[Editor Charlie sez: Here’s a blast from the past–For a little context on this excellent post by David Newhoff–Remember the Electronic Frontier Foundation from the “Google Shill List“?
Or Roger Parloff’s reporting in Fortune: “If the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the nation’s preeminent digital rights nonprofit, had disclosed last year that it received a cool $1 million gift from Google — about 17% of its total revenue — some eyebrows might have been raised.” Not to mention the very, very, very close ties between EFF folk and some Google executives.
And remember that the last FCC Chair who pushed through the current Net Neutrality rules was ably assisted by one Gigi Sohn, formerly of fellow Google Shill Lister Public Knowledge and current fellow of the Soros Open Society Foundation, pictured here with Fred von Lohmann, who led the charge against artist rights while at EFF until he actually returned to the mothership, so to speak, and joined Google:
And which side of the Net Neutrality debate might Google be on?]
It’s depressing how often one reads news that makes the United States seem as though we’re reliving the 19th century rather than an enlightened 21st. With that comment, you might think I’m referring to the current administration (and I certainly could be), but at the moment, I refer to Americans across the political spectrum who seem willing to return to the political tactics of Tammany Hall, albeit in digital form.
On May 31, the National Legal and Policy Center, a D.C. watchdog group, reported that an “initial forensic analysis” of the 2.5 million comments submitted to the FCC on Net Neutrality found that over 465,000 of these were fake. It further states that over 100,000 of these comments used language from the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s “Dear FCC” petitioning tool in support of “Net Neutrality.” Although the NLPC did not accuse the EFF of processing these false emails, the organization was quick to defend itself as though it had been so accused. It’s June 1 response states …
“NLPC’s report is false. Not one name, email address, or email domain cited in the report matches to any of the comments that came through EFF’s comment tool.”
Then, missing the point and seizing the moment, the statement proposes …
“Throughout the FCC’s comment process, we’ve seen malicious actors attempt to discredit the process by generating obviously fake comments. Their hope is that they can drown out the voices of the overwhelming majority of Americans who support net neutrality.”
I am in no way qualified to assert that the EFF had any direct hand in the fake emails, but somebody spammed the FCC; and I have no problem saying that the EFF’s rebuttal is preposterous.