Tim Wu, the Columbia law professor who coined the term "Net Neutrality," is running for Lieutenant Governor of New York State on a leftist, reform platform that starts with blocking the Comcast/Time-Warner merger. Wu wrote The Master Switch, a brilliant 2010 novel on the history of networks and competition in America, and his paper Copyright's Communications Policy is a classic.
I've known Tim for more than 30 years; we went to the same small alternative elementary school in Toronto together. I rate him as one of the best thinkers and activists on these issues around and wish him the best of luck. If I were a New York voter, he'd have my vote.
"One of the things we're trying to do with this campaign is bring back classic progressive-party issues to the forefront and government corruption, Theodore Roosevelt, Brandeis type of issues," he told The Washington Post.
"In New York, Verizon keeps doing things to annoy people," Wu told the Post. "In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, Verizon refused to reinstall everyone's phone lines. [The company eventually relented after pressure from regulators.] And okay, maybe we should all be on wireless, but they refused to do things. And they don't seem afraid of state government anymore. People are like, 'They can't even shame them into doing anything anymore.' They're just like, 'No, we're not going to do it.' So there are two very powerful entrenched players here [telecom and cable]. People are upset about incomplete FiOS deployment. So I think there are a lot of ways people in New York state are upset, and it's a microcosm for how people are feeling about the telecom and cable incumbents across the country."
Father of “net neutrality” runs for office, wants to block Comcast/TWC merger [Jon Brodkin/Ars Technica]
(Image: Tim Wu_3, Open Rights Group, CC-BY)