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01.14.08

FCC-Comcast-Microsoft and the Freedom Antagonists Axis?

Posted in Antitrust, Bill Gates, Deception, Fraud, Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Google, IBM, Law, Microsoft, Novell at 2:53 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“The core of this trial is consumer choice and the premise is that consumers ought to make that decision, not Microsoft. Microsoft’s argument that says Java would have died anyway is a little bit like saying if somebody shoots you they can defend [themselves] by saying you have cancer.”

David Boies, lead trial attorney DOJ

Occasioally, certain corporate ties become rather suspicious. In some cases, a corporation obtains a connection that involves not only corporations, but also federal government departments, which are themselves composed of people who act in a fashion that resembles any corporation that you find out there.

“The relevance of this analysis has everything to do with a ‘proxy strategy’ that we find in Novell, in ISO/ECMA, and even the Department of Justice. The influence is everywhere.”In lack of proper supervision, a non-profit establishment can extract profits on an individual basis. i.e. not through the establishment itself, but through favours, investments, and other subtle forms of evasive business. Some politicians, for examples, have already got what is sometimes referred to as a “pet charity” and those who funnel funds into such charities can affect national events such as an election. In some cases, charitable foundations can also be used to affect government decisions.

One conspicuous relationship, among a few others that we have identified before (c/f links at the bottom), involves a group of companies whose tie seems tighter than it should naturally be. To a prudent outsider, the following observations might be worth careful consideration. The relevance of this analysis has everything to do with a ‘proxy strategy’ that we find in Novell, in ISO/ECMA, and even the Department of Justice. The influence is everywhere.

Comcast and Microsoft

Comcast is close to Microsoft. These two have been for quite some time. Only a month ago, the two companies signed up for a partnership that can be characterised as somewhat of an anti-Google alliance.

Microsoft’s move to offer the online software suite appears designed to compete with a similar offering from rival Google Inc known as Google Apps.

This is a case against Google. Remember Google? A company founded in a garage, which then threatened Microsoft's dominance (see end of this video). There is a similar Microsoft alliance against Google and it involves Viacom. In the same context, some even talked about a Google and IBM lawsuit-by-proxy maneuver, but let us carry on though.

FCC Attacks Free Software and GNU/Linux

It was only a few months ago that the FCC pulled a very nasty trick against Linux. It practically banned it for some applications, but then the SFLC took action. Here is an article covering some of these events that lingered on for a fortnight.

After studying the new rules — published in the Federal Register last month and taking effect today — the SFLC concluded that the laws are not FOSS-restrictive because they “apply to hardware manufacturers who distribute SDR devices, regardless if they use FOSS in them or not.” And the Center says that since the rules specifically mention the GNU/Linux operating system, the FCC is actually acknowledging the importance of open source.

Ironically, the FCC actually went against logic when it initially made this decision. Wondering minds wanted to know more.

In 1883 French cryptographer Auguste Kerckhoffs published a set of six design principles for military encryption systems. The second of these principles is generally known today under the observation that security through obscurity is not security. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) seems not to have read the history books or to be aware of how its sister federal agencies develop security standards….

Comcast Attacks Net Neutrality, Combats Sharing Blindly

Microsoft is no friend of net neutrality. The company even abandoned an initiative that protects it last year. In the same vein, it’s worth stressing that Microsoft has openly admitted that it likes DRM. This has to be remembered.

In any event, some of the most aggressive attacks on net neutrality came quite recently from Comcast. This angered even congressmen.

While a class action lawsuit is definitely one way to get Comcast to behave, another perhaps more productive way to do so is to have politicians step in and regulate.

On Tuesday, I discussed the issue of Comcast’s anti-BitTorrent “network management” with Rep. Rick Boucher, D-Va., who is a strong supporter of consumer rights and has led the battle to undo the damage caused by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, or DMCA.

Comcast stifled distribution of many things. It actually harmed things other than copyrights infringements. This includes GNU/Linux distributions and even the bible.

Consumer groups want Comcast fined for thwarting the Bible

[...]

A number of consumer groups are petitioning the FCC to fine Comcast $195,000 for every customer affected by their BitTorrent-throttling practices. The FCC has said in the past that service providers can’t “block” customers from using certain applications or websites, but it hasn’t enforced that policy.

It’s a case of throwing out the baby with the bathwater. “Pirates” are used as an excuse for traffic shaping and sometimes the tiering on the Web in the same way that “child pronography” and “terrorism” are used to introduce Web censorship.

AT&T has been caught doing political censorship on several occasions in the past, so there is clearly room for misuse there. Animal right activists too are being fought against using laws that were intended to stop “terrorism” (e.g. demands for ‘suspects’ to divulge their PGP keys).

Here comes an interesting part. Comcast, once it was reprimanded, got reported to the FCC.

P2P throttling breaks FCC ‘net neutrality’ policy

[...]

Among the consumer groups who have approached the FCC are the Consumer Federation of America, the Consumers Union, the Media Access Project and professors at the Internet practices of the Yale, Harvard and Stanford law schools.

Will the FCC respond to the complaints?

Funny Business at the FCC

Just days ago, the FCC went under a probe.

The FCC—and Chairman Kevin Martin in particular—are in hot water with Congress over the way that the Commission is run. While Martin was at CES, telling all who would listen that the FCC will investigate Comcast’s traffic-shaping practices, the House Energy and Commerce Committee announced a formal investigation of the FCC. The news couldn’t be more welcome to the industries that the FCC regulates.

There has been a lot more trouble in the FCC recently. For starters, consider the “Spectrum Swindle”:

This is not a call for a privatization or reformation of the FCC; it is a recommendation for its abolition.[20] Along with alternative arbitration venues, the current court system could handle any disputes arising from this action.[21]

The FCC should not be in the business of gerrymandering the electromagnetic spectrum; rather, it should be left to private firms to homestead the infinitesimal frequencies and solve any and all problems in courts: just like property disputes on parcels of land.

The FCC sells something it neither created nor homesteaded and has historically been found incompetent at managing. Worse, it has necessarily been partisan in its actions. In addition, the Treasury Department (through the FCC) stands to make billions of dollars for something they never made, never homesteaded, and have shown gross incompetence at managing. And yet, in January, they will both make out like bandits.

Here is the FCC getting accused of destroying the open Internet.

The fact of a shared monopoly is, in many places, just that — a fact. When carriers are given an exclusive right to provide service on lines they “own,” the public network-of-networks becomes merely a private network.

Such monopolies, whether public or private, provide enormous temptation for mischief. No matter how good the motives of those who create such temptation, it follows as night does day that others with less pure motives will follow them.

Here it is accused of blocking competition.

With the nationwide expansion of fiber-optic wiring and digital delivery at the turn of the century, the federal government reclaimed and is still reclaiming large amounts of spectrum.

At the end of the day, Comcast is still out on the loose and its practices are spreading. This puts in danger freedom of speech and also distribution of Free software. This combats decentralisation of the media, which has been one of the more beautiful effects of the Internet.

What remains here is a complicated theory and just a collection of points to ponder. The Internet is an Achilles heel to Microsoft, which sees more and more of its dominance crumbling in exchange for online services, downloads of Free software, information about Microsoft’s past and present crimes and so forth. It’s interesting to note that an Australia ISP took down OpenOffice.org about a month ago due to competitive reasons.

Microsoft’s advocacy of digital lockdown (e.g. DRM) cannot be denied based on its deeds and even its words. At the moment it seems like Comcast and the FCC do the tango. Who benefits from all of this? Comcast, the FCC, and Microsoft, who also appear to be generally close. Another things we already know that Microsoft controls many of the federal bodies behind the scenes (c/f links at the bottom).

“According to one source, Bill Gates once told Ray Noorda (of Novell) that he knows how to control the Federal government.”According to one source, Bill Gates once told Ray Noorda (of Novell) that he knows how to control the Federal government. If you go by any of these phonecalls that Bill Gates recently made to the Federal government in order to successfully flip a “No” vote on OOXML to a “Yes”, then not much has changed.

A question remains: does the FCC turn a blind eye to Comcast just like like the DoJ, which apparently has Microsoft insiders, continues ignores Microsoft’s frauds and refuses to listen the the States' complaints? It is extremely hard to argue with the fact that Microsoft is virtually above the US Department of justice [1, 2, 3]. The FCC has previously been worrisome in this context as well, particularly for bias that favours abuse and monopolisation [1, 2]. Don’t discount the apparent corruptions at the FTC either, not to mention toothlessness of the SEC. There is a lot left to be better understood and this inconsistent and incoherent train of thought is more of an exercise in note-taking. It might prove handy in the future.

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