We chat with criminal defense attorney Ashley McMahan who shares stories from her career as a prosecutor and defense attorney while debating the more nuanced issues with justice as we’ve seen it implemented in America. The conversations becomes an informative and irreverent reflection on legal policy, net neutrality, Southern culture, casual arson, and one loudmouth CNN host.
Podcast Supplement – Net Neutrality – Ignorance Is Not A Point of View
There’s a lot of hyperbolic opinions shared about net neutrality at the moment (or a few months ago, I may be crazy late to the game here) and I don’t think our reflection on the policy in today’s episode does enough to inform the situation.
Also we belittled Nancy Grace’s ridiculous show, so here’s links to the episodes we mentioned:
2 Chainz speaking sense on drug policy
Nancy’s stats guy has ALL the data (notice the changing blue screen background)
Here’s the steps that brought us to broadband’s reclassification as a common carrier:
1) Senator Ted Stevens describes the internet as a “series of tubes” and argues for the right of broadband carriers to charge tiered service levels to content providers, what many described as an “internet fast lane”
2) In protest many take a stand in favor of net neutrality, a policy that guarantees equal treatment of any data flowing through internet service providers. This would prevent broadband carriers from giving preferential treatment to preferred businesses and opinions.
3) Obama campaigns in favor of net neutrality and The FCC under his administration adopts net neutrality as official policy. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FCC_Open_Internet_Order_2010
4) In 2014 The US Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit strikes down net neutrality as a policy on the technicality that the FCC may not regulate broadband carriers in this way unless they were reclassified as common carriers. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Verizon_Communications_Inc._v._FCC_(2014)
5) Netflix begins paying Comcast for greater access to their customers. Netflix later protests Comcast’s proposed merger with Time Warner Cable http://qz.com/256586/the-inside-story-of-how-netflix-came-to-pay-comcast-for-internet-traffic/
6) Many lobby the public to voice their opinion to the FCC on reclassification of broadband services.
6a) John Oliver encouraging internet trolls to post inflammatory opinions to fcc.gov https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fpbOEoRrHyU
6b) Cartoonists fearing government intervention in the internet http://agoodcartoon.tumblr.com/post/112510314430/area12-agoodcartoon-virulenthearts-brook
6c) Commenters belittling those previous cartoonist for their depiction of the issue https://www.techdirt.com/blog/netneutrality/articles/20150306/16215930234/cartoonist-has-no-idea-how-net-neutrality-works.shtml
7) FCC head Tom Wheeler, former telecom lobbyist, announces the reclassification of broadband carriers in order to enforce net neutrality, as required by the US Court of Appeals. http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/27/technology/net-neutrality-fcc-vote-internet-utility.html?_r=0
8) In response, Netflix CFO David Wells comments “We were hoping there might be a non-regulated solution.”
8a) In speculation, Variety quotes this opinion from Google about telecommunications policy written for antiquated media as a possible reason for this comment.
One unintended effect of the FCC regulating Internet services under old-style phone rules is that it might let ISPs demand they be paid by upstream content companies — by default — for “edge services,” Google warned in a filing with the commission last month prior to the vote.
“To the extent the Commission encourages the falsehood that ISPs offer two overlapping access services and instead of just one [i.e., for downstream users], or the fiction that edge providers are customers of terminating ISPs when they deliver content to the Internet, it may encourage such attempts at double-recovery,” Google said.
How the FCC’s new “Open Internet” order specifically classifies the status of edge-service agreements is not fully clear, as the agency has not released the actual order yet. But in a press release announcing the vote, the FCC said, “Under the authority provided by the Order, the Commission can hear complaints and take appropriate enforcement action if it determines the interconnection activities of ISPs are not just and reasonable.”
9) Some of the public freak out about government intrusion into the internet (citation needed)
10) Tom Wheeler tells telecom industry to deal with it http://arstechnica.com/business/2015/05/tom-wheeler-tells-cable-industry-to-stop-complaining-start-competing/
My opinion is that the public is better served by the FCC’s decision. I believe more strongly, however, that any stated opinion needs to understand how the hell we got here in the first place.