Credit: Reuters/Stringer Shanghai
A tech columnist, an Electronic Frontier Foundation lawyer, and the Grand Wizard of Net Persecution for Verizon walk into a bar. The tech journalist slides into a booth, orders whiskey and wings, and sits back to watch the show.
The EFF lawyer takes off his organic burlap sweater, while the Grand Wizard puts down the fluffy white cat he normally strokes in his office as he monitors the world and sends large men with metal teeth after British spies. Then they proceed to repeatedly bump chests threatening to beat each other bloody. It's awesome for the first five minutes, but gets boring fast when you realize no actual fists will be thrown.
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These guys hate each other anyway, but it's more pronounced today because some old guys in tailored suits made in Hong Kong of cloth spun from child sweat and tears decided to strike down the Net neutrality laws the FCC apparently shouldn't have been allowed to enforce and have supposedly been keeping all of us using a fair and equal Internet. Two ends of a long feud trying to kick each other in the gonads with nasty nouns -- pass the scotch and popcorn, please.
Get ready to rumble
The EFF lawyer believes that, without Net neutrality, criminally insane sociopaths at companies like Verizon will co-opt the Internet that they essentially own from a pipe level in certain regions and prioritize network traffic for their own nefarious ends, like throttling the life out of Netflix movie streaming packets in favor of their own FiOS entertainment service. He's screaming this at the Verizon exec while taking off his peace-sign necklace in preparation for a savage beat-down. Are these the paranoid ravings of a left-wing pinko commie activist who hates American capitalism and uses our flag to wipe his nether regions?
Verizon's Grand Wizard thinks so. He's bellowing that he doesn't want any trouble, though I see him palming his stainless steel tiepin and lining it up with the pinko's jugular. On-topic he responds he's outraged at the accusation against his entirely ethical and well-meaning organization -- yet he's wearing the salaciously satisfied look that Chris Christie has after a visit to a jam-packed tri-state bridge. He cites that there's only been one case in all of legal lore where a carrier tried something along those lines, and the miscreants were soon caught, prosecuted, and flogged as they deserved.