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[ NNSquad ] Some Perspective on Reactions to the Google/Verizon Joint Policy Proposal

   Some Perspective on Reactions to the Google/Verizon Joint Policy Proposal


Greetings.  Unless you're living under a rock (and perhaps even then)
you no doubt are aware of the many rather strident reactions to the
Google/Verizon joint policy proposal ( http://bit.ly/cpO0bU [Google
Public Policy Blog] ) that the firms announced yesterday during a
conference call (and that I blogged about shortly thereafter -
http://bit.ly/aXBCNX ).

Over on the Network Neutrality Squad ( http://www.nnsquad.org ) -- and
to a much lesser extent on my PFIR ( http://bit.ly/93023A ) and
PRIVACY Forum mailing lists ( http://bit.ly/ca5XI8 ), I've been
sending through links to articles I've found around the Net responding
to the proposal.

In those postings, I am endeavoring to provide a broad cross section
of reacting opinions.  If it appears that most coverage is critical of
the proposal in at least one aspect or another, this is not the result
of selective editing on my part, but is -- at least as far as I can
tell -- representative of the universe of articles that I'm finding.
I have in fact been actively searching for independent materials that
enthusiastically support the proposal in its totality, so far to no
avail.  If you know of any such articles or essays, please send me the
associated links so that I can promulgate them appropriately.

I still plan to publish my own more detailed analysis of the proposal,
but frankly, I'm taking my time collecting information and pondering
not only the proposals themselves, but also the possible positive and
negative second-order effects.  While it obviously has been easy for
some observers to dramatically jump on elements of the plan with "sky
is falling" pronouncements, I am not convinced that such quick and
encompassing reactions are appropriate given the complex nature of the
issues involved.

And in fact, we do have time to think this all through.  The
Google/Verizon concepts in question are not a fait accompli, a
dictatorial edict, or even at this point a legislative proposal.  They
are, I suspect, largely the result of prolonged frustration by both
firms, who increasingly feel constrained by the stifling regulatory
limbo that has become part and parcel of the toxic U.S. political
environment.  That both firms wish to find some way to shift out of
"neutral" and move forward is completely understandable, even as we
argue the merits of the particular approach that they have

If nothing else, even if no elements of the proposal see formal
enactment as U.S. policy, the fact that Google and Verizon have put
forth this very public conceptual statement -- presumably knowing full
well that it would trigger significant criticisms -- will hopefully
serve to finally get the ball really rolling again in this contentious
policy arena -- and even that alone would be very useful and welcome

Lauren Weinstein (lauren@vortex.com)
Tel: +1 (818) 225-2800
Co-Founder, PFIR (People For Internet Responsibility): http://www.pfir.org
Co-Founder, NNSquad (Network Neutrality Squad): http://www.nnsquad.org
Founder, GCTIP (Global Coalition for Transparent Internet Performance): 
Founder, PRIVACY Forum: http://www.vortex.com
Member, ACM Committee on Computers and Public Policy
Lauren's Blog: http://lauren.vortex.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/laurenweinstein
Google Buzz: http://bit.ly/lauren-buzz