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Think Tanked
Posted at 01:15 PM ET, 05/25/2011

Brookings’s Darrell West: We don’t need a federal Internet agency

Brookings vice president and director of governance studies Darrell West is taking issue with former President Bill Clinton’s suggestion that a federal agency be created to regulate the internet.

Amid controversies over privacy issues involving Facebook, Google and Apple, among others, the increasing risk for consumers is a problem in search of a solution. But West, author of the recently published The Next Wave: Using Digital Technology to Further Social and Political Innovation, says the answer does not lie in a new federal agency.

Why? Mostly because of multiple slow-moving existing federal agencies that couldn’t possibly keep up with the pace of technology, West says:

Technology moves too quickly for the government to control it. Rumors or misinformation can be spread within minutes on the Internet. Seeking to deal with them through a new government agency would stifle innovation and be ineffective to boot. With a crowded government oversight structure that already includes the Federal Trade Commission, the Federal Communications Commission, and the Department of Justice, having another agency would dilute existing authority and responsibilities. 

By  |  01:15 PM ET, 05/25/2011

 
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