from the dealing-with-hypocrites dept.
Angry Netflix customers are a force to be reckoned with, and they're the ones owed an explanation about why the company would slow the transmission of video streams to some wireless customers without informing them.
Netflix found itself in the hot seat after admitting, in a Wall Street Journal story Thursday, that for five years it had been tamping down service to Verizon and AT&T customers. What's more, the Los Gatos, California, company said the policy excluded customers of T-Mobile and Sprint.
Critics immediately cried foul on Netflix, seeing hypocrisy on the part of a company that two years ago led a fight to require the Federal Communications Commission to adopt "strong" Net neutrality rules that would ban Internet service providers from slowing traffic under almost any circumstances. Netflix also wanted the FCC to require operators to be more transparent in how they manage their networks.
But the most galling aspect may be that Netflix never notified its customers that it was imposing a slowdown.
"There is nothing wrong with what Netflix is doing," said Berin Szoka, president of TechFreedom, a group that has opposed the FCC's Net neutrality regulations. "Except for not making it public."
John M. Donnelly, a senior writer at CQ Roll Call, said he was trying to talk with FCC Commissioner Michael O’Rielly one-on-one after a news conference when two plainclothes guards pinned him against a wall with the backs of their bodies.
“Not only did they get in between me and O’Rielly but they put their shoulders together and simultaneously backed me up into the wall and pinned me to the wall for about 10 seconds just as I started to say, “Commissioner O’Rielly, I have a question,” Donnelly said Friday.
Donnelly said he was stopped long enough to allow O’Rielly to walk away.
Donnelly, who also happens to be chair of the National Press Club Press Freedom team, said he was then forced out of the building after being asked why he had not posed his question during the news conference.
O'Rielly apologized to Donnelly on Twitter, saying he didn't recognize Donnelly in the hallway. "I saw security put themselves between you, me and my staff. I didn't see anyone put a hand on you. I'm sorry this occurred."
Senators, including Judiciary Chairman Charles E. Grassley, are warning the Federal Communications Commission about its treatment of reporters after a CQ Roll Call reporter was manhandled Thursday.
“The Federal Communications Commission needs to take a hard look at why this happened and make sure it doesn’t happen again. As The Washington Post pointed out, it’s standard operating procedure for reporters to ask questions of public officials after meetings and news conferences,” the Iowa Republican said. “It happens all day, every day. There’s no good reason to put hands on a reporter who’s doing his or her job.”