It behooves us to be realistic, to assess facts honestly, and to avoid rushing to solve non-existent problems while real needs remain unaddressed. The Internet works fine for those of us who have it, but it doesn’t work at all for the rest of us.
Silicon Valley is full of firms that are tracking our movements and recording our contacts today. This is how Google and Facebook make a living, and they’re going to keep on doing it whether their datasets and computer power are used to sell ads or to protect public health.
We also need to get better – a lot better – at communicating our aspirations and motives for creating new technology. 5G is an a chaotic state in many jurisdictions these days because we’ve failed to communicate the benefits and to bring the public along with us.
Net neutrality sucked the oxygen out of Internet policy for a decade, turning every discussion of Internet policy into a debate over the best way to ensure the Internet remained true to this newly discovered foundational principle of the Internet. But these promises were hollow because net neutrality only applied to one part of the Internet, data transmission between consumers, Internet-based businesses, and Internet Service Providers.
US broadband is nothing to sneer at, as all of us who have taken the time to study it in depth are happy to say. Alternative fact reports targeted at naive journalists have the potential to do serious harm, so I would encourage anyone who finds OTI’s United States of Broadband remotely credible to dig a little deeper before firing off clickbait headlines. You might be a victim of fake news.
Conspiracy nuts are drawn into an irrational world where normal behavior is to do irrational things. Conspiracy theories undermine confidence in institutions and conspiratorial reasoning also undermines institutions in their own right. We need to break out of this cycle.
These tools enable one activist to look to the Internet like a whole crowd. It also enables activists to look like they vote in districts where they don’t live and to make phone calls to Congress that look like they come from constituents when they don’t. This is a corruption of our democracy.
Trump Administration gadfly American Oversight is circulating a collection of 1,300 pages of email it obtained from the FCC through a FOIA request. The emails, related to the meltdowns experienced by the FCC’s comment system following HBO personality John Oliver’s comedy bits on net neutrality in 2014 and 2018, fail to disclose any new information.
We need IA, the ISPs, Congress, and the regulatory agencies to come together and draft a new section for the Communications Act addressing privacy, security, fraud and other criminal conduct, and market concentration.