Internet thieves and straw men

Yesterday at the Personal Democracy Forum Conference, the closing panel of the day was a debate concerning Net Neutrality and the future of our free (as in speech) access to the Internet. Representing advocates for keeping the Internet fair and open were Timothy Karr of Free Press, and Susan Crawford, who is an Associate Professor of Law at Cardozo Law School, covering communications and copyright issues galore. On the other side, pushing for corporate gatekeepers to take over who gets to do what on the Internet, we had Steve Effros, the former longtime head of Cable Telecommunications Association, and Christopher Wolf, co-chair of Hands Off the Internet.

Hmmmmm... "Hands Off the Internet?" Doesn't that sound like an advocacy group who would be in favor of Net Neutrality, of preserving the status quo for how the Internet operates? From their website:


Hands Off The Internet is a nationwide coalition of Internet users united together in the belief that the Net's phenomenal growth over the past decade stems from the ability of entrepreneurs to expand consumer choices and opportunities without worrying about government regulation.

Using your secret decoder ring, you can translate this out of corporate-speak and into real world experience: they want to prevent any kind of legal protection of users' access to the Internet. Who are these jokers, anyways? Let's have a look at their "member organizations"...

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