Democracy and Technology Blog

Wisdom for a novice

arroba Email

Wisdom for a novice


Rep. John D. Dingell, Jr. (D-MI), Dean of the U.S. House of Representatives, Chairman Emeritus of the Energy & Commerce Committee (1981-95 and 2007-09) in a letter last week to young FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski regarding Genachowski’s proposal to apply telephone-style regulation to the Internet:

I fear your “third way” risks reversal by the courts, especially given the scope of its efforts to expand the Commission’s authority. It also puts at risk significant past and future investments, perhaps to the detriment of the Nation’s economic recovery and continued technological leadership. More importantly, it may paralyze more holistic regulatory efforts to keep the Internet open to consumers, advance cybersecurity, protect consumer data privacy, and ensure universal access to and deployment of broadband.

Dingell advised Genachowski to abandon an administrative proceeding and work instead with Congress to secure the necessary statutory authorities to permit the “appropriate and effective regulation of broadband.”
Although I may be a conservative blogger, personally I consider Dingell — whom I have met and have observed for many years — as a national treasure. Few if any in Congress can confront a witness like he can, for one thing. Though I don’t always agree with him, he strikes me as like Obi-Wan Kenobi and Yoda or Dumbledore in the wisdom, ability and integrity departments.
We’ll see what Genachowski thinks.