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Verizon uses Morse code to mock Net neutrality ruling

Technically Incorrect: Verizon issues a press release suggesting that the FCC's decision to regulate the Internet as a utility is archaic and sends the world back to the Dark Ages -- of 1934.

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.


verizonmorsecode.jpg
Verizon explains how it really feels -- the long and short of it.Photo by Verizon

Some people leaped with joy today, believing that freedom and the common man have been defended with the FCC decision to protect Net neutrality.

Then there was Verizon.

This fine company believes that Thursday's decision comes from a time when the International Telecommunication Union and Fuji Photo Film were established. Oh, and when Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini met for the first time. Yes, 1934.

I only know this because my colleague Rich Brown translated Verizon's press release on the subject for me. It was, you see, initially published in Morse code. Because patronizing ha-ha, I believe.

When Verizon issued a written-in-words version, it was in fine old typewriter type. It was dated February 26, 1934.

But Verizon's humor didn't stop there. The press release was headlined: "Title II Regulations a 'Net' Loss for Innovation and Consumers." Net loss, geddit. Think of the hours of expensive PR-person time taken to come up with such a bon mot.

There was a witty subhead too: "FCC's 'Throwback Thursday' Move Imposes 1930s Rules on the Internet." But people like throwback uniform nights in the NFL and the NBA, don't they?

Once a writer warms to his or her theme, the train gains steam. Especially if it's a steam train.

The first line of the release reads: "Today (Feb.26) the Federal Communications Commission approved an order urged by President Obama that imposes rules on broadband Internet services that were written in the era of the steam locomotive and the telegraph."

We know by now that anything old is bad and anything new (and big) is good. Invoking the past means that you represent the future, something that is always better than everything that went before.

This would be an excellent argument for repealing most of the laws under which we currently live.

The Constitution? Hoary old-timer hogwash. And as for the Securities Exchange Act, who needs such nonsense? (That one was, indeed, passed in 1934.)

It isn't a surprise that Verizon is a touch against Thursday's order. In 2012, it insisted that the very idea of Net neutrality squished its First and Fifth Amendment rights.

I wonder, though, who will be attracted by this open mockery. Might this be a sign that Verizon doesn't think the fight is over at all?

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