Monday, February 28, 2005


Another attack on Freedom to Connect

Cory Doctorow at BoingBoing points to this account, remarkably similar to my own experience, of how Canadian company Telus,
began blocking selected Internet connection to home computers. The blocking is invisible to most users, but all it takes is a cruise around message boards frequented by tech-savvy users–or a chat with a local geek–to know that Telus high-speed service isn’t what it used to be . . . Blocked ports include those used to listen for incoming email, FTP (file transfer), Telnet (remote login), and Internet Relay Chat client traffic, as well as incoming World Wide Web connections. Users can access other servers providing those services, but cannot provide them from their own computers. In other words, a Telus customer can be a client, but not a server.
Incoming Internet connections are not the only ones being blocked. Telus customers who use an outgoing email server other than Telus’s–usually because they are using a different email provider–are also finding their connections blocked. According to Telus’s technical bulletins, this is done “to reduce the amount of spam created on our network which prevents service degradation and possible outages as well as to reduce the amount of spam you receive in your e-mail.”
Telus customers who want to run servers at home have to upgrade to a business Internet package offering static Internet addresses. The cheapest of those packages is $84.95 per month, compared to the $29.95 that most residential users pay. The premium service does not, however, buy extra security—all it means is that the ports become unblocked.
BoingBoing correspondent "Simon" comments
. . . if home users upgrade to a business account (for $84.95 a month, rather than $29.95) the blocked ports magically become unstuck. There's no mention, however, of increased security measures in the upgraded business accounts. Interpret this how you like.
The best interpretation I can muster is, "a clumsy paternalistic kowtow in the general direction of network security that ensures that those who are motivated to attack the network pay their $50 while all of us end users who might have a newsletter or some other innocuous, maybe even innovative, but non-mainstream use for the network, are penalized."


Hampered by Copyright Law?

If current copyright law has hampered your quest for Truth, Justice, Science or Creativity, in particular, if you've had a problem using "Orphaned Works" (works that are out of print, works whose owners apparently have abandoned them, etc.), then Larry Lessig wants to hear from you. If you have first-hand orphan works frustration, please tell your story.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005


Lessig says F2C will be "fantastic, important"

Professor Lessig says I'm *his* mentor. This is the first time I've ever known Lessig to get things exactly, precisely backwards.

Never mind. Lessig says that F2C will be
. . . a fantastic (I've seen his conferences before) and important (I know this issue well) conference . . . registration fees increase on March 1, so reserve early and often.
Did he get this wrong too? Register and come or you'll never know.


EFF auctions F2C admission

EFF, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, is auctioning a pass to F2C: Freedom to Connect on eBay. Pay more, support EFF. All proceeds from this auction go directly to EFF. In return, F2C gets an attendee who clearly knows the important organizations to support; it's a win-win!

Auction Web site here.


Last chance for earlybird admission to F2C: Freedom to Connect

Earlybird admission to F2C: Freedom to Connect ends on February 28. Pay $250 now or $350 on/after March 1.

Monday, February 21, 2005


Hunter S. Thompson, 1939-2005

He was my bad big brother. He was too dangerous to love, but I looked up to him. He gave lie to the contradiction between "crazy" and "true". He died most fittingly, in a gun fight with his worst enemy.

Correction: Born July 18, 1937 -- but if I update the title of this post, I break the link.

Sunday, February 20, 2005


Born on third base

I marvel on occasion at how lucky I am to be a white, well-educated male U.S. Citizen born to parents who were equally fortunate. Few people seem to appreciate this; most of us who are born on third base behave as if we hit a triple (to borrow a phrase).

Darren Johnson recently got a dose of "lucky" from Warren Buffet. Johnson writes:
I spent 6 hours last week in Omaha with Warren Buffett . . . Going into the meeting, I was thinking that I would receive a great deal of advice about investing and how to quantify intrinsic value . . . Total time spent talking about any of the above: Zero. Zilch. Nada . . . [Here's what] I learned from Warren Buffett that day:

1. Be Grateful

There are roughly 6 Billion people in the world. Imagine the worlds biggest lottery where every one of those 6 Billion people was required to draw a ticket. Printed on each ticket were the circumstances in which they would be required to live for the rest of their lives.

Printed on each ticket were the following items:

- Sex
- Race
- Place of Birth (Country, State, City, etc.)
- Type of Government
- Parents names, income levels & occupations
- IQ (a normal distribution, with a 66% chance of your IQ being 100 & a standard deviation of 20)
- Weight, height, eye color, hair color, etc.
- Personality traits, temperment, wit, sense of humor
- Health risks

If you are reading this blog right now, I'm guessing the ticket you drew when you were born wasn't too bad. The probability of you drawing a ticket that has the favorable circumstances you are in right now is incredibly small (say, 1 in 6 billion). The probability of you being born as your prefereable sex, in the United States, with an average IQ, good health and supportive parents is miniscule.

Warren spent about an hour talking about how grateful we should all be for the circumstances we were born into and for the generous ticket we've been offered in life. He said that we should not take it for granted or think that it is the product of something we did - we just drew a lucky ticket. (He also pointed out that his skill of "allocating capital" would be useless if he would have been born in poverty in Bangladesh.)
The rest of Johnson's posting is worth reading too.


Where's my Roomba?

From the Siliconian, the newsletter of the Cape Cod Tecnology Council,
I was at Sears in Hyannis the other day and a gentleman (with his wife's elbow firmly in his back) wanted to know:
Where's my Roomba?
"We can't keep them in stock!" said the sales clerk.
The man's wife pushed him forward.
"We ordered it three weeks ago" he said.
"I know, we can't keep them in stock. They sell as fast as they come in," said the clerk.

Friday, February 18, 2005


John Negroponte in Honduras

Torture, especially when my country does it and helps others do it, ties my stomach in knots when I think about it. Denial is easier. But the nomination of John Negroponte by the Bush Administration to be U.S. "security" czar demands non-denial.

John Negroponte was US Ambassador to Honduras from 1981 to 1985. This jaw-dropping 1995 article in the Baltimore Sun documents this era with declassified U.S. documents, interviews with survivors of torture by U.S. trained troops that took place with U.S. knowledge, and with a 1993 investigation by the Honduras government itself.

A few excerpts from the Sun article:
"Extrajudicial executions, arbitrary detentions and the lack of due process ... characterized these years of intolerance," stated the [1993] report of the National Commissioner for the Protection of Human Rights in Honduras. "Perhaps more troublesome than the violations themselves was the authorities' tolerance of these crimes and the impunity with which they were committed."
"They started with 110 volts," said Miguel Carias, an architectural draftsman who was held captive with Nelson Mackay for a week in 1982. "Then they went up to 220. Each time they shocked me, I could feel my body jump and my mouth filled with a metal taste."

Former members of Battalion 316 [a secret Honduras army unit trained and supported by the Central Intelligence Agency], interviewed in Canada where they are living in exile, described how prisoners were nearly suffocated with a rubber mask wrapped tightly around their faces. The mask was called "la capucha," or "the hood." Women were fondled and raped, the torturers said.

The body of Mackay, who was 37 years old and the father of five, showed signs of other tortures.
Gloria Esperanza Reyes, now 52, speaking in an interview at her home in Vienna, Va., describes how she was tortured with electric wires attached to her breasts and vagina. "The first jolt was so bad I just wanted to die," she said.
"The Argentines came in first, and they taught how to disappear people. The United States made them more efficient," said Oscar Alvarez, a former Honduran special forces officer and diplomat who was the general's nephew.

"The Americans ... brought the equipment," he said. "They gave the training in the United States, and they brought agents here to provide some training in Honduras.
There are more gut-wrenching articles in the Baltimore Sun's amazing 1995 series listed in the right sidebar of this. Kudos to the Sun that these are still available! A Baltimore Sun article six months later is based on an interview with Negroponte, who denies any U.S. wrongdoing. The article quotes him saying,
"I do not have any regrets about the way we carried out U.S. policies" in Central America.
Can't we find somebody else to be U.S. "security" czar?

Thursday, February 17, 2005


More Violations of Network Neutrality: Not Hypothetical Anymore!

The Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal are running stories today about Vonage's complaint to the FCC about port blocking. The Journal quotes a Vonage spokesperson saying:
"Customers are being harmed and the value of the Internet itself is harmed when behavior like this occurs,"
And the Journal observes
The consolidation of the communications industry to a few huge companies offering phone, television, high-speed Internet connections and related services and equipment raises questions about whether independent services like Vonage or TiVo Inc., the maker of digital-video recorders, will be degraded or cut off by the companies providing network connections . . . shutting off a potential competitor could violate federal antitrust laws that bar companies that control essential facilities from refusing to give competitors the access needed to compete.
The Post says
Vonage chief executive Jeffrey A. Citron said his engineers went to many of the customers' homes in December to confirm that the local phone company, which provides high-speed Internet access for residents, had blocked Vonage's data stream, thus making it impossible to make calls.
. . . other major Internet firms, including Yahoo Inc. and Inc., have raised red flags as well. They fear a scenario in which the network owners cut deals with certain vendors of Internet content so that their information gets to consumers faster, or with higher quality, at the expense of others.
"It's disturbing to us to see a gatekeeper blocking a customer's use of a service that rides over the Internet," said Matthew Zinn, general counsel of TiVo Inc., which makes digital television recorders. "It's a dangerous precedent. The Internet represents the free flow of information."
. . . the FCC has not proposed rules on the issue. The major phone and cable companies have said that regulation is unnecessary because they have no plans to discriminate and that the problem was purely hypothetical.

"Not anymore," Citron said.


Latest changes to F2C: Freedom to Connect

At the F2C: Freedom to Connect web site I just added
1) Mark Cooper and Robert Pepper will join Jeff Chester on the panel called What's Incumbent upon Incumbents.
2) There's been a change to The Great Debate. Adam Thierer can't make it. In his place, we're fortunate enough to have recruited James Gattuso from the Heritage Foundation. May and Gattuso know they're the "away team," and they're going to play the strongest game they have.
3) Andy Stein, founding member of Commander Cody and his Lost Planet Airmen, Grammy Winner and musical boundary-buster, will be the F2C Musician in Residence. Why a Musician in Residence? You'll see.
4) Jeff Jarvis will interview First Amendment Attorney Robert Corn-Revere! Jeff himself is quite a stage presence, and while I do not know Corn-Revere, Larry Lessig and Susan Crawford both say he'll be great, so I'm sitting on the edge of my chair in anticipation!
Needed: attendees, sponsors.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005


Mike Powell on Next Telecom Act

[a version of this appeared today on Dave Farber's IP list.]

At the
Silicon Flatirons Telecom Summit last weekend,
outgoing FCC Chairman Powell elaborated on how he thinks the next telecom act should look and work.

Wireless Week
said, “Powell . . . thinks the Telecom Act of 1996 is broken but to completely rewrite the law would be a mistake. Powell said a better course of action would be to write an IP statute that will take the industry forward. Powell said reopening the Telecom Act to a total rewrite could take seven or eight years and would open it up to a wide range of political influences.”

This is an oversimplification. Bob Frankston’s
capture the essence of what Powell said with more fidelity. Frankston wrote, “[Powell’s] point is that a simple statute presuming IP is a positive step and the only viable choice.”

I took some fairly close notes; below I try to render them into prose that captures more of Powell’s meaning.

Powell asked rhetorically, can the solution be worse than the current broken act? Answer: definitely. An act as complex as the current Telecom Act is subject to constant re-interpretation and litigation. Not only would rewriting the Act from Page One be incredibly difficult and subject to the same failings as the current Act, but in the seven or eight years it takes to write it, Wall Street will hold back on new network investment until it gets an impression of who the winners and losers will be.

So, Powell said, we should not start to rewrite the Act from
Page One. Instead, we should write a small, light IP statute, 25 pages, max. Not the 2500-page Telecom Act at all; the IP Act of 2005. Powell’s vision is that as IP networks and applications grow and older, more vertically integrated applications shrink, such an act will replace the older Telecom Acts, resulting in what he calls, “Self-executing deregulation.” He used this term at least twice; self-executing.

This idea of a small self-executing IP act is remarkably close to Rick Whitt’s proposal for new legislation,
“A Horizontal Leap Forward,” which proposes that all IP apps should be regulated lightly, and that physical connectivity should be regulated differently than applications, according to the Internet’s layered model. Of course, there are many ways to regulate network connectivity; the key point is that the new Act should start where the new technology is, not attempt to recapitulate the old technology or regulatory model.


Cablevision Blocks Port 25

[My experience with Cablevision, recounted below,
first appeared in SMART Letter #96, January 25, 2005.
I'm also blogging it because it gains importance when
added to
recent reports, now confirmed, that certain ISPs,
reportedly rural telcos, are blocking ports that Vonage
customers use for VOIP.

Washington Post article looked at the possibility of
such violations of Network Neutrality some eight
months ago. Quoting:
The response from network owners, particularly
the cable-television companies that provide
increasing percentages of high-speed
Internet connections, has always been:
"Is there evidence that we've ever done this?"

The article quoted Vonage CEO Jeff Citron saying
"If that happens in this world, the value of the
Internet would instantaneously be massively

Well, now, here we go.]
Confessions of a Customer
by David S. Isenberg

Recently, Verizon blacklisted whole ranges of IP
addresses in Europe, denying mail delivery to their
U.S. customers. The problem, Verizon said, was that
spammers were using some of these IP addresses.

This might be framed in several ways, one of which
is as an attack on customers' Freedom to Connect.

One might suggest that if you don't like Verizon's
policy, you can opt out! That is, thanks to the End-
to-End property of the Internet, Verizon's customers
can use Verizon as an access provider only and get
their email services from other providers.

Here's a true story. I am a Verizon DSL customer.
I do this. I connect to the Internet via Verizon
DSL, but Earthlink runs my incoming mail server and
Fastmail runs my outgoing server.

However, I am not your average DSL customer. Other
people might not know that alternative mail services
are possible. Setting up alternative mail services
could be intimidating and non-transparent. Thank
goodness I have network-savvy friends to help me
understand things like POP and SMTP.

One could perhaps use a right-to-vote as an analogy
to explore this further. During the 2004 campaign,
there were reports from Philadelphia of men in suits
and official looking cars appearing in poor
neighborhoods telling people that if they voted they
might be arrested for overdue child support or
unpaid traffic tickets. If true, were these men
violating peoples' right to vote? Perhaps you could
say they weren't. Almost certainly they were wrong
in a technical sense; there probably were not
"outstanding warrant inspectors" at the polls. Lets
assume that the reported vague threats were simply
vague threats. Were these men violating peoples'
right to vote?

Back to Verizon. The main reason I went to Verizon
was that Cablevision (Optimum Online) began limiting
my ability to send email. First it somehow capped
the number of emails I could send in a certain time
period. I am not sure exactly how the cap worked,
but I could only send 150 SMART Letters at a time
(from my list of about 3000) before the cap kicked
in. This could be viewed -- in isolation -- as
reasonable, e.g., to control spam sent by zombies in
peoples' Windows PCs.

Then I switched my Cablevision-connected client to
the Fastmail SMTP server. For a while this worked,
then it didn't. Cablevision was blocking Port 25.
People smarter than I pointed out that I could use
Fastmail with other ports. Sure, but maybe
Cablevision would block those ports too. And
Cablevision itself offered a workaround, pay $109
instead of $45 for the "business service" and Port
25 comes unblocked. I asked the service rep what
else the $109 bought me and he said, "That's about

Was Cablevision violating my Freedom to Connect? I
am "free" to find workarounds if I know enough to
hack them. I am still "free" to connect at $109 if I
can afford it. I am still "free" to use other ports
besides Port 25 to send out email -- until these are
also blocked. And I am still "free" to switch from
one of two (count 'em, two) providers to the other.

Again, please permit me an analogy. This is kind of
like telling the protesters they are "free" to speak
over there in some isolated barbed wire cage where
nobody is likely to hear or notice what they are

What happens to my "Freedom to Connect" when both
providers clamp down on it in the same ways, and
there is no third provider?

Borrowing liberally from Pastor Niemoller, first
they came to limit my email server, but I was not a
heavy email user so I did nothing, then they came
for Port 25, but I didn't need to use Port 25, so I
did nothing, then . . . and soon I realized that the
Internet had become a walled garden where the only
content I could see was Cablevision-approved
content, and the only sites I could access were
Verizon-approved sites . . .

"These examples are just hypothetical, of course.
It can't happen here," said the frog in the pot of
lukewarm water.


Quote of Note: Michael Powell

Outgoing FCC Chairman Michael Powell says:
It's not a person, it doesn't have a soul, and it doesn't care that it's ripping up the way we've done it. And there's nothing to stop it."
He was talking about technological progress at the Silicon Flatirons Telecom Summit last Monday. Link

Monday, February 14, 2005


Michael Dell's Austerlitz

Francis McInerney is an analyst with a penchant for getting it right. In a recent client letter on the Fiorina firing at HP he writes:
Napoleon arrived at Austerlitz on November 21, 1803, nearly two weeks before the Austrian and Russian allies whom he chose to fight there. Outnumbered two to one in men and artillery and three to one in cavalry, he had plenty of time to survey the battlefield. He carefully ceded the high ground, which, when they finally arrived in early December, the Allies rushed after with glee.

Just like H-P and Compaq rushing after market share, this was a big mistake.

Impossibly outnumbered like Napoleon, Dell’s high cash and capital velocities gave Dell far more time to survey the market battlefield and make more judicious choices than his much larger competitors.

From their "high ground" at Austerlitz, the Allies thought they saw a weakness on Napoleon's right, and marched their main forces off to attack him there, expecting to rid Europe of Napoleon forever. Once the Allies had lumbered off, Napoleon attacked their now depleted center, overran it, and destroyed the remaining allied divisions in detail.

So it is with Dell today. Fiorina rushed off to merge H-P with Compaq, thinking that this was the winning direction in which to throw their combined weight. Dell waited until this unwieldy move was well under way, then launched his main move on H-P’s profitable “center”, its printers. Carly Fiorina [had] marched straight into Michael Dell’s Austerlitz.
Pretty cool the way strategy works in genuine competitive markets, huh?


Burstein "sick and tired" of FCC Commissioners who need training

David Burstein, who runs Fastnet Futures, a truly great broadband technology meeting, writes in the latest issue of his DSL Prime,
I'm sick and tired of commissioners who need on-the-job tutorials from Bob Pepper to understand what's going on in telecom beyond the narrow, lobbyist dominated beltway.
He suggests
Someone like Niel Ransom would be an inspired choice [for FCC Chairman]. He just resigned as CTO of Alcatel, wants to return to America, is universally respected, has policy experience, and worked years for BellSouth.
Well, at least that's "thinkable" if not exactly realistic.


Dianah Neff to speak at F2C: Freedom to Connect!

Dianah Neff, the CIO of Philadelphia, who is driving Philadelphia's controversial wireless buildout, recently wrote:
. . . who among incumbent local exchange carriers (ILECs)--have deployed ubiquitous, high-speed wireless networks that support roaming/mobile capabilities? No ILEC. Who provides high-speed, broadband, ubiquitous services at dial-up rates for the underserved populations? No ILEC. Who is working to get equipment and training into the homes of low-income and disadvantaged portions of our community? Again, no ILEC.

No, they'd rather charge the city governments with having an unfair competitive advantage . . . What about all the incentives the ILECs have received the past two decades? When was the last time they were elected to determine what is best for our communities? If they're really concerned about what is important to all members of the community, why haven't they built this type of network that meets community needs or approached a city to use their assets to build a high-speed, low-cost, ubiquitous network?
I am so delighted that Ms. Neff has agreed to speak at F2C: Freedom to Connect, March 30 & 31, Washington DC that I can hardly sit still!

Tuesday, February 08, 2005


F2C: Freedom to Connect Program posted!

I am very proud of the F2C: Freedom to Connect lineup posted here and very excited to be working with such incredible people.

F2C: Freedom-to-Connect will be March 30-31 in Washington DC. I'm trying to make the F2C tent as wide as possible; please come!

Saturday, February 05, 2005


Quote of Note: Issues Dynamics, Inc.

"Our employees have a wide range of advocacy and organizing experience that allows us to present a broad range of grassroots options, choose the right ones, and execute them with speed and impact."
Grassroots, don't cha know. Link.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005


Global Voices Manifesto

It's a draft, but then again, in the post-paper world, isn't everything? It says:
We believe in free speech: in protecting the right to speak -- and the right to listen. We believe in universal access to the tools of speech.

To that end, we seek to enable everyone who wants to speak to have the means to speak -- and everyone who wants to hear that speech, the means to listen to it.

Thanks to new tools, speech need no longer be controlled by those who own the means of publishing and distribution, or by governments that would restrict thought and communication. Now, anyone can wield the power of the press. Everyone can tell their stories to the world.

We seek to build bridges across the gulfs that divide people, so as to understand each other more fully. We seek to work together more effectively, and act more powerfully.

We believe in the power of direct connection. The bond between individuals from different worlds is personal, political and powerful. We believe conversation across boundaries is essential to a future that is free, fair, prosperous and sustainable - for all citizens of this planet.

While we continue to work and speak as individuals, we also seek to identify and promote our shared interests and goals. We pledge to respect, assist, teach, learn from, and listen to one other.
One of the most eloquent Freedom to Connect statements I've seen.
We are Global Voices.


Disconnecting is Value-Subtracted -- David Reed

David P. Reed writes:
It's dangerous to confuse the Internet with "all networks". To the extent that the Internet becomes non-interoperable end-to-end, it loses large parts of its value. And today, more and more of the networks are opting out of *inter* operability.

When a network disconnects its users, it ceases to be part of THE Internet. Its users suffer. However, in many cases, users have recourse - they find other paths to remain part of THE Internet. Sometimes those paths are overlay tunnels snaking through the jungles of disconnected networks. Sometimes those paths are just alternate connections.

Nevertheless, I would not count any part of the world that disenfranchises its endpoints from participation in the broad interoperable Internet as part of THE Internet.
Walled garden? Think, "value-subtracted."


Tom Evslin's new blog

Prediction: Tom Evslin, the founder of AT&T WorldNet and ITXC, won't stay "retired" for long. Here's a sample from the first article of his new blog:

Historically, the results of bubbles have usually been more empowerment for more people. Historically, bubbles have provided an explosion of funds which blasted away the entrenchments of an old oligarchy not only to the benefit of entrepreneurs but also to the benefit of consumers in general. Think of the constantly falling price of transportation and communication.

If we should find a way to stop bubbles, if we were to put the genie of irrational exuberance back in the bottle, the winners will be whoever are the incumbents at the time and the losers will be all those who could benefit from another great breakthrough in infrastructure like railroads, canals and the Internet.

Bring on the next bubble. And invest in it at your own risk. I will.
Good stuff.


SBC buys AT&T for wha?

The pundits are saying that SBC is buying AT&T for its three million business customers. Ha!

Any business that can afford to hire a telecom manager should weigh building its own net -- and will if the telecom manager is doing his or her job. Says here that Ford Motor Company, Bank of America, Bausch & Lomb, Gannett Co. and Google, among others, are building their own fiber networks.

The article continues
"Analysts have long said it's too expensive and requires specially trained optics engineers to build and run these networks," said Gary Gunnerson, IT architect at Gannett, which has already built metro fiber networks in three cities where it has newspapers. "I've found just the opposite to be true. The fiber and the equipment are so cheap now, and anyone who is familiar with IP networking gear can handle a short-distance optical network. I could teach them how in half a day." . . . Gunnerson said companies that spend between $7,000 and $10,000 per month on telecommunication services should consider building their own fiber networks.
"We could have gone to a local service provider to lease an OC48 (2.5 Gbps) ATM or a Gigabit Ethernet service," said Larry Schaeffer, senior vice president of network services at Bank of America. "But we would have gotten less bandwidth for more money. And the infrastructure would have been shared with the provider's other customers. It made more sense to build it ourselves."
Compared to fiber, building wireless networks is even cheaper and easier. Now that the fences are down, how long is SBC expecting AT&T's three million cash cows to stay in the pasture?

Thanks to Steve Guich for pointing to this!


The Great Debate at F2C: Freedom to Connect

There are several pivotal events shaping up for F2C: Freedom to Connect. The Great Debate of F2C will be, "Should Telecom Regulation Look Like the Internet?" If this debate were a book, it would be called Mars and Venus at the FCC.

The old regulatorium looked like the old telecom business; there were separate silos for telephony, television, wireless, satellite, etc. Rick Whitt, MCI VP for Federal Law & Policy, and Tim Wu, Visiting Professor of Law at the University of Chicago, propose that the new regulatory model should follow the Internet's layered architecture; that there should be, at minimum, one distinct regulatory regime for physical access and another one for applications. Randy May, Senior Fellow at the Progress and Freedom Foundation, and Adam Thierer, Director of Telecommunications Studies at the Cato Institute disagree!

This is not a new debate. It is a classic rematch, reminiscent of the Yankees and the Red Sox, Clay and Liston, France and the Germany. Here's an introduction to the "layers" position, and here's a rebuttal. There are reviews here and here and in numerous other places.

From my review of Adam Thierer's essay here, you can see that I'm not neutral. So I'm not moderating. The moderator will be Charlie Firestone, executive director of the Aspen Institute's Communications and Society Program, who will present a synopsis of the issues and make sure that the participants fight fair!

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