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ISOC Hires MPAA Executive Paul Beringer 93

Posted by timothy
from the interesting-choice dept.
First time accepted submitter imwilder writes "The Internet Society has hired Paul Beringer to head up its operations in North America. Beringer was formerly Chief Technology Policy Officer for the MPAA, and Executive Director of Internet and Technology Policy for Verizon Corporate Services. Does this challenge the notion that ISOC is a 'trusted, independent source of Internet leadership?'"
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ISOC Hires MPAA Executive Paul Beringer

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  • by Fwipp (1473271) on Friday March 23, 2012 @07:08PM (#39457735)

    Where "independent" and "objective" simply means "giving the bad as much airtime and consideration as the good."

    • by causality (777677) on Friday March 23, 2012 @07:18PM (#39457821)

      Where "independent" and "objective" simply means "giving the bad as much airtime and consideration as the good."

      Reminds me of the news when they parrot statements made by government officials.

      Even when the statements are easily shown to be false, internally inconsistent, misleading, etc., they just quote the statement verbatim like a sales-oriented press release. There is no criticism of the statements made. They're simply quoted. Easily researched facts that contradict such official statements are not mentioned. I guess that would be too much like real objectivity for their tastes? I mean the way the media and government works is very simple: if you are a reporter and you ask powerful people hard questions, you stop getting invited to the next press events. You lose access as punishment. Only those with the preferred dispositions are invited. It works as long as everybody doesn't want to ask hard questions, that way those who do can be singled out.

      Anyway, maybe they are treating this Beringer guy like a lawyer: the "best" (most effective) oens are like attack dogs. They sic whomever their master points at. Maybe they're hoping that having him on their side will be an asset provided they can keep this dog on a short leash.

      Personally, I think by hiring people with reputations and affiliations like this, they just destroyed their own goodwill and credibility supposing they had any. That's not in the least because he was the MPAA "Technology Policy Officer" and he's a pretty shitty one if he doesn't tell them to adapt to the Information Age as they have clearly failed to do.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 23, 2012 @07:43PM (#39457953)

        ISOC is an international body, with five large directories and hundreds of local chapters. ISOC America credibility has been outright destroyed by this move among the other ISOCs, and it is clear that it happened through the lobby in Washington DC. The New York chapter spoke strongly against it, but I very much doubt that anything short of a massive show of force by the non-American directories of ISOC and the non-corrupt american chapters of ISOC by outright and publicly expelling Paul Beringer and the entire DC chapter on the grounds of breach of the ISOC code of conduct and ethics will be enough to restore the ISOC good name.

        For those that think ISOC doesn't matter, ISOC *funds* the IETF, and the IETF is one of the most important engineering bodies behind the Internet (and the least problematic of them all).

        The ISOC code of ethics can be found here:http://www.isoc.org/members/codeconduct.shtml and it is NOT optional. You have to abide to it to be an ISOC member.

        • by jamstar7 (694492) on Friday March 23, 2012 @08:03PM (#39458083)

          For those that think ISOC doesn't matter, ISOC *funds* the IETF, and the IETF is one of the most important engineering bodies behind the Internet (and the least problematic of them all).

          Great. Now they have an *AA pet lapdog as part of the process. Anybody taking bets on how the engineers behind the scenes will now be pressured into 'fixing' things to make the internet into Cable TV 2.0?

        • by mysidia (191772)

          For those that think ISOC doesn't matter, ISOC *funds* the IETF, and the IETF is one of the most important engineering bodies behind the Internet (and the least problematic of them all).

          If need be, the IETF could seek other funding sources through the community.

        • by symbolset (646467) * on Friday March 23, 2012 @11:06PM (#39458771) Journal
          It's called stuffing the panel. We learned about this during the Office Open XML standardization campaign with ISO. There is no level of corruption these bastards won't sink to. Something must be done. Don't think this guy is the end of it. He's just the camel's nose.
      • by mrmeval (662166)

        I want to hear the news. The editorializing can appear on the editorial page. Most of the MSM want to gag me with their special polemic of the day and twist and bend the facts to suit their agenda. It doesn't matter which corporate news organization, pick one, it's tainted and flawed.

        We're getting a little better with independents and I can get my propaganda direct from the gov't without interference by the MSM. I'm currently harassing the mayor I voted for to quit sucking up to the MSM and put relevant ne

    • My version of "independent" and "objective" at least recognises that "good" and "bad" are in the eye of the beholder, the only real constatnt is that there will always be groups who see things the opposite way to each other.
  • by zerodl (817292)
    Group Of People That Dont Matter sounds better. their description sounds like a secret society.
  • Does this mean... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jamstar7 (694492) on Friday March 23, 2012 @07:12PM (#39457767)
    ... we now have a case of the fox and a platoon of his buddies guarding the henhouse?
    • by Anonymous Coward

      No. They already took over the hen house, ate all the chickens, and just wait for us to put more chicks in the house for their dining pleasure...

    • by mysidia (191772) on Friday March 23, 2012 @09:09PM (#39458391)

      ... we now have a case of the fox and a platoon of his buddies guarding the henhouse?

      No.... an international hen house franchise owner just appointed the Fox as chief landlord over all the henhouses in North America.

      The hen houses have some autonomy, and there is a remote possibility they could band together and reject the Fox as their landlord

    • by symbolset (646467) *
      It means that in addition to taking over the us DOJ, they have inserted themselves at the peak of the us Internet. They intend to shut down free expression on the Internet by any means necessary. These people are dangerous.
  • by cpu6502 (1960974) on Friday March 23, 2012 @07:22PM (#39457845)

    :-|

    • by FridayBob (619244) on Friday March 23, 2012 @09:33PM (#39458465) Homepage

      They're not my favorites either, but let's not become too pessimistic. All is not lost. The most important thing is that the free world remain so and that we retain the ability to resist all efforts to introduce censorship of any type.

      We refer to this era we live in as the information age because the Internet is so amazingly effective at making it possible for people all over the world to freely exchange information. This has been great for most people, but since it has also had the effect of decommoditizing information in general, it has been bad news for the various publishing industries and their centuries-old business model, so don't be surprised if they continue to put up a fight.

      They see censorship as the best way to once again make information scarce and thereby raise the value of their products, so our task is to raise public (and ultimately political) awareness that such an artificial measure can only be counterproductive at best. It will be much better for society in general if the publishing industries learned to develop new business models, rather than if our governments effectively allow them to dictate rules that will lead to the implementation of tools more befitting of a police state. If we allow that to happen, then we may wake up one day to find that the clock has indeed been turned back... to 1984.

      • by Hairy1 (180056)

        You're cute when you are naive. When the DMCA passed its implications for free speech were clear, and since that time have been used to control what appears on YouTube and many other sites. Corporations now control speech. When the PATRIOT act passed it was almost unanimous. Now you get to be virtually stripped naked every time you fly; a gross invasion of privacy. The NDAA sweeps away the last vestiges of any of your rights to a trial. Corporations now assign their cronies into critical Government roles at

  • by mbone (558574) on Friday March 23, 2012 @07:56PM (#39458029)

    He was only at the MPAA for a year, and from what I hear, that was no accident. I know people who know him, and they say that he understands the Internet and didn't agree with what the MPAA was doing, and was described to me as "one of the good guys." We shall see, but he won't last long at ISOC if he isn't.

    • Re: (Score:1, Troll)

      by jamstar7 (694492)
      That's about on a par with saying 'Hey, Hitler wasn't all bad. After all, he did kill Hitler!'
    • He was only at the MPAA for a year, .... didn't agree with what the MPAA was doing

      and he didn't know what the mpaa was doing before he joined them? yeah right ...

      • by mbone (558574)

        He was only at the MPAA for a year, .... didn't agree with what the MPAA was doing

        and he didn't know what the mpaa was doing before he joined them? yeah right ...

        Don't know. Maybe he was told he could change things, and found out different.

      • by Angostura (703910)

        It's quite possible to join an organisation believing that you have a mandate for change,only to discover... You don't

    • by nosilA (8112) on Friday March 23, 2012 @11:00PM (#39458749)

      This. Paul is a personal friend of mine and a professional colleague and I will vouch for him as knowledgeable, fair-minded, and a talented lawyer and technologist. I have no doubt that he will perform admirably in the spirit of everything ISOC has done over the years to promote a free and open Internet. Then again, any article that would repeatedly misspell the name of the person being smeared proves itself uninformed and sloppy.

      • by professionalfurryele (877225) on Saturday March 24, 2012 @06:01AM (#39459759)

        He was CTPO of the MPAA. You don't work for a group that evil and get to claim that you are a person working for the common good. You cant be fair minded and take the MPAA's money. At best he is a Puyi, and someone that politically naive does not belong belong in this position.

        Even if he was trying to change it from the inside the only change that needs to happen at the MPAA is for it to disband and for everyone involved who ever aided in the bribery of politicians to be locked up. Your friend is complicit in the corruption of the United States political system and belongs in a cell, not heading up a North American chapter of ISOC.

      • by Fwipp (1473271)

        Thanks for this. I'd mod you up if I could, but you're at +5 and I've already posted here.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Does it matter what a third party like you say he is?
        It's an established fact that he worked for Satan and had no remorse taking their money.

        Cut the PR, actions speaks for themselves.

      • by Znork (31774) on Saturday March 24, 2012 @12:05PM (#39461213)

        Then again, it's not that hard to find quotes with him claiming copying threatens american jobs and that PIPA is a vehicle to deal with that, or the opposition to net neutrality from his stint at Verizon.

        Unfortunately I think one gets tainted beyond redemption by even associating with the MPAA not to mention having gotten a paycheck from them. Perhaps he's just saying what his employers want him to, but in that case there would be more appropriate hires with a bit more spine for the ISOC to employ.

    • by zAPPzAPP (1207370)

      I was assuming this was some sort of "know your enemy" move.
      Gaining knowledge from the inside of the MPAA command chain should come in handy.

  • Paul Brigner. (Score:4, Informative)

    by SSpade (549608) on Friday March 23, 2012 @07:59PM (#39458049) Homepage

    Not Beringer, Brigner.

  • Does this challenge the notion that ISOC is a 'trusted, independent source of Internet leadership?'

    Why would you think it does? Anyone who's qualified for any sort of leadership position is going to have past experience with some company or group. When you hire someone, you don't magically become a shill of that person's past employer.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      >> Does this challenge the notion that ISOC is a 'trusted, independent source of Internet leadership?'

      > Why would you think it does? Anyone who's qualified for any sort of leadership position is going to have past experience with some company or group. When you hire someone, you don't magically become a shill of that person's past employer.

      Elop?

    • by mysidia (191772) on Friday March 23, 2012 @09:18PM (#39458417)

      When you hire someone, you don't magically become a shill of that person's past employer.

      While true. You don't appoint the former CEO of a national beef conglomerate to be head of PETA. You don't appoint a former devil worshipper as pope. You don't appoint a former member of the pirate party as an executive of the RIAA.

      The fact that you were a chief executive of an organization such as the MPAA says something about you. And what it says is largely inconsistent with the values of the internet society.

      You choose executives whose personal views are consistent with the values of the organization, or who at least are not widely known as having opposite views; such as the scope and capabilities of the internet should be heavily restricted in order to protect media companies.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        The rare albeit slight possibility you're missing here is: He might've been someone coming in to try and rock the boat. Not everyone going into organizations you dislike is out to follow the 'company line', although I will agree that it seems like most of them conform once they get there regardless. But as someone else said, since he left/got the boot after only a year it is not impossible to imagine he might actually have sane ideas for balancing technical rights versus intellectual property rights. Hell,

      • by artor3 (1344997) on Friday March 23, 2012 @09:46PM (#39458497)

        You don't appoint the former CEO of a national beef conglomerate to be head of PETA.
        You don't appoint a former devil worshipper as pope. You don't appoint a former member of the pirate party as an executive of the RIAA.

        Allow me to play Devil's Advocate here... Why shouldn't you hire such people? People can change, and such people often have insights that lifetime partisans lack. For example, an ex-satanist who finds religion might make a good pope, in that he'd have an intimate understanding of what could drive people to devil worship and what could bring them back. The RIAA would likely benefit from having a former pirate party member at its helm, because that person would understand piracy in a way the organization currently doesn't and could drive sane policy changes.

        What you're promoting seems to be ideological purity at the cost of maybe not expanding or improving policy. It's an innately defensive posture, used by people who are playing to not lose rather than to win. Maybe such a posture is better in this case, but I wouldn't say that that's always the case.

        • by symbolset (646467) *
          Leopard. Spots.
        • by mysidia (191772)

          Allow me to play Devil's Advocate here... Why shouldn't you hire such people? People can change, and such people often have insights that lifetime partisans lack. For example, an ex-satanist who finds religion might make a good pope, in that he'd have an intimate understanding of what could drive people to devil worship and what could bring them back.

          CEOs are not just people with insight, they are also leaders. Leaders are figureheads as well, models, people to set an example for others. People can ma

        • by Anonymous Coward

          In all your examples, the previous job of each subject influences their decision in the next job. Using the obvious conclusion to your little experiment, why the FUCK would we want more RIAA in our Internet?

      • by shentino (1139071)

        Popes aren't appointed, they're elected.

    • The process isn't magical so much as it is organic and predictable.

  • Awesome. Michael Bay will literally own you.

  • It is a hell of a gamble to hire such highly questionable person for this job. Their arguments have to be really very good to do this. I personally do not trust anyone hired or anything owned by one of the **AA's.
  • You got the name wrong.

    I have known Paul Brigner since the 1990s and he is one of the most ethical, intelligent, and fair minded people I know. I expect he brought some of that to the MPAA - although I do not actually know what his impact there was. I do know that he is deserving of the benefit of the doubt, and I anticipate that he will be thoughtful, progressive, and fair-minded in his new position at ISOC. And I say this as someone who strongly supports Internet freedom and openness.

    • by Elbart (1233584)
      Brigner is in favor of SOPA/PIPA and screwing with DNS.
      http://www.shinkuro.com/PROTECT%20IP%20Technical%20Whitepaper%20Final.pdf [shinkuro.com]
      http://blog.mpaa.org/BlogOS/author/Paul-Brigner.aspx [mpaa.org]
      So, yeah.
      • That is disappointing. Thanks for these links. Remember though that people often have to represent the viewpoints of the organizations that they work for. I guess we'll have to wait and see how things evolve.
        • by Elbart (1233584)

          Remember though that people often have to represent the viewpoints of the organizations that they work for.

          That may be the case for representative positions like spokesperson or similar, but as "Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Policy Officer at MPAA"? Isn't that a position which defines these viewpoints and policies?

          • Insightful. I was wondering if you would point that out.

            I do not know how the MPAA operates, but I would expect that a policy group would be an advisory group that provides analysis and options to the board or executive leadership, but that final policy choices would be made by the leadership and board, and that it would be up to the policy group to draft appropriate language to reflect those policy choices. But again, I don't have any insight at all into how the MPAA operates.

            Ultimately, the people who set

  • by rs79 (71822) <hostmaster@open-rsc.org> on Saturday March 24, 2012 @01:25PM (#39461613) Homepage

    Anybody who has seen both Sean Doran's brilliant screed "It Seeks Overall Control" and watched the IAHC committee where ISOC made the deal with the devil for control of the DNS which it then presented to the USG as the final solution, can not be surprised at this.

    After the US government threatened to make Jon Postel "go away" for his ideas about expanding the DNS to make NSI "one of many" registires (instead of the current plan to have 10,000 sales agents for .com) per the original NSF cooperative agreement with NSI/General Atomics/ATT, the USG (really Commerce) made their own version of IANA run by intellectual property lawyers, starting at the top with WIPO from Geneva being involved in the earliest secret (!) meetings about the DNS delivered on a platter by ISOC; this was initiated when Don Heath (ISOC) ran into Albert Tramposch (WIPO) and Bob Shaw (ITU) at an OECD workshop in Ottawa at about the time Jon was trying to expand the DNS namespace around the time the Vint Cerf's FNCAC advised the NSF to instruct NSI to began charging for domains.

    ISOC, and really any of these organizations that start with an "I" are really a "you scratch my back I'll scratch yours" old boys club - look at their salaries on their organizations tax forms, they're 2 to 5 times for equivalent government work and lets face it if you saw FCC staffers in kayaks at a five star hotel Costa Rica claiming it was "bottom up multistakeholder consensus making" - one of four junkets a year - heads would roll and never mind the FCC has stated the multistakeholder model is rubbish.

    But how else can they let the intellectual property crowd and speculators have as much as a say as all those people that actually own and operate nameservers?

  • Does this challenge the notion that ISOC is a 'trusted, independent source of Internet leadership?'

    Is what now?

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