Mike McCurry Once Yelled 'Hands Off The Internet,' And Now Embraces Massive Internet Regulations In SOPA?

from the ah,-lobbyists dept

Do you remember Mike McCurry? He’s the former White House press secretary who was hired by the telcos to run a pure astroturfing group called “Hands Off the Internet,” which was focused on attacking net neutrality. I’ve never been a fan of regulating net neutrality (though I believe that net neutrality itself is important), but McCurry and HOTI seemed ridiculously intellectually dishonest. My favorite trope was McCurry’s repeated claims that Google didn’t pay a dime for its bandwidth. I asked him to pay Google’s bandwidth bills… and never heard back on that issue… though, HOTI did continue to misrepresent my position soon after that on their blog. I hadn’t heard from HOTI in a while… and when I go to their website… it’s now all in German?!?

McCurry, though, jumped ship a while back to Arts+Labs, an “anti-piracy” astroturf group put together by NBC Universal, Viacom, ASCAP, BMI and others. It pretended it represented the “tech” industry because Microsoft and Cisco were a part of the companies behind it. But, given all that, you’d assume that McCurry and Arts+Labs would be 100% against SOPA, which would create a massive regulatory structure for the internet. After all, HOTI’s key video, argued:

These corporations are asking Congress to create volumes of new regulations to control how content is delivered over the internet. Should politicians and bureaucrats replace network administrators?

So, clearly, you would think that McCurry and Arts+Labs would be against SOPA, right? After all, SOPA is about Hollywood asking Congress to create volumes of new regulations to control how content is delivered over the internet. And it argues that politicians and bureaucrats should replace network administrators — especially on issues like DNS blocking. So, Arts+Labs, is against SOPA, right? Nope:

The introduction in the House of Representatives of legislation to combat the theft of U.S. intellectual property represents an important step in the fight to sustain American creativity and support individual innovators. The newly-introduced Stop Online Piracy Act, along with the PROTECT IP legislation introduced in the U.S. Senate earlier this year provide a way to push back against rogue websites that seek to profit from digital counterfeiting and piracy.

McCurry himself has written op-ed pieces in favor of this kind of massive regulation of the internet.

So, Mike, which is it? Are you for regulation of the internet, or against it? Or does it just depend on who’s paying?

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Companies: arts+labs

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Comments on “Mike McCurry Once Yelled 'Hands Off The Internet,' And Now Embraces Massive Internet Regulations In SOPA?”

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Mike McCurry says:

Re: Why don't we ask him?

He has it, but… sigh..like so much else in the hypervenilation of the commentary the facts don’t seem to matter much. I have argued for good, smart and sensible regulation of the Internet for a long time… this thing about Google’s bandwith is about 3-4 years old and don’t know what he means… Thanks for asking… my personal beliefs fit with what I get paid to do by some clients, but that is about 10% of my life now because I have other things to do. Like he asked at the beginning, most people don’t know who I am anyhow. The real issue here is that a enormous amount of traffic on the Internet is accountable to sites sending stolen property and people downloading stolen property. Can we do anything about stealing on the internet? That would be a good idea. (That, by the way, connects to the whole problem of net neutrality which the author here seems to not get but that is a separate argument).

Anonymous Coward says:

How very Romney of him.

To take both sides of an issue in such a short time means he is mercenary and has a zero veracity quotient.

I don’t know who is dumber- Him for taking a position so at odds with his previous statements or the people who hired him to take a position that destroyed the credibility of their own spokesman. I guess it still could be a plus for the people who hired him if they really destroyed the credibility of an effective advocate for the other side.

Anonymous Coward says:

Aye, Matie!

You know, you leave for about year and then they change the bitch filter so you can’t post funny pictures anymore.

But you meet a real great Scottish man, who makes you laugh and bitches about everything and you think, hey, I know another Scottish man like that.. Then that scottish man created a filter so you can’t bitch anymore and you think who the hell is this Mike Masnick guy anyway that started yelling and moderating his commenters and then you think oh fuck.

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