Are These Rumors, Or Are They Malicious Attacks?

Profile of Konrad von Finckenstein from the CRTC Website
Profile of Konrad von Finckenstein from the CRTC Website

Konrad von Finckenstein caused a firestorm with the recent CRTC decision on Usage Based Billing. A firestorm so bad, it could cost the Conservative Party the next election.To their credit, the Conservatives reacted quickly when they realized that there really was a problem. And while the other parties will try to take advantage of the situation, claiming that they responded first, they are no better. There have been a lot of people warning all of the political parties for several years about the problem. None of the parties responded until this week. None.

The Rumor Mill

Konrad von Finckenstein’s back is now up against the wall due to the recent CRTC decision, which is massively unpopular in Canada. He’s also now regarded as an incompetent idiot, due to his recent speech, where he came out with such wonders as:

The Internet is a driver of innovation and the backbone of a modern economy. It is vital that Canadians have access to it, and most of them can choose between different Internet service providers.

Right. The man is a lunatic.

But that’s not the problem. I’m getting told all sorts of interesting things. The problem is that most of them are so easily proven untrue, that it makes me wonder exactly who has such a strong interest in lying to the Canadian public?

Let’s look at them one at a time.

R) von Finckenstein worked at Rogers Communications for 17 years

A) von Finckenstein has never worked for Rogers.

R) von Finckenstein worked at Bell for 10 years, before going to Rogers

A) von Finckenstein has never worked for Bell

R) von Finckenstein is a communications industry insider

A) von Finckenstein is a lawyer, who has worked for the Federal Government since the early 1980s. He’s an Ottawa insider, yes. He’s never worked in the communications industry.

I don’t know why theses rumors have started to appear, or who started them. That they are coming at me from several sources, none of which apparently have enough brains to check von Finckenstein’s curriculum vitae, is curious.

Who Benefits?

The first question I ask myself when rumors pop up is who benefits. Or more crudely, where’s the money?

Under the current CRTC rules, news organizations have to report the truth, or rather they cannot report false or misleading news. So there’s no way that the rumor would go beyond the blogosphere, and most bloggers are cynical. They check sources. So it’s not going to get a lot of traction there.

But some people are really pushing this hard. And when confronted with the truth, they have a tendency to run and hide. So what exactly is going on?

I don’t know. And that bothers me. Oh sure, you get the odd case where someone has made a mistake in understanding someone. This doesn’t feel like that. It feels more like an attempt to smear von Finckenstein.

Admittedly politics is involved, and politics isn’t always clean. But it’s impossible to see how this rumor would benefit any of the political parties. Business is also involved. Again, it’s hard to see how this rumor would benefit Bell, Rogers, Telus, or Shaw. In fact it makes them look like slime.

So I’m confused. About all that I can be sure about, is that something is going on, and that it isn’t clean.


Wayne Borean

Saturday February 5, 2011


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