Reading this article, I just realized the insidious condition that makes this sort of "fuckery" possible: network speeds are an area where—similar to transistor density on chips—the status quo requires continual significant improvement.
For most things, if you pay $X for product Y or service Z today, that's still a fairly reasonable deal next month, next year, and heck even several years from now given inflation. But for things like networking service, a good deal today is a marginal deal next year, and complete extortion several years from now.
They don't need to do anything actively nefarious. They can be passive, do nothing, and by doing so anchor their offering to today's standard while the rising tide submerges them and their value.
Sounds like prior restraint to me, opposing someone doing something because the something they do might eventually lead to bad things in the future. Why don't we just punish those hypothetical bad things when they actually if and when they come to pass?
I think of internet bandwidth like other utilities: electricity, gas, water. What if GE offered a line of appliances that let you use them as much as you wanted, and the gas, elec, and water used by them didn't show on your bill? Isn't that just smart marketing, and good for the consumer?
Of course first thing I'd do is turn them into a utility hub for my house, having them feed to all other devices and appliances. GE can subsidize my whole house :-)
Another thought: what if it turns out that per mile traveled, Uber rides are actually safer? Are the taxi companies prepared to let Uber lawyers go through the discovery process on their collision and safety documentation? Given the strong feedback loop resulting from public reviews, I'd bet that Uber drivers are more incented to drive in a calmer and perhaps safer manner. Just a hypothesis, but it'd be very interesting to see what the data shows.
Regardless of the language they choose for this fee, as a consumer I think it's reflects poorly on a company to tack fees onto the base charge for the service for what should just be a cost of doing business. It makes me think of TicketMaster and telecom companies who use it as a way of extracting more and more profits. Unfortunately Lyft also has a "Trust and Safety" fee, so it looks like a bad precedent has already been set here.
My understanding is that any member of congress can read and submit any document into the congressional record as a part of their duties and be free from repercussions. Well at least legal ones. They could be shunned and excluded from the sphere of influence after that.
And that's probably the crux of it. No Congressional member thinks this is the ditch worth dying in. Especially if there's no chance the fast track will be passed by both bodies AND signed by the president.
And there goes any possibility I will vote for her in 2016. I hope she doesn't get the nomination. This shows an absolute appalling lack of respect for the law, and if she does it here so blatantly, she will undoubtably do so in any other situation she sees fit.
I took a look at Gemalto's stock price over the past year, and noticed it was in the mid-$80s a year ago, and dropped to below $60 4 months ago. The blip from $73 to $67, which then trended back up to $70 looks like minor fluctuations compared to the macro trend.
So it seems that investors initially overreacted to the news (as it seems they always do), and then it corrected. It doesn't look like they care too much about this news. Should they? Are they seriously going to lose business because of this? Does anyone seriously think that the NSA won't simply hack any other SIM card provider?