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.