Glenn Greenwald has video of attendees refusing to say who they were
or why they were there or what the party was for:
Amazingly, not a single one of the 25-30 people we tried to interview would speak to us about who they were, how they got invited, what the party’s purpose was, why they were attending, etc. One attendee said he was with an “energy company,” and the other confessed she was affiliated with a “trade association,” but that was the full extent of their willingness to describe themselves or this event. It was as though they knew they’re part of a filthy and deeply corrupt process and were ashamed of — or at least eager to conceal — their involvement in it. After just a few minutes, the private security teams demanded that we leave, and when we refused and continued to stand in front trying to interview the reticent attendees, the Denver Police forced us to move further and further away until finally we were unable to approach any more of the arriving guests.
Greenwald notes that AT&T spends more in three months for
lobbying than EFF’s entire budget for a year.
Then he spells out how the lobbying revolving door works, and concludes:
The “two sides” referenced there means the House Democratic leadership
and the telecoms. Congressional leaders are “negotiating” with the
telecoms — the defendants in pending lawsuits — regarding the best way
for immunizing them from liability for their lawbreaking, no doubt with
the help of the former Democratic members and staffers now being paid by
the telecoms to speak to their former bosses and colleagues about what
they should do. To describe the process is to illustrate its oozing,
banana-republic-like corruption, but that’s generally how our laws
None of this is particularly new, but it’s still remarkable to be able
to document it in such grotesque detail and see how transparent it all
is. In one sense, it’s just extraordinary how seamlessly and relentlessly
the wheels of this dirty process churn. But in another sense, it’s perhaps
even more remarkable — given the forces lined up behind telecom amnesty
— that those who have been working against it, with far fewer resources
and relying largely on a series of disruptive tactics and ongoing efforts
to mobilize citizen anger, have been able to stop it so far.
Remember, AT&T and the other telcos and cablecos are the same
companies that want to nuke net neutrality in the name of competition
and progress; two other flags they behind, just like the banana republic
flag of national security.
Some people use the Internet simply to check e-mail and look up phone numbers. Others are online all day, downloading big video and music files.
For years, both kinds of Web surfers have paid the same price for access. But now three of the country’s largest Internet service providers are threatening to clamp down on their most active subscribers by placing monthly limits on their online activity.
The article names Time Warner, Comcast, and AT&T as the three prospective
I can remember when all the European PTTs charged by the byte.
That held the Internet in Europe back by at least four years.
The article rightly points out byte charging would interfere
with all sorts of business plans.
It would also inhibit political speech.
Isn’t it lovely when the duopoly that controls U.S. Internet access
considers participation a leak that needs to be fixed?
a good backgrounder video
on where the Internet came from and where it may be going:
See especially the part by Larry Lessig about how printing presses in the early days cost about $10,000 in 2007 dollars,
and lots of people had one and published books and pamphlets.
What did the telephone companies have to do with inventing the Internet?
The World Wide Web?
What have they had to do with the Internet from the beginning of time?