Archive for November 2010

Susan Crawford Says That The US Could Become a Backwater In Broadband

Susan Crawford spoke today at NYU at Evan Korth’s Computers and Society class. I was thrilled to attend. She is an enthusiastic speaker, blogger, and activist. A professor at Cardozo Law School, she founded OneWebDay and was recently Special Assistant to the President for Science, Technology, and Innovation Policy. The video is available here.

She warned that key decisions being made about the internet now could harm the U.S. forever.

Crawford opened her speech by recommending the new movie “Inside Job,” which is about the banking industry and about how regulators failed to stop it from taking risks that caused the current recession.

“There is a constant flow of people, a revolving door back and forth between the industry and the regulators. The banking industry, therefore, places key people in DC, as fundraisers as well as regulators.”

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ISOC-NY: Building Tomorrow’s Broadband, Part II: All Infrastructure Projects Are Corrupt

(For Part I of this report, see: ISOC-NY: Building Tomorrow’s Broadband, Part I: The Networks)

While everyone in theory understands that the internet brings wealth and business and tax dollars, far too many governments are trying to tax it in ways that could kill it in their area. Recently, the state of North Carolina lost a lawsuit in which it tried to collect taxes on sales to North Carolina residents by Amazon, which is based in Washington state.

Newby’s Allied Fiber avoids very serious government regulation by providing only the core of the network and not trying to build the last mile. Few appreciate the scale of regulation in the last mile. Donny Smith of Jaguar Communications in Minnesota has a fiber network covering almost 10,000 square miles (a 100 mile by 100 mile area). He told me a few years ago that he had to deal with:

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ISOC-NY: Building Tomorrow’s Broadband, Part I: The Networks

A meeting of the Internet Society of New York (ISOC-NY), Building Tomorrrow’s Broadband, three speakers presented alternative methods for building the broadband that America needs.

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The Public Good: Fred Benenson Explains the Rights and Wrongs of Copyright

Fred Benenson, currently of Kickstarter, presented the history and current state of copyright law to Evan Korth’s Computers & Society class at NYU. I was lucky to be allowed to sit in.

Prof. Korth noted that Benenson started the Free Culture chapter at NYU. After college and an ITP masters degree, Benenson joined Creative Commons.

“Copyright law is a balancing act,” Benenson said. “It balances fair use and the rights of the public with the private rights granted to copyright holders.”

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