wasting bandwidth since 1999

Do It Yourself Full Disclosure

Someone must be monitoring Technorati pretty closely. Less than twelve hours after the previous rant on net neutrality, I got two comments, both strongly critical of the concept.

Both, however, neglected to mention they were being paid to comment by some very well-funded groups with a big stake in the issue.

The first note linked to Hands Off The Internet, a site that’s relatively well known in this particular battle. HandsOff is a lobbying campaign paid for by some big telecom companies including AT&T and a variety of conservative groups.

Peeking behind the curtain we find that the domain is owned by a public relations firm whose clients include the NRA, George Allen for Senate (that certainly went well, didn’t it? :-) and the Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association.

The second commenter linked to a site called The Net Neutrality Show with content written by someone named Harry Greene. The About page says he worked for the “telecom and Internet industries for 25 years” and he admits to having “few scruples and minimal integrity”. Nice.

More interesting, the domain was registered about a week ago by an attorney who worked for AT&T at one time. On top of that, the tech contact is listed as Microsoft Office Live with an address in Redmond, Washington.

The whois look up is a wonderful resource to assist with full disclosure.

Update: At least the first site is well funded. In the comments Harry claims to be an “unfunded lone wolf”. Ok, I’ll take his word for it. But with an issue like this – politically charged and a lot at stake on all sides – I reserve the right to be suspicious.

net neutrality, hands off the internet, microsoft

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1 Comment

  1. Harry "minimal integrity" Greene

    Tim:

    In the second paragraph of your post, you wrote “Both [comments], however, neglected to mention they were being paid to comment by some very well-funded groups with a big stake in the issue.”

    You were half-right. Only one of the commenters is funded. The other one is an unfunded lone wolf who is having fun deconstructing Google’s “business-negotiation-by-other-means-free-speech-it’s-our-net” campaign.

    Lupine Harry

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