Scruffy Hippies at the Ball Park

The scruffy hippies doing Google’s dirty work failed miserably:

About a dozen protesters convened outside AT&T Park (formerly SBC Park) in San Francisco before a Giants baseball game. They held up signs telling AT&T to “stop wiretapping Giants fans” and exhorted baseball fans to switch to the left-leaning Working Assets long-distance provider.

The fans seemed, for the most part, amused or uninterested. But the protesters did succeed in chasing off AT&T representatives who set up a publicity table outside the stadium and quickly decamped after being surrounded by megaphone-wielding activists.

UPDATE: Sensenbrenner’s bill cames up for a committee vote Thursday. It passed.

8 thoughts on “Scruffy Hippies at the Ball Park”

  1. I don’t think I am that scruffy. Most would call me clean cut.

    Not sure what you mean by doing Google’s dirty work, as my reason for being at the park was to call attention to the illegal wiretapping of AT&T and the NSA. The fact that AT&T profited from selling this makes it worse. As for failing miserably, I don’t think anyone expected thousands of people to not go to the game or pull down the AT&T sign at the ball park – although Willie Mays Field has a much nicer ring to it. The objective was to raise the issue, get some press mentions and keep the story alive in the papers and online. Seems to have worked pretty well on that score.

    I’m curious, what do you have against Google? I don’t work for them or anything, but they seem reasonable enough to me. They are a great story. Google assumed the top market position not through slick marketing or regulation, but by building the better mousetrap and the resulting word of mouth. They continue to innovate and some of the stuff they do is really cool. Contrast this to AT&T, who made their money selling you the last mile for $25 a month.


  2. Google collaborates with the government of Communist China to put pro-democracy dissidents in jail, and they’re trying to wreck the Internet. If you weren’t a scruffy hippie you’d know that and stop doing their dirty work.

    And what “wiretaps” are you talking about? Billing records are not wiretaps, you ignorant slut.

  3. I am more than willing to concede the Communist China point. Google did not follow their “do no evil” rule there. But I don’t see how Google is trying to ruin the internet. The Internet is very good to Google, why would they want to wreck it? AT&T is just trying to get a bigger piece of the pie.

    AT&T and the NSA are playing ball on multiple fronts. The most egregious is the wiretapping room in an SF office. Wired Magazine has the details. You can Google it.

    I like the SNL reference. Nice touch.


  4. Google wants to control the Internet. It’s very easy for them to do that today, because of the end-to-end thing. All they have to do is buy faster set of connections than anybody else, pump lots of traffic down the dumb pipe with their video download service, and they can control who can use VoIP and who can’t.

    That’s the agenda, dude, they’re not a bunch of patchouli-soaked pot heads out to save the world, they’re filthy capitalist scum no better than the Phone Company.

  5. The smell of patchouli is gross. I am not THAT scruffy. No illusions there. They are out to make a buck just like anyone.

    I have looked around your blog, and you seem to know a lot about how the back end works, so can you educate me on what you mean by the “end to end thing” and how they can control who can use VoIP? I am serious; I’d like to know more. I know a little about how voice works (access costs, last mile, yada, yada, yada), but not so much about data.

    My reason for supporting Net Neutrality (and I agree, it seems to have a different definition depending on who you talk to) is making sure that people like you and I and all the other quirky little guys have competitive access. My fear is something like the old days of TV, where you had 3 networks and everyone else was on UHF – which you could only get on sunny days standing on the roof with a coat hanger. My concern is that if the pipe owner can charge Yahoo more to load faster (as the guy from Bell South seemed to say) than that screws everyone who can’t pay to play. What makes the internet great is not that I can watch “Lost” on my computer, but that I can see some 3 minute movie from some guy no one ever heard of.

    I have no problem if AT&T needs to charge more per bit or whatever to maintain and grow the pipes. I don’t care if they discriminate by type of bit if there are different costs to moving different types. Where I have issue is discriminating by user.
    “Filthy capitalist scum no better than the Phone Company” – we have lots in common.

  6. Under the laws proposed by Google and their stooges, the Internet will have no traffic management at all, so effectively the guy with the fattest pipe controls access for everybody. Google is in the video download business, and they can grow that to the point where it has significant power.

    Now if Google is downloading videos to several nearby customers on your provider’s broadband network, they can create a severe obstacle for VoIP. The law says all packets are first-come, first-served and Google can mark their video packets as highest priority. Google will effectively have the power to drown out Skype. But Google also has a voice service, and they will be able to intermingle their own voice packets with their video packets in such a way that their customers don’t suffer service degradation.

    And don’t think they won’t do that, it’s no more evil than locking up pro-democracy dissidents in China.

  7. Thanks, that was helpful. I am curious how you would write the law so that Skype is not charged out/drowned out by AT&T?

    Enjoy your weekend.


  8. Let the FCC investigate complaints, just as COPE allows. Putting the specifics of every type of imaginable abuse into law is impossible, so you have to lay down broad principles and enforce them case-by-case. That’s how this stuff has always been done.

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