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First POST: Revisions

BY Micah L. Sifry | Friday, February 27 2015

Revisions

  • In the wake of yesterday's 3-2 vote to reclassify broadband under Title II, net neutrality's intellectual father, Tim Wu, writes in the New Yorker that "the most pessimistic theories of lobbyist power clearly need to be revised." He also suggests that the broadband industry may actually decide to accept this new status quo, since it appears to ratify a marketplace where broadband providers currently make absurdly high profits.

  • Marvin Ammori explains why this FCC decision will stand up in court when prior attempts by the agency to defend net neutrality failed. He notes that after losing one critical court case (Comcast v. FCC) for failing to use Title II, the agency's then-chairman Julius Genachowski ignored the court's clear direction to invoke that authority going forward because he "was a notoriously unprincipled coward…and Larry Summers and his deputy Phil Weiser in the White House told Julius not to anger the lobbyists for the cable and phone companies."

  • President Obama wrote a handwritten note thanking Redditors for "helping to keep the Internet open and free!"

  • Texas Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX), a 2016 presidential hopeful, says he wants to be a "disruptive app" or the Uber of politics, speaking at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference.

  • New York state lawmakers grilled Maggie Miller, the state's chief information officer, at a hearing yesterday, concerned that the deletion of all state worker emails older than 90 days, a policy that is now coming into full force, could impede legal investigations and damage transparency, Josefa Velasquez reports for Capital NY.

  • The part of the Internet public that functions like a bored hummingbird looking for a new flower bush to suck on obsessed about some escaped llamas in Arizona and a multicolored dress yesterday, and on Digiday Brian Morrissey explains why it's all BuzzFeed's fault. And if you didn't hear about either of this "events," you must not have been looking at Time, Cosmo, Gawker, Slate et al, all of whom jumped on the llama/dress "stories" to get a little bit of that temporary attention too.

  • Twitter is starting to ask temporarily banned users to give an email address or phone number in order to resume using the service, reports Casey Newton for The Verge, which could give it the ability to block out repeat abusers. The company also just announced new steps to enable users to report the unauthorized disclosure of personal information (doxxing).

  • Longtime tech writer (and PDM friend Dan Gillmor) writes for Backchannel that he's quit using Google, Apple and Microsoft. He says he's moved to alternative platforms "because I’ve changed my mind about the politics of technology. I now believe it’s essential to embed my instincts and values, to a greater and greater extent, in the technology I use."

  • Speaking of values, in 1999, says Craigslist founder Craig Newmark, he reminded himself of something he first learned in Sunday school: "No one needs a billion dollars." Now, looking back on the 20th anniversary of Craigslist's start, he writes, "Everyday, I’m reminded that we help people put food on the table, help people get jobs and a place to live. Maybe we have changed the world, seriously." Indeed!

  • On This Week in Blackness, Elon James White explains how open platforms like Twitter have changed the age-old conflict between marginalized people and their oppressors.

  • Gov-tech company Accela, which offers a cloud-based service for governments, just obtained $143 million in new funding, reports Joe Garofoli for the San Francisco Chronicle. The investment was led by ABRY Partners, Landmark Partners, J.P. Morgan Private Equity Limited and Karlani Capital.

  • Here's the history of PledgeBank, a Kickstarter precursor launched by mySociety back in 2004 that never quite fully took off but did enable many early crowdfunding successes. It's being shut down soon.