Prof: Abolish FCC, Create 'Innovative Environment Protection' Agency
December 26, 2008 at 11:40 AM (PT)
In an op-ed published in NEWSWEEK, noted communications writer and STANFORD UNIVERSITY Professor LAWRENCE LESSIG called for the demise of the FCC, which he called "corrupt beyond repair." In its place he suggested the creation of what he called the INNOVATION ENVIRONMENT PROTECTION AGENCY (iEPA).
"You can't fix DNA," he declared. "You have to bury it. PRESIDENT OBAMA should get Congress to shut down the FCC and similar vestigial regulators, which put stability and special interests above the public good.
"The FCC has become the target of enormous campaigns for influence," he continued. "Its commissioners are meant to be 'expert' and 'independent,' but they've never really been expert, and are now openly embracing the political role they play. Commissioners issue press releases touting their own personal policies. And lobbyists spend years getting close to members of this junior varsity Congress. Think about the storm around former FCC Chairman MICHAEL POWELL's decision to relax media ownership rules, giving a green light to the concentration of newspapers and television stations into fewer and fewer hands. This is policy by committee, influenced by money and power, and with no one, not even the President, responsible for its failures."
The INNOVATION ENVIRONMENT PROTECTION AGENCY, on the other hand, would be "charged with a simple founding mission: 'minimal intervention to maximize innovation.' The iEPA's core purpose would be to protect innovation from its two historical enemies -- excessive government favors, and excessive private monopoly power."
Read the entire editorial here.