘alternatives’ language suggests an opening for non-commercial internet-media distribution schemes to get free publicity: Miro anyone?

geos 02/07/2008 4:32am

here is the ‘money’ quote from the Pollan article:

“The flow of immigrants north from Mexico since Nafta is inextricably linked to the flow of American corn in the opposite direction, a flood of subsidized grain that the Mexican government estimates has thrown two million Mexican farmers and other agricultural workers off the land since the mid-90s.”

the “immigration” debate is just an extension of the “globalization” debate and agricultural products are first and foremost a globally traded commodity.

geos 02/05/2008 3:04am

another step in further criminalizing immigration issues

geos 02/03/2008 6:17am

here is Feingold’s statement in response to this agreement.

“I am pleased that Republicans have finally backed down from their efforts to ram a deeply flawed FISA bill through the Senate without votes on amendments. We all agree that FISA needs to be updated so our government can go after the foreign communications of suspected terrorists. But we must not provide overly broad and unnecessary powers that infringe on the rights and privacy of law-abiding Americans, especially to an administration that has proven it cannot be trusted. Next week, we have an opportunity to fix this bill, but only if senators stand up to the administration’s attempted power grab and support my and other amendments to put in place checks and balances. If the final bill produced by the Senate doesn’t protect the privacy of law abiding Americans or if it includes immunity for telecom companies, I will strongly oppose it and will vote against cutting off debate on it.

it would be interesting to know what the vote counts are, but I believe Greenwald is correct…


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geos’ Opposed Bills

Bill Status Last Action
S.276 Passport and Visa Security Act of 2007 (110th congress) Introduced May 23, 2007