And she became involved in local politics for the first time since 1969

And so there is this (ouch!) Reminds my of the scene in the Lord of the Rings, when after fighting the Great War of the Ring and winning, Frodo returns to the Shire to find Saruman has taken up residence:

Mrs. Hanson, who is 81 and has been a library patron for nearly 50 years, was so bothered by the outsourcing contract that she became involved in local politics for the first time since 1969, when she worked for a recall movement related to the Vietnam War.

She drew up a petition warning that the L.S.S.I. contract would result in “greater cost, fewer books and less access,” with “no benefit to the citizens.” Using a card table in front of the main library branch, she gathered 1,200 signatures in three weekends.

Article here:

Anger as a Private Company Takes Over Libraries
By DAVID STREITFELD
Published: September 26, 2010
Library Systems & Services was hired to run the libraries of Santa Clarita, Calif., setting off an outsourcing debate.

And she became involved in local politics for the first time since 1969

Cord B. makes an important discovery, other than the fact that Municipalities don’t owe Verizon a market for Wi-Fi…

The post Does Municipal Wi-Fi Have the Incentive for Security? by Cord Blomquist over at TLF is another subterfuge for corporate welfare, carefully disguised. (Although he has picked up on the Headline as a question thing.) But, in the course of the debate he makes a really key observation that I almost overlooked.

First, he starts out with the seemingly plausible statement that perhaps municipalities don’t have as strong a motivation to provide strong security as private companies do:

USA Today reports that most are unaware of the dangers facing them at public Wi-Fi hotspots, which brought to mind an interesting question about municipal Wi-Fi. What incentive is there for municipalities to provide encryption and other security technologies?

The article mentions that AT&T and T-Mobile are the largest providers of free Wi-Fi hookups in the country and although the Wi-Fi itself is unsecured, both companies encourage the use of freely provided encryption software. The incentives for both companies seem fairly obvious. If people are going to be Wi-Fi users they need to feel safe and encryption technology is a way to do this. Customers stay safe and continue to use the service, making AT&T T-Mobile and other providers money.

Do municipal setups have the same incentives? Depending on the financial structure of such a system I can see how there would be little incentive to provide security software or other safeguards to users. Yet these Muni-Fi services would still distort the market, making it less likely for companies—that might be affected by privacy concerns—to invest in those areas.

After much discussion by others, the discusion moves away from the security question (red herring!), and to the real issue, which is that stuff like free municipally-provided Wi-Fii isn’t allowed under that good ole free market religion.

I ask then: Well, Cord, if Municipalities shouldn’t be in the Wi-Fi business, why should they be in the library business?

Both efforts have very similar aims, and libraries ‘compete’ with bookstores and video rental establishments, right?

Continue reading “Cord B. makes an important discovery, other than the fact that Municipalities don’t owe Verizon a market for Wi-Fi…”

Cord B. makes an important discovery, other than the fact that Municipalities don’t owe Verizon a market for Wi-Fi…