The efficient city workers in charge of the San Francisco Government's website had updated the schedule a bit early, so today I found myself going to a Board of Supervisors LAFCo meeting that was actually taking place the following Friday.
On the way, there were a half dozen wedding parties to thread through who I presume had come to City Hall for their marriage licenses.
In some cases, there were couples actually being married by a minister on the top of the stairs in front of a few witnesses.
The reason I wanted to go to the LAFCo (Local Agency Formation Committee) meeting was that they were going to continue their hearings on the Gavin Newsom giveaway of the city's wifi airspace to Earthlink/Google. A few of the previous hearings have been quite amazing, with articulate speakers explaining to the technically unsophisticated supervisors why giving away a public utility to a private company wasn't the best idea in the world.
I also wanted to see what would be said in light of the front-page USA Today articles describing how AT&T, Verizon and a host of other huge telecommunication companies had conspired illegally with the federal government to keep tabs on millions of Americans.
That the Bush Administration would be doing something like this comes as no surprise to anybody who has been paying any attention to these criminals, but what does surprise me is how these huge telecommunication companies have just cut their own throats.
Video, data, and voice (telephone, in other words) is coming together in one stream even as we speak and there is a huge struggle in the world over who will build, administer and profit from this development. AT&T and Verizon can kiss their asses goodbye as contenders in this brave new world because they have completely trashed their own brand, which is really all they have to sell. Nobody will now trust them with anything.
It seems that the only large telco that actually asked, "Do you happen to have a warrant for that information? No? Well, then we can't help you" is some group called Qwest Communications. I think we as patriotic Americans need to make them the #1 American brand by the end of the year. Here's a note I sent them over their website (click here) this afternoon:
"Your company is all over the news as the one principled telco who actually followed the law when the NSA was asking you to break it. Please take advantage of this moment and become the #1 telco in the country, immediately. Most Americans are disgusted by the behavior of your competitors, and are quite ready to switch, particularly if you make it easy for them to do so. I'm certainly ready to switch. Please send me info. I'm currently with the loathsome AT&T."
Please join me.