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What a week for Justice! Net Neutrality and revocation of telecom immunity! September 18, 2009

Posted by truthspew in net neutrality, telephone.
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First news that the FCC is actually going to promulgate net neutrality rules this coming Monday.

This essentially means the FCC has put its collective foot down on the issue. Here’s the thing, a lot of people are shocked that the FCC is doing this but I have to make it clear how the FCC operates.

The FCC runs on comments to its proposals. Every now and then the FCC will put out a Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) and invite relevant parties to voice their support or rejection of the NPRM. The thing is, the FCC counts every submission as unique even if provided by the same person over and over.

So in this case it worked in our favor but remember, other groups like the Parents Television Council (all six of the people who probably belong to the group!) uses this to support the obscenity provisions that all broadcasters must follow.

In other news, a bill called the “JUSTICE” Act has been submitted. This bill corrects some of the more onerous parts of the “PATRIOT” Act but it goes further. It revokes the immunity granted to telecom carriers over the Bush era warrantless wiretap program. Only one telecom carrier didn’t roll over for the program, that was Qwest. Every other company including at&t, Verizon, et al rolled over for it.

I hope this bill passes. I want to see at&t and Verizon pay through the nose for allowing the NSA to spy on U.S. citizens.

From the article linked above:

One of the most significant aspects of the JUSTICE Act is that it will remove the retroactive immunity grants that were given to the telecom companies that participated in the NSA warrantless surveillance program. The companies that cooperated with the surveillance program likely violated several laws, including section 222 of the Communications Act, which prohibits disclosure of network customer information. The immunity grants have prevented the telecommunications companies that voluntarily participated in this program from being held accountable in court.

They should be held accountable and as I said, at least the legal team at Qwest knew it was wrong. Why didn’t the legal teams at at&t and Verizon not know this?

You know now that I think about it, this really isn’t a good week for the telecom companies.

My reading list for the next week or two July 23, 2007

Posted by truthspew in Books, enforcement, Exchange Server 2007, Outlook 2007, Project Management, reading list, RIAA, telephone, The IT Crowd, Verizon.
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I’ve got three books in the list.

  • A History of Science and Engineering in the Bell System: Switching Technology 1925-1975 G.E. Schnidler, Jr. Ed.

  • I’m very interested in the history of telephony and this book spans the time between manual service to the first electronic telephone switch (ESS). It applies to part of my job which is managing an Avaya Prologix PBX, and it helps my understanding as to how they built the system.

  • Peopleware: Productive Projects and Teams by Tom DeMarco and Timothy Lister

  • I have an interest in project management. I’m also a team builder and knowing more about what makes a team tick intrigues me.

  • Outlook 2007 Inside Out by Jim Boyce, Beth Sheresh and Doug Sheresh

  • This one is pure reference since our office is migrating to Exchange Server 2007 (Over the objections of two of the systems guys, myself included!) and Outlook 2007 on all desktops.

    Even though I have formal education, I still love learning new things. I guess you could call me an autodidact.

    Things you learn from Wait, Wait Don't Tell Me June 30, 2007

    Posted by truthspew in Boston Tea Party, Burning of the Gaspee, Grover Norquist, history, hypnotism, Lee Arnold, Nathaniel Greene, npr, Project Management, reading list, telephone, Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me.
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    I get the podcast for Wait Wait… Don’t Tell me and listen to it on my way to work, or walking around, or just assuming horizontal position and laughing out loud at the funny bits, which is most of the show.

    When listening to it on the way to work or walking around I’m prone to sudden bits of laughter. But today I actually learned something. Apparently in certain parts of Britain it is customary to kiss people full on the lips as greetings.

    I didn’t know that but then it got me to thinking. Many parts of what is now the UK were once Roman outposts. And the kiss on the lips thing is definitely Roman in origin.

    As I study the Italian language and more about the culture I’m constantly reminded of one common theme. Living life to the fullest is what it’s all about for most Italians. I see a strong streak of that in myself and I’m only half Italian. I love life, I love life, good food, good wine, good beer. I love the sunshine, I love absorbing all I can about a subject.

    Speaking of that – I like to walk. I do so pretty much everywhere in the city and notice things that I hadn’t seen before. Today I was up where North Main St merges with Benefit St right near Olney St. Sitting on the corner of the University Heights complex is a fairly large tree and I’d never before noticed the plaque at the base of the tree.

    That is the Liberty Tree, planted on July 25th, 1768. Yes, RI was out there on the liberty and independence thing a little less than eight years before the Declaration of Independence was signed by the Continental Congress on July 4, 1776.

    Of course it isn’t the original tree – this one was planted to commemorate it in 1968. But still, it’s pretty cool to live in the birthplace of the modern Democratic movement. Sure, Massachusetts may have been the bigger star, but some pretty damned important stuff happened in Rhode Island too. For example, there was the Burning of the Gaspee which predated the Boston Tea Party. We also gave Nathaniel Greene to the country.

    Sheesh – here I was thinking about the little history lesson Wait Wait had given me, and here I am giving one.