We’ve got a new Think Again here. It’s called “Cable News Blues.” My Nation column, comparing Jon Stewart with yes, Edward R. Murrow, is here, and I did a post about Obama’s press conference for The Daily Beast, here. Oh and I did an interview with TPMTV about the Israel Lobby here. Oh, and if you didn’t make it into the Nation column, here is the key line:
PS: Don’t tell my publisher, but Why We’re Liberals: A Handbook for Restoring America’s Most Important Ideals is out in paperback.
Internet issues continue to take the spotlight in Washington. The $7.2 billion in stimulus that was directed towards broadband buildout has produced an incredibly complex and rushed process to close the gap for the more-than-40-percent of Americans who still do not have broadband at home. The three agencies charged with allocating the funds have to do so in a short timeframe–within 18 months–and with inadequate staff to manage the process. This is a scenario that could easily result in poorly allocated funds to the largest incumbent phone and cable companies, so we are spending huge amounts of time bird-dogging the process. Last week, two of our staff testified at official roundtables, and we just released a broadband stimulus grant scorecard to help agencies determine whether projects are in the public interest.
Also on the Internet front, we put out a white paper exposing a dangerous technology known as “Deep Packet Inspection,” (DPI) which allows phone and cable companies to spy on their customers’ Web activities and block any application or content they want. For many years, Internet service providers have been clear about their desire to violate Net Neutrality–DPI is the technology that makes that possible. Many Internet service providers already have DPI technology installed in their network, and all they have to do is flip a switch, and the open Internet as we know it will be a thing of the past. We’re raising awareness about the dangers of DPI, and pushing for more government oversight.