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Re: Will bureaucrats turn the Net into TV? Note from FCC

At 4:02 PM -0800 1/21/98, Declan McCullagh wrote:
>A note from an acquaintance formerly at the FCC. --Declan
>---------- Forwarded message ----------
>Having spedt my years at the FCC doing pre-repeal Fairness Doctrine and
>Sec. 315 equal time matters, I think [deleted-dm]'s concerns, tho'
>justified politically [because most adminsitrations will leave no good
>technology unhobbled] are without substantial legal basis.
>The hook for the Fairness Doctrine obligation imposed on broadcasters as a
>corollary to their statutory 'public interest' obligations was as a
>licensee of scarce broadcast spectrum--a discrete frequency awarded on a
>putatively compettive basis.

Hey, this is what _I_ said.

>Those key elements[scarcity/license/obligation] are--for now--lacking in
>the on-line environment.  And while no doubt this or another

Yep, this was what I was saying.

>Administration, or wiley Congressional staffer could gin up a plausable
>nexus between the web and interstate commerce, sufficiient to sustain a
>new public interest obligation, I think we're two or three generations of
>bandwith scarcity away from that becoming a compelling element of a
>cyber-resource allocation scheme.

"Regulation of commerce" (which was, let us not forget, *interstate*
commerce, despite the recent extension into defining cloning as commerce,
growing peanuts as commerce, and painting pictures as commerce, etc.) is a
fundamentally different issue than allocation of scarce bandwidth.

Though Declan's source may be right that the burrowcrats will try to find a
reason to stick their fingers into the Net to regulate it (meaning,
rent-seeking), it won't be via the FCC. That will not fly.

I doubt that even President Gore will have the time this coming summer to
push for such foolish legislation.

--Tim May

The Feds have shown their hand: they want a ban on domestic cryptography
Timothy C. May              | Crypto Anarchy: encryption, digital money,
ComSec 3DES:   408-728-0152 | anonymous networks, digital pseudonyms, zero
W.A.S.T.E.: Corralitos, CA  | knowledge, reputations, information markets,
Higher Power: 2^2,976,221   | black markets, collapse of governments.
"National borders aren't even speed bumps on the information superhighway."