It’s reasonably clear that Internet regulation is now blowing up in our faces: Congressional Democrats are intent on raising the 2015 OIO from the dead, but for reasons that appear to be totally political. Meanwhile, data brokers make hay with our browsing histories and nobody but the Europeans seems to care.
The only reason for Congress to turn the clock back to 2015 is to enjoy the comfort of a well-worn path. This is cowardly and counter-productive; the rank and file should say “no” and demand a more serious approach to Internet regulation from their party leadership.
Satellite-based systems are also vertical on nature, while 5G is a horizontal, land-based system. So it appears that a political constituency has asked for an unnecessary delay in order to protect itself from the consequences of 5G.
Privacy is a balancing and line-drawing exercise. Net neutrality is as well, but some of the more combative Democrats don’t see it that way. Perhaps their blindness is willful and perhaps it’s politically-driven. But either way, it’s not doing consumers or the Internet any favors.
The 5G buildout is hampered on some areas by extortionate rents on small cell sites. These fees are driven the need of some municipalities – such as San Jose, California – to raise money for pension costs. While we’re sympathetic to retirees, there are ways to meet these needs without wrecking the technology sector.
People like DeGette and Lindenberger are little points of light in the dark night of search engine optimization. Their success will depend on the willingness of millions of ordinary people to join their fight for reality-based public policy.
Net neutrality was created at a time when the only large firms conducting Internet business were ISPs. It was sensible for lawmakers to focus on ISPs in 2003. But today’s Internet is dominated by non-ISP edge services that routinely abuse personal information. Internet law need to leap forward to the present day.
Net neutrality was promoted by Silicon Valley to take policy makers’ eyes off the massive dossiers of personal data its major players assembled from their platforms. Now that the public is aware of this (very real) behavior, the claims of possible harms to consumers from the lack of net neutrality regulations are much less compelling.
If you’re a fan of books on tech and tech policy this is a particularly good time for you because so much new stuff is hot off the presses. Here’s a short list of the books in my reading queue at the moment, along with a couple of longish journal articles.