Telecoms Targeting Gamers with Anti-Net Neutrality Movement? [updated]

The big telecoms have launched an-anti net neutrality campaign which is attempting to appear as if it is being operated by a group of concerned citizens.

This is the take of ThinkProgress, who recently unearthed a PowerPoint presentation (PPT link) that seems to back up its allegations. The PPT, which outlines strategies for the No Net Brutality movement, was authored by the Atlas Network, which ThinkProgress describes as “a shell think tank used to coordinate corporate front group efforts worldwide.”

Slide number seven of the PowerPoint outlines groups for the No Net Brutality initiative to target. The first bullet reads: “Libertarian like minded internet users and video gamers.”

Think Progress also notes that the No Net Brutality website is populated with sources from the organizations Americans for Prosperity, which it called “a corporate front group founded by oil billionaire David Koch but also funded by telecom interests,” and, an organization that is “openly funded by the American Cable Association, At&T, Comcast, and the US Telecom Association.”

Think Progress summed up:

Telecom firms like AT&T and Verizon are among the most profitable in the world, yet America lags behind other countries in terms of broadband access and speed. Instead of dumping lobbying money into anti-net neutrality front groups and fear-mongering campaigns, the telecom industry should invest in improving service and accessibility.

A post on the No Net Brutality website, in response to the article on Think Progress, claimed that the group did accept $100.00 from an Atlas Network program, but insisted that the org is a “bonafide concerned citizens initiative.”

Update: Debunked!

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  1. PHOENIXZERO says:

    On another note, AT&T which in a lot of areas is the only game in town, has raised the price of their DSL by a few more bucks despite bandwidth and other aspects of it, continuing to fall in cost.

    I’m a Libertarian (though unfortunately it’s getting polluted by a bunch of idiots and cast off right-wingers) but the idea of giving companies absolute control over something we largely paid for through taxes (well at least on the telecommunications side) doesn’t sit right with me. Letting the market place decide things is well and good but at the same time we cannot and shouldn’t allow monopolies or total control over anything where they can get together and fix prices, which is exactly what would happen. There has to be balance and while the idea of government having involvement with the internet isn’t exactly something that sits well with me, this is one of those instances where corporations would absolutely abuse their power, like they always do when they can.


    The only thing that rivals my distrust of government is my distrust in corporate America.

  2. Sporge says:

    Even if you agree with them, video gamers encompasses a huge group of people wtih many varying view points… it is like say a certain viewpoint is supported by african americans just because some do, or that it is supported by Americans…. all it does is attempt to alienate you if you disagree by presenting a false premise.  Some video gamers support the group, but most definately not all as they are basically claiming.  Am I not a videeo gamer because I happen to like the idea of net neutrality?

  3. foolkiller79 says:

    A think tank for a PAC is accusing another group of being a think tank for a PAC?  Pot meet kettle. 

    Their own Web site brags about being voted best liberal blog, so it isn’t as if they can claim to be innocently non-partisaned on issues.  I don’t even need to see the donors list to smell the hypocrisy there.

    And if someone is looking for libertarian-minded video gamers; I’m not exactly hiding. 


    GameDrunk – Celebrating our two greatest passions.

  4. Tenmar says:

    Actually it seems that it was a project presented and partially paid by Atlas Network. The group is actually a bunch of adults and the one american is actually a social media expert that graduated from college.

    Here is the one American’s Linkedin profile that shows that she is not a student anymore.

    Here is the list of the "founders" as well and seriously ask yourself this, what would 5 people from 5 other countries really want to advocate against a policy that doesn’t understand what net neutrality actually is but instead implement questions of fear using all the key words of anti-government and anarchist rhetoric instead of the conservatism of net neutrality.  Why should these five people have a say over American policy? Why would they take the time over their own countries problems.

    Kristin McMurray (United States)
    Yolanda Talavera (Nicaragua)
    Vincent De Roeck (Belgium)
    David MacLean (Canada)
    Huafang Li (China)
    Aykhan Nasibli (Azerbaidjan)

    This article also does a good job explaining how this "story of students" has caused more problems for them to be "grass roots" over the original claim of astroturf.

    EDIT: Also ask yourself this if this was meant as a student project then does that mean that they don’t stand by the actual intention of their project?  And if they don’t why don’t they take down the facebook page and website?

  5. Adrian Lopez says:

    CNET is claiming this was nothing more than a student project. I don’t know if I believe it or if it’s just more astroturfing by the telcos, but take it for whatever it’s worth.

  6. black manta says:

    Not surprised either that they would be targeting and trying to appeal to the Libertarians, as most of the arguments I’ve heard against Net Neutrality that haven’t come from the telecoms themselves have come from people I know who have Libertarian leanings.  Most of their arguments however sound to me like worst case scenarios at best and cries of "The sky is falling!" at worst.  I hope they realize then that they’re about to be played like a harp from hell, to use a movie expression.

  7. Shahab says:

    The fact that they call them "video gamers" shows how out of touch they are with a group they claim to be representing. The good thing about these attempts is that the people stupid enough to fall for it don’t care enough to read it.

  8. hellfire7885 says:

    If these industries were truly in the right they wouldn’t be fighting these regulations.

  9. ryagor says:

     so yea… this group doesn’t actually know what net neutrality is and thinks the fact that China agrees with them is a good thing.

  10. Neeneko says:

     Given how many of the arguments I hear against net neutrality have nothing to do with the actual restrictions, this does not surprise me in the least.

    The telecoms have done a good job of framing the debate in terms of unrelated issues.  The whole issue of ‘we want to be able to charge other people’s customers because other telecoms are too good at contracting between us’ gets skipped over.

  11. DorkmasterFlek says:

    Bullshit.  Net Neutrality isn’t "brutal".  It’s just about treating all data on your network the same.  If your network is being brutalized, then you didn’t allocate your available bandwidth properly.  Either sell connections in line with what you’re actually capable of offering instead of overselling to make more money, or upgrade your infrastructure!

  12. Thomas McKenna says:

     "Telecom firms like AT&T and Verizon are among the most profitable in the world, yet America lags behind other countries in terms of broadband access and speed. Instead of dumping lobbying money into anti-net neutrality front groups and fear-mongering campaigns, the telecom industry should invest in improving service and accessibility."

    But…that would be logical, and we can’t have that!

Comments are closed.