By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

The Journal’s flawed net-neutrality story

The Wall Street Journal today reports a potentially disastrous development, claiming that President-elect Barack Obama is softening in his support for network neutrality, which guarantees common-carrier status for all Internet traffic.

But it’s the story itself that may prove to be a disaster. The Talking Points gang is all over it and has found that (1) Obama has not changed his commitment to net neutrality; (2) Google denies [link now fixed; no, really] the Journal’s claim that it has shifted its support; and (3) academic Lawrence Lessig says what he told the Journal does not represent a change, either.

That’s three for three. How did this crap make it into the Journal? You’d think Rupert Murdoch owned it or something.

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  1. Ron Newman

    Your “Google denies” link does not work. It takes me to something called “Google Reader” that says it has no search results for “Lessig”.

  2. Ron Newman

    The link is still wrong. Now it points to a Talking Points Memo item about Bernard Madoff.

  3. Dan Kennedy

    Ron: Got it. Product of moving too quickly and getting confused by TPM’s putting the permalinks at the top of the posts.

  4. Michael Pahre

    I think you understated Google’s position on the WSJ article as denial that it has shifted its support; the postscript by the Google Media Counsel uses lawyerly language basically claiming that he was misquoted (“I don’t recall making such a comment”). Misquoting a source would be just plain awful reporting.The WSJ story appears premised on their technological misunderstanding of the difference between variable content delivery rates in/out of someone’s house by an ISP vs. caching popular content on distributed servers co-located with the ISP’s servers.Caching is a standard protocol for improving delivery times for repeatedly request content. There isn’t really anything controversial about it, as long as the access is non-exclusive. And Google insists that is still their position, too.

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