I was not surprise to see we batted a big fat zero when it came to being mentioned in President Obama's State of the Union Address on Wednesday. I expected that. Given two critical factors, what the politicians and media consider the "big stuff" (wars, healthcare, terrorism, economy and jobs) and an embattled political majority party (Democratic), I figured this was not the year for discussing telecommunication issues (broadband, net neutrality, USF, etc.) on the national stage.
However, it should be noted that Julius Genachowski, FCC Chairman, did put telecommunications and the Internet on the world stage earlier the day. Although, not widely reported in the US, the 65th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, the Nazi death camp, was commemorated on Wednesday. In his remarks where he spoke of his family's history there (his great grandmother was gassed to death along with her daughter, son-in-law, and grandson), Genachowski reminded the attendees of the role that open communications can serve in the world:
"...We know that the Nazis sought to shut off from the rest of the world the unspeakable killing that went on here. We know that for the Nazis control of the flow of information was an imperative, an SS boot on the free flow of news...
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has urged, we must enshrine as core principles in the 21st century -- freedom of expression, freedom of worship, freedom from want, freedom from fear, and freedom to connect.
The freedom of information is essential..."
Genachowski's comments give us further insight into his thinking and motivation and provide us with the knowledge that he does not take his role as FCC Chairman lightly. I will keep that in mind as I review his action over the coming years.
Have a good weekend. I'll see you on Monday with another new recipe and comments on IP communications.