Good morning, All,
Our Breakfast with an Investor is this Thursday, September 18th, and we do keep them small so that everyone gets one-on-one time with the investor, who is the amazing Jeanne Sullivan, whom Forbes named as one of the “5 Most Powerful Women Changing the World in VC and Entrepreneurship.” Jeanne is definitely one of the most influential women in the industr, and face time with an investor is the holy grail for startups, so don’t pass up the opportunity. Register here and hope to see you there!
One of the biggest stories in tech, that went pretty much unreported was neither the new iWatch (iPass), nor was it net neutrality, which is tame in comparison: it’s the US/Icann hand-over of internet governance, which Obama approved, and which goes into effect next year – and it just got worse.
According to the Wall Street Journal, “Under the current “multistakeholder” system, an advisory group of governments has only as much power as other stakeholders, such as Web registries, website owners, free-speech groups and other nonprofits. But in August, Icann quietly proposed changing its bylaws to rubber-stamp government decisions unless two-thirds of the Icann board objects. In turn, Iran has proposed that the government group move to majority voting from the current consensus approach. That would enable the world’s majority of authoritarian governments to rewire the Internet more to their liking.”
Which means that governments can censor the Internet, globally, rather than being limited to their own countries.
The people in our government aren’t the most tech savvy on the planet, nor do they always act in our best interests and truth be told, our so-called Internet Masters of the Universe have ‘vision’ that seldom goes beyond their own fiefdoms and agendas, and we do know that their agenda du jour is amnesty. Not for the common good, of course, and we need only look at the techtopus, if there are any questions or doubts in your mind. By the way, their out of court settlement was rejected and the case is going to trial, although they are trying to get that decision reversed as well, ‘they’ being tech giants Apple, Google, Intel and Adobe. In fact, the case has spread to Hollywood players – and who knows who else might be entrapped, should the case go forward.
Pun intended, and all told, what a dangerous web we’ve woven.
The iMOUs are also in a tailspin over the European backlash over privacy issues – on the part of both the US government and the tech companies themselves. Gee, people value their privacy, who’d have thought and this piece from the FT is definitely worth a read, and once again, it’s unbelievable that they’d be shocked to find that there’s gambling at Rick’s. Yes, we are in a bubble. Actually, they’re in a bubble, and seem to feel that they’re separate and above the laws of man and nature.
We seem to be at a juncture where that once most promising global communications platform/information source has been compromised on many levels, net neutrality, of course, being among them. And at the most grass roots level, tech companies have seemingly provided such a better way of life on the work front – transportation, free food, onsite medical care. But nothing’s for nothing, and all is not as it seems. Again, important to keep both eyes open and stay informed and when that carrot is dangled remember that things don’t really change all that much, despite appearances to the contrary. Google et al may serve all you can eat fare at the company cafeteria and not charge for your Gmail and GOOG docs, but there’s still no such thing as a free lunch. Onward and forward.