Apparently FreePress is concerned that they may have over-reached and may have contributed to a less-than-helpful lose-lose dynamic in pushing so hard for counter-productive net neutrality regulations to be part of the guidelines for the $7.2b broadband economic stimulus grants.

FreePress is pushing their friends in media, to characterize the competitive broadband providers as bad guys for not volunteering to be subject to the new regulations/restrictions pushed by FreePress et al.

Broadband carriers have been very supportive and responsible participants in the congressional and executive processes to try and promote universal broadband access to all Americans soonest.

  • Unlike the FreePress line, broadband providers did not proactively say they would not participate in this round of the broadband stimulus grants, they simply answered questions from some in the media that were pushed by FreePress to ask.

It seems the leading goal of promoting universal access for all Americans would benefit from FreePress expending more effort to promote universal broadband access and less on pushing their unnecessary and counter-productive net neutrality agenda that naturally undermines the financial and operational efforts to bring broadband to all Americans soonest.

FreePress launched another effort to discredit my views and those of others in a new “Unmasking Astroturf” campaign where they called me the “Astro-turfer-in-chief.

I have some questions for FreePress on “astro-turfing.”

1. How is it “Astro-turfing” when I am fully disclosed and routinely communicate is a pro-competition e-forum funded by broadband interests?

It is not news that I work for company interests or that I philosophically believe, like broadband companies do, that competition is better for consumers and the economy than government regulation.

  • My mission and purpose are fully transparent and public.
  • My views are authentically my own and not synthetic as the epithet “astroturf” implies.
    • Why would it be surprising that I would work for entities whose core positions I agree with, just like people work for FreePress because they agree with FreePress?
    • A great thing about America is that one has constitutional rights to free speech and to assemble with whom one wants to.
  • Given that FreePress is often loose with policy facts it does not surprise me that FreePress is loose with process facts as well.2. Why does FreePress shoot the messenger rather than the message?

    Often ad hominem attacks are employed to distract focus from the substance and merit of a debate. It appears FreePress does not want people to be “open” to hearing my analysis or arguments that:

    3. How is it “astro-turfing” to be accurate?

    FreePress called me the “Boy who cried socialism” to imply that, like the “boy who cried wolf,” I have somehow not been truthful about what I have said about FreePress’ views.

    • Well I haven’t commented on a recent interview by FreePress’ co-Founder, Mr. Robert McChesney in the Bullet, the Socialist Project newsletter, but since FreePress was the one which raised the subject in an inaccurate effort to discredit my truthfulness, McChesney’s interview confirms that I was indeed accurate — given how unabashed FreePress’s co-founder is about FreePress’ socialist views and agenda in his most recent public interview.

    4. How transparent is FreePress about its backing?

    It seems fair that if FreePress is questioning and disparaging the transparency of groups who promote views in opposition to theirs, that FreePress would be interested in bending over backwards to be transparent about their funding and supporters.

    Who are FreePress’ biggest donors?

    Does FreePress accept significant in-kind contributions of any kind from corporations?

    Does FreePress consider large individual contributions from employees of companies to be just individuals for transparency purposes?

    Does FreePress believe its allies should also be transparent about their funding and supporters? e.g. New America Foundation, Public Knowledge, Open Internet Coalition, etc.

    In closing, I am thankful to have the opportunity to systematically counter FreePress’ spurious charges.


I was surprised that the Wall Street Journal editorial page printed Andy Kessler’s datatopian rant today, which essentially calls for the Federal Government to economically regulate the competitive broadband Internet as a monopoly and move away from a market-driven property rights model for mobile Internet infrastructure.

After one reads Mr. Kessler’s compilation of datatopian platitutudes and selective analysis, please consider the litany of datatopian assumptions (below), which undergird Mr. Kessler’s regulatory recommendations.

  • Mr. Kessler’s: “Why AT&T Killed Google Voice: Telecom operators are yesterday’s business. It’s time for a national data policy that encourages innovation.”

Mr. Kessler’s Datatopian Assumptions:

First, assume a broadband pipe(s).

Second, assume broadband/Internet works, always.

Third, assume all the billions of daily Internet transmissions just happen — perfectly.

Fourth, assume everyone can always use as much bandwidth as they want.

Fifth, assume its all free.

Sixth, assume broadband doesn’t need return on investment.

Seventh, assume that the broadband competition everyone sees everyday in TV/online/print advertising doesn’t exist.

Eighth, assume only Silicon Valley companies can be trusted.

Ninth, assume only Silicon Valley companies can innovate.

Tenth, assume Government policy/regulation is the wellspring of market innovation.

In short, assume that datatopia can be within our grasp, if we would only listen to Silicon Valley and trust in Government economic regulation.

Kudos to Link Hoewing’s insightful post on “The Internet’s Evolution and Network Management” on Verizon’s Policy Blog.

  • Its an important analysis and perspective for anyone wanting to understand how FCC regulation of the Internet and network management could negatively and seriously harm innovation and the Internet’s natural evolution.

The lead WSJ story today, “Arrest in Epic Cyber Swindle” covering the cybercrime ring theft of over 130 million credit/debit cards, is a stark high-profile reminder of the very real and pervasive Internet problem of lack of cybersecurity.

  • In the face of overwhelming mainstream evidence that lack of cybersecurity is the Internet’s #1 problem (see links below), including President Obama’s declaration that cybersecurity must be a new national security priority in his 5-29 cybersecurity address, it is perplexing that none of the FCC’s National Broadband Plan workshops are on cybersecurity.
  • It is hard to see how the Open Internet’s growing security problem can be addressed and mitigated over time, if the U.S. Government’s main big picture policy effort addressing the broadband Internet, the National Broadband Plan, does not even collect input from the public or experts on the Internet’s #1 problem — lack of cybersecurity.
  • The first step in solving a big problem is acknowledging there is one.

See previous parts of this series on “The Open Internet’s Growing Security Problem” here: I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII, VIII, IX, X, XI, XII, XIII, XIV & XV.


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