So...with our gov't, we are constantly fighting the last war, with things like taking our shoes off because the last bomber wired his shoes.
Of course, it's lame to merely be reactive, and to plan and prepare for the attacks that happened in the past. It is smarter, and thus I suggest that we instead prepare for the attacks that might happen in the future.
So now, our gov't has leapfrogged my suggestion. Instead of fighting the last war, or the next one, we are putting up "defenses" for problems that never happened, and never will.
"That's because, unlike traditional physical weapons used against enemy infrastructure, digital versions are not generally destroyed during an attack"
Also, things like cruise missiles, stealth bombers, and nukes are very, very expensive and have a high marginal cost of production. We can also see their physical production sites from the air, and target them before they are complete.
OTOH, digital attack tools are largely made of code, and much like an MP3, have a low marginal cost of production, and can be created in somebody's mom's basement.
Suri neglected to tell the opposite reducio-ad-absurdium case, where one carmaker gets preference over another because they paid more for data transport.
Ex: You bought a fine Jaguar self driver, with plush leather-bound volumes in the rear, and a classy all-crystal bar in the center of the conversation pit. I bought a Tata Nano self-driver, with wooden benches and a gerbil-drip self-service water bar. We drive into fog where there happens to be a pile-up. The network is congested from all the accident victims ahead. Your Jag gets prioritization because Jaguar paid for preferential data treatment (aka the data fast lane) while my Nano's data is delayed. Your Jag gets the data about the pile-up and slows to a safe stop, while my Nano speeds along unaware.
I crash into you, and you die. Dumb luck plays a role, but doesn't it always?
Anyway, the point is, stupid end-case scenarios can be drawn in either direction.
All the Techdirt writers agree with what you wrote. But what you wrote is only theoretical when the actual US market does not have the minimum number of competitors needed to drive such service competition.
If we want to "let different businesses offer different plans", we'd need more than 1-2 providers in a given location.
the constantly shifting meaning of "net neutrality"
...is not a happenstance. It is deliberate FUD. NN was fairly easily defined a half-decade back. And under that definition, every citizen would have been in favor of it.
So the lobbies have confused the definition, to link it more closely to "regulating the Internet" and "goverment hands all over the net".
This has been a successful clouding of the issue, to the point where you have demonstrated their success. You see NN as a gov't grab of control of a "free market".
You wrote, "can anyone do an honest pro-con benefit analysis as to why regulation is better than free-market innovation." A fair question to ask, but your premise is faulty. The alternative is NOT a FREE MARKET.
THE CURRENT OPTIONS ARE NOT: NN OR A FREE MARKET. THE CURRENT OPTIONS ARE: NN OR A BIG-ISP-CONTROLLED MARKET.
Ours is a market will all the signs of market failure, largely related to oligopoly, duopoly, or monopoly. This is inherent in the "utility nature" of the service, which, at its most basic level, is a dirt-and-shovel industry that requires digging up roads and boulevards to lay fiber or cable. The last mile is just too expensive to expect multiple competitors in that space.
We were once competitive. We had something called UNE-P for a while. That 1996 law required last mile carriers to lease their last mile lines to competitors...and for a brief moment in time , we had broadband competition in the US. It took a few years to get started, then you'd see companies like Covad competing with AT&T for DSL business using AT&T's last mile copper. Just as it was succeeding, we had United States Telecom Association v. FCC, decided on May 24, 2002, which killed UNE-P. Who was against UNE-P? Well, the Telcos, for sure, but also our friend Michael Powell who wrote this: http://blog.tmcnet.com/blog/rich-tehrani/uploads/une-p-powell.pdf. Basically, Powell says, "Sure, UNE-P is OK, I guess...but market based competition at every infrastructure level is better. So that's what I want instead." As Karl wrote, an example was his silly fascination with BPL, and his fantasy that THIS would provide the needed competition for a working market.
The EU, however, picked up on our lead with UNE-P and ran with it. Since, the USA's experiment with new infrastructure-based competition has fallen entirely flat, while the EU is extremely competitive with multiple broadband providers for every home, lower prices, and incredible 30 euro bundles of phone, mobile phone, TV, and Internet.
NN regulations, or Title II are not perfect, and nobody at Techdirt is ever going to say so. Title II is currently the least worst choice.
You still have problems with any kind of: - credit card use - closed circuit security cams - facial recognition - license plate readers - traffic cams, red light cams - other people taking photos, social media, tagging you
"It seems the obvious solution is already here: keep the TV dumb, and provide a set-top box (STB) that has the smarts. The STB can thus be replaced cheaply, once out of date. Consumers can easily have more than one STB, not committing to any one company's ecosystem. Do people really want to buy their TV's by ecosystem?"
"Even those actively looking for a TV may resist if there is a price premium...The TV OEMs are going to have to bundle in the smarts for free, and hope that they can make money back on the content ecosystem."
1) My daughter brought back a Palm Sunday palm frond doll from France. It was confiscated by customs, I signed off on the confiscation and was chastised because I did not check off the "plants or seeds" box on the I94 form.
2) I applied for a Global Entry pass for US customs. A year later, I had my application rejected at interview because to paraphrase "I was a lying liar who lies, and imports contraband". I asked WTF, they said "You know." I repeated WTF, they said "Crushed Palm Leaves". I had no recollection, because, recall, what I had confiscated was a DOLL, not a plant.
But you see, the doll that I had was made of plants. And I am supposed to know that. But then, where does it end? My cotton shirt is also made of plants. I'd venture that nobody at all has ever crossed a border guard without some plant material on his/her person.
Where does the responsibility to understand the input materials of our products end? - Is Vanderklok legally required to know what "organics" means, to that agent in that context? He had Powerbars. Does he need to know the list of ingredients, and their family, genus, and species?
- Does someone driving from Vancouver to Seattle need to know the soft materials used in the seating for their car, which may contain plant matter? Or all the other input materials for their car?
- Why is everything so arbitrary? I've had trips where a new and packaged Snickers bar is not considered food by agents that I've asked, and I've had trips where it IS considered food. You can judge which was right, but regardless, it should not depend on the mood of the agent.
If the Homeland Security agents can't nail down what is contraband and what is not, how can we? Ridiculous! A moron in a hurry cannot be expected to be a material science expert on the composition of every product they carry across borders or onto airplanes. Nor should we need to be.
Homeland Security should look for bombs and weapons. That's all most of us really care about our TSA finding. Just keep the plane safe.
"the benefit of the doubt goes to the whistleblowers"
It's a David vs. Goliath fight, and a bold move for any whistleblower, who is always burning bridges. The least we could do is apply an innocent until proven guilty mentality, and a "public defender" level of legal support.