Who Knew Senior Citizens Hated Net Neutrality?
'XYZ Organization' magically shares AT&T's lobbying positions
We've long criticized the broadband industry's biggest companies for their unethical practices when it comes to DC lobbying, from the creation of artificial consumer groups
, to the "co-opting" of legitimate groups who parrot anti-consumer phone or cable company lobbying positions for donations. While with one hand AT&T and Verizon are busy publicly throwing their support behind the FCC's new neutrality rules
, with the other hand they're doing things like scaring their employees into flooding the FCC comment system from their home e-mail addresses
, or using fake and/or hijacked organizations to bombard the FCC with complaints.
AT&T, Verizon and Comcast hire to run these kinds of modern disinformation operations (and win "ethics awards
" for doing it) are usually fairly slick outfits, using a combination of fake consumer groups, compromised real consumer groups, and regular lobbyists to create the illusion of broad support for corporate positions. Usually this is done without the press or public noticing the men behind the curtain, but occasionally they screw up. Take for instance this letter
from the "Arkansas Retired Seniors Coalition" to the FCC opposing neutrality:
Access to a robust, reliable Internet has become an important component in the day-to-day lives of many seniors in Arkansas; consequently, the elderly community here is concerned about the proposed rule making on net neutrality. XYZ organization shares this concern. The FCC's actions relating to net neutrality could have a profound impact on our constituency's ability to access and adopt high-speed internet, creating yet another barrier for us to overcome.
Note how the seemingly non-existent organization
forgot to remove the stock "XYZ organization" from the form letter provided to them by lobbyists. Of course there's dozens upon dozens of similar groups flooding the FCC with essentially the same letter, including Stallworth Lumber Company, United Way of the Capital Area, and Graham Transfer & Storage. This letter
from Northrup Grumman Shipbuilding (Shipbuilding??) parrots all of AT&T's lobbying positions, but it forgets to remove the "Governor/PUC Letters to FCC on Net Neutrality" header, indicating that the FCC essentially got the same form letter as everybody else.
It's one thing for small companies who pal about with AT&T on their home state golf courses to parrot AT&T positions, but it's rather unfortunate when supposedly legitimate consumer, minority or disability groups (like the National Association For the Deaf
, the NAACP
or the once-relevant National Consumer's League
) sell out their constituents by undermining consumer interests on AT&T's behalf. Almost as bad is the fact that money that could be spent on network infrastructure often instead goes to the creation of bogus consumer groups (many of which are included in the broadband industry's latest lobbying coalition
) who fight against consumers
Whether you support network neutrality rules or not, this kind of pseudo-consumer skulduggery is particularly greasy, and it's something that needs to change if we're ever going to have a genuine, useful conversation about broadband policy issues. Update
: One user writes in to note that the Bob Sells cited as the head of the "Arkansas Retired Seniors Coalition" was a Southwestern Bell public relations employee for nearly thirty years
absolutes? nothing more to say here than: "absolute power corrupts absolutely"
DSL Reports Scoops Major Press Outlets This story just goes to show, folks like Karl, who actually do reporting and reading, are light years ahead of the "mainstream" press. These letters, judging from their date, have been available for many days. Yet this is the first time this "XYZ" nonsense was mentioned anywhere.
Re: DSL Reports Scoops Major Press Outlets
said by ZappaF :No, Karl is just doing what every good journalist has done for the past few centuries. The others just regressed.
This story just goes to show, folks like Karl, who actually do reporting and reading, are light years ahead of the "mainstream" press. These letters, judging from their date, have been available for many days. Yet this is the first time this "XYZ" nonsense was mentioned anywhere.
Re: Dividends and Unions
That is why over 70 democrats have opposed the net neutrality plan so far --- democrats needs unions.Well that or they were simply paid to:
All but two of the 72 Democratic lawmakers who cautioned last Friday against open-Internet rules have received campaign donations this year from Internet service providers, the companies most likely to be impacted by new regulations.
For their most recent election campaigns, the House members received a total of more than $405,000 from the nation's largest carriers, AT&T, Verizon, Comcast and the trade associations representing them.
Manhattan Beach, CA
Re: Dividends and Unions
said by Phillip:I question your extreme cynicism, but I do appreciate your bipartisanship!
There is not a single person in office, republican or democrat that give a rats ass about us, but only what they can keep for themselves.
| |Rogue WolfMourns the Loss of lilhurricane
Re: Subtle Knifing "Never ascribe to malice that which can adequately be explained by incompetence." -Napoleon Bonaparte
Hexadecimal humor really turns me 0FF.
Re: Good Thing John McCain is coming to their rescue Yes, Everyone will tell you that all those countries that 'regulate' the internet, like Japan, Korea, Netherlands, well, they all suffer from horrible speeds and outrageous prices! McNain doesn't believe that ANY regulation is good regulation. That means that all those countries that get 5 times the speed at 1/5th the price, well, they are all doomed to suffer a horrible economic collapse because of it.
Look at the NUMBERS. The countries that HAVE a high-speed POLICY in place, HAVE FASTER SPEEDS, LOWER PRICES, AND NO CAPS. Guess what, the REST of the world has REALIZED that internet access is a tool for the PEOPLE of their countries, NOT A CASH COW for a megacorp. As long as the right wing nut cases refuse to look at the success of all those countries that FAR BETTER internet access than what you can get in the US, and feed from the lobby trough, the US will continue to fall in our 'competitive' war.
The happiest countries are the most secular. The struggle AGAINST corporations is the struggle FOR humanity!
Re: Good Thing John McCain is coming to their rescue
said by karlmarx:Gee, I wonder who that would be...
like our resident right wing nut case