Category Archives: lobbying

Podcast about the Fault Lines in Tech Lobbying

The podcast of my keynote speech at EDUCAUSE, “Mapping the Fault Lines in Telecom, Media and Tech Lobbying,” is now available an online podcast.Here’s the blurb from the event:

The digital convergence of telecommunications, media, and technology is changing the landscape for policy makers and the industries that lobby them, as well as the users of computers, telephones, entertainment and knowledge. The Center for Public Integrity’s Well Connected project tracks each of the major telecom, broadcast, cable, news, entertainment, wireless, and computer companies. Americans can access this free database to see who owns the media and communications networks in their city by typing in their ZIP code. The project is also responsible for a freedom of information lawsuit to obtain data about local broadband deployment from the FCC. This session will address the need for the educational users of computing and communication to be attuned to the lobbying fault lines that affect all of these sectors, with a particular focus on recent developments in telecommunications and intellectual property.

Corporate Blogs: The New Editorial Page?

Google’s public policy shop today officially joined the blogosphere, joining Cisco (February 4, 2005), Global Crossing (November 7, 2005), and Verizon Communications (October 2, 2006), each of which already have corporate policy blogs. The maiden post, by Andrew McLaughlin, Google’s director of public policy and government affairs, promises “public policy advocacy in a Googley way.” It’s one in which users will “be part of the effort” to help “refine and improve” the company’s policy positions. The blog already has 12 posts, done during the company’s internal test. The most recent – which I suspect provided the occasion to officially launch the blog – is a short summary of the official Google position on network neutrality.McLaughlin stoked controversy among bloggers (including this one) when in February he publicly suggested that it would be OK for broadband providers to charge other companies for quality-of-service guarantees “as long as it is done in a non-discriminatory way.” The Internet search company went all-out to put out that fire, insisting that it hadn’t changing its position on the hot-button telecom subject.

For the record, the Google blog states that the company’s official position is that prioritizing all applications of a certain type, like streaming video, is OK. By contrast, prioritization of packet delivery based on the ownership or affiliation of the content – and charging a third party – is not OK.

The Google Policy blog already has some criticism from its co-corporate policy bloggers, including Verizon and Cisco. Incidentally, the companies disagree with Google on Net neutrality. Verizon’s John Czwartacki says:

So I opened Wikipedia and learned that in Cricket a “googly” is a trick pitch, essentially a spinning curve ball designed to fool the batter or wicket guy or whatever he’s called in Cricket.

So to prevent the tragically creative from accusing your Googley blog of also being “googly,” I’d parse out that term carefully.

Cisco’s John Earnhardt urges tells McLaughlin to:

Aim low…. Your stated goals are very high, and that is to be commended, but it is an awful lot of pressure to put on a blog…and your team.

For me, the most noteworthy part of the Google policy blog so far is its collection of videos of visits by presidential candidates – Hillary Clinton, John Edwards, John McCain and Bill Richardson – that have traipsed out to the Googleplex in less than four months. Hmm… I wonder if The New York Times editorial page, or CBS, can boast that kind of traction?

Broadcasters Hire Republican Trio to Lobby Against XM-Sirius

By Drew Clark

WASHINGTON, May 24, 2007 – The National Association of Broadcasters has enlisted the recently re-minted lobbying firm of Bluewater Strategies in its quest to combat the proposed merger of XM Satellite Radio and Sirius Satellite Radio.

In a Wednesday filing at the Senate Office of Public Records, lobbyists Tim Kurth, Andrew Lundquist and George Nethercutt, former Republican representative from Washington, said they would represent the NAB on the merger and other issues.

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URL: http://www.publicintegrity.org/telecom/telecomwatch.aspx?eid=2953

Speaking at EDUCAUSE Policy 2007 Conference

Speaking at EDUCAUSE Policy 2007 Conference

I’ll be keynoting the EDUCAUSE Policy 2007 conference here in Washington next week, speaking about “the fault lines in telecom, media and technology lobbying.”

Here’s the abstract:

The digital convergence of telecommunications, media, and technology is changing the landscape for policy makers and the industries that lobby them, as well as the users of computers, telephones, entertainment and knowledge. The Center for Public Integrity’s Well Connected project tracks each of the major telecom, broadcast, cable, news, entertainment, wireless, and computer companies. Americans can access this free database to see who owns the media and communications networks in their city by typing in their ZIP code. The project is also responsible for a freedom of information lawsuit to obtain data about local broadband deployment from the FCC. This session will address the need for the educational users of computing and communication to be attuned to the lobbying fault lines that affect all of these sectors, with a particular focus on recent developments in telecommunications and intellectual property.

Google PAC’s Modest Beginnings

Google PAC’s Modest Beginnings

Internet search giant Google has officially entered the Political Action Committee realm, making donations to three Republicans and two Democrats up for re-election, according to a Saturday story in the San Jose Mercury News. In filings at the Federal Election Commission, Google’s donations are as follows:

ANNA ESHOO FOR CONGRESS
555 Capitol Mall Suite 1425
Sacramento, California 95814

09/27/2006

contribution

1000.00

HEATHER WILSON FOR CONGRESS
P.O. BOX 14070 P.O. BOX 14070
ALBUQUERQUE, New Mexico 87191

09/25/2006

contribution

2000.00

PRYCE FOR CONGRESS
145 E. Rich Street
Columbus, Ohio 43215

09/25/2006

contribution

1000.00

SENSENBRENNER COMMITTEE
PO BOX 575
BROOKFIELD, Wisconsin 53008

09/27/2006

contribution

1000.00

STABENOW FOR US SENATE
PO BOX 4945
EAST LANSING, Michigan 48826

09/27/2006

contribution

1000.00

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URL: http://www.publicintegrity.org/telecom/telecomwatch.aspx?eid=2115