Commoncause.org is a spammer

Commoncause.org has some very worthwhile efforts under way. In fact, Ive always liked that they have pushed discussion of issues. THere is nothing better than open discussion about an issue to help both sides learn.

As a liberterian at heart, I actively support their published missions:

To strengthen public participation and faith in our institutions of self-government; to ensure that government and political processes serve the general interest, rather than special interests; to curb the excessive influence of money on government decisions and elections; to promote fair elections and high ethical standards for government officials; and to protect the civil rights and civil liberties of all Americans.

Not a single word there that I cant go along with.

So why has commoncause veered from the ideals of Archibald Cox, their former leader?

Archibald Cox for those who dont remember, and i paraphrase the commoncause website here, “stood up to President Nixon in his role as special prosecutor investigating the Watergate scandal. Hedefied President Nixon and said he would continue to demand the incriminating White House tapes, which of course led to Nixons resignation”

Special Prosecutor Cox found strength in the millions of people who stood up and supported his efforts. Again from the commoncause website , “The American people roared their support for Cox in calls and letters to Congress and the White House. Former Senator Sam Ervin (D-NC) declared the nation’s response: “In volume and intensity of denunciation, this outcry of the people was without the faintest precedent in the annals of the country.””

How amazing and wonderful, that the American people under their own initiative, without prompting, took action to support their beliefs.

How sad that today, rather than encouraging people to do the same today for issues that Commoncause supports, they have lost faith in their supporters willingness to support causes from their own initiative. Instead, they have chosen to become a large scale spammer.

THey must consider their supporters untrustable drones. Why else provide form letters for them to send rather than letting the supporters provide their own perspective on issues ? They must not trust their drones to take action either. Why else create an automated spamming system rather than providing emails or snail mail addresses for theirsupporters to use on their own ?

Which leads to the reason for this post.

Last month i wrote a post saying why I thought there could be value to tiered levels of service on the internet. Some people agreed. Some disagreed. The beauty was in the discussion that resulted.

Discussion, its a beautiful thing. The exchange of ideas. It leads to better ideas.

Well the spammers at commoncause.org decided that they should spam me with the following form letter.

Saturday, January 28 2006

HDnet Mark Cuban

Dear HDnet Cuban,

I support network neutrality, and I am dismayed by comments made by your executives
recently indicating they want to see dramatic changes to the way the Internet
operates.

Net neutrality is the reason this democratic medium has grown exponentially,
fueled innovation and altered how we communicate. For-profit interests should
not be allowed to destroy the democratic culture of the web.

I strongly urge you to oppose policies that permit network operators to block,
impede or interfere with any lawful Internet traffic, now or in the future.

Reading the comments show the obvious lack of thought and effortinvolved. Comments made by “my executives” ? But wait , it gets better. On their website, they have my picture, altered with devil horns🙂, with the following

“Take a look below (or here) at what some brazen telecom execs had to say, and then send a message telling them how you feel about the Internet.”

I guess i forgot that i worked at a telecom. My goodness.

I have gotten probably 1500 or so of the above spam emails. Fortunately, it didnt take me long to setup a filterand throw them in a folder and not be bothered with them, but that doesnt changethefact that Commoncause.org has lost thedirection that Archibald Cox provided. Does anyone over there really think that he would support spamming anyone ? Or would he try to educatepeople to the issues and encourage them to speak their minds…. in their own words.

45 thoughts on “Commoncause.org is a spammer

  1. Just watched the little general get the boot. I have to stand up for him and say that he did it right. Bad call from the ref.

    Comment by Jessica Ceballos -

  2. Gadget Boy, politians having you sign petitions is just another form of “Committment and Consistancy” a persuasion tactic which you can read more about in Robert Caldini’s famous book called Persuasion.

    Well should be interesting to see the commoncause.org about their now publicized spamming initiative.

    Comment by Hone Watson -

  3. Mark,

    I love your new site blogcuban.com

    Keep up the good work!

    Kobehater

    Comment by Mike -

  4. If the carriers still had a monopoly on internet access then maybe regulation would be justifiable. But with reasonably good competition, there’s no need to enforce net neutrality.

    HAHAHAHA. What country do YOU live in?

    In the past three locations I’ve lived, I had two choices.
    1) I could go with dialup! If I did so, I had plenty of choices of service provider, but it didn’t matter because they are all, uniformly, shit – because they’re stuck being, well, dialup.
    2) I could go with Comcast’s cable internet.

    There are no competitors, because Comcast owns the cable. There are no reasonable alternatives to cable, because the technical limitations of DSL mean that unless you live in the city, you just can’t get it.

    We don’t have competition in the broadband market. We have regional monopolies – and the only difference that will make if net neutrality ends is that your guarantee won’t be worth a damn thing, because any site you try to go to will be getting deprioritized unless they pay the fee… and not just to THEIR provider, but to yours, too – and to anyone in the middle.

    Comment by Michael Ralston -

  5. test

    Comment by Ron D -

  6. These types of e-mail campaigns never work, just like Mark they setup a filter (easy when every one is identical) and send them to the trash, or a folder. Heck auto spam filters would probably start tagging them as spam after the first 20 or so.

    If you want to express a view to someone — write your own words. Mindless CCing is worthless and will be ignored.

    If you want to write a congress person — fax, don’t e-mail. Setup a cheap e-mail to fax account and use that.

    Finally, for the tiered internet. The problem I have with current proposals is they are charge the business for higher speeds for all customers on their network. This is unfair to businesses (especially startups) and unfair to customers.

    For example, if I order a DVD from Amazon I can choose to have it next day — higher speed. And I will pay accordingly. For this type of situation on the internet, I would choose to burst HDNet to my house while I download a movie, and pay extra for it.

    The current plans by the internet providers is that they get to charge Google more for access to their customers. The customers have no say in who gets higher bandwidth and who doesn’t.

    Comment by Stig -

  7. I’m a Democat, and I’m amazed at how many Democratic politicians pull stupid stunts like this. I’m assume it happens on the Republican side also, but I don’t know because I’m not signed up to any of their email lists.

    Usually Democrats ask a ton of people to sign a petition….problem is they don’t work. For example, I’ve signed a petition to stop oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, a petition to seek answers on the Downing Street Memo, and a petition to fire Karl Rove over his involvement in the Plame scandal. All of these petitions failed miserably. They are worthless. Yet, politicians still waste their time asking citizens to sign petitions that are utterly meaningless.

    Comment by gadget boy -

  8. I guess it has to do with Daniel Goleman’s theory of Cyber-disinhibition.

    I believe that drawing horns on people’s heads is not the way to sway that person to your point of view.

    Comment by Bland Response -

  9. Form letters are the level to which public discourse has descended. Want to get a bunch more? Piss off the right wing this time. Say something like “Jesus was a bad dude.” That’ll fill your gmail in less than an hour.

    As for public discourse, it has also become a “bad thing” to be critical of government. At least, that’s what they’ll tell you. It’s bad for the press to do their job. It’s unpatriotic to defend your rights. It’s unAmerican to suggest that someone in power might have done something improper at some time.

    Even worse, there’s a generation growing up that is incapable of key critical thinking skills. So you think this situation we’re dealing with is going to get better?

    See, the reason no one takes the time to actually craft a “real” letter:
    1. people perceive they have “no time” to do it. This is crap. You work your ass off, and yet you have a little time, right? You make time. You schedule. You do the things that are really important, for yourself, and for others. Anyway, usually folks are too selfish to really dedicate their time properly.
    2. Lack of knowledge and/or thinking skills. Sure, Johnny can read. But can he comprehend what he’s reading.
    3. technology makes it easy!

    Commoncause is doing the same darn thing everyone else is doing. Blame the market. Political action has become pushbutton simple. Thank goodness are brains are barely up to the task.

    Anyway, tiered makes as much sense as anything. I still think there is a technology solution that would obviate the need for such draconian measures, but what you say makes as much sense as anything I’ve heard so far.

    Comment by Victor Agreda, Jr. -

  10. Hrmm…

    Seems to me Mark, that individuals were spamming you, although their efforts were made easier by a medium.

    However, that medium is the one who’s greasy fingerprints are all over the spam, and leading directly back to.

    Perhaps more enlightenment can be gleaned from noted libertarian Stephan Kinsella in this Mises Institute blog post.

    http://blog.mises.org/archives/004637.asp

    I only partially agree with his assessments on spam, especially when related to traditional snail-mail.

    The free market has a solution for everything.

    Our barely free market has only mediocre solutions for spam problems at the moment.

    Comment by Champ -

  11. I agree with you mark… but I also note that your previous post describes a future with HDtvs in every room. Do we want people to be drones or not?

    Comment by Sean Kehoe -

  12. That isn’t spam, it’s a political campaign. I’m sure that the people sending those letters have the option to change the text if they want–many organizations do that, the ACLU for example–but there is a default text in case people can’t or won’t articulate their individual position.

    Comment by Ted -

  13. I don’t really have a philosophical problem with tiered service, but I guess I’m just wondering how it would actually work. It takes about 25 hops from me to blogmaverick.com, across at least 5 networks. My connection to blogmaverick is only as fast as the slowest network or router along the way. Given routing algorithms which were designed in the 70’s for nuclear-proof reliability and re-routability rather than optimal speed, I just don’t understand how such a thing would work.

    It would require a very high level of cooperation across all ISP’s along the chain. What if I pay for this service from my ISP, but the blogmaverick.com network doesn’t pay for access to the same nets? Kind of wastes my money, doesn’t it? I really just don’t know how such technical leaps can be taken without fundamentally screwing with the fundamental IP-routing fabric of the Internet.

    It’d be great if it could happen, but we’re talking about at least a decade before it can all be well-designed and finally trickle down to all Internet users. Think about it: Cisco and other companies will have to come out with new routers and other equipment, at all levels of the network (from fiberoptic backbone to home WiFi). Operating systems programmers would have to rewrite their network stacks. IP devices such as phones, televisions and anything else would have to be upgraded.

    If you’ve got a link or some explanation of how it can happen, or current plans to make it happen, I’d be happy to read it.

    Comment by Brock -

  14. I don’t see why everyone cries so much about tiered service, haven’t we been on tiered service for years? I switched from tier-1 dial-up to tier-2 DSL years ago. That being said, IMO thats how we need to define the tiers in terms of bandwidth, not in terms of content.

    Comment by Nick Harris -

  15. Scott,

    You bring up some good points about creating government oversight. The problem is that the government indirectly created the monopolies through regulation thus reducing competition. The various municipalities are addicted to the revenue generated from the fees that they charge the Telcos and cable companies. The fees along with the resources needed to comply with the insanely complex and immense regulation requirements increase the costs to those providers.

    If, in a deregulated environment, the cable companies begin to overcharge their customers, then other technologies become relatively cheaper creating entrepreneurial opportunities and efficiencies reducing costs. Additionally smaller towns and areas that are passed over by the large corporations can be serviced by local companies. This has worked well in rural areas of my state and the costs that the local companies charge are comparable to the larger cities.

    The market could easily support different service levels. Again if one company charged more than the market would bear, pricing pressures from competitors and technology improvements would bring the costs down. The Telecommunications act of 1994 (removing some, but not nearly enough of the regulations) dropped long distance rates to just a fraction of their previous levels, assuming you make your long distance calls out of state. Yet if you make the LD call within the same state, then it’s more expensive because the State government gets in the way causing higher costs, etc.

    Going a step further (and I realize you are in no way advocating my next point) when the infrastructure becomes a full blown public works effort the government loses money and a lot of it. One example is the Ashland Fiber Network developed and paid for by the City of Ashland, Oregon. They are desperately trying to sell the network to a private company to recoup just some of the expense.

    I’m afraid I may have gone off on a tangent from Mark’s original post. Going back on topic, imagine how these types of organizations (not just this one) that do everything but hit the send button would react if they suddenly had to pay more to send out massive numbers of emails. Now imagine how much more effective their campaign would be if the users who wish to send an email on this topic wrote it themselves and sent it from their personal account. Rather than setting up a filter like Mark had to do, he would have to sort though each and everyone 

    Padraic

    Comment by Padraic -

  16. While I do agree that if someone wants to pay more for a faster internet experience, let them pay it. I do not feel it is wise not to have some level of regulation (I am sure I will make some enemies for this comment). There is NOT enough competition in most areas to allow ISP’s self regulation. With the SBC/AT&T acquisition and now AT&T and Bell South, this leaves even less competition, especially in rural areas.

    If the ISP are left to their own accord and someone wants to use Skype or Vonage for VOIP, I would bet all of Mark’s money that AT&T will make it a financially burden not to use AT&T’s VOIP solution if you use AT&T as your ISP. Unfortunately there is not a win-win scenario for this argument, at some level someone loses, because there will not be enough competition. More than likely it will be Skype or Vonage that lose because the public will save a few bucks per month to make their ISP rich by using their preferred services.

    I am not against capitalism and my mortgage gets paid because my company profits from people buying our product. I just do not like the bigger, deeper pockets forcing their inferior products on the public by squeezing the little guy out. Because once that happens they can charge any price they want and the public eventually loses.

    Comment by Scott R -

  17. The best part about the form letter is that you can’t unselect any of the five exec’s mentioned. How does that help free minded individuals?

    I agree, let the market figure out what works best, keep the regulators out of it.

    Comment by Padraic -

  18. Mark, blame the “spam” on Kintera, Inc., the company that (mis)manages the CauseNet email newsletter. I blogged something about this here:

    http://spamkings.oreilly.com/archives/2006/03/kintera_cuban_and_common_cause.html

    Brian

    Comment by Brian McWilliams -

  19. I still agree with Mark’s orginal comments and some here. With commerical “need or die” applications that consume global networks they need higher priority to run their business than I do with my late night bit-torrent. The age of mobility is only growing as more and more things become “on the go”. I’d rather have a heart monitor program or my Brinks alarm system getting priority on the internet. Neutrality is not important, all things are not created equal, it’s a principle of life.

    Comment by Rob B. -

  20. Tiered internet service didn’t make sense in the early days of the net, because no one had any idea what sort of applications would be built. Once the applications were built then you can start to charge for a premium service. They didn’t build toll roads before cars were widely accessible.

    I honestly don’t see what the big problem is with carriers charging for different Quality of Service(QoS) levels. If the carriers still had a monopoly on internet access then maybe regulation would be justifiable. But with reasonably good competition, there’s no need to enforce net neutrality.

    Comment by Hubert Chen -

  21. I wonder how far Broadcast.com would have gotten in its early days if the “tiered” Internet were already in place?

    More than likely, Broadcast.com wouldn’t have been able to afford a quality “preferred distribution channel”, stream quality would have sucked, and Mr. Cuban would still be managing the local Bonanza.

    Respectfully,
    Jim Jones

    Comment by Jim Jones -

  22. I’m sorry Adam, but you are wrong about neutrality being urgent. With high-bandwidth applications coming on line and driving bandwidth usage up much faster than the ISPs can roll it out to customer, high bandwidth applications like P2P video or VOD will crowd out low bandwidth applications like e-mail and web browsing, making the entire Internet experience slower for everyone. Prioritizing packets and selling priority status is what will make high bandwidth pay its fair share.

    I look at the 91 freeway in Orange County, CA as an example of how tiered service could work. You have all the people who won’t pay for toll lanes sitting between Anaheim Hills and Corona for two hours in the evening. And you have the people who want to make it there quickly willing to cough up $5 at this peak time, about the cost of a Venti Mocha at *$. The price system… It’s the best way to sort out who gets a limited resource so we all don’t have to sit in traffic all evening.

    If however, you want to sit in the free lanes for hours, you’re welcome to. The ISPs aren’t talking about taking them away or even about retarding their capacity, or even about not growing their capacity as fast as they can. They just want a way to guarantee QOS to those who need it and are willing to pay. If Cubans willing to pay, what’s it to you?

    Comment by Brad Hutchings -

  23. While I don’t support true “spamming” initiatives, I think this is quite different. I can’t speak about the specifics, since I’m unaware of what commoncause.org actually does. For all I know, they might be the ones sending me the “Free Ipod” emails 50 times a day. What Mark described sounds more like something that MANY other activist groups also do. For example, at FreePress.org, I have participated in many of the mailings sent to members of congress supporting or opposing pending legislation. They always provide a form letter for you to attach your name and send in order to save time and get more people to participate, but there is also ALWAYS every opportunity for anyone who wishes to delete what is written and express themselves individually. They also give the email addresses to which you are sending, so if you are more ambitious you can send comments on your own without affiliating with their site at all.

    The point is that this is far from what I consider to be spamming. It is very challenging for social activist groups to claim any kind of effective voice in the shadows of the media oligopoly. This is one method of at least getting viewpoints across, albeit very similar or even identical expressions, but valid views nonetheless. It is the internet equivalent of a protest: all for the attention to the cause.

    The previous commenter seem to think that network neutrality is a bad thing. I shudder when I think about what “Big Media” (pardon the cliche) will do if we start tinkering with the net’s infrastructure. If you support creatity and discussion from varied viewpoints, then neutrality is a NECESSARY and URGENT cause. If you don’t think the outcome would be so bad, just refer to some books by Lawrence Lessig or David Bollier for some good “parades of horribles”

    Comment by Adam J -

  24. I agree with you 100% on tiered service Mark. But I think the spam treatment you got has much less to do with your present position than it does with a past position. When you get into bed with the info-commies at the EFF, you’re not supposed to get out of their bed. Having lost Grokster last year (on your dime apparently), network neutrality is their latest last stand. And now, you’re in their crosshairs.

    Comment by Brad Hutchings -

  25. The level or lack of maturity by placing your photo with horns speaks volumes of how they have veered from their mission. I wonder if that was one person’s emotions flaring or if a vote was made by the organization to do that? I seem to think one person may have too much unchecked publishing power.

    Comment by Kevin Dill -

  26. If, in a deregulated environment, the cable companies begin to overcharge their customers, then other technologies become relatively cheaper creating entrepreneurial opportunities and efficiencies reducing costs.

    Comment by runescape money -

  27. But if you really think BellSouth wants to tier internet service so grandma can get a video checkup, I’ve got a bridge here in Brooklyn you’ve just got to see. We don’t have technology or trained personnel to even begin to imagine that as a reality. It’s pure vaporware spin.

    Comment by wow powerleveling -

  28. Hanna– You misunderstand what “tiered” service means. No net neutrality supporter (not CommonCause.org, not SaveTheInternet.com) objects to tiered pricing for consumers. You want to charge consumers $80 for satellite Internet, $40 for cable, $15 for DSL or $10 for dial-up? That’s fair. Not a problem.

    But that’s not what the telecoms are lobbying Congress for the right to do.

    They want to charge content providers (who, by the way, have already paid the telecoms for bandwidth) extra fees to ensure that their websites still work. So AT&T is going to say “Hey Google, you want your search engine and all your other tools to work for AT&T Internet subscribers? Pay this fee, or we’ll put your site in the slow lane.”

    That means that the telecoms become the gatekeepers — the decision makers about which businesses succeed on the Internet and which fail.

    In all liklihood, Google is going to choose to pay up. They can afford to. But what happens to the little guy working out of his basement with the next big idea that’s going to blow Google out of the water? He’ll never be able to pay the fees to all the telecom giants, and therefore will never get a chance to compete.

    What Cuban proposes would spell the end of innovation on the net. He doesn’t care because he’s already got the money to pay to the telecoms, and he’d like to stifle future competition.

    Comment by Krys -

  29. Whether its the 405 or the internet. Unless of course we add multiple tiers of service so that users, companies and applications that want to, or need to avoid those traffic jams have alternatives.

    Comment by Sun -

  30. Surowiecki and Mark Cuban have separately used competing highway metaphors to depict their opposing views.

    Comment by whales -

  31. Hi
    I don’t see why everyone cries so much about tiered service, haven’t we been on tiered service for years? I switched from tier-1 dial-up to tier-2 DSL years ago. That being said, IMO thats how we need to define the tiers in terms of bandwidth, not in terms of content.

    Hanna

    Comment by recetas cocina -

  32. Net neutrality bills currently being considered in Congress– http://news.zdnet.com/2100-1035_22-6057789.html

    Comment by JohnD -

  33. More on the debate about network neutrality– http://www.mathewingram.com/work/index.php/2006/03/29/father-of-the-web-speaks-on-neutrality

    Comment by JohnD -

  34. Free markets are great when they’re free- but when they’re being rigged by a few for the benefit of that few, that’s not a free market, and those few may be richer than the rest, but not as rich as they would be if they helped to make things fairer. Game Theory has shown that the right mix of cooperation and competition yields the best results for everyone.

    Comment by Erik Larson -

  35. I know I am a little late in getting to this however I agree with both your positions (as I see them) 1. Common cause has a good place however 2. they are spamming. It used to be one thing to get a suggestion to send a “letter” to someone and support a cause but with the advent of this technology it now creates havoc blasting anyone that disagrees and Common Cause is no different that anyone else. I suspect that many like myself got behind Common Cause but will drop off as I don’t like the idea of “spamming” someone who disagrees with me. Pettion for a good thing? Yes but not flaming someone.

    Comment by Walter -

  36. I agree with Mark that many of our online advocacy organizations have gone a step too far in “making it easy” to send your concerns to influential individuals… Still, given the decline in general civil structures, {Putnam, etc.) perhaps this is necessary to get people involved?

    Nevertheless, I completely disagree with his take on net neutrality. We do not have competition of broadband providers in the US (look at Europe–many providers, significantly faster tech, bloody-well cheaper than most of our services), just a few major corporations that own functional monopolies across broad swaths of the country.

    Second, the road comparison is unfair. More akin would be if Ma Bell (now that she is reborn) would drop your calls if they were to vendors who did not pony up a substantial fee for “crystal clear connections.”

    Mark, you need to put yourself back in the shoes of early-days broadcast.com… would you have gotten off the ground if there was tiered service? The net is the one place on earth where ~anyone~ can compete with ~anyone else.~ and it needs to stay this way.

    Comment by Ted -

  37. There is NOT enough competition in most areas to allow ISP’s self regulation. With the SBC/AT&T acquisition and now AT&T and Bell South, this leaves even less competition, especially in rural areas.

    Comment by BS -

  38. very goooooood!!!

    Comment by aaabbb -

  39. very good!!!

    Comment by 11nong -

  40. In the most recent issue (3/20) of the “New Yorker,” James Surowiecki writes about “network neutrality” and the “tiered-access approach” to the Internet– http://www.newyorker.com/talk/content/articles/060320ta_talk_surowiecki

    Surowiecki and Mark Cuban have separately used competing highway metaphors to depict their opposing views …

    Surowiecki: [In the future, Web sites that pay extra to providers could receive what BellSouth recently called “special treatment,” and those that don’t could end up in the slow lane … Up to this point, the Internet has been operated more or less like a public utility. All bits of data have been treated similarly, just as the highway system doesn’t allow trucks from some companies to go faster than others, and the electrical grid does not deliver reliable power to some customers and erratic service to others.]

    Mark Cuban: [There are some basic facts about the internet that remind me of driving on the 405 in Los Angeles. Traffic jams happen. There is no end in sight for those traffic jams. The traffic jams are worse at certain times of the day. Whether its the 405 or the internet. Unless of course we add multiple tiers of service so that users, companies and applications that want to, or need to avoid those traffic jams have alternatives. We need HOV lanes and toll roads on the net as badly as we need the HOV lanes on the 405.] (source: http://www.blogmaverick.com/entry/1234000267073488)

    To extend the highway metaphor I think Mr. Cuban’s view might be consistent with congestion pricing. Strangely Surowiecki endorses congestion pricing (as solving a coordination problem) in his book “Wisdom of Crowds.” In this very good book he defines congestion pricing– “[R]oad space was likely any other scarce resource: if you wanted to allocate it wisely, you needed to some way to make the costs and benefits of people’s decisions obvious to them” (146).

    Comment by JohnD -

  41. Hi Mark –
    I am fine with a free market approach to tiered services. But let’s get real. The US is not a free market. It is a system of corporate welfare.
    I worked with regulators trying to sort out the mess of special interest language in the Telecom Reform Act of 96.
    My plea: let’s keep the special interests out of telecom reform. If you truly want to let the consumers direct the market, then do so. Put your services out there and see who bites. Don’t have protections written into the new laws.
    Thank you.

    Comment by Mica Tucker -

  42. If CommonCause really wanted to do a dam– thing to make things better they would explain the process of how and why Halliburton gets the contracts, who else is qualified to get them, and the stated reasons why they went to Halliburton. Rather than address the hard questions about who really is qualified to get the contracts, who does get what percentage of them, they make assertions then open it up for the uninformed, whe will appearantly remain misinformed while at CommonCause, to throw anti-bush comments all over the place. How perfectly see through and typical. Mark, you are too kind to these goofballs!

    Comment by rob thrasher -

  43. I do not want anyone choosing where my browser goes to, nor do I want any limits to where I may surf the net, nor do I want anyone making a buck off of my free speech. Keep the internet open, and net-neutral…

    Comment by suz leboeuf -

  44. It’s the beauty of the marketplace, man. You speak with the voice of a billionare investor. That’s a loud voice. Sometimes you get spoken back to by a few thousand of us little people. Welcome to parity.

    The problem with teiring service is not that the principle of Network Neutrality is involuble. The poster above who suggested home-alarm data as that which could be “privileged” is correct. There are already laws around this that impact things like 9-1-1 service.

    But if you really think BellSouth wants to tier internet service so grandma can get a video checkup, I’ve got a bridge here in Brooklyn you’ve just got to see. We don’t have technology or trained personnel to even begin to imagine that as a reality. It’s pure vaporware spin.

    On the other hand, you’re a founder of HDnet, a company that produces video entertainment of the highest-bandwidth that conumers can currently recieve. It’s pretty easy to imagine real ways in which tiered service might be of use there.

    Here’s what I believe: If large corporations determine how internet traffic will be teired, it will almost certainly not be done in the public interest, or in the interest of creating a vital market for service and data online. It will almost certainly be a move to consolidate the existing marketplace, to commoditize and productize the network, to turn the internet into a consumer medium.

    This will raise higher barriers to entry. It will stifle innovation. It also threatens the principles of standardization and interoperability: a “market driven” tiering structure would likely lean towards propritary technologies and business practices, creating corporate/national vertical silos which may impair global connectivity.

    The great pracitcal benefit of the internet has been the decentralization/re-distribution of the means of communication. That’s what makes all this cool, really. Incidentally, is also the phenomena which enabled your fantastic personal wealth. (Yahoo made you a billionare. Their money comes from harnassing online communication.)

    Color me cynical, but I’m unconvinced that your support for net teiring is motivated by a desire to “keep the net healthy.” I suspect it’s about maximizing shareholder value.

    Comment by Outlandish Josh -

  45. This “Tier” internet, is all about double dipping..

    They are holding out on bandwith now, the pipes are open a fraction of what they could be running at.

    I personally have respect for Mr. Cuban as an owner, but your internet views (Internet 2 I presume) screw the little guy…

    Also a little tip to generate more “hoopla” during basketball games: Lower the prices, and maybe real fans could afford to go.

    Comment by NextLevel -

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