"They" are scared
-- scared of the seismic shift in media. The power lost by the media giants is terrifying. Well-established filters of
information, painstakingly crafted over decades of manipulation and control, are being shattered by small independent web sites. "Free speech" has
secretly been a right granted only to the chosen few who play the game and contribute to political campaigns.
"They" are panic-striken
-- in a panic over you, the millions of people being given free reign to say what you want on web sites outside the
traditional channels of control. To "them", "free speech" is an abstract concept not intended to be entrusted to anyone with a computer and a
keyboard. You do not play the game, you are a disruptor, you are unwanted, you must be removed.
Who are "they" and "them"?
The government, of course. But more specifically, the representatives and senators living in the back-pockets of
media and telecommunications giants -- with a smattering of the stunningly small number of power-weilders fixated on rolling back to a mix of media
that can be controlled and manipulated to feed you the mental pabulum that keeps you sedated.
Fortunately for us, "they" have a face, and the face of our enemy is
Representative Rick Boucher
(democrat from Virginia),
the new chairman of the House
tasked with telecommunications technology and the Internet. This enemy of free expression, living comfortably in the back pockets
of big media and telecommunications, is planning to craft legislation designed to obliterate millions of independent voices on the Internet and
shift power back into the hands of big media and big telcom.
Oh, but that's impossible, you might say, free speech on the Internet has blossomed to a proportion where thoughts of control or destruction are
absurd. Well my friends, I'm here to warn you that such absurdity is very much a reality. And, worse yet, the spin doctors and manipulative
conspiracy of information obfuscation may even cause many of you to be in favor of the legislation that kills accessible free speech on the
Congress To Grill Web Companies Thursday
A Call to Legislate Internet Privacy
Rep. Rick Boucher (D-Va.) is widely expected to introduce new privacy legislation soon, but nothing is on the table as of today. Still, industry
insiders are speculating that new legislation might require Web companies to obtain consumers' explicit opt-in consent before tracking them online
and serving targeted ads.
Online Behavioral Targeting Targeted by Feds, Critics
I spoke to Mr. Boucher on the day that Google announced its new plan to track data about customers for advertising. And I asked him about such
behavioral targeting, which presents an ad based on what you did on other sites.
“That would clearly need an opt in,” he said.
If that’s how a final law is written, it would significantly disrupt a fair number of advertising businesses.
The FTC’s Rich said that the old opt-in versus opt-out battle will become new as the FTC chairman supports opt-in and will be part of a new
privacy bill from Rep. Rick Boucher, who heads an influential House Commerce subcommittee.
Infuriatingly disguised as "online privacy advocacy", Boucher is, in reality, a big media hatchet-man, devising the genocide of the Internet
culture. Given the rampant abuse of the Government collusion
with big telcom to
monitor your online activity, you can be certain the Chairman of the "House Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, and the Internet" has no
real interest in your privacy
, and every interest in keeping campaign contributions flowing, and information contained amongst his friends in
On the surface, the concerns of rhetoric spewing from Boucher's efforts seem plausible, and pander to the "F.U.D." (fear, uncertainty, and doubt)
that has been rampant in relation to the Internet and the tracking of we users via cookies. However, Boucher's plan is to require all web sites using
"third party ad networks" to actively obtain the consent of each and every visitor, before displaying any ads form such networks. To the average
person, this may seem like a drastic but reasonable action to ensure online privacy, in reality, it's a systematic plan of genocide that will destroy
independent thought on the Internet.
If those of you who, like myself, dislike online advertising -- or are those who often worry about "tracking cookies" --think I'm exaggerating or
spreading my own obfuscation, consider these important points of logic:
(1) For millions of small, but popular web sites, like our beloved ATS, third party ad networks are currently the only viable option to keep revenue
flowing, and the site operational and free.
(2) Even for somewhat large opinion-centric web sites such as the Huffington Post, Politico, SlashDot, and others, all of whom reach millions of
people every month, third-party ad networks can account for up to two-thirds of all revenue.
(3) Recent estimates from Neilson and other Internet quantification services have been showing a seismic shift in web surfing patterns away from the
big media portals and toward the independent sites with alternative views and comments from users.
Boucher is seeking to ensure these sites first ask you for permission before showing you ads, thereby removing nearly all revenue, thereby committing
the equivalent of genocide on the culture of free expression on the Internet. As a result, power would be shifted back into the hands of his big media
After initially learning of this potential legislation, my first reaction was in the realm of what "they" expected -- a well-crafted pleasant
response that someone was concerned about the "tracking" of online people. Not long after that, my deep-seated suspicions of any legislation began
to kick in, and I looked more closely.
When you start digging into the publicly available information about the "tracking cookies" used by "third party ad networks", you begin to lift
the veil of lies being told to you by the government and the big media obfuscators.
Look at the cookies on your hard drives, there is no personal information contained, just numeric identifiers. Boucher would have you believe there is
pertinent personal detail contained within.
Research the underlying technology, the small web site is not "sharing" any user or personal data with the third party ad companies -- it is simply
not technologically possible.
There have been no stories, anecdotes, lawsuits, or rumors of any actual "tracking cookie" data having been used to actually harm someone, either
physically, financially, or emotionally by ad serving companies.
Politicians have no qualms about buying mailing lists that include your mortgage information, your credit card purchase history, your job history,
your income history, and more
for the purposes of sending you solicitations for donations. The very politicians who hide behind this fraudulent
"privacy concern" regularly invade your privacy -- in stunning personal detail -- for the purposes of raising campaign funding.
Big media web sites tend to have their own "ad departments" with several people selling and managing the advertising. They would essentially be
exempt from this legislation designed to harm small independent web sites who lack the resources to manage ad relationships with hundreds of
There several reasons to be concerned about the potential abuse of our privacy when using the Internet. After researching this story, I no longer
consider the targeted delivery of advertising to be one of them -- and instead, see these ads now as an important "necessary evil" that ensures our
Internet remains free, open, and a viable alternative to big media. As a result, I've removed ad-blocking software from all my computers.
Do not be fooled by the lies. This is a conspiracy to remove you and your favorite sites from the equation.
Power to the people, powered by ads (for now).