November 08, 2006

COPA - Who's Gettin' Paid

There's an interesting mercenary detail over at the "Child Online Protection Act" (COPA) trial blog, discussing an expert witness report:

The difference, as we will learn from some very erudite excerpts of the DOJ's Expert Report of Stephen Roy Albert Neale, an up-and-coming analytical philosopher so legit he has his own Wikipedia entry, is that while the guys on the ACLU side (who are totally gay for Neale) do this stuff for free, Neale gets paid $300 an hour by America.

I suspect there's some confusion in that paragraph between being a trial witness, which is almost always unpaid, and an expert witness, which is sometimes paid (possibly very highly) and sometimes for just For The Cause. It doesn't automatically follow that the civil-liberties expert witnesses are unpaid. While it's technically public information, people don't like to talk about it (I have what I view as a running joke with someone that when they're looking for expert witnesses, I'd be happy to let bygones be bygones for one of the "six figure" plums, and nothing says "I'm sorry" like a big fat consulting fee. I probably find this much funnier, in a gallows-humor way, than they do). It is true than even when the civil-liberties people are paid, they generally get much less than corporate types.

There's also this nugget in the 11/07 transcript:

Q. And the cost of the study that you have done for the Department Of Justice to date is over a million dollars, is that correct?

A. I'm led to believe that is correct. I did not bill it myself so -- ...

Note, before anyone starts making what they think are clever suggestions for me, that, if nothing else, you need to have the right political contacts to get one of those jobs, and I don't qualify.

By Seth Finkelstein | posted in copa | on November 08, 2006 11:19 PM (Infothought permalink)
Seth Finkelstein's Infothought blog (Wikipedia, Google, censorware, and an inside view of net-politics) - Syndicate site (subscribe, RSS)

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Don't give up so soon :-)

Get a paid holiday in Australia.

There is a major election coming up in the next 12 months.

Some of the politicians with power/key votes have/are suggesting that by default everyone in Australia gets a "clean" internet feed by default and you have to ask to get it uncensored.

Dig around, get a handle, pick your side - enjoy a hot Xmas, rather than a cold one.

Posted by: tqft at November 9, 2006 03:35 AM

Crikey, it'd be fun to throw some shrimp on the barbie. But there's smart people in Australia, they don't need to import USians.

Posted by: Seth Finkelstein at November 9, 2006 10:21 AM

"But there's smart people in Australia"
Yes, but doesn't mean the government or management would listen to them.

"they don't need to import USians."
But they do and enjoy the experience - cf Sol Trujillo - not that I expect you to get offered the top job at Australia's biggest telco.

Australian decision makers love to import consultants and experts from outside the company and/or country just so that they can point elsewhere when the fan starts fertilizing - and the consultant is already long gone.

Posted by: tqft at November 9, 2006 05:44 PM

Well, if there are any $300 an hour consulting jobs, feel free to nominate me :-). I'll even give you a finder's fee :-) :-).

Posted by: Seth Finkelstein at November 12, 2006 05:50 PM