Berkman in the News
There are suspects that the deal was put off because Time Warner might strike a deal better than the one they were getting from Comcast. CEO Charter Communications is looking into the possibility of placing a bid on Time Warner Cable.
The deal whether it went ahead with Comcast or may go ahead with some other broadcast company; it will be the consumers who are affected. According to Susan P. Crawford, director at Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard said, “If you’re selling consumers something they can’t live without, and you’re subject to neither oversight nor competition, consumers aren’t going to be happy.”
No sooner had the door shut on the Comcast deal last Thursday than reports emerged that Charter Communications, the regional cable operator backed by the billionaire John C. Malone, was exploring a new bid for Time Warner Cable, its second in less than two years.
Some predict consumers will lose no matter who buys whom.
“If you’re selling consumers something they can’t live without, and you’re subject to neither oversight nor competition, consumers aren’t going to be happy,” said Susan P. Crawford, co-director of the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard.
Regulators worried that would thwart competition and mean higher prices for consumers.
“All that scale would give Comcast enormous discretion over what reaches Americans, what Americans pay, information flows, customer service—really unlimited power,” says Susan Crawford is co-director of the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University.
And as a lawyer rather than a professional librarian (a fact he seems a tad defensive about), Palfrey is particularly good at explaining new legal challenges to preserving information. Libraries can purchase books and then lend them out as often as they like. But when libraries are renters rather than owners of digital materials — as is the case with e-books — their ability to lend is limited by licensing agreements. Because of longstanding copyright laws, “the digital age could perversely become an era with less accessibility, not more, than the analog age.”
“That was just huge,” said Susan Crawford, a co-director of the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University. “It signaled that the cable industry was no longer calling the shots.”Not long after the president’s video, the F.C.C. made good on his promise to regulate Internet service providers more rigorously when it voted to raise the speed required for broadband Internet connections. The decision was a nod to the fact that more than one person is often online at the same time in many of today’s households.
Zeynep Tufekci is an assistant professor at the School of Information and Library Science at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and a faculty associate at Harvard’s Berkman Center. Tufekci studies how people use social media to organize social movements. Tufekci is regular contributor to The New York Times’ Opinion Blog.
“Problematic new laws are emerging in democratic and authoritarian countries alike,” according to the summary of Freedom on the Net 2014, a report released in 2014 by the independent watchdog organization Freedom House. While every government has a legitimate need to protect its country’s infrastructure, trade secrets, and public safety, “the problem here is to balance our concerns over protecting our computer networks—especially in the way they interact with critical infrastructure—with personal liberty and privacy,” said Timothy H. Edgar, a CAS computer science visiting lecturer, in a talk at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University.
But other scholars, like Rey Junco, a faculty associate at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society, at Harvard, say social media merely raises the profile of behavior that used to take place out of the view of the public.
“We don’t see, statistically, an uptick in riskier behaviors,” Dr. Junco said.