The Personal Democracy Forum had a panel on net neutrality yesterday featuring notorious neut Susan Crawford, who displayed some remarkable flexibility according to this report by Michael Turk:
To the content, all I can say is there were some misstatements made by Chris and Steve, but on the whole, they made the better argument. They stuck to facts and the discussion rather than making outlandish claims about things that might happen, maybe, someday, possibly. That seemed to be Tim Karr’s specialty. When challenged to name (outside of the Canadian cases which are irrelevant due to a different legal structure, and the Madison River case) one instance of telcos blocking access to content, he stared at the audience and made not sound.
He chose instead to repeat the already discredited claim that net neutrality has been the law of the land. If 60% of broadband connections are provided by cable; and cable has never had to live by the law that applied to DSL lines; and that law was repealed (essentially) to provide a level playing field; and the cable companies have not, regardless of having no legal prohibition, done any of what the net neutrality proponents claim will happen; how can you make such an outlandish argument with a straight face?
Worse than Karr, however, was Susan Crawford. She has, on her blog, routinely raged against the FCC and giving them more power. She has routinely referred to them in the most vile ways and spoken out against their power to, for instance, enforce their puritanical belief systems about exposing a naked breast to the world.
Crawford, a law professor, wants the FCC to regulate network management systems and business models but not content. If this makes any sense to you, please enlighten me. Crawford is typically mentioned as one of the Big Three law professors pushing neutrality, alongside Wu and Lessig, and she seems pretty dim. On her blog she reveals massive ignorance about networking:
These are just bits we’re talking about. Making them into “service type” decides the question up front — they’re not services until the carrier decides to call them that.
…which kind of ignores the fact that some bits are in a hurry and others aren’t, hence the need for different traffic classes.
Get a podcast about the debate here. Unfortunately there’s no podcast of the actual debate.