Skip to comments.Where the Tea Party is right, and wrong, about tech policy
Posted on 08/07/2012 6:23:21 PM PDT by Sir Napsalot
It must be difficult to be a member of the Tea Party, having to balance the desire for more rights for everyone including corporations with less government to enforce those rights. A recent Heritage Foundation event featuring Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), highlights the movements dichotomy. (Watch it in its entirety in the video below). Heres where the Tea Party or Paul, at least gets it right and wrong on technology policy.
Paul seems to understand the problems surrounding copyright enforcement online, right down to his reasons for opposing SOPA. It wasnt so much what SOPA was trying to do in terms of shutting down pirate sites or forcing companies such as Google to act in some cases, as much as it was about the lack of due process in making these things happen. .....
If the recently defeated Cybersecurity Act of 2012 really was problematic privacy-wise, as even Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) thinks it was, Paul was right to vote against it. Hes also right to stand up for consumer rights, claiming that any bill offering immunity against lawsuits to companies that share user data with the government will essentially protect those companies should they decide to breach contractual terms about data sharing. ....
On the legislative process
Paul doesnt think expansive legislation is the best way to address certain technological issues, such as cybersecurity, and I tend to agree. The process is slow, often reactionary to the known threats of the day, and potentially stifling to new approaches and technologies. ....
On net neutrality
OK, Paul didnt address net neutrality at the event, but Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) and Heritage Foundation Senior Research Fellow in Regulatory Policy James Gattuso, who emceed the event, did. .....
(Excerpt) Read more at gigaom.com ...
As can be expected name-calling from comments on the discussion threads.
Never mind the fact we have large companies to thank for the existence of the internet as we know it anyway. Sure, it won’t work out at all. Competition between large companies is just as effective as small ones.
Spoken like a trial lawyer or somebody trying to win the lawsuit lottery.
I don’t quite see how the Tea Party argues in favor of more rights.
Agreed. What the lib nerds don't get is that the solution is more competition, not more government. Instead of removing the barriers to entry for ISPs and wireless providers to provide more competition, some are advocating dictating what a provider does with their network.
Yes, if Comcast is your only provider and caps your data, or charges you more to access certain sites, that's bad. The solution for that is to make it profitable for others to offer better service.
The TEA Party is not about "more" rights, it's about our fundamental, God-given natural rights taking precedence over newer politically correct claims that are in fashion. The TEA Party places our God-given property rights in the spotlight, and government does not for most people "enforce" our property rights. Government works to infringe on those rights to the maximum extent that we tolerate, primarily through taxation. Other fundamental rights valued by many or even most in the TEA Party include our God-given First Amendment rights to freedom of speech (which the mayors of Boston and Chicago are threatening to use government power to punish with the CEO of Chik-Fil-A), the free exercise of religion (which the thugs in our White House are trampling in a shocking manner with the abortion and birth control mandates in the new HHS demands for ObamaCare), Freedom of Association (trampled with lawsuits attempting to compel Christians to serve the cause of gay "marriage"), the Second Amendment guarantees of our God-given right to keep and bear arms (systematically undermined by liberals everywhere when they can get away with it), and similar natural rights.
Those in the TEA Party do not want government to protect them from those who bake wedding cakes but who don't want their business, don't want protection from having our feelings hurt, and don't want to be compelled to purchase or provide products and services simply because a government bureaucrat demands that we comply with their unconstitutional and immoral orders. We want the federal government to stick to the enumerated powers in the Constitution and otherwise to stay out of our way.
If you live in an area with a population density that provides a reasonable return on capital, you probably have 3 sets of wires leading to your premise - electric, telephone (POTS), and broadband cable. Two of those services can easily provide high speed internet connections. They cost a lot of money to get all of the access rights from various agencies and companies, install, provision, maintain, and upgrade over time. Small companies don't have the scale (money and people), political clout, or time to provide this kind of service. It's the same for wireless delivery since the radio spectrum is regulated to provide rationalization of service delivery (you wouldn't want your wireless devices to get fouled by interference).
But, small companies have many choices:
1) Partner with the established providers to deliver new or better technologies and services (e.g. RoadRunner).
2) Create new technologies that are sold into the existing market that create better methods of delivery (Motorola).
3) Plug into the existing backbone with new products / services (Amazon).
4) Create net-new delivery technologies and sell / deliver it independently of existing providers (that's how MCI got started - delivering short-haul business telecom via microwave).
Some things, like running a national airline, cable TV service, or cell phone service, requires a large up front investment, access rights, and ongoing operating costs. This creates a natural oligopoly with the potential for competition amongst each other, while providing an almost endless array of sizable opportunities to partner with small or large companies (Sky Chef and Marriott are not exactly mom and pop outfits).
When government gets involved picking winners and losers, or tries to create "more competition" (picture the "Equalization or Opportunity Bill" from Atlas Shrugged) - quality goes down (suckes resources from the successful to enable the weak), promising companies are throttled (American Airlines sued Legend out of business using "The Wright Amendment" that restricted air travel out of Love field), and good companies become weak and finally bankrupt (American went bankrupt over time for many reasons, but well connected / sanctioned unions and ever greater regs played a large part).
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