That Time Telco Lobbyists Sent Me All Their Talking Points About Trying To Shift The Blame To Internet Companies

from the oops dept

It's not every day that big telco lobbyists email me their internal documents about how they're going to try to shift all the negative press about themselves and try to flip it onto internet companies. But it did happen yesterday. In what was clearly a mistake a top exec at the telco's largest lobbying organization, USTelecom, emailed a 12 page document of talking points yesterday, asking the recipients to "review the document for accuracy and other thoughts" in order to help USTelecom President Jonathan Spalter for when he goes on C-SPAN next week. I found it a bit odd that I would be on the distribution list for such an email -- especially when 13 of the 15 recipients of the email were US Telecom employees. And me. The one other non-US Telecom person works at a firm that provides "subject matter experts" and "in-depth legal analysis."

The talking points are not all that surprising, if you're at all familiar with the telco industry, so there aren't really any huge smoking guns here, but they do cover a huge range of issues, from net neutrality, competition, privacy, cybersecurity, and more. Amusingly, on the net neutrality front, there's a section on "Verizon Throttling Fire Responders." Tragically, that appears to be one of the few sections in the document that they hadn't yet filled in yet -- perhaps because the industry still doesn't have a good response to Verizon throttling fire fighters in California as they were battling wildfires.

One thing that's clear, however, is that the big telcos really want to play up the recent attacks on social media companies ("edge providers," as they like to say), and throughout the document there are statements about taking advantage of the current political attacks on those companies. For example, in the "Privacy" section, the talking points for Salter appear to be for him to try to pivot to making it about Facebook and Google as quickly as possible, saying they are the bigger risks:

Privacy

MESSAGE: Here is the modern reality of consumer protection: the greatest risks are posed by companies on the internet’s edge. Privacy is a shared responsibility -- and the burdens and obligations can not rest solely with ISPs and must be applied equally across the internet ecosystem.

  • The increased scrutiny of Facebook and other edge provides offer a significant opportunity for Congress to implement clear and consistent rules that apply equally to all companies in the internet ecosystem.  And when they begin the process of establishing best practices for privacy, they will need to look no further than broadband providers.
  • For years, our members have embraced strong consumer privacy policies, because they understand the success of any digital business depends on earning their customers’ trust.
  • Consumers and companies alike deserve one set of protections and rules of the road. This is the best way to ensure consumer protection while also providing the necessary flexibility for a competitive and innovative marketplace.

Let's just say that's laughable. Google and Facebook may be no great shakes on privacy, but the telcos are far, far worse. First of all, they have much greater visibility into everything that you do, because it all goes through their pipes. You can avoid Google and Facebook if you want. Not so much your ISP. Second, these companies have terrible, terrible histories when it comes to privacy issues, much worse than Google and Facebook.

Telcos have historically sucked up all your clickstream data and sold it to databrokers, while pretending it was no big deal. The telcos have regularly used incredibly sneaky and intrusive spying practices (way beyond anything Google and Facebook have done) including deep packet inspection and undeletable supercookies. And who can forget when the telcos wanted to sell you back your privacy, and raise your subscriber fees $30/month if you didn't want them to snoop on all your internet activity? And who can forget that it was just weeks ago that Verizon launched a VPN without any privacy policy at all?

And let's not forget their super cozy relationship with the NSA. After the Snowden leaks five years ago, the internet companies all were quick to highlight what they were doing to prevent the NSA from snooping on you. They revealed long-hidden lawsuits fighting back against the NSA. They pushed for greater transparency and legal reform, they published transparency reports... all while the telcos went silent (and when they finally -- years later -- were pressured into releasing transparency reports, those reports left out key details on surveillance support). That's because it was shown that they were extra cozy with the NSA, even giving them full access to their equipment. Section 702 "upstream" collection involves the NSA directly tapping into telco backbone connections and sniffing through everything. We only found about all of this because an AT&T technician literally walked into EFF's offices one day and spilled the details (later confirmed with Snowden documents). And rather than admit to helping the government violate the 4th Amendment, the telcos ran to Congress to get guaranteed retroactive immunity for supplying warrantless wiretaps.

So, sure, the privacy failings of Google and Facebook are worth pointing out and discussing. But they're child's play compared to the telcos. For the telcos to pretend that they are the ones who "embraced strong consumer privacy policies" is laughable. This isn't a talking point. It's pure propaganda.

There's a brief section later in the document, suggesting that they play up Trump now fighting with Google, and suggest that's a good point to drop in the "same rules for edge" providers meaningless argument:

Trump/Google Drama

People have spent years clamoring for ISP net neutrality. We need same rules of the road for edge.

I'm sure that sounds good to whoever came up with it way back when, but as people have explained for the better part of a decade, it makes no sense at all. Access providers and edge providers provide very different types of services, and "the same rules" don't make any sense at all. The telcos and the folks at US Telecom know this. They only bring this up because they think the viewing audience is stupid and will nod along with "same rules for everyone." But, in reality, they know that what they are advocating for is basically handicapping internet companies.

On net neutrality there's the usual nonsense, falsely claiming that they "strongly support net neutrality" even as they immediately cheer on the FCC order that literally wiped out net neutrality:

MESSAGE: Our nation’s broadband providers strongly support net neutrality—without 1930’s-era regulations—and with consumer protections that are consistently applied across the entire internet ecosystem.

This is blatantly untrue. The telcos fought multiple earlier attempts to enforce net neutrality that did not use "1930's era regulations." What happened was that Verizon's lawsuit over earlier rules (which did not rely on those regulations) resulted in the court effectively saying "to have net neutrality, you have to use those rules." So, we would have had net neutrality without those 1930s-era regulations if US Telecom and its members hadn't sued over the older rules.

Not surprisingly, they also want to push the silly argument that just because they didn't immediately make the internet turn to shit the day after the FCC repealed the rules, it proves that we didn't need the rules (I will again remind you right here -- for no particular reason -- that the section on how to respond to Verizon violating those old net neutrality rules in throttling the fire department's wireless connection... is left blank in the document).

Since the FCC’s Restoring Internet Freedom Order, the internet as we know it is still thriving, growing, open and continues to spin on its axis. The predictions that ISPs would engage in anti-competitive throttling, blocking, and prioritization, have not happened.

Again, the telcos aren't going to rush out bad practices all at once -- especially not while the repeal of the rules is still in court. But, again, it should be noted that during a previous fight over these rules, in court, Verizon's lawyer flat out admitted that without these rules, the company had every intention of throttling traffic.

And, of course, the telcos strategy when the questioning gets tough on net neutrality is to try to do this judo move and attack the big internet companies instead:

It’s ironic—but not unexpected—that the companies which have become the internet’s most powerful gatekeepers are fighting for an open internet that exempts them from the very rules for which they are advocating.

First off, this is not ironic. Second, it's not accurate. Google and Facebook are hardly the most powerful "gatekeepers." Nor are they the ones pushing for open internet rules. That's been left mainly to smaller internet companies who can't get into bed with the telcos like Google and Facebook are able to do. Third, the whole idea that the rules are somehow different for them makes no sense. These rules are about providing access to the internet. There is no "net neutrality" for edge providers that makes any sense.

Not surprisingly, the telcos are freaked the fuck out about state regulators stepping in to reimpose net neutrality rules. And, on this, I don't blame them. Well, no, that's not correct, I totally blame them. I blame them for pushing the FCC to drop the federal rules opening up this vacuum into which the states are now stepping. I agree that having the states take this on is a bad idea that will lead to a mess of different rules across the country, but, hey maybe the telco lobbyists should have thought of that before asking the FCC to kill off these wildly popular rules that had a very light touch. But, still, they've got their new talking points and they're sticking to 'em:

  • Broadband is and will continue to be regulated at the federal level
  • Precedent at the FCC, and in the courts, have recognized the dangers of individual state mandates and have embraced state preemption to avoid piecemeal approaches to internet regulation.
  • [Pending passage] The regulations signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown put short-term political gain ahead of long-term economic development and growth of California’s internet economy.
Well, no. Broadband has long been regulated at the state and local level thanks to public utility commissions, local franchise laws and more. And, hey, you had broadband regulated at the federal level under the 2015 open internet order, which included state pre-emption but you gave that up when Ajit Pai repealed it and gave up the state pre-emption bit when he took the FCC out of the broadband regulation game.

Ooops. Maybe you jokers should have thought of that before.

As for the California bill -- what?!? Long term economic development in California especially depends on a free and open internet -- the kind where Verizion, AT&T and your other members are unable to kill new startups with excessive tolls and fees, not to mention limited services.

There are then some talking points about just how painfully expensive it is for the telcos to serve rural residents -- which no one denies. But, it's pretty funny to watch these massive telcos, with billions in profits and a long history of squandering government subsidies use these talking points to talk about why they just need more cash from the government:

  • Delivering broadband to sparsely populated rural areas is a costly and challenging endeavor that requires significant upfront investment.
  • That is why federal support is essential for network providers to meet deployment challenges in high cost areas.
  • Oh, but not only do they want cash from the government, they most certainly DO NOT want that cash to go to programs that would create competition in the marketplace. Oh no.

  • Federal investment must be used to fill the gaps in truly unserved areas, not create false market competition by allowing electric utilities with established monopolies to extend their market power over this already fragile market. Together, we should be laser-focused on serving the unserved and maximizing the federal support to do it, while avoiding duplication and overbuilding, and ensuring efficiencies wherever possible.
  • Sounds like somebody is still quite a bit ticked off about massive success stories like Chattanooga, where the local electric utility built an amazing competitive network that not only provided better, cheaper service in that city to under-served residents, but also forced the incumbents to up their own game as well.

    It's doubly hilarious that a key talking point in this document is literally "we don't want competition" when much of the other document keeps trying to push the lie that there's robust broadband competition.

    They also talk up having states give them money, such as this:

  • In New York, officials just completed a $500 million broadband auction to deploy high-speed service to 99 percent of its residential structures.
  • One would hope that the C-SPAN interviewer would follow up this point with a question about why NY would trust any of these companies when US Telecom member Verizon promised to bring fiber to 100% of New York City in 2008 and then didn't. Seems like we should be fairly skeptical of the 99% claim now.

    It also is unlikely to surprise anyone that US Telecom is really, really, really against the requirements for very limited local loop unbundling, which has helped enable a smidgen of competition in certain areas (I only have the broadband I have today thanks to local loop unbundling). These are the rules that made the big telcos have to allow third party service providers to use their networks at wholesale rates to offer competing services. It's a great way to create competition at the service level, rather than doing it more wastefully at the infrastructure level. The telcos have done a good job making it more and more impossible for competitive carriers to make use of it, but they really want the rules gone entirely. And they say they're no longer needed due to a completely fictional "tremendous competition in the communications market." Don't laugh. They think they're serious:

  • Today, more than 20 years later, there is tremendous competition in the communications market, but these rules are still on the books.
  • We have asked the FCC to review whether these rules are still necessary. If the FCC agrees they are, we hope the commission will forbear from these outdated rules like they have with many other no longer relevant regulations.
  • Ending these rules will allow broadband providers to invest in the future of their networks father than being tied to the past.
  • So, let's be clear. There is barely any real competition in the broadband market, let alone "tremendous" competition. Ending those rules won't magically allow providers to invest in future networks. They will limit competition, meaning there's less reason to invest.

    There's some nonsense about how the FTC will be a great protector of consumers from the telcos now that the FCC has taken itself out of the game. Of course, as we've discussed over and over again, the FTC's mandate is much more limited and does not cover most of the aspects of net neutrality that are important. Furthermore, the FTC has neither the resources nor the expertise to really play in the telco market.

    There's some more stuff in there, but those are the highlights. Congrats, US Telecom, you get your draft in-progress talking points out there. If you want critiques of your future talking points, feel free to cc: me again.


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    1. icon
      Mason Wheeler (profile), 30 Aug 2018 @ 9:49am

      This sounds awesome. Why didn't you post the full document as an embed, like you frequently do with court rulings?

      reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

    2. icon
      HighwayHawk8 (profile), 30 Aug 2018 @ 9:54am

      DMCA, here we come

      Who wants to bet that techdirt receives a DMCA notice soon? It would be the icing on this cake.

      reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

    3. identicon
      Wicker, 30 Aug 2018 @ 10:09am

      What an entertaining post.

      reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

    4. icon
      That One Guy (profile), 30 Aug 2018 @ 10:11am

      Well, if you insist...

      asking the recipients to "review the document for accuracy and other thoughts" in order to help USTelecom President Jonathan Spalter for when he goes on C-SPAN next week.

      I can't help but feel that there's a golden opportunity here to send the document, and a link to this article rebutting the points, to C-SPAN so that they have a week to 'review the document for accuracy' as well.

      Extra points if they print it out and very obviously bring a copy to the interview with annotations and notes on where the claims fall flat and/or wander into 'least untruthful answer' areas, as I imagine the look on Spalter's face if he saw that and realized that he'd actually have to present an argument and facts rather than just parrot talking points would be priceless.

      reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

    5. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
      icon
      Richard Bennett (profile), 30 Aug 2018 @ 10:34am

      As I expected, Masnick is carrying Silicon Valley's water

      This is utterly hilarious: "So, sure, the privacy failings of Google and Facebook are worth pointing out and discussing. But they're child's play compared to the telcos."

      On planet Earth, Google and Facebook make their profits by monetizing users' privacy, while ISPs make their money by selling subscriptions. This means Google and Facebook - the Internet's advertising duopoly - have the greater incentive to violate privacy.

      Google and Facebook have also instrumented most of the web in order to gather information abut the sites we visit, how long we stay around, and which pages we read. ISPs have no capability to do this because most web traffic is encrypted. So Silicon Valley as the greater means to violate privacy.

      Google and Facebook sell most of the Internet's ads, so they have the opportunity to violate privacy to a greater extent than other firms.

      So we find that Silicon Valley has the means, motive, and opportunity to violate privacy to a greater extent than another other sector of the Internet economy.

      Why is TechDirt covering up the facts?

      reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

    6. icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 30 Aug 2018 @ 10:47am

      there's a golden opportunity here to send the document, and a link to this article rebutting the points, to C-SPAN so that they have a week to 'review the document for accuracy'

      This should absolutely happen.

      reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

    7. identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 30 Aug 2018 @ 11:00am

      It might be an intentional distribution to techdirt.

      reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

    8. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 30 Aug 2018 @ 11:08am

      ha ha ha

      "you can avoid Google and Facebook if you want."

      bullshit, that is like saying you can avoid the big 3 credit reporting agencies if you want.

      The shit you said about the ISP is true, but the lies you shat out right after only makes you just as fucking wrong as the bitches you are moaning like a little bitch about.

      You want the high road? You have to actually step onto it.

      Otherwise, good article! They deserve to have their shit flapping in the breeze!

      reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

    9. icon
      Mike Masnick (profile), 30 Aug 2018 @ 11:09am

      Re:

      Why didn't you post the full document as an embed, like you frequently do with court rulings?

      Two reasons:

      1. There was other info in the document that I don't think is newsworthy and probably is not worth releasing publicly.

      2. Having talked to numerous security folks about other documents that have been leaked to us in the past, I've become convinced that posting leaked documents (even in this case, when clearly sent accidentally) is generally not a good idea in that it may reveal who leaked the document (see the case of Reality Winner for evidence of that). In this case, that's not a huge issue, since it was clearly sent accidentally... but since it's generally good security practice not to post leaked documents for that reason, I'm not going to do it here either.

      reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

    10. icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 30 Aug 2018 @ 11:17am

      "you can avoid Google and Facebook if you want." […] bullshit

      Not entirely. A HOSTS file block, an adblocker program, and proper cookie controls can prevent most of the Google/Facebook tentacles from slithering into your browser like a hentai comic.

      reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

    11. icon
      DB (profile), 30 Aug 2018 @ 11:31am

      Re: Well, if you insist...

      C-SPAN is a broadcaster, not a news organization. They just run the cameras, they don't have reporters or ask questions.

      reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

    12. identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 30 Aug 2018 @ 11:39am

      Re:

      What does a hosts file block that an adblocker wouldn't? Are non-browser programs using Facebook/Google now?

      reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

    13. icon
      That One Guy (profile), 30 Aug 2018 @ 11:47am

      Re: Re: Well, if you insist...

      So they just provide a platform for PR fluff pieces/piles of lies to be made unchallenged? Useful to those throwing out PR fluff to be sure, though now I'm wondering if they get paid more for running advertisements like that than the 'normal' ones.

      reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

    14. identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 30 Aug 2018 @ 11:47am

      Re:

      They will get SOME but not even close to enough or all. There are a lot of back-end scripts that can run server side that a client would never see. And the thing is those are intentionally not exposed to the client for a reason. We have ZERO way to know how much these sites are sharing information with each other behind the scenes.

      reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

    15. icon
      Anonymous Anonymous Coward (profile), 30 Aug 2018 @ 11:50am

      Re: Re:

      I have heard, but not verified, that Windows OS ignores the HOSTS file. Not sure about other OS's, but my Linux systems seems to comply. I block Facebook there, and my browser won't reach it when I accidentally click on a Facebook link. Check this out for a list of what HOSTS files might block.

      reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

    16. identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 30 Aug 2018 @ 11:51am

      Re: Re:

      hostfiles do not block, they redirect.

      when you look up yahoo.com your computer first checks a host file to see if it has an IP address or "other" name to goto.

      If there is an entry your computer will stop right there and not seek to find the destination of that name you entered in your browser any further.

      If there is no host entry for that, then it will try a naming service like DNS which has an IP bound on your NIC interface that tells your system the location of a name server that DOES know who yahoo.com is and if not, hopefully will either have a foward to a Name server that does or a roothint to fall back on when all else fails.

      reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

    17. identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 30 Aug 2018 @ 11:53am

      Re: Re: Re:

      I wish people would get the idea that host files block, they don't do that.

      You can have host file for everything but a program can get names from its own name server if it wants to, totally skipping the host file.

      Host files can be easily overcome depending on the situation.

      They are antiquated convenience items and nothing more.

      reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

    18. identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 30 Aug 2018 @ 11:56am

      Re: Re: Re:

      actually let me correct myself..

      Hostfiles are just lookup tables... they direct, but do not re-direct.

      They only work as pseudo blocking because once a system resolves a name they normally no longer continue to seek resolution further down the list of resolvers is all.

      reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

    19. identicon
      I.T. Guy, 30 Aug 2018 @ 11:57am

      Re: ha ha ha

      "you can avoid Google and Facebook if you want"
      I do. Entirely. Do you?

      "bitches you are moaning like a little bitch about."
      LOL. You don't do irony well; Do ya little fellah?

      "You want the high road? You have to actually step onto it."
      [Hands OP a step stool]

      reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

    20. icon
      Thad (profile), 30 Aug 2018 @ 12:08pm

      Re: Re: Well, if you insist...

      That's no longer true.

      While C-SPAN's primary purpose is indeed to film congressional proceedings, it also has interview shows now.

      Here's C-SPAN's jonathanspalter tag, which includes previous interviews and panels.

      reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

    21. icon
      Gary (profile), 30 Aug 2018 @ 12:14pm

      Proof

      Am I the only one here that sees this as actual proof that Mike is really shilling for the Telcos? He is even part of their inner circle!

      reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

    22. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 30 Aug 2018 @ 12:21pm

      Re: Re: ha ha ha

      You don't have a way of know what google or facebook has on you. You don't even have a way to know if the website you do connect to are sharing that information or not either. No blocking scripts is not enough either.

      But if you like to think one thing while another is actually happening, I do hear that ignorance is bliss.

      reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

    23. identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 30 Aug 2018 @ 12:24pm

      Re: Re: Re:

      The typical *nix sequence depends upon configuration of the resolv.conf file.

      The DNS IP addr is not "bound" to the NIC as you suggest. This is a configurable parameter within the OS.

      reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

    24. icon
      aethercowboy (profile), 30 Aug 2018 @ 12:31pm

      Re: Proof

      He is even part of their inner circle!

      Or at least, their address book...

      reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

    25. icon
      Mike Masnick (profile), 30 Aug 2018 @ 1:07pm

      Re: As I expected, Masnick is carrying Silicon Valley's water

      On planet Earth, Google and Facebook make their profits by monetizing users' privacy, while ISPs make their money by selling subscriptions. This means Google and Facebook - the Internet's advertising duopoly - have the greater incentive to violate privacy.

      Uh, no. Facebook and Google make their profits monetizing ATTENTION. Not privacy. Abusing their privacy actually harms their profits as it decreases attention.

      Meanwhile, I don't know if you've been paying attention lately, but both AT&T and Verizon have aggressively moved into the online advertising space, and they're doing so without the kind of public concern and attention that has helped keep both Google and Facebook in check.

      Google and Facebook have also instrumented most of the web in order to gather information abut the sites we visit, how long we stay around, and which pages we read. ISPs have no capability to do this because most web traffic is encrypted. So Silicon Valley as the greater means to violate privacy.

      This is nonsensical. ISPs have much more ability to know where and how people visit webpages, even HTTPS encrypted ones, as the metadata is still evident to the ISPs. Google and Facebook only have access to the data that we share directly with those platforms.

      Google and Facebook sell most of the Internet's ads, so they have the opportunity to violate privacy to a greater extent than other firms.

      Yes, which is why both AT&T and Verizon are scrambling so hard to take away that business. But, you're wrong about the "opportunity." The telcos have much greater access.

      So we find that Silicon Valley has the means, motive, and opportunity to violate privacy to a greater extent than another other sector of the Internet economy.

      No, we find that -- as per usual -- you will bend over backwards to carry water for the telcos with misleading to downright incorrect statements. But, you've revealed that for quite a few years now.

      reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

    26. identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 30 Aug 2018 @ 1:08pm

      Information wants to be free.

      reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

    27. identicon
      Ryan, 30 Aug 2018 @ 1:56pm

      email a copy of it to congress let them read the full thing

      reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

    28. identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 30 Aug 2018 @ 1:58pm

      Re: DMCA, here we come

      This is __extremely__ newsworthy content and Techdirt has done absolutely nothing wrong to receive a copy of it; thus... no, it isn't valid to expunge it.

      reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

    29. icon
      ECA (profile), 30 Aug 2018 @ 1:59pm

      If they just DID IT...

      When the Cigarette controversy came around..
      I said something to my friends that makes the SAME reasoning..

      "If they had declared that Cancer and Cigs HAPPENED, or was a possibility, BEFORE it became a controversy...They wouldnt have this Problem.."

      NOW..my comment to the Telco's..
      "IF they had JUST done the job in the FIRST place..NO ONE would have paid attention to ANY OF IT.."

      Telco's have been int he card shuffling business for YEARS..
      Who Owns whom, is a big one.

      AN easy thing they COULD HAVE DONE...is to Farm out the development, to smaller services(Tax deduction) then BOUGHT up the smaller service after completion(tax deduction), THEN knocked off the COST of servicing that section of the NET/Phone/Cellphone on a yearly cost basis..(tax deduction)(Subsidies). Then SOLd it to another Telco, and made it look like a LOSS(tax deduction)..

      I really dont get some of this...it sounds MORE as a Lawyer subsidy system..They started it, they fight it, THEY GET PAID..insted of sitting around doing nothing, or waiting for something to happen..

      reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

    30. icon
      Ehud Gavron (profile), 30 Aug 2018 @ 2:01pm

      Slashdot, and posting the original, and stuff

      I think if you want the original doc posted you could get someone to sanitize it, and someone else to verify it (Chinese Wall process). This does seem to be the kind of document that should be made public... unedited except for the santizing.

      Congrats on making it to slashdot, where people are debating the very premises of telco ****it. https://news.slashdot.org/story/18/08/30/1916255/in-an-accidental-email-to-techdirt-editor-telco-lob byists-outline-how-they-intend-to-shift-the-blame-for-privacy-net-neutrality-and-more-to-internet-co mpanies

      Ehud

      reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

    31. icon
      Richard Bennett (profile), 30 Aug 2018 @ 2:23pm

      Re: Re: As I expected, Masnick is carrying Silicon Valley's water

      Yup, that's the Silicon Valley line on all points.

      In reality, Google has seven lines of business with over a billion users each, and the largest ISP has 35 million customers. But that ISP is stronger than Google in TechDirt Land.

      The five largest companies in the world by market caps are all Internet edge services, but some ISP is stronger than all of them. Yup.

      Netflix has what, 100 million customers? 150 million? And produces more video content than anyone, but some cable company is going to bring it down without your protection.

      Got it, just confirming the script. It's amazing to me that the Valley has been running this scam for 15 years and getting away with deflecting all criticism of its business practices onto the ISPs.

      It's a monumental achievement in propaganda, and you play your part in it. Congrats!

      reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

    32. icon
      Killercool (profile), 30 Aug 2018 @ 2:32pm

      Re: Re: DMCA, here we come

      Probably gonna happen anyways. These folks don't give two shits about whether or not their notice is valid. They just throw stuff at the wall and see what sticks.

      reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

    33. identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 30 Aug 2018 @ 2:32pm

      Re: DMCA, here we come

      A DMCA notice to Techdirt would make little sense, since Techdirt itself is the publisher. Also, this is clearly fair use; none of the four factors are even a close call.

      reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

    34. identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 30 Aug 2018 @ 2:43pm

      In what was clearly a mistake a top exec at the telco's largest lobbying organization, USTelecom, emailed a 12 page document of talking points yesterday, asking the recipients to "review the document for accuracy and other thoughts" in order to help USTelecom President Jonathan Spalter for when he goes on C-SPAN next week. I found it a bit odd that I would be on the distribution list for such an email

      You may think it was odd, but you gave them exactly what they asked for, when you think about it. If there was something in there that was totally false or an argument that was more ridiculous than normal, you would have called them on it, and he could then avoid saying it on C-SPAN. (I mean, it would be all over Techdirt and similar sites, but at least there wouldn't be a recording of him saying it on TV.)

      reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

    35. icon
      Thad (profile), 30 Aug 2018 @ 2:46pm

      Re: Re: DMCA, here we come

      And nobody would ever send a DMCA takedown notice without valid legal justification!

      reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

    36. icon
      Thad (profile), 30 Aug 2018 @ 2:47pm

      Re: Slashdot, and posting the original, and stuff

      Only 34 comments. The Slashdot Effect isn't what it used to be.

      reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

    37. icon
      orbitalinsertion (profile), 30 Aug 2018 @ 3:04pm

      Re: Re: Proof

      Double-secret false flag fifth column psyops propaganda.

      reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

    38. icon
      Ehud Gavron (profile), 30 Aug 2018 @ 3:54pm

      The /. effect

      Definitely not - TD is still online (although CF may be responsible for that).

      What is obvious is that ./. readers weren't all invigorated by the topic and rush here to read TOS and comment.

      Probably could have used more "trump sucks" and then we'd be bombarded with them...

      E

      reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

    39. identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 30 Aug 2018 @ 4:13pm

      Re:

      Except they tend to repeat debunked points anyway, so that strategy isn't much use.


      Maybe they just sent it to mock him? They clearly are aware of Techdirt, otherwise they likely wouldn't have known the email address to send it to. Mocking has also occurred in the past with both telcos and the FCC.

      That being said, they likely don't care and don't take Mike seriously, just as they don't take their opposition seriously.

      reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

    40. identicon
      John Thacker, 30 Aug 2018 @ 4:22pm

      Back in real history, the Fairness Doctrine is exactly what the FCC did when they had the power of regulation. It's really not a stretch to imagine an FCC with Title II powers over the Internet imposing a new Fairness Doctrine the way that Trump wants. Luckily, it doesn't have those powers. It's absolutely impossible to regulate edge providers in that way without reversing Pai's order.

      Given that Trump is in office, I'd a million times rather have Pai and the deregulatory order than an FCC completely willing to use Title II powers on the Internet (and against edge providers as well) in the way Trump wants. I also shudder to think what he'd be able to do if the Fairness Doctrine were still part of FCC regulations. Sure, it's all very fun and games to call for regulation when you imagine that it's only going to work the way that you want. People who dream about using the Fairness Doctrine to shut down the biased news at Fox News or Sinclair (and who even now have called for the FCC reviewing their TV licenses) would of course rightly be horrified at Trump's idea of "Fairness," as of course that tinpot dictator has had his own stupid ideas about what broadcast networks should have their TV licenses reviewed from daring to question him.

      The very existence of Trump and possibility of electing him is a good reason not to have the FCC be the arbitrator of what's allowed on the Internet. He'd wield power the way the old PRI did in Mexico (as seen by how he's using tariffs and granting waivers for them.)

      reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

    41. identicon
      John Thacker, 30 Aug 2018 @ 4:30pm

      Even tactically, why would want the FCC in charge of *anything* until Trump is out of office? Everyone's worst nightmare right now shouldn't be Pai's order staying in place, but Trump having a u-turn and accepting "net neutrality," only with him getting to decide what neutral and fair and balanced is.

      reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

    42. icon
      Ehud Gavron (profile), 30 Aug 2018 @ 4:35pm

      Re:

      Title II isn't what you think it is, most importantly because it isn't concerned with CONTENT but rather ACCESS to pipelines of connecitivity (UNI, UNI-P, etc.)

      The FD is often confused (by you and by Trump) with the Equal Time rule, which are different.

      At any rate, the SCOTUS held the FD only made sense in a limited information environment. We no longer have that. The ETR was never held legal. Today's 1AM rules supercede all those.

      That's how Fox gets to have their "news" "babes" "spew" whatever they want without regard for "truth" "reality" or having to provide a fair or balance or equal time rebuttal.

      The FCC and Title II have nothing to do with content.

      E

      reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

    43. icon
      Bergman (profile), 30 Aug 2018 @ 4:43pm

      Re: Re: DMCA, here we come

      I'd be more worried about a DMCA notice against the entire site being sent to Tucows.

      reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

    44. identicon
      David Harkness, 30 Aug 2018 @ 5:21pm

      Re: Google/Facebook

      "Google and Facebook have also instrumented most of the web in order to gather information abut the sites we visit, how long we stay around, and which pages we read. ISPs have no capability to do this because most web traffic is encrypted. So Silicon Valley as the greater means to violate privacy."

      This is nonsensical. ISPs have much more ability to know where and how people visit webpages, even HTTPS encrypted ones, as the metadata is still evident to the ISPs. Google and Facebook only have access to the data that we share directly with those platforms.

      Please don't think I'm defending the telcos, but this one argument has a bit of merit. Even if you don't use any of Google's services, most websites use Google Analytics to track visitors—you included unless you block GA. And GA will have access to the full unencrypted URL whereas ISPs will only see the hostname: www.lolcats.com vs. www.lolcats.com/news/cats-are-not-evil.

      Similarly, many websites load Facebook's JavaScript library to enable sharing buttons on every page. Again, Facebook receives the full URL and can build a shadow profile about you.

      But at least the mechanisms used by Google/Facebook have an actual purpose beyond building and selling that profile or delivering ads, and you can block their domain names to avoid being tracked. For the ISPs that created supercookies, covertly tracking you was the only feature, and it's completely unblockable without using a VPN.

      reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

    45. identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 30 Aug 2018 @ 5:26pm

      Re: Re: Re: Re:

      You can have host file for everything but a program can get names from its own name server if it wants to

      The cool new thing in web browsers is DNS-over-HTTPS. Watch out for that when you upgrade, because it's likely to bypass your hosts file and your DNS settings.

      reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

    46. identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 30 Aug 2018 @ 5:33pm

      Re: Re: Re:

      Check this out for a list of what HOSTS files might block.

      I know what the hosts file is, but it's a really kludgey way to do this. Blocking your web browser from Facebook would be better done at the browser level (with an adblocker). The hosts file might help if you're trying to block other software such as games from accessing Facebook; do any do that?

      The hosts file is legacy ARPANET junk. It requires privilege to update, doesn't really block stuff, doesn't handle domain wildcards, and can't inspect URL paths.

      reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

    47. identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 30 Aug 2018 @ 5:37pm

      Re: As I expected, Masnick is carrying Silicon Valley's water

      Hey dicky, your ego finally heal up from the asskicking you got last time blackened Teckdirts doorway?

      reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

    48. identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 30 Aug 2018 @ 5:38pm

      Re: Re: Re: ha ha ha

      “I do hear that ignorance is bliss.”

      Funny, you don’t sound that happy.

      reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

    49. icon
      Ehud Gavron (profile), 30 Aug 2018 @ 5:55pm

      hosts file

      Begging the question of why you'd use a system where you can't edit a file...

      The HOSTS file is not a kludge. It's not legacy ARPAnet stuff either. It's for a name to number and number to name mapping that is outside of DNS. The topic under discussion [has changed to be] some form of not giving away info. So if you want to have a host named my-secret-home-security-camera-system.com you probably don't want that in DNS. Using HOSTS files is perfectly appropriate.

      You want to block stuff? Use an IPS/IDS/FW.

      VPNs don't block or hide anything. They merely obfuscate it from some people for some time.

      E

      reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

    50. identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 30 Aug 2018 @ 6:08pm

      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

      Does it still use bind?

      reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

    51. identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 30 Aug 2018 @ 6:13pm

      So telco lobbyists sending Masnick a talking points folder is not proof of him not being a Google shill, but because Google mentions Masnick in a court document he's a Google shill forever?

      God, this is confusing...

      reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

    52. icon
      Ehud Gavron (profile), 30 Aug 2018 @ 6:18pm

      system calls to bind

      It uses gethostbyname() which uses whatever mechanism you have installed... be it BIND, dnsmasq, etc.

      I did answer your question -- would you mind explaining its relevance to anything being discussed?

      E

      reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

    53. identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 30 Aug 2018 @ 7:31pm

      Think again

      “In what was clearly a mistake a top exec at the telco's largest lobbying organization, USTelecom, emailed a 12 page document of talking points yesterday, asking the recipients to "review the document for accuracy and other thoughts" in order to help USTelecom President Jonathan Spalter for when he goes on C-SPAN next week.”

      Not a mistake, Mike.

      mailto:Ajit.Pai@fcc.gov

      reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

    54. identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 30 Aug 2018 @ 8:13pm

      Re: system calls to bind

      Had not read about this, was worried they were breaking it.

      reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

    55. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 30 Aug 2018 @ 8:13pm

      Re: Re:

      Why are you unwilling to publish the whole document, Mike? Why do you need to restrict access? Tell the truth, or face the consequences. Think about it carefully.

      reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

    56. identicon
      Aussie Anon, 30 Aug 2018 @ 8:34pm

      Re: Re: Re:

      Windows 10 & Edge will ignore the HOSTS file in regards to Microsoft-owned URL's & IP's, otherwise blocking something in HOSTS is respected by Mozilla, (Firefox and its spin-offs) Chromium (Chrome and clones like Opera 15+), and basically every non-Microsoft browser or program (eg: Steam).

      reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

    57. identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 30 Aug 2018 @ 8:43pm

      Re:

      It is possible - I wonder why on earth they would have Mike's email address in their address book in the first place. It is possible he contacted them before but I would expect them not to.

      reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

    58. icon
      Ehud Gavron (profile), 30 Aug 2018 @ 8:55pm

      Windows, the defender of freedoms. Not.

      If you're using Windows you already have no expectation of privacy, security, secure authentication, or anything of any value. Until next Patch Tuesday where they'll bring your security level up to last month's revealed exploits. If you ever think your Windows box is secure you have not been paying attention these last twenty three years.

      Other than Windows, real systems don't ignore the HOSTS file.

      Best wishes to Windows Sysadmin Dunsel.

      E

      reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

    59. identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 30 Aug 2018 @ 9:37pm

      Re: Re: Re:

      Because he’s not an idiot like some Shivas I could mention.

      reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

    60. icon
      techflaws (profile), 30 Aug 2018 @ 9:38pm

      Re: ha ha ha

      '"you can avoid Google and Facebook if you want."

      bullshit, that is like saying you can avoid the big 3 credit reporting agencies if you want.'

      Really? I don't use Google and I'm no on Facebook. That makes you wrong, sucker.

      reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

    61. identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 30 Aug 2018 @ 9:41pm

      Re: Re: Re:

      Also what consequences? You being a fucknugget is already a given so...

      reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

    62. identicon
      Adrian, 30 Aug 2018 @ 11:32pm

      So, the author of this article thinks that all is good in the Silicon Valley? Oh jeez, I always forget that those folks are all about "don't do evil". Practically, they are NGOs, charities. Especially when they do business in China... hahahhaah!

      reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

    63. icon
      Lurk-a-lot (profile), 30 Aug 2018 @ 11:57pm

      Re: Re: Google/Facebook

      I block google analytics and facebook, but I can't block my ISP.

      reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

    64. icon
      Ehud Gavron (profile), 31 Aug 2018 @ 12:09am

      Blocking your ISP

      1. Google "us colocation" and find a vendor who's never heard of you and doesn't care about you.
      2. Buy a CCR1009 ($400) and configure it to be your VPN endpoint. (PPTP here, and L2TP and IPsec also available https://www.bgocloud.com/knowledgebase/32/mikrotik-chr-how-to-setup-pptp-vpn-server.html)
      3. Contract with #1 to give your #2 a home in their shared colocation space, with immortal power, cooling, and an Internet spigot (also called DIA or Dedicated Internet Access).
      4. Configure #2 with the IP info given you via #3 and ship it to #1 and wait for it to be online.
      5. Buy an RB750 ($40) and place it between your LAN and your ISP's demarcation ("demarc") device. Configure it to ship all traffic via the PPTP/L2TP/IPsec tunnel to #2

      That's it. At this point your ISP sees nothing other than encrypted traffic to the colo you picked. The only entity that can see your traffic is the colo provider who knew nothing about you and doesn't care.

      If you want to add more redundancy do steps 1-3 for multiple locations; place multiple endpoints; use them either as round-robin destinations for your traffic OR daisy-chain them so your traffic goes through multiple locations.

      This gets you protection from peeping eyes, until the traffic exits the encryption path. That makes it almost like TOR, except that a determined party (think "feds") can backtrack to find you from the output traffic.

      Ehud

      reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

    65. identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 31 Aug 2018 @ 1:22am

      Re:

      That’s the best you got?

      As your retarded pimple of a president says SAD.

      reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

    66. identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 31 Aug 2018 @ 2:00am

      Re:

      I suspect auto-complete.

      reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

    67. identicon
      Adrian, 31 Aug 2018 @ 4:49am

      Re: Re:

      Darling, I'm European. So no "pimple of a president" here ;-)
      Also, here in Europe we like to keep big tech monopolists accountable. I find it amazing how you ignore how they abuse their power. Wake-up, before they sell your soul to the devil (together with all your data, which they already sold!).
      Kisses from good old Europe :-)

      reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

    68. identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 31 Aug 2018 @ 5:41am

      Question

      How are google and facebook 'edge providers'? When I talk about edge computing its about putting computing at the location it's used - the only company providing me access at my house is the ISP. The ISP is by definition at the edge of my internet, and connects me to the core of the internet, where google and facebook's datacenters connect into tier 1 or 2 networks.

      Am I looking at this the wrong way or are the telco's completely making things up?

      reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

    69. icon
      Ehud Gavron (profile), 31 Aug 2018 @ 5:45am

      Europe rocks ... mmm... nothing

      Hey that's great that you guys on the small side of the pond are proud of it. Thanks also for making up cute little laws (GDPR) and claiming it applies to the rest of the world.

      News flash: It doesn't. Right now some companies are giving it lip service but soon it will be Yet Another European Effort to upend laws and justice. Like all other gnats it annoys everyone but we let it live until it bites. Then we swat it to death.

      Your justice court is a joke, a plaything for politicians, and you're about to pass the most draconian copyright crap this world has seen -- worse than anything even Trump and his leftenant USTR can come up with.

      I think it's great that you have continental pride (like national pride but when your nation sucks so all you have left is boasting you're on a continent) and good luck with that.

      There's a reason nobody ever wrote a song called "Europe rocks" or "We love Europe" or "Europeans are really really polite, like Canadians" or anything like that. I'm can see your attitude embodies that lack of meaning as well.

      Thank you for the early morning laugh. Why don't you put on your daddy's tie and grab his briefcase and pretend you go to work. That's just as real.

      E
      P.S. Take off the tie before daddy gets Euro-Mad at you. That's like angry only meaningless and hilarious at the same time.

      reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

    70. icon
      Ehud Gavron (profile), 31 Aug 2018 @ 5:46am

      Edge Providers

      reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

    71. identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 31 Aug 2018 @ 6:03am

      Re: Europe rocks ... mmm... nothing

      On top of European, I also vote democrat for many years now.
      What I find extremely appalling, is how liberals & democrats in the US do not see what social media and search monopoly is doing to your (and our) democracy.
      Let me explain that for you: Brexit, Trump, populism ravaging from Italy to Germany... well.. we owe it (also) to the Valley's miopia. More specifically, we owe it:
      - to the proliferation of fake news on social media, which is the result of poor care and responsibility show by social media platforms
      - to online news & video platforms killing any form of sustainable and properly remunerated journalism
      - to big tech disrupting entire job markets by trumpeting the usual corporate innovation crap, instead of responsibly thinking at how to address the many negative effects of digital disruption.

      Now, you know what's next? While we liberals and democrats keep ourselves busy defending the revenues of big tech, populists and sovranists will take over. They will say they got the solution to the job issue (very acute in Europe), they will say they will give people back the identities they lost on social media, they will even say they will give them back the freedom of speech that big search stole from them.

      It is all quite sad. But, when history will be written in 100 years, we liberals and democrats will find it kinda hard to blame it all on the Trumpeteers. It will be also our own fault.

      PS: In Europe, we do care about our privacy. Because we got Nazism and Fascism. That thought us why all communications - also those running via internet companies - should be confidential and protected by law. Maybe, Americans should consider what European history - and their own history of the World War - can teach all of us about privacy and communications.

      PPSS: In Europe, we also care about innovation. Which is why antitrust enforcement fined Tech Giants for abusing their dominant position to the detriment of those who are still setting up their start-up in a garage

      With love, from the other side of the Pond

      reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

    72. icon
      Ninja (profile), 31 Aug 2018 @ 7:05am

      Re: ha ha ha

      You can. Just using simple script blockers and denying anything from these companies is enough. Sure it's not a walk in the park but it can be done even if you aren't too tech literate.

      reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

    73. identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 31 Aug 2018 @ 8:11am

      Re: Re: Re:

      "Tell the truth, or face the consequences. Think about it carefully."

      Carefully thinking ...... hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

      Well, since our president's lawyer tells us that the truth is not the truth how is anyone supposed to respond to this silly request?

      reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

    74. identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 31 Aug 2018 @ 9:44am

      Re: As I expected, Masnick is carrying Silicon Valley's water

      Richard, me boyo!!! Finally recovered from the constant beat downs you suffered several months ago, eh? So sorry I missed your comment yesterday, please allow me to correct that today.

      This is utterly hilarious:

      The only thing hilarious here is you.

      On planet Earth, Google and Facebook make their profits by monetizing users' privacy

      Uh, no. They monetize data, does that happen to violate privacy? Sometimes yes, but not always.

      while ISPs make their money by selling subscriptions.

      Please see ATT and Verizon, excuse me, OATH and their massive selloffs of ISP infrastructure and purchase of advertising.

      This means Google and Facebook - the Internet's advertising duopoly - have the greater incentive to violate privacy.

      And lucrative government contracts to snoop on everyone isn't a huge incentive? Not only that but they also turn around and double dip and sell that info to the highest bidder for advertising? I think you under estimate the value here.

      Google and Facebook have also instrumented most of the web in order to gather information abut the sites we visit

      ...What? Google and Facebook don't know jack squat about anyone unless they choose to use their services or give information to them. Stop lying.

      ISPs have no capability to do this because most web traffic is encrypted.

      Allow me to introduce you to man-in-the-middle attacks and deep packet inspection. ISPs are, by definition, a man in the middle, hell they are the pipe. They can and do absolutely decrypt https if it suits their needs.

      So Silicon Valley as the greater means to violate privacy.

      As pointed out above, no they don't. I don't have to use Google or Facebook and if I don't they don't know squat about me. On the other hand I have to use my ISP and they can read and capture every single data packet I send over their lines. Who has the greater means to violate privacy again?

      Google and Facebook sell most of the Internet's ads, so they have the opportunity to violate privacy to a greater extent than other firms.

      Rehash of the above point. They can only see what I choose to send them, ISPs can see it all, whether I want them to or not.

      So we find that Silicon Valley has the means, motive, and opportunity to violate privacy to a greater extent than another other sector of the Internet economy.

      So we find that Richard Bennett is, once again, a blatant liar and industry shill, quite content to ignore all reality, just to get that next paycheck from ATT, etc...

      Why is TechDirt covering up the facts?

      They aren't but you have a definite problem with truth and reality.

      TRY AGAIN RICHARD.

      reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

    75. identicon
      Thad, 31 Aug 2018 @ 9:52am

      Re:

      That's not how it works.

      "Neutral" means nobody gets to decide what content gets prioritized over other content.

      If net neutrality were restored, Pai would have the ability to choose not to enforce it. That's the worst thing he could do. The thing he's already doing.

      reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

    76. identicon
      Justin, 31 Aug 2018 @ 10:19am

      Re: Re: As I expected, Masnick is carrying Silicon Valley's water

      This is nonsensical. ISPs have much more ability to know where and how people visit webpages, even HTTPS encrypted ones, as the metadata is still evident to the ISPs. Google and Facebook only have access to the data that we share directly with those platforms.

      You are wrong about this.

      Your ISP can see where your traffic goes, almost nothing else.

      If the site is HTTPs, your ISP has no visibility into which pages you're visiting, what data you're sending back and forth. Only the address of the server you're hitting, and how much data is going back and forth.

      As whoever wrote the original comment said, Google and Facebook have far more visibility, since they're running code on many of these pages. They can track how you're interacting with pages, which pages you're on, for how long. Your ISP can't do any of that, it's just encrypted data flowing from point to point for them.

      reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

    77. identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 31 Aug 2018 @ 10:54am

      > First of all, they have much greater visibility into everything that you do, because it all goes through their pipes.

      Mike,

      Unless you have some kind of amnesia that made you forget about encryption Facebook/Google's analytics services, this is bullshit and you know it.

      For example, when you visit an encrypted website (e.g. most websites) with Google Analytics or Facebook's tracking bullshit on it (also most websites), Google/Facebook gain far more information than your ISP about your interaction with that site.

      We need to be fighting to regain our privacy from *both* ISPs *and* Google/Facebook/etc. This isn't a situation where it's okay for you to lie to make ISPs look worse and deflect blame from your sponsors, nor do you even need to for that matter.

      reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

    78. identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 31 Aug 2018 @ 10:57am

      > made you forget about encryption >or< Facebook/Google's analytics services

      reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

    79. identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 31 Aug 2018 @ 10:57am

      Saying Google & Facebook are more trustworthy than the Telcos is moronic. Die years ago they played the same game as you accuse the Telcos now with thi (probably correctly). Better to say a pox on all their houses, and tie down the real monster in the room, the entire federal government crony machine.

      reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

    80. identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 31 Aug 2018 @ 11:03am

      Re: Re: ha ha ha

      Do you have friends/family, use credit cards, or visit websites?

      If you do, those companies are still collecting data about you whether you directly use their services or not.

      reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

    81. identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 31 Aug 2018 @ 11:07am

      Re: Re: As I expected, Masnick is carrying Silicon Valley's water

      > Google and Facebook only have access to the data that we share directly with those platforms.

      You're now pretty much literally repeating Zuckerberg's congressional talking points word for word.

      Do people "share directly" their credit card transaction data? What about the data that most websites feed to Google/Facebook via their respective analytics services? What about the data Google and Facebook collect about non-users from users?

      reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

    82. identicon
      Matthew A. Sawtell, 31 Aug 2018 @ 11:28am

      I could crack an 'Edge-Lord' joke here...

      ... but I have to wonder sometimes if groups like this are just tying to see who is really feed the trolls. Mike, it is too bad that you cannot print then photo the slide deck to avoid any digital clues, but one cannot be too careful nowadays to protect a source.

      reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

    83. icon
      HighwayHawk8 (profile), 31 Aug 2018 @ 12:28pm

      Re: Re: DMCA, here we come

      That hasn't stopped companies in the past from trying to abuse the copyright system to silence speech.

      reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

    84. identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 31 Aug 2018 @ 3:36pm

      Re: Re: Re: Google/Facebook

      Cancel your service. "Oh but but but I HAVE to have the internet in order to survive".... mmmmk pumpkin.... if you and your neighbor and your neighbors neighbor etc etc etc cancel... that opens a demand for services OFF THE INTERNET. Capitalize on it and become the new Gates. Lif iz hard. You're welcome.

      reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

    85. icon
      Ehud Gavron (profile), 31 Aug 2018 @ 3:51pm

      Free isn't free

      Google is free to use. So is Facebook. To us, the end-users.

      Both are large public corporations who have shareholders who expect their stock value to increase. For that to happen, generally, the corporation must do something, and usually the easy button is "growth" and "profit". Sometimes that's shared in the form of dividends, splits, buybacks, and sometimes not.

      G+FB give away everything and still make a profit through their selling of advertising space. They also convince 3rd parties to advertise with them because their advertising mechanisms are superior in tracking user behavior.

      It's not "the Internet" that's tracking anyone, and one can certainly use "the Internet" without being tracked. However, that takes a lot of work. Bad OPSEC kills.

      Ehud

      reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

    86. icon
      NoahVail (profile), 31 Aug 2018 @ 3:52pm

      Re: Re: Re: Re:

      Windows only prevents a few MS owned domains from hosts (& I believe Windows Firewall) blocking.
      Hosts can still be used to block a ton of Windows telemetry.

      reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

    87. icon
      The Wanderer (profile), 31 Aug 2018 @ 5:14pm

      Re: Question

      If I understand matters correctly (which I may very well not), the differentiation is between "backbone" providers in the middle of the network and "edge" providers at the (er) edge, with other types of providers in between.

      The core of the Internet is not the sites to which people connect, or the data centers from which those sites are hosted; it is the infrastructure over which those connections travel. The endpoints of those connections are considered the "edges" of the Internet.

      When you connect to one of those sites (such as Google or Facebook), you are not connecting to the Internet; you are connecting over or across the Internet, from one endpoint (you) to another (the server which hosts the content you want). Both of these endpoints, by definition, sit at the Internet's edge.

      Your ISP, by contrast, is part of the Internet-as-infrastructure. It is just "inside" the edge; you (as an endpoint node) are on the edge, and it is one step farther in than you are.

      reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

    88. icon
      That One Guy (profile), 31 Aug 2018 @ 6:27pm

      Lead by example

      Tell you what, as I say to everyone who think's they've got a point with that: You first.

      Go without the internet entirely for at least a month.

      Don't use it yourself, don't shop at any store that uses it, if you need to make a deposit or withdrawal from your bank only do so in person(ATM's are right out as guess what they use?) so I hope you like carrying lots of cash for visits to the farmer's market, don't ask any friends or family to use it on your behalf, if your local library has a connection don't use that, if your job requires an internet connection quit and look for one that doesn't... basically spend a solid month as though the internet didn't exist.

      Manage that and maybe then people will take your 'well just do without the internet!' idea somewhat more seriously.

      reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

    89. identicon
      Philip C Branton, 31 Aug 2018 @ 8:57pm

      Counter utility intelligence

      The timing of this release is politically strategic. A review of the Dominion Energy takeover of SCE&G and SCANA and possibly Santee Cooper due to the Fairfield County nuclear power plant construction fiasco and heist has huge ramifications for an entire Communications "network"...? The recent impeachment of the WV Supreme Court and Virginia permitting delays are at play also.

      reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

    90. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
      identicon
      The Overdue Response, 1 Sep 2018 @ 6:14am

      Hey, Drudge even punched your lousy, puzzling headline!

      At least on 2nd day: "Telecom Plan of Attack on Tech Giants Revealed..."

      But you will squander the huge Drudge bump with more of your shilling for Google, inane trivial pieces, the nasty fanboys, and especially by having censored comments. Typical Techdirt.

      Yes, any new readers: "shill" is strong charge but it's openly stated on Masnick's "Copia" site! (He calls that a "think tank".) He never mentions his corporate "sponsors" here though literally just one click away. But somehow that's ignored by vile fanboys.

      https://copia.is/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/sponsors.png

      And then there's the lie that Masnick "supports copyright"! You won't see any sign of that, but supporting PIRACY and infringement nearly every day.

      And beware the Zombies! Old "accounts" suddenly return after up to 8 years! -- I state only FACTS, new readers, from evidence right here on site. -- There's much more, but it's not worth your time. This site is not what appears.


      [By the way, note that can't blame ME: didn't comment on your taking the bait and putting out the "talking points" with just your usual feeble gainsaying.]

      reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

    91. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
      identicon
      The Overdue Response, 1 Sep 2018 @ 6:16am

      Re: Hey, Drudge even punched your lousy, puzzling headline!

      My mistake. Having now glanced over, don't even see any comments not clearly by the few regulars. No bump at all.

      reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

    92. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 1 Sep 2018 @ 8:36am

      Re: Re:

      out_of_the_blue just hates it when due process is enforced.

      reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

    93. identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 3 Sep 2018 @ 11:30am

      Re:

      Do you not like the fairness doctrine?

      LOL - you sure do carp about it a lot.
      You do realize of course that it was flushed down the toilet long ago - right?

      The fairness doctrine (1949), afaik, was written to do something with broadcast radio and television. It did not include the internet because the internet was not in existence at that time. One does not need to get a broadcast license from the fcc in order to run a website. The fairness doctrine had nothing to do with the internet. This is just another silly GOP talking point they use to rile up the unwashed masses.

      It is funny that people think trump is held back by our system of laws.

      reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

    94. identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 3 Sep 2018 @ 11:33am

      Re:

      "the author of this article thinks that all is good in the Silicon Valley? "

      I missed the part where the author actually stated that.

      reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

    95. identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 3 Sep 2018 @ 11:43am

      Re:

      Yeah, there is no way the ISP can do anything with your traffic when it is encrypted - lol.

      Did you install a certificate the ISP gave you? If so, the isp may be able to perform deep packet inspection (SSL interception) upon your traffic. A VPN would complicate their efforts but the VPN provider then has access.

      I do not agree with your assertion that TD lied about anything and highly doubt your accusation of collusion. Got anything other than opinion, in support of your allegations?

      reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

    96. identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 4 Sep 2018 @ 8:57pm

      Re: Re: Re:

      Why was this truth censored, blue?

      reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

    97. identicon
      TomDargan, 7 Sep 2018 @ 6:07am

      Carrier cc

      Nice job on your cc: article. Everything we get and send on the internet is in IP packets, individually addressed, like mail. Of course the carriers should not read the mail they carry. Mike, do you know why net neutrality proponents never bring up the essential privacy of IP packets?

      reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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