Friday, January 04, 2019

Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- Doreen Nicoll makes the case to reinstate the basic income plan eliminated by Doug Ford in Ontario. Danielle Kurtz examines a few of the ideas being proposed by U.S. Democrats in the lead up to the 2020 presidential campaign (including their own basic income model), while Steven Vogel comments on Elizabeth Warren's arguments to reduce inequality at the predistribution phase. And Brian Dew proposes a "people's dividend" drawn from the growing concentration of unneeded corporate cash. 

- Kristin Annable reports on one Manitoba patient's discovery that chemotherapy pumps used for her treatment are regularly left uninspected. 

- Amanda Vyce discusses how a national public pharmacare program may be the only way to ensure a fair deal for Canadians in light of extended monopolies over biologic medicines.

- Finally, Takashi Tsuji and Yasu Ota report on a further push through WTO structures to hand corporations the ability to keep crucial information secret regardless of any public interest. And Rodrigo Samayoa reminds us why corporations can't be allowed to throttle neutral access to the Internet:
For years, Big Telecom has been telling us that the internet requires greater flexibility to innovate and invest in the new 5G networks that will allow us to safely ride self-driving vehicles and use remote health-care apps.

We have heard this from Verizon, AT&T, Bell, Rogers and Ajit Pai, the chairman of the U.S. Federal Communications Commission. But none of that is surprising, is it?

Of course they want greater flexibility. Wouldn't they love to charge you extra to hook up your car to the 5G network or charge insurance companies more for remote health care?
If Canada is to remain at the forefront of innovation and freedom, we need a robust net neutrality framework that doesn't benefit those with deep pockets and vested interests. How could a streaming startup or non-profit news service compete with the likes of Netflix and Google News in a world where your access to broadband is determined by how much you can pay?

For that matter, what guarantees are there that broadband access to telehealth apps won't be determined by how much you can pay?

In the United States, evidence of throttling by ISPs is already evident, even when it comes to first responders. Just last year Verizon throttled the "unlimited" internet connection of a California fire department in the middle of a catastrophic wildfire.

Is that the flexibility we need for net neutrality?

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