Captured Agency: How the Federal Communications Commission Is Dominated by the Industries It Presumably Regulates

by Norm Alster
June 29, 2015

Captured Agency: How the Federal Communications Commission Is Dominated by the Industries It Presumably Regulates, by Norm Alster


Captured Agency.

That's a term that comes up time and time again with the FCC. Captured agencies are essentially controlled by the industries they are supposed to regulate. A detailed look a FCC actions - and non-actions - shows that over the years the FCC has granted the wireless industry pretty much what it has wanted. Until very recently it has also granted cable what it wants. More broadly, the FCC has again and again echoed the lobbying points of major technology interests . . .

. . . But direct lobbying by industry is just one of many worms in a rotting apple. The FCC sits at the core of a network that has allowed powerful moneyed interests with limitless access a variety of ways to shape its policies, often at the expense of fundamental public interests . . .

. . . with overwhelming application of money and influence, information and communications technologies have almost totally escaped political scrutiny, regulatory control, and legal discipline . . .

. . . Should the Internet have been allowed to develop into an ultra-efficient tool for lifting personal information that includes financial records, health histories and social security numbers? Should wireless communications be blindly promoted even as new clues keep suggesting there may be toxic effects? Should local zoning authorities and American citizens be stripped of the right to protect their own health? Should education be digitized and imposed just because technology companies want to develop a new market and lock in a younger customer base?

All these questions can perhaps be rolled up in one: do we all just play dead for the corporate lobbyists and spinners who promote the unexamined and unregulated application of their products? 


  1. The Corrupted Network
  2. Just Don't Bring Up Health
  3. Wireless Bullies and the Tobacco Analogy
  4. You Don't Need Wires To Tie People Up
  5. $270 Billion . . . and Looking for Handouts
  6. The Cable Connection
  7. What About Privacy?
  8. Dependencies Power the Network of Corruption
  9. A Modest Agenda for the FCC
  10. Stray Thoughts
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