A National Embarrassment

The persecution and long imprisonment of Wen Ho Lee, who was freed today after pleading guilty under outrageous duress to a felony count, is a dismal chapter in American history.

The judge’s remarks, upbrading the government for “embarrassing our entire nation,” were right on point.

Even Sleazeballs Deserve Free Speech

Yesterday’s top weblog piece, regarding the Federal Trade Commission’s report on how the entertainment industry deliberately aims violence at kids, provoked some comments that led me to think further about the subject. There’s a serious free-speech issue brewing here.

More in my Wednesday column.

AOL Under Pressure

Wall Street Journal: FCC: AOL should open messaging to rivals in Time Warner deal. Under one of the FCC staff proposals, AOL would have to open its instant-messaging service to users of other messaging services either six months after FCC approval of the merger or as soon as AOL enables the two separate instant-message services it now operates, AOL Instant Messenger and ICQ, to interact, whichever occurs first, people who have been briefed on the proposals said.

This is a positive development. AOL’s foot-dragging on finding ways to interoperate is getting tiresome. Instant messaging is becoming one of the primary communications methods, and AOL has absolute market dominance. Other instant-messaging services have agreed to interoperate. It’s time for AOL to stop claiming it also wants to interoperate and show some good faith.

AT&T’s Head Fake

Washington Post: AT&T Rethinks Pledge to Divest. Three months after agreeing to sell off substantial assets in order to gain federal approval for its purchase of cable television giantMediaOne Group, AT&T Corp. is lobbying for last-minute congressional legislation that could relieve it of the burden to sell.

After the 1996 Telecom “reform” law was enacted, SBC, one of the big regional phone monopolies, which had agreed to the bill in long negotiations, challenged it in court. Bad faith seems to be SOP for the telecommunications industry.

This entry was posted in SiliconValley.com Archives. Bookmark the permalink.