Now you see it, now you don't: The New Millennium Research Council has removed the page listing its board of directors. On their About page, it used to have a link to the board and to internships. Now just look at it. The NMRC was behind the report that came out last week agitating against municipal broadband; they are owned by Issue Dynamics, a PR firm representing cable and telephone companies, including Verizon.
If we take the WayBack Machine from the Internet archive and set it to Feb. 2004, we can see that Karen Buller, Allen Hepner, Barbara O'Connor, and Jorge Schement are listed as board members. When I saw this page a few days ago, Allen--identified as affiliated with Issue Dynamics back then--was relegated to a contact page where he is listed as executive director.
Buller was listed as the chair of the board. I'm unclear who funds her organization as this information isn't provided on their site. The National Indian Telecommunications Institute seems to have great goals and is widely cited across the Net as a progressive force.
But Buller sits as a member of the board of directors of the Alliance for Public Technology (APT) alongside Barbara O'Connor, the founding chair. The APT states on its board of directors page that "Membership is open to all nonprofit organizations and individuals, not members of the affected industries." However, inexplicably, the sponsors and affiliates page lists BellSouth, SBC, and Verizon. The statement about this is that "These affiliates provide a portion of APT's financial support but do not vote or serve on its Board of Directors."
That's a great non-denial denial, just like the Heartland Institute's very specific note that no donor provides more than 10 percent of their budget.
If you view the HTML at APT's Web site, the first comment reads: "Designed and developed by Issue Dynamics, Inc. For more information see http://www.idi.net". Welcome to another arm of IDI. The Executive Director, Sylvia Rosenthal is "also Assistant Vice President of Issue Dynamics Inc. where she devotes her time exclusively to management of APT." The group is linked via SourceWatch.
Jorge Schement is a professor at Penn State and a co-director of the Institute for Information Policy, which lists Issue Dynamics and Verizon among their sponsors.
Am I going to wake up with a horse's head in my bed? I'm a fish-a-tarian. Could it be a full-sized Tofurkey, instead? [Thanks to Karl Bode of DSL and Broadband Reports; he can have half a horse's head.]